Rose Park Market Is Back; Voting Begins

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The Rose Park farmers market returns on May 27, but don't expect it to look like this 2018 photo. Courtesy Friends of Rose Park.

The almost indistinguishable days and weeks in Georgetown since Mayor Muriel Bowser’s March 16 stay-at-home order, brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, are beginning to have structure and take shape. Dates on May and June calendars are beginning to fill up with things to do and look forward to.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 27, the Rose Park farmers market will be open at the corner of 26th and O Streets from 3 to 7 p.m. As in the past, such vendors as Anchor Foods, Versatile Foods Catering, Metropolitan Baking Company, Quaker Valley Orchards and Lobster Maine-ia will be on hand. Several have an online preordering option.

“We delayed allowing the opening until we felt comfortable about the pandemic virus numbers,” Friends of Rose Park President David Dunning told The Georgetowner. “Of course, we expect everyone involved to wear masks and practice social distancing. We’ll have a number of volunteers present to help remind shoppers.”  

Other restrictions will make the market different than before. According to market manager Allister Chang, these include: only send one family member from each household to the market; leave pets at home; don’t shake hands or engage in any other unnecessary physical contact; and cough or sneeze away from other people.

Vendors have agreed to follow Mayor’s Order 2020-058, including to limit operations to only allow grab-and-go-type purchasing, place all products behind a rope, table or other barrier and prohibit customers from touching products before purchase,” Chang said.  

The biggest changes may be that market vendors are not allowed to accept cash payments and all on-site food preparation has been eliminated.  

Mayor Bowser has said repeatedly that there will be no official enforcement by uniformed officers at markets and parks. “It will be up to the public to demonstrate good judgment,” she said at a press conference on May 27. The city always has the option to shut down an activity if there is a persistent problem.

A must-do for eligible voters in the District (residents who are citizens and 18 years old or older) is to register for D.C.’s primary election and cast a vote. Today, May 26, is the last day to request a mail-in ballot at dcboe.org. But a voter can also cast a vote in person at 22 different official polling places any day between 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. On election day, June 2, polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

In Georgetown, the polling place is at Hardy Middle School at 1819 35th St. NW. There is a supply of packaged masks and large bottles of hand disinfectant at the entrance, with eager volunteers and even a possible mobile voting process available for disabled voters confined to their automobiles. In the school’s multipurpose room off the 34th Street entrance, over a dozen registration and sign-in stations and private electronic and paper voting booths are set about 10 feet apart. Paper ballots are scanned before being deposited in a ballot box. And, of course, “I voted” stickers are given to all who complete the process.

This reporter went to vote on Saturday at about 3 p.m. and was the only voter there (and the sixth that day, according to volunteers). Business is expected to increase by election day. Provisional ballots can be obtained at the polling place by those who didn’t register.

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