Peddlers Market canceled in Coarsegold

COARSEGOLD, Calif. (KFSN) -- A longtime event in Coarsegold has been canceled due to concerns over the coronavirus.

The grounds at the Coarsegold Historic Village are quiet.

Recently, organizers made the tough decision of canceling its annual Peddlers Market Memorial Day Weekend after 34 years due to the pandemic.

"It was gut-wrenching, it just killed me. There's so many years where I'm exhausted and tired, but when I see this park come alive and hundreds of people walking around and eating their corn dogs and having a good time, it brings new life into all of us. So it broke my heart. It's breaking my heart," said Diane Boland, Coarsegold historical village owner.

Boland owns the grounds and started the event in 1984. She says the market is the biggest outdoor show in Madera County.

More than 50 vendors have been affected by the cancellation of the market, which kicks off the summer tourism season.

"They rely on this show to make a living and to get themselves started for the year. It's kind of the lifeblood of our town and brings everybody in and lets them know Coarsegold is here and all these shops are here, and they tell their friends, and they come back," Boland said.

In the village, some businesses are moving out and say they can't make it without foot traffic. The area has been impacted by fires and disasters affecting the national park service, but now is adding pandemic to that list.

Some businesses are open, including Zanders, Wild Fig, Yosemite Drug, Camarena Heath and Granite Reef Home Health Services. The owner wants people to be cautious when visiting.

"The park is open, but I will say this, it's six feet apart or six feet under. People came yesterday they had no masks on, and they're sitting a few feet apart," Boland said, concerned about people not following social distancing guidelines in public at her property.

Boland wants to keep people safe and healthy, but it's a difficult balance. She hopes people will continue to support small shops in the heart of Coarsegold.

Many foothill and mountain businesses are looking forward to reopening to the community.

As for the peddlers market, they hope to have it in full swing Labor Day weekend.
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