Dillon Farmers Market to open Friday; summer concerts at amphitheater canceled
DILLON — Dillon residents and visitors will have to go without concerts at the town’s amphitheater this summer as officials continue to make changes due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
But Dillon is hoping to bring some music to the public this summer, among other amenities and events shaped to follow the public health order while still giving community members a chance to enjoy the season.
“At this time, the public health order restricts gatherings to no more than 50 people,” said Kerstin Anderson, Dillon’s marketing and events director. “So we don’t have plans to have concerts at the amphitheater at this time. Of course, we’ll keep ourselves flexible to any changes in the public health landscape as we move through the summer.”
Despite the lack of concerts, Anderson said residents are still making good use of the amphitheater, gathering in small groups for lunch or exercise. More structured activities will be coming to the amphitheater through partnerships with local yoga studios, as well.
But the cancellation of shows could mean a slower summer for some businesses in the area. Manuel Gomez, owner of Tacos Tequila Bar & Grill, said he relies heavily on amphitheater traffic.
“There’s a lot of people coming to those concerts,” Gomez said. “I don’t know exactly how much it will hurt, but we get probably 50% of our customers from the season from (the concerts).”
Anderson said the town will be monitoring activity in the area and will pivot when they can to support businesses. In the meantime, the town is relying on an active marina and new ideas to help.
One new concept is the Jams on the Water program the town is putting together, which would have local musicians put on mini-concerts on pontoon boats while making their way down the lakefront.
“We believe music is such a fundamental part of Dillon’s identity, and such a value for our guests and residents that we’re looking to get creative,” Anderson said. “We want to provide opportunities to surprise and delight everyone with some live music.”
Dillon also is set to open up its farmers market Friday, which has become a busy day in the county with Frisco and Breckenridge opening up their pedestrian Main Streets.
Though, the market will look considerably different this year. Anderson said a number of longtime vendors will be returning but that the number of vendors has been more than cut in half from 126 to about 60.
“We definitely had to cut things out that would encourage people to congregate, like live music, face painting and products like ice cream,” Anderson said. “We’re excited to have that all back in the future. But it’s tough because we value our relationships with these vendors, and they’re part of what has made us successful year after year.”
Anderson said 75% of the vendors would be offering “essential products” like fruits, vegetables, cleaning supplies and more. The other 25% will consist of non-food vendors. Product sampling has been eliminated, and vendors are required to provide to-go offerings.
The town will be requiring visitors to wear masks, which can be picked up at the town’s tent before entering, and will be putting out signage to create a one-way circulating pedestrian flow. The town also will be capping visitor capacity to 440 individuals at a time. Anderson said the market often sees as many as 3,000 people in a day, but with visitors staggering their arrivals, the town isn’t expecting issues.
“We’ve worked closely with the town of Dillon to put together what we feel is a good plan that minimizes the risk to both patrons and vendors,” said Dan Hendershott, Summit County’s environmental health manager.
The farmers market otherwise will operate normally, returning to Lodgepole Street from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays through Sept. 11.
“We think it’s going to be the same great event,” Anderson said. “It’s an awesome outdoor experience with some of the friendliest vendors in the state, a great crew from the town of Dillon and some beautiful Colorado sunshine.”
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