ST. PETERSBURG — At the Historic Roser Park Art Festival on Saturday, hundreds of people enjoyed looking at kiln-fused glass jewelry and large photos of a Bavarian castle.
But at this festival, the neighborhood itself is a work of art.
"I love the ambience with all the beautiful houses, and you've got all the palm trees," said Ginger Fulthorpe of St. Petersburg.
For many, this festival is an introduction to a distinctive St. Petersburg neighborhood that features brick streets, lush tropical plants, winding Booker Creek, curving oak branches, and stately homes perched on a surprisingly tall bluff.
Some festivalgoers say, "I've never seen Roser Park, I didn't know this was here," neighborhood association treasurer Debra Camfferman said. And that's part of the reason behind the festival, she said. "We want people to come here, to see the neighborhood."
"It's different than anything else in St. Petersburg," said Hebe Tello, 40, a music teacher who lives in the city.
"I never knew this was here before," said Judy Szollosi, 66, a retiree from Largo.
The festival offered about four dozen booths with a variety of arts, crafts and other products.
In addition to watercolor paintings, ceramics and jewelry, customers could buy cinnamon-flavored pecans and almonds, "crunch-eze health snacks for dogs," and a balm that promised to "eliminate skin problems forever."
Max Leimer said he was getting favorable responses from people about his photographs, which feature a kind of three-dimensional effect. His images are printed on canvas, and also on raised matting. He was hopeful of finding buyers despite the shaky economy that may have worried some customers.
"Even if times are bad, if they like a picture, they will buy it," said Leimer, of Lady Lake.
The free event continues from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.