Harbor Market kicks off the season in Gulfport's Jones Park

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The City of Gulfport farmer's market has a new name and a permanent location. The inaugural "Harbor Market" opened Wednesday morning, beneath a brand new pavilion in Jones Park. Vendors bundled-up against the cold snap and greeted the first shoppers.

"We've got herbs. We've got fresh spinach," said farmer Wayne Harris, "All kinds of good things, fresh out of the garden."

Harris knows this late winter cold snap will soon give-way to uncomfortable heat.  This new covered pavilion is ideal.

"It's going to be nice, 'cause it's a good shady spot. When you're outside in the elements, it can get rough," he explained.

"And would you like a sample of my dip?  'Cause once you taste this, I've got you hooked," said Suzanne Paulk, as she courted a customer.

The Diamondhead resident makes homemade barbecue sauce and rubs.

"Isn't that delicious?" she asked.

Paulk too is excited about the new pavilion that's a permanent home for Harbor Market.

"Oh it's perfect, it's perfect. It's going to be great from now on.  And we're so excited to be here. And we know we're going to have good support from Gulfport," says Paulk.

Even though the covered pavilion was ready for vendors, an adjoining boardwalk is not quite finished, but will be soon. They're planning a grand opening celebration of the Harbor Market on April 10th.

Vendors like Pat Scrimsher say the best thing about this new 5,000 square foot pavilion is permanency. Farmer's market folks have endured being shuffled to several temporary sites since Katrina.

"It's been a long time coming. Coming back since the storm. So, I think everybody is just going to benefit and really enjoy it a lot," she said.

They are encouraged by the opening day turnout, and look forward to future Wednesdays and Gulfport's Harbor Market.

Gulfport's Harbor Market is open Wednesdays from nine in the morning, until two in the afternoon.

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