By LOIS KINDLE
If you like shopping vendor markets but are having withdrawals because few, if any, are open during the summer, Jennifer McCafferty is hosting one that’s sure to chase your blues away.
The Artisans & Entrepreneurs Summer Market will take place from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. July 21 at The Regent, 6437 Watson Road, Riverview, and admission is free.
“During the summer most area markets in the Tampa area are closed,” said Jennifer McCafferty, owner of Jen’s Markets & Events. “The Artisans & Entrepreneurs Summer Market is an opportunity for area residents to shop 89 vendors under one roof in air-conditioned comfort.”
In 2011, McCafferty hosted a summer event called “Christmas in July” in Sun City Center. After six years, the event outgrew the facility it was in and moved to Ruskin, where during its seventh year, it featured 52 vendors, many of whom had to sell their wares outdoors in the hot July sun.
“We are excited to have changed its name and relocated to The Regent this year, where we will have 10,000-square-feet of air-conditioned space,” McCafferty said.
The event will also feature a Kids’ Deck on The Regent’s large covered veranda, behind the building. There will be all kinds of free crafts and games for children, including Make Your Own Treasure Box, Color a Kite and Go Fish for Prizes. The Kids’ Deck sponsor, Surrogate Solutions, is giving away beach balls and sunglasses while supplies last. Sam’s Club is supplying juice boxes.
If you’re hungry, Dave’s Jukebox Diner food truck will be on hand to serve its diner-style burgers and shoestring French fries and more. The Snowball Machine will also be there.
Vendors from all over West Central Florida will be selling everything from cigars, soaps, handbags and scarves to jewelry, apparel, honey, baked goods and books. There will be something for everyone at this bonanza.
Event sponsors include MJ Natural Resources, All American Gutter Protection, Frontier Communications, GTE Financial, A+ Heating & Air, Macaroni Kids and eight other area businesses.
The market will feature a quarter auction and silent auction to benefit the nonprofit C.A.T.E. Foundation (Conquering Addiction Through Education) in Apollo Beach, which provides support to those who want to successfully overcome their dependencies, as well as to their friends and families.
“I chose (the C.A.T.E Foundation) because the issue runs pretty close to home for me,” McCafferty said. “This area is greatly affected by opioid and alcohol addictions.”
The quarter auction will feature items donated by a variety of area businesses, all in the form of gift cards, gift baskets and gift certificates that range in value from $25 to $75. Paddles are $5.
The silent auction will have quite a lineup of big-ticket items up for grabs to the highest bidders. These include a 7-night condo stay for four at a Club Wyndham Resort anywhere in the country ($2,000 value), round-trip ticket on Jet Blue anywhere in the country ($686 value), a pair of tickets to Busch Gardens, four Tampa Bay Rays tickets, tickets to Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park and more.
“We’re still accepting donations for the auction,” said Tina Patch McGlynn, C.A.T.E. Foundation president. “Each donor will receive a ticket to enter a drawing for another round-trip ticket on Jet Blue anywhere in the country.”
For more information on the auction, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 813-773-7175.
McCafferty needs additional sponsors for the Kids Deck. For $75, a business gets a logo, its name on signage, a mention at the event and the inclusion of promotional materials on the sponsors’ table. Volunteers are also needed to help with the crafting activities. For information, call 813-846-1316 or email email@example.com.