In these tough times, it's a matter of neighbors helping neighbors.
When the members of the Pinellas County Historical Society, the nonprofit support group for Heritage Village, received word that Pinellas County would not be able to provide the resources necessary to hold its Market in the Park at the Pinellas Extension, they extended an invitation to hold the open-air market at the living history museum.
"They stepped up, and everyone got excited'' said Mary Burrell, operations manager for county communications.
On Saturday, the county's Market in the Park starts its third season at rustic Heritage Village. Thirty vendors, ranging from vegetable farmers to pickle sellers, will be on hand.
The market will be set up near the H.C. Smith Mercantile Store circa-1915.
"I think having an old-fashioned market next to the store is quite a unique setting,'' said Richard Kendler, vendors coordinator and market manager.
Ellen Babb, director of Heritage Village, never envisioned an endeavor quite this big.
"But we did think about the importance of truck farming in our local history and how we might be able to incorporate this into our event planning,'' Babb said. "We were thrilled when the opportunity to host it came our way.''
The event will be supported by dozens of volunteers who will greet visitors and provide tours. A large portion of the helpers will be middle and high schoolers from the Heritage Village junior docent program, said Paige Noel, a living history interpreter in charge of the volunteers.
"The market has a welcoming, festive community feel, a perfect match for us,'' Noel said.
The students will introduce families to the EnterAction hands-on history program, conduct craft activities with youngsters and participate in the Pinellas Extension's workshop, Pathways Adventure Series. The first installment, "Going Native,'' will include a guided tour down the Shirley McPherson Native Plant Trail as well as palmetto fan making.
Babb expects the five-month project will pay off in the end.
"We are looking forward to having an event on site every weekend that will bring new visitors to Heritage Village,'' she said.
"Our motto is 'Come for the market and stay for the fun.' "