Williams Park Summer Market begins Saturday

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Officially, summer begins in three weeks, but the St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market is already moving to its temporary digs at the city’s oldest park.

The 2013 Williams Park Summer Market begins Saturday June 1 in downtown St. Petersburg and will remain there through Aug. 24. Williams Park is located on First Avenue N., between Third and Fourth Streets. 

Fans of healthy food, music and fun can stop by from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

According to organizers, the move brings “shaded coolness” to the Market during the hot summer months. The scaled-down version of the popular Al Lang Field open market will still feature more than 40 vendors of farm-fresh eggs and vegetables, cheeses, baked goods and other products.

In addition to appealing to die-hard foodies with Mediterranean cuisine, Brooklyn Knishes and barbecue, the Market also offers a variety of plants, clothing, Adirondack furniture, jewelry and more. As in previous summers, local artists will make live music a “key part of the upbeat market experience.”

“Summer is my best season,” says Tamara Leavy, a Market vendor selling rayon clothing. “But I don’t have a regular store, so summer market is a fantastic opportunity for me.”

This is the Summer Market’s third year at the city park, starting in 2011.

For several years, Market founders Gail Eggeman and Mark Johnson searched for other locations for a summer version, including a brief stint inside the Mahaffey Theater parking structure. On the Market’s website, organizers say the move to Williams Park was a result of “uniformly positive” feedback from customers. The partially shaded park is also a better fit for the Market’s open-air theme.

A city lot at Second Avenue, between Fourth and Fifth Streets will provide parking. The regular season St. Petersburg Saturday Morning Market begins again on Oct. 5 at Al Lang Stadium.

For more information about the Williams park Summer Market, visit www.saturdaymorningmarket.com.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.