Business World: A Weekend Tradition

Southern Outpost Military Vehicle Rally & Swap Meet, Feb. 8–10

Shopping at the market is like taking a step back in time. This is the old town square, the trading post, and the local mercantile all rolled into one. Here, you can get to know and trust the shop owner before you make any purchases,” says Market of Marion Manager Dan Hoefly. “In this day and age of strip centers, box stores, and mega-malls we offer you an alternative.”

Many varieties of merchandise and services are available each weekend at the market. Everything from fruits and vegetables to house wares, music, sports equipment, and plants are available. On any given weekend between November and April, more than 30,000 potential shoppers stroll through the Market of Marion, which makes it an ideal place to showcase your small or brand-new business. During the hot summer months, that number only drops to 20,000, still an impressive number from a business standpoint.

 “The market is an inexpensive way to get great exposure to the shopping public,” Dan says. “We have no long-term leases or contracts. Instead, we offer week-to-week rentals. It’s also very clean, protected from the rain, and security personnel is on-site throughout the weekend.”  

The $50-a-weekend investment to rent a booth at the Market of Marion is a wise one, especially considering that the market has a 20-year history.

And there are plenty of success stories to come out of the Market of Marion. Dan himself began as a vendor selling cabinetry and wood carvings. Tony Couthen, owner of the Faceted Rainbow jewelry store, first featured his jewelry at the market.

Of course, if you’re a shopper and not a business entrepreneur, the market has something for everyone, including a variety of free, family-friendly events. For instance, the Southern Outpost Military Vehicle Rally and Swap Meet will be featured during the Feb. 8-10 weekend. During this annual event, a huge selection of military vehicles—everything from tanks and ambulances to water trucks and planes—will be on display.

“Plenty of vendors will be selling antique military surplus,” Dan says. “Last year more than 50 vehicles were on display.”

Also in February is the Marion County Gourd Show. From Feb. 15-17, gourd artists from all over the world will converge on the Market of Marion to display and sell their impressive gourds. A variety of demonstrations will also take place.

“We’ve had artists from as far away as South America and Canada,” Dan says. “It really is exquisite work.” 

The Market of Marion
12888 SE US Hwy. 441
Belleview, FL  34420
(352) 245-6766





Marion County Gourd
Show, Feb. 15–17

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