Plant City Courier
Downtown merchants welcome spring, shoppers
PLANT CITY - Sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s helped make the Downtown Merchants and Business Association’s spring celebration a success. About 30 vendors set up tents in McCall Park and the adjacent Drane Street, offering merchandise from jewelry to plants. And Mother Nature played a big supporting role. “The weather was perfect,” said Cassandra Banning, an employee of All A Bloom Florist who staffed a tent for the merchants association. Wendy Panfilio of Lithia and Connie Cron of Brandon said they found a lot of things to look at during the Spring in the Park. One of their first stops was the Origami Owl Custom Jewelry tent operated by Candy Perkins.Perkins said she was pleased with the turnout, and several shoppers booked home parties where she markets her jewelry. Vendor David Croxton of Video Conversions of Florida said this was his second or third spring celebration sponsored by the downtown merchants where he showcased his business, which among other services converts old slides and negatives and 8 mm home movies to DVD. Croxton said his business was slow but steady and he enjoyed the weather. The downtown merchants association has sponsored a spring celebration since 2011. Until this year, the festival was known as Spring Thing. The name was changed to Spring in the Park to reflect the fact that it’s held in and around McCall Park. The association’s tent at Spring in the Park included an artists rendering of a train viewing platform that is planned for downtown. The rendering drew a lot of interest from visitors, many of whom enjoy visiting Plant City to watch the many trains go by, Banning said. Spring in the Park accomplished its goal of bringing visitors and shoppers downtown, she added. “They were in the shops as well as being in McCall Park. And the vendors all seemed to be pleased,” she said. The merchants association’s next special event is Gardenfest and Etc., a September festival that will be staged with the Plant City Garden Club.