SPRING HILL — What if businesses and nonprofit organizations across the county set up booths in a field, just so residents could give them a look?
It's happening Saturday, when the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce sponsors the first Hernando Marketplace, bringing together dozens of local companies and organizations for a family-friendly day of music, food and fun.
The new event is the result of a partnership between the Hernando County Parks and Recreation Department, the chamber and the county's Office of Business Development, said chamber president Pat Crowley. It replaces two other chamber events that had been held for the past several years: the spring reception for new residents and the Hernando Business Showcase.
The marketplace will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Anderson Snow Park in Spring Hill. Organizers promise something for everyone — music, food, vendors and kids crafts and activities.
The Cat in the Hat, the Chick-fil-A cow and Smokey the Bear will be on hand to meet with children, and youngsters can get a child identification card, courtesy of the Masons.
A variety of music will be broadcast live throughout the day by True Oldies 106.3 in the morning and WWJB-AM 1450 in the afternoon. Bands from Hernando and Springstead high schools will also perform.
Vendors will include small and large retailers, service providers, health care professionals and not-for-profit groups.
A local salon, the White Daisy, will provide chair massages and spray-on tans, and Best Buy will highlight its computers and Wii systems. Adventure Cycle Center will be displaying its best-selling bikes.
"My hope is for this event to grow and become an annual mainstay for the community," said Valerie Pianta, program coordinator for the business development office.
Shary Lyssy Marshall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.