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Arts / Culture

5 Things to Expect at the Saturday Morning Market's Anniversary Event

When Gail Eggeman organized the first Saturday Morning Market on Nov. 7, 2002, she scoped out downtown St. Petersburg for a spot that was just big enough to accommodate the modest event.

"I think the first Saturday we had 20 vendors," said Eggeman, the market's co-founder and manager. They settled on Second Street. "It's small enough to not make us look silly," Eggeman thought.

Today, there's nothing silly about the 200-vendor market, which boasts as many as 10,000 weekly visitors, making it one of the largest weekly fresh markets in the Southeast. This Saturday  marks the 10th anniversary of the market, which is now held in the Al Lang Field parking lot.

“We started the market, and it was all about creativity and community in St. Petersburg," Eggeman said. “It’s turned out really well from that initial vision.”

In a phone conversation with WUSF, Eggeman shared five reasons to visit the market this weekend.

  1. Musical mayor: Around 9 a.m., Mayor Bill Foster will sing with the a cappella group Transitions.
  2. One-man circus: Steve "Fritzy" Lombardo juggles, eats fire and rides a unicycle. Need we say more?
  3. Day of deals: Some vendors will offer 10th-anniversary discounts.
  4. New farmers: If it's been awhile since you've visited the market, you'll notice an expanded selection of farm products, including some hydroponically grown.
  5. Balloon artist: Because it ain't a party until everyone's wearing.

The Saturday Morning Market takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For details, plus a list of other fresh markets in Tampa Bay, visit SaturdayMorningMarket.com.