Spring Festivals in Bloom

By TERRI BRYCE REEVES

Bay Area Renaissance Festival Tampa
bayarearenfest.com

Time travel is possible— and easy too— when you visit the 16th century at the Bay Area Renaissance
Festival. Experience armored jousting; roving
jokesters, jugglers and mimes; 12 stages of entertainment; artisans; genre music and food fit for a king. The Ren Fest is open weekends, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., rain or shine, through March 25. Festival Friday
takes place March 23. Special discounts for seniors.

 

Sarasota Jazz Festival Sarasota
sarasotajazzfestival2018.org

One of the most well-respected jazz festivals in the nation, the Sarasota Jazz
Festival returns March 7-10 to the Performing Arts Center at Riverview High School to present “A World of Jazz.” The Jazz Club of Sarasota will showcase 14 exceptional musicians from 7 nations in a series of four concerts. The event also features the annual Jazz Trolley and Pub Crawl on March 7 and live gypsy jazz music with a screening of the film Django March 9.

Mayor’s River O’Green Fest Tampa
riverogreen.com

If you’ve never seen a Kelly-green
river, aye, this is your chance. The
7th annual Mayor’s River O’Green
Fest begins at 11 a.m. March 17 at
the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.
This Irish-themed gathering is centered around the Hillsborough River
and includes live entertainment,
a scavenger hunt, a Leprechaun costume contest, food trucks and beer.
Arrive early for a 9:30 a.m. run/walk around the Riverwalk. Pets welcome.

Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival Clearwater Beach
sugarsandfestival.com

This 10-day gala celebration pays tribute to Clearwater Beach’s best assets: their famed white sugar sand and gorgeous sunsets. The celebration runs April 13-22 and features the Sugar Sand Walk Exhibit, a walk-through display inside a 21,000-square foot tent, showcasing large
and elaborate sand sculptures created by master artisans. This year’s theme is Sea America: A Celebration of America’s Treasures. Carve out some extra time for sand sculpting competitions, classes and speed demonstrations; fireworks; beach concerts; films; and nightly sunset festivals.

Lions Club Shrimp Festival Fort Myers Beach
fortmyersbeachshrimpfestival.com

Shrimp lovers, this festival is for you. On
March 10 and 11, the Lions Club hosts the
60th annual Fort Myers Shrimp Festival,
boasting fresh, locally caught shrimp, boiled in huge pots until they are “pink gold,” and served up with cocktail sauce and coleslaw. Events include a two-mile long parade with Clydesdale horses,
coronation of a queen, craft expo with more than 100 vendors and the newly incorporated shrimp-eating contest.
Proceeds benefit the community.

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