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Grand Central District offers Sunday Peddler's Market

ST. PETERSBURG — There's a new morning market in town.

A variety of antique shops, restaurants and vendors in the Grand Central District quietly started a Sunday morning Peddler's Market and Antique Stroll seven weeks ago.

The market operates from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Unlike traditional farmers markets, it involves a core group of shops and restaurants in the 2400 and 2500 blocks of Central Avenue, west of downtown.

Grand Central District officials say as the market catches on, it will likely expand to additional blocks along Central Avenue, especially when vendors from the Saturday Morning Market begin to look for other means to make money during the summer.

The market has had up to eight vendors so far, said Mona Burrows, president of the Grand Central District Association.

"We were scheduled last Sunday to have 15 vendors, but then we were rained out" for the second time, she said.

Several area restaurants that traditionally have been closed on Sundays have adjusted their hours to be open during the Peddler's Market. Shoppers can dine at Cafe Dolce, Beak's Old Florida and Roman Gardens. The Queen's Head, an English restaurant, will soon open on the same block, Burrows said.

In the 2400 block, shops adding Sunday hours include Our Favorite Things, Cigar Loft, Antiques Retro, Lucky Star Hair Salon and Wahoo Mortgage.

Farmers and artists markets are a popular and familiar stop for Pinellas County residents. Many people find these markets an attractive way to spend the day as well as a great opportunity to support local small businesses.

"Buy local, have a great time, find interesting crafts made locally, support their neighbors, meet their neighbors, get way fresher produce than the grocery, find wonderful unique things, and keep their money circulating in the area," said Gail Eggeman, market operations coordinator for the Saturday Morning Market in downtown St. Petersburg.

According to the Grand Central District Association's Web site, visitors to the Peddler's Market can expect to see vendors selling crafts, arts, antiques, jewelry, food and "pretty much anything else you can think of." The market also has live music and performance art.

Burrows said the plan is for the Peddler's Market to operate year-round. "It will bring great awareness to the shops in the area," she said.

With the current tight economy, success depends on getting the word out to attract vendors and visitors.

"They need to convince vendors and customers there is worth there," Eggeman said. "Markets survive because they provide something that is missing. I think it will be an uphill walk."

Sara Palmer is a reporter for the Neighborhood News Bureau, a program of the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Other area markets

Cross Roads Farmers Market: Fresh produce, raw local honey, fresh locally caught seafood, wild and natural seafood, herbs and spices, fresh hummus, natural pet products and unique gifts, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays, North Pinellas Historical Museum, 2043 Curlew Road, Palm Harbor. Call (727) 787-4700 or visit pinellascounty.org/Heritage/north_historical_museum.htm.

Tuesday Morning Fresh Market: Fresh vegetables and fruit, plants, local artists' displays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, downtown Gulfport, Beach Boulevard area. Pet-friendly. Call (727) 488-5649.

Downtown Clearwater Farmer's Market: Farm-fresh produce, flowers, gourmet foods, handmade jewelry, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays on Cleveland Street. Call (727) 461-7674 or see

clearwaterfarmersmarket.com.

Oldsmar Downtown Fresh Market: Produce, plants, herbs and honey, Italian ice, crafts, live entertainment, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays next to City Hall, 100 State St. W. Call (727) 733-4215.

Wednesday Morning Market: Fresh cheeses, an array of produce, handcrafted jewelry and clothing, metal sculptures and more, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays, St. Pete Beach Community Center, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive. Call (727) 363-9245.

Largo Harvest Marketplace: Produce, flowers, plants, baked treats, handcrafted items and more, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays, Ulmer Park, 301 West Bay Drive. Free. Call (727) 587-6740, ext. 5015.

Safety Harbor Farmer's Market: Produce, flowers, foods, 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursdays, John Wilson Park, 401 Main St. Call (727) 461-7674.

Dunedin Downtown Market: Fresh produce, plants and herbs, cheeses, seafood, meat pies, pet treats, organic products and more, Fridays, Pioneer Park, Main Street and Douglas Avenue. Call (727) 733-4215.

Gulfport Street Market: This market focuses primarily on food, food-related products, plants, and organic/health-related products, as well as artwork and crafts, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. the last Friday of the month, downtown Gulfport, Beach Boulevard area.

Art in the Park: Dozens of local artists display works; also live music, food vendors, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, Williams Park, Fourth Street and First Avenue N, St. Petersburg. Well-behaved pets on leash welcome. Call (727) 898-6061.

Downtown Saturday Morning Market: More than 100 local vendors of produce, crafts, prepared foods, flowers, plants and more, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, Progress Energy Park/Al Lang Field, 180 Second Ave. SE, St. Petersburg. Also live music and entertainment. Call (727) 455-4921 or visit saturdaymorningmarket.com.

Pinellas County Market in the Park: Farm-fresh produce, natural products, handmade soaps, gardening items, stuffed breads, herbs and hot sauces, honey, coffee and nuts, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, Pinellas County Extension Service, 12520 Ulmerton Road, Largo. Call (727) 582-2100 or visit pinellascountyextension.org.

Grand Central District offers Sunday Peddler's Market 04/04/09 [Last modified: Saturday, April 4, 2009 4:31am]

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