NORTH PORT — There’s a new weekly market in North Port happening on Saturdays, and organizers are looking for more vendors.

The North Port Family Market is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Sumter Boulevard and U.S. 41.

North Port resident Bill Grimes started it last year in front of City Hall as a summer market, but it didn’t last.

“It rained every day, so it never attracted many people,” Grimes said. “When we got into season, city officials said they needed the space, so I packed up and left. I found another spot, but then COVID hit and they pulled the permits.”

The family market now has vendors selling arts and crafts and there are food trucks. Grimes is hoping to add more produce vendors.

“Right now, there are 14 vendors,” he said. “There is a popcorn booth, a jewelry vendor and two food trucks. I’m always looking for new ones. I try to rotate them out every week to give different people a chance to show off and sell their food. Mayor Jill Luke posted about it on Facebook and that has stirred up a lot of attention.”


Grimes, a 12-year Navy corpsmen, Vietnam veteran and a retired remodeling contractor from Wisconsin, also builds wooden American flags as a hobby.

“A group of combat vets put together a company called Woodensoldiers, and we had a workshop where vets could come and hang out, have a cup of coffee and build something,” Grimes said. “That’s how all this started. It was the last meeting of the season, and I wanted to keep something going all through the year.”

Grimes has been busy putting signs up around the city and talking with people about the market.

“I am working hard trying to get the word out around town, and I could use all the help I can get right now.”

For more information, send an email to npsm0005@gmail.com or call 941-441-7609.

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