AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Austintown Farmers Market held a soft opening for its 2020 season on Monday, but with some changes due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Market shoppers refused to let the outbreak or the threat of bad weather stop them from arriving by the carload to enjoy this Austintown summer tradition.

This year’s market will, for now, be a drive-thru market where shoppers can buy from their cars.

“You’ll pull in and we’ll give you a sheet with all the vendors and everything that they have that they’re offering so that you can look and see what you might want to buy from the vendors, stop at the booth and chat with them for a moment,” said Austintown Farmers Market manager Shannon Lehn.

Vendors who sell at the market depend on it for much of their income.

“They really need to have these markets and these types of events so that they’re able to continue their income,” said vendor Trish Diefenderfer.

Lehn says the farm-grown food sold at the market is an important part of staying healthy.

“Especially in this day and age when health is so much on the front lines, we need to be able to empower ourselves to know where our food is coming from,” she said.

Lehn also said she was impressed by Monday evening’s turnout.

“They’re the best, they’re the absolute best. It makes me really sad about this and sad that we’re not able to have our traditional market, is that we’re so used to being with each other,” she said.

The market returns for its official opening on June 8 and will be open every Monday through August 31.

It will take place at Austintown Township Park on 6000 Kirk Road from 5-8 p.m.

For more information, visit the market’s website.