SPRING HILL — Think of a giant one-day outdoor shopping mall where local retailers, service providers, health care professionals and not-for-profit groups can showcase themselves to the community.
That's pretty much the idea that organizers of the Hernando Marketplace had when they put the first event together last year.
Indeed, the event drew more than 50 businesses and several hundred visitors.
"We were very pleased with the turnout," said Carla Hayes, Program and Events Coordinator at the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce.
So much so that the chamber and event partner Hernando County Parks and Recreation and sponsoring another go at the event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Anderson Snow Park in Spring Hill.
Hayes said such a showcase makes sense in a large, spread-out county where storefronts are often tucked away in strip malls or on high-speed highways. People driving by may only catch a glimpse of a sign or storefront before turning their attention back to the road.
"So we decided to bring all those businesses together in one place and make a family fun day out it," Hayes said. "When people have a chance to walk around and spend some time getting to know your business, they're more apt to remember who you are."
Hayes said the event serves to replace two other chamber business events that had been held several years: the spring reception for new residents and the Hernando Business Showcase.
Saturday's event will once again focus on a family-friendly theme with live music by three local bands, food vendors, community displays and hands-on crafts and activities for kids. The event is free. In case of rain, the market will be held April 23. Call (352) 540-6400
Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or firstname.lastname@example.org.