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Market Nights Have Returned to the Squares Since June

Market Night has encouraged people to browse for unique handmade things while listening to live music on stage at a gazebo, pavilion or porch in each of the three town squares.

The shopping bonanza was suspended for the majority of last year, but it resumed in June with a revised timetable.

It currently takes place on the first full week of every month from 5 to 9 p.m., with vendors setting up shop on Tuesday in Spanish Springs Town Square, Wednesday in Lake Sumter Landing Market Square and Thursday in Brownwood Paddock Square.

The Villages Entertainment’s special events manager, Chalsi Cox, said, “everyone’s glad it’s back.”

The first two Market Nights took place during the first week of June, although Brownwood’s event was cancelled due to rain.

“We’re usually in the slow season, and it’s because of the weather over the summer,” Cox said. “It’s either very hot or rainy. In previous years, we have canceled a lot of Market Nights due to weather.” 

About 20 vendors from all around the state, including Tampa, Orlando, Davenport, Lady Lake and Leesburg, will be in the square for Market Night. They sell anything from candles to shutters to signs, all of which are crafted by hand.

Stone Original Creations’ Paul Stone presents his one-of-a-kind goods at Lake Sumter Landing’s Market Night.

Stone manufactures home signs out of granite, as well as yard markings out of rocks, in accordance with his namesake.

“The big selling point is they never fade. They’re permanent,” said Stone, of the Village of Bonnybrook. “There are never two even remotely alike.” 

For the past eight years, he’s been coming to Market Night.

“People liked the idea of having something that was unique and attractive; something they don’t have to keep replacing,” Stone said. 

Furthermore, the Farmers Market has returned to Brownwood Paddock Square on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Residents can purchase produce, bakery items, breads, cheeses, pies, honey and seasonal offers from more than 60 vendors.

“The Farmers Market has always done well and continues to do well, especially with the bridge opening up for golf carts,” Cox said. “We’ve definitely seen an influx of people coming and continuing to venture out and enjoy the Farmers Market.”

When October approaches, the Market Nights program will be expanded by one week, to the first and third weeks of the month, allowing sellers to set up shop.

“That’s when it cools off and the weather’s a little better, and we’ll have the snowbirds coming down,” Cox said. “We’ll have an increase in foot traffic.”