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Shopapalooza returns with record-breaking vendors in St. Pete

Support for small businesses gets bigger every year, with more than 350 vendors filling Vinoy Park
 
Shoppers browse for items at vendor booths at Shopapalooza in St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023.
Shoppers browse for items at vendor booths at Shopapalooza in St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Published Nov. 25, 2023

The growing demand to support local businesses was on display Saturday in St. Petersburg with the return of Shopapalooza, a festival of indie businesses, artists, food halls and breweries. More than 350 vendors lined up along more than 11 acres of Vinoy Park the weekend after Thanksgiving.

The festival, hosted by small business advocates LocalShops1, began in 2010 and is co-sponsored by the city. It featured home decor, jewelry, clothing, beauty products, vintage items, pet goods, books and candles. There were also four food halls made up of about 40 vendors representing local restaurants, bakeries and food trucks.

The free public event continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at 701 Bayshore Drive NE.

Theresa Arenholz, Sea Turtle Trackers director, shows off a sea turtle shell to shoppers at Shopapalooza.
Theresa Arenholz, Sea Turtle Trackers director, shows off a sea turtle shell to shoppers at Shopapalooza. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Schuyler Lambert, 11, of Atlanta, Ga., holds a skunk at Shopapalooza's Pet Skunk Advocates & Rescue booth.
Schuyler Lambert, 11, of Atlanta, Ga., holds a skunk at Shopapalooza's Pet Skunk Advocates & Rescue booth. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Local magician Steven Vitale, top, performs magic tricks for an audience in St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park.
Local magician Steven Vitale, top, performs magic tricks for an audience in St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Shoppers browse for items at Shopapalooza, an annual event that started in 2010 in St. Petersburg.
Shoppers browse for items at Shopapalooza, an annual event that started in 2010 in St. Petersburg. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Jessica Merker, a poet with Merk the Moment, writes an original poem for a customer at Shopapalooza.
Jessica Merker, a poet with Merk the Moment, writes an original poem for a customer at Shopapalooza. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Merk the Moment poets Kelley Johnson, top, and Jessica Merker, write original poems based on a question and answer session with clients at Shopapalooza.
Merk the Moment poets Kelley Johnson, top, and Jessica Merker, write original poems based on a question and answer session with clients at Shopapalooza. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Kelley Johnson, a poet with Merk the Moment, reacts as she reads a poem she wrote for a customer.
Kelley Johnson, a poet with Merk the Moment, reacts as she reads a poem she wrote for a customer. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Shoppers relax and browse for items in Vinoy Park.
Shoppers relax and browse for items in Vinoy Park. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
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Earrings made by local crafts artist Jacaranda Hill are displayed for shoppers to purchase at Shopapalooza.
Earrings made by local crafts artist Jacaranda Hill are displayed for shoppers to purchase at Shopapalooza. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Local crafts artist Jacaranda Hill assists customers with their purchases. This was the sixth time Hill has been a vendor at the festival.
Local crafts artist Jacaranda Hill assists customers with their purchases. This was the sixth time Hill has been a vendor at the festival. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]