RICHFIELD, Minn. (FOX 9) - People in the Twin Cities made the most out of warm weather on Saturday, as COVID-19 restrictions in Minnesota come to an end. For some, that meant a stop at Richfield’s farmers’ market.
"We try to be your outdoor local grocery store," market coordinator Bonnie Hanna-Powers said. "Meats, cheeses, all kinds of produce, bakery sweets."
Last year, the market looked very different. Hanna-Powers says it was surrounded by a fence, in order to control how many people shopped at once.
"It was pretty controlled with the COVID restrictions, and now this year it’s opened up quite a bit," Hanna-Powers said.
"It’s nice having the restrictions lifted," vendor Glenn Davis said. "[It’s] pretty exciting to be able to get out without having to wear a mask and having to deal with all the COVID stuff we had to deal with that last year."
With COVID-19 restrictions relaxing, the parking lot was filled Saturday as hundreds start to get back to normal this Memorial Day weekend.
"I can remember a year ago when I came up here you had to be spaced out, there wasn’t hardly anyone here. Today we got a nice crowd, lots of people, and it’s a very nice day," visitor David Andell added.
The warm weather helped too, after a winter spent staying apart.
"We’re able to go out and eat more, go to the bar once in a while again, go to the park, we can hang out at the park again this year," David Andell said. "Last year [we were] always a little skeptical about other people and what they had, now this year, [we are] feeling better."
The farmers’ market isn’t the only place with loosening restrictions either.
Noorgaard owns Local Roots, a Richfield restaurant. On Friday the state’s remaining capacity limits and distancing requirements ended, allowing businesses to fully reopen.
"It’s amazing to have people back in here, regular customers that we haven’t seen in over a year," Noorgaard said. "People coming and saying ‘this is the first restaurant I’ve went to in over a year’… day to day sometimes we didn’t know if we would make it, but we’ve worked our butts off for over a year and here we are."