The Bloomington Community Farmers' Market may be returning to its normal time and place Saturday after a two-week suspension, but not everything will be as it was before.

A Tuesday evening city news release listed several new public safety measures that will accompany Saturday’s return to a city-run market after operations were suspended amid threats of white nationalist violence. The release lists several nearby streets that will be closed during the market to “create a larger comfort zone for the market crowd.” There will also be an increased police presence, signs denoting market rules about handing out flyers and other forms of expression, new market ambassadors welcoming marketgoers and cameras to monitor the scene.

The market will be open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in Showers Common, next to City Hall at 401 N. Morton St.

“We want our community again to enjoy a farmers’ market with a vibrant marketplace of fresh, local food and, yes, ideas,” Mayor John Hamilton said in a news release. “We also want our community, together, to confront the remaining challenges of racism and bigotry around and among us. That means sitting down together, candidly and openly, to talk about where we need to go.”

Market vendors Sarah Dye and Doug Mackey of Schooner Creek Farm were accused in June of participating in white supremacist activities. Local protesters attended the market to encourage a boycott, and controversial political activists showed up soon after to demonstrate for and against the vendors. The city held community discussions, tensions escalated and a protester was arrested for demonstrating outside of the market’s designated area for such actions.

Mayor John Hamilton announced days later that the city would suspend its Saturday market operations for two weeks after identifying threats from individuals with ties to white nationalist violence. Hamilton and Bloomington Police Chief Mike Diekhoff both declined to give any details about those threats.
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