David Wheeler of St. Petersburg unpacks pineapples at Rudy’s Produce Stand when the Treasure Island Air Market on Dec. 5.
TREASURE ISLAND – The second edition of the Treasure Island Open Air Market kicked off Dec. 5 next to the Community Center with 35 vendors in place.
It was the first of 17 consecutive dates for the event, which is sponsored by the Treasure Island Chamber of Commerce.
The market will be in operation on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through March 27.
This year the market is opening a month early to give artisans a chance to market their wares toward Christmas shoppers.
“We did it in December because many of our vendors had merchandise appropriate for Christmas,” said Dominique Reiter, president and executive director of the Treasure Island chamber. “Plus, as an added bonus, we have free gift wrapping available.”
In addition, a local print center is offering a free box for shipping and free pickup from beach resorts.
The 35 vendors is about 19 shy of the maximum 54 the site can handle but is significantly larger than the 22 that turned out for the first event last January.
“Last year it was rainy, windy and Publix was going up,” said Ray Graff, a salesman for Ewa’s Peace Fish. “We had a lot of dust blowing around due to the construction.”
“This is a good show,” said Shelley Ewashenko, of Ewa’s Peace Fish. “It’s going to improve each week.”
“This is one the few shows that has free parking for the residents and the vendors,” said Reiter.
Artisans interested in selling their products at the market should contact the chamber at 360-4121.
The fee for a 15-by-15-foot space is $20 weekly, $70 monthly for December, February and March, and $80 for the month of January.