Vendor claims he was kicked out of a Utah farmers market for encouraging mask wearing


LEHI, Utah (KTVX) — A vendor working at a farmers market in Utah says he was kicked out of the market for encouraging customers to wear masks on Saturday.

The market is located in Lehi, a city south of Salt Lake City.

“A family came up and said they wanted to play the spin wheel game,” RJ Walker told NewsNation affiliate KTVX. “I said no problem, you just have to wear a mask to play.”

Walker says he had a sign displayed that stated in order to play games at his booth, a customer had to wear a mask. He also says he had new masks available in case someone didn’t have one.

“The proprietor saw me do that and decided she didn’t like that I was handing out free masks,” explains Walker.

Walker says he was called names by the owner’s husband when he explained he was following state health guidelines.

Amanda Miner tells KTVX she witnessed the entire back and forth, and shares a different account.

“Anybody that’s not wearing a mask he’s yelling at,” she said. “Anybody that comes to the booth, he’s not even handing them the things he’s throwing it at them.”

Miner also says he threw prizes at children as young as three years old. Walker denies these claims. He says the only thing he “tossed” at anyone were the free masks that were wrapped in plastic.

The market’s owner, Dorothy Durrant, tells ABC4 when it comes to wearing a mask, she leaves that decision to customers since the market is outside.

She shares what she told Walker over the phone after he packed up and left. “I’m going to refund your money,” said Durrant. “This isn’t the market for him because he doesn’t feel comfortable with people not wearing masks.”

Utah County’s mandatory mask order expired four days ago. However, under new guidelines, it’s still required by the state for residents to wear a face covering since Utah County is considered a high transmission county.

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