By JAMES A. JONES JR.
PARRISH -- They're dreaming big in the historic village of Parrish.
Envisioned is a walkable community, where residents and visitors could stroll to ice cream shops and restaurants, check out rural Florida architecture from the early 1900s, or buy a ticket to see Thomas the Tank Engine or other special event at the Florida Railroad Museum.
Also included in those plans is Fort Hamer, where more than 100 years ago, Parrish farmers hauled their crops in wagons and loaded them onto boats to be shipped to market.
Members of the Parrish Arts Council have been meeting around dining room tables, refining their vision for recapturing some of the essence of a vibrant village that flourished between 1870 and the first half of the 20th Century.
Almost lost to memory is a time when the school house was the center of community hopes and dreams, and where there were multiple groceries, general stores and packing houses.
"We want to rewire the village of Parrish as a destination," said council president Norma Kennedy.
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To revitalize the old neglected downtown the Parrish Arts Council will try and lure visitors with concerts and art. Another great example of how culture can be a key to a thriving local economy. GL