Like an urban Brigadoon, outdoor markets are once again about to emerge out of bare parking lots around Tampa Bay, buzz with activity for several hours and disappear again until next week when we need to stock up on artisan jams, organic cucumbers and yard art.
The St. Petersburg Saturday Market, which claims to have given birth to more than two dozen brick and mortar businesses, will open for the season Saturday. There will be live music by the Urban Gypsies, performances from St. Pete Opera, and barbecue, empanadas and freshly squeezed lemonade among more than 130 stalls. One of the largest outdoor markets in the Southeast, it attracts some 10,000 people on a typical Saturday.
A big focus this year is food education, said manager Gail Eggeman, and a revolving roster of chefs and cookbook authors will do cooking demonstrations each week with samples to try. There will also be special children's entertainment on the second Saturday of each month.
It may be the most successful, but the downtown St. Petersburg market is hardly alone. Nearly every corner of Tampa Bay has a little outdoor market opening up between October and May when the weather is more agreeable.
Here are markets to look for:
Saturday Morning Market: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays at Progress Energy Park/Al Lang Field, 180 Second Ave. SE, St. Petersburg.
Good Samaritan Mission Farmer's Market: A new market of produce, crafts and food trucks at Good Samaritan Mission, 14920 Balm Wimauma Road, Wimauma. Open 3-7 p.m. this Thursday and Oct. 15, the first and Thursdays of the month.
Corey Avenue Sunday Market: Opens Sunday and held weekly 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Corey Avenue in St. Pete Beach.
Mid-Week Madeira Beach Morning Market: Open 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays starting Oct. 7 on Madeira Way, between Gulf Boulevard and 150th Avenue N, Madeira Beach.
Tampa Downtown Market: Open 3-7 p.m. Thursdays with music and downtown shop discounts, Lykes Gaslight Square Park, 410 Franklin St., Tampa
Indian Shores Morning Market: With arts, crafts and food 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sundays at Indian Shores Town Hall, 19305 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores.
Pierce Street Market: The new market for local artisans and food trucks opens Oct. 10, running 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on second Saturdays at Clearwater Harbor Marina, 210 Drew St., Clearwater.
Sweetwater Sunday Farmers' Market: Returning for its 10th season Opening Oct. 18 activities include morning yoga at 11 a.m., and free farm tour at 6942 W Comanche Ave., Tampa.
Cleveland Street Saturday Market: The newly renamed market in Clearwater opens Oct. 24 at 621 Cleveland St. The first of monthly special events will be Oct. 31 in conjunction with Trick or Treat on Cleveland Street.
Twilight Market: Held at Whole Foods in Carrollwood the second Monday of each month at 3802 Northdale Blvd., Tampa.
Carrollwood North Tampa Market: With a pumpkin decoration contest Oct. 10, the market is held 10 a.m.-2 p.m. the second Saturday of each month year round at the Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road.
Ybor Saturday Market: Held year-round in Centennial Park, 1901 N 19th St., Tampa.