Tehachapi Farmers Market opened its season Thursday to a mixture of fun, relief and various levels of personal protection as shoppers purchased fresh fruits and vegetables from local growers.

Nine area growers were on hand with a large variety of customer favorites. With opening day caution, city and county officials did not allow any on-site cooking vendors or any kind of live entertainment where social distancing might not be controllable.

Tehachapi City Manager Greg Garrett was on hand and said, “As we seek to manage and live with the reality of COVID-19, it is important that our residents be able to obtain local fresh fruits and vegetables in a safe and controlled environment.”

Garrett went on to say how excited the city was to once again partner with Main Street Tehachapi in its yearly Farmers Market venue.

Mayor Susan Wiggins was also in attendance and said, “It's nice to see some normalcy in our town."

Both she and Garrett thanked the Kern County Public Health Services Department for working with the city to help execute a market environment where citizens could safely shop.

It was unclear until the last minute if the annual Farmers Market would open this week. In as much, Main Street Tehachapi was grateful to Adventist Health Tehachapi for stepping in at the last minute to financially help Main Street move forward on short notice.

“We at Adventist Health need to be leading in community health care. What better way than to sponsor the availability of fresh local produce at our own local Farmers Market," said Adventist Health Tehachapi President Jeff Lingerfelt.

While many shoppers were masked, others were not and the general opinion was shoppers could make their own choice on their level of protection during the three-hour market.