AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Spring has sprung at Pendleton King Park, and River City Events held its first Spring Artisan Market there on Sunday to benefit local businesses and nonprofits.

The goal is to bring the small business community together.

“Augusta’s seen exponential growth in the past decade, and what I’ve noticed is – it’s a lot of corporate, it’s a lot of franchise,” said Ashley Pon, the founder of River City Events. “And I kind of wanted to focus on what we have here, which are local nonprofits and handmade items from people who are from here.”

Pendleton King Park has been the location for all of River City’s events for a reason.

“The pavilion is shaded, it doesn’t get too hot here, and overall it’s not very crowded,” Pon said. “And I wanted to bring more attention to PK Park just because I know throughout the years they’ve had issues with funding.”

The live music, paired with food trucks and booths selling hand-crafted items, was a big draw to people who were there.

“I don’t want to see the big box stores here anymore,” said Valerie Krenicky, an attendee. “I want to support local vendors and local craftsmen. I think it’s a wonderful idea to bring people together in the community.’

Those local vendors told me being able to showcase their work in a park that was a big part of their childhood, means everything.

“I remember as a child coming here and playing in this park itself,” said Rachel Soto, the owner of Linked Tight Permanent Jewelry. “I mean, that same tank out there I played in as a kid. So this is awesome having the community come together.”

“Pendleton King Park is such a beautiful park, and it’s something that belongs to the CSRA,” said Causandra Broussard, a children’s book author at the event. “And so to have something here means a lot to me because I grew up here in this area, and it means a lot to the community.”

And to top it off, nonprofits like SafeHomes of Augusta were there to accept donations and talk about their services.

“I have connected with a few vendors, like the face painting one across from us actually wants to provide her services to our children in shelters so we’ve made great connections here and it’s awesome,” said Hannah Meagher, the Outreach Coordinator for SafeHomes of Augusta.

River City Events will be having a community day at Pendleton King Park on May 28th.

There will be local vendors, service providers, and more.