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April St Petersburg Area Events Splashy

April Recurring Events

Gulfport: First Friday ArtWalk

St Pete: First Friday

St Pete: Second Saturday ArtWalk

Gulfport: Third Saturday ArtWalk

Gulfport: Tuesday Fresh Market

St Pete: Saturday Morning Market

I’m afraid they’re going to get wet

St Anthony’s Triathlon

As I sit here nursing a foot energy, the thought if a Tri seems next to impossible.  

Perhaps you feel differently.  Or maybe you just want to show some support for those who are so ambitious.  At the very least you need to know where they’ll be and where the streets will be closed.

St Anthony Triathlon Maps

Clearwater’s Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival, Clearwater

Ten days spent celebrating sand.  Activities include The Giant Sandbox (shh, don’t tell my cats), the Sugar Sand Walk Exhibit, sand sculpting classes, live music, fireworks., movies on the beach and more.

For the Sugar Sand Walk Exhibit, eleven world-class sculptors create sand sculptures according to a changing annual theme.  The Walk is housed under a 21,000 square foot tent.

https://sugarsandfestival.com

Tampa Bay Caribbean Carnival

Tampa Bay Caribbean Carnival

This year’s event will be held at the Florida State Fairgrounds on April 25th, 2020.

Now in its 15th year, this festival continues to preserve and enhance the cultural and historical legacy of Caribbean American heritage.

Events include exhibits, crafts, a street parade, a Steelpan Jamboree, top-name entertainment and vendors, a Jouvert morning experience, and high-stepping masquerade bands.  This might be the most colorful and lively festival the area has to offer and it is held in the beautiful month of April. I can‚Äôt think of a better reason to give it a go.

Green Thumb Festival

The Green Thumb Festival is St Petersburg’s annual Arbor Day celebration.

Plants, flowers and plant and flower lovers come together, along with individuals and families looking for a fund weekend activity.  

There will be more than 120 – yes one-hundred-and-twenty – plant and flower vendors and exhibitors. 

Held at Walter Fuller Park at 7891 26th Ave N on April 25th and 26th from 9 am to 4 pm

Check out the website here

Tampa Bay Blues Festival

A 3-day rite of passage for blues fans each spring.  Recipient of the Blues Foundation’s “Best U.S. Blues Festival” in 2011, this event keeps people coming back year after year.  Unfortunately. this event is not pet-friendly. 

April 3, 4, and 5, 2020

Check out the history section of the website for a list of past performers. Held in Vinoy Park, downtown St Petersburg.

http://www.tampabaybluesfest.com

Mainsail Art Festival

Also held in Vinoy Park in downtown St Petersburg. Ranked one of the Top 20 Fine Art & Design Shows in the country by Sunshine Artist Magazine.  2019 marked the 44th year of the festival.

April 18th and 19th, 2020

15th Annual Fun in the Sun Day

Family fun for everyone!  

April 11, 2020 from 10 am -12 pm at the Gulfport Recreation Center, 5730 Shore Blvd S)

Free festivities including an egg hunt, riding in a police boat, a fire truck an ambulance and more!

March St Petersburg Area Events Splashy

March Recurring Events

Gulfport: First Friday ArtWalk

St Pete: First Friday

St Pete: Second Saturday ArtWalk

Gulfport: Third Saturday ArtWalk

Gulfport: Tuesday Fresh Market

St Pete: Saturday Morning Market

Spring Training

Sometimes it just doesn’t get much better than lounging about, watching professional ball players warm up for the season.
While Florida teams are a bit more spread out than in say, Phoenix, you can still catch some spring training in Tampa or Clearwater. Check out the schedule here.

IndyCar Racing Series Grand Prix of St Petersburg

The Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg will be March 13 through March 15th in 2020.

This IndyCar race has been held in St Petersburg since 2009. And a recently renewed agreement means the race will be returning to the area for the next 5 years as well.

If you’re an IndyCar fan, the significance of the season opener needs no explanation for you. If you’ve never been to Grand Prix before, St Petersburg is a great place to get your feet wet.

Check out the website here and plan your adventure now.

Florida Strawberry Festival

Pop one in your mouth. Or maybe a few dozen

Did you know about Florida’s love affair with the strawberry? No, not the orange. (Or any citrus, really.) The strawberry! The first time I visited the Florida Strawberry Festival I thought it might be somewhat unique. It’s not. There are strawberry festivals all over the United States and even some in Canada, Australia, Italy and Japan. You can find a website with links to worldwide strawberry festivals here.

But we’re talking about the Florida Strawberry Festival, held in (where else?) Plant City, Florida in late February and early March. 11 days in all.

The website is https://flstrawberryfestival.com. You van find out about rides & attractions, musical talent and visit the livestock show. Visit the website and signup for updates via email including 2020 dates!

Gulfport Pink Flamingo Tour of Homes

Gulfport’s tour of eclectic homes returns on March 7, 2020.

This year’s event will focus on the east side of the historic downtown.

Tickets can be purchased online at visitgulfportflorida.com or at Gulfport Beach Bazaar on Beach Blvd.  Facebook page here.

 

Run for the sake of cupcakes in Pass-A-Grille, will ya already?

Race for the Cupcake

March is all about races here, and this event is no different.
OK, well it is different in that it involves you moving at high speed. Ok just moving, maybe not a high speed. And not in an IndyCar or a boat.
So before you head out to the Pink Flamingo Tour of Homes, head out to Hurley Park at 1501 Gulf Way in St Pete Beach for the 2020 Race for the Cupcake.
Proceeds from this event benefit Girls on the Run. Girls on the Run is a non-profit program that encourages girls to develop self-respect, to be joyful and confident, and to live a healthy lifestyle through interactive lessons, running games, and a culminating celebratory 5k run.
Sounds worthwhile to me! Plus you get a cupcake! You can find the website here.

Cuban Sandwich Festival

If you’ve ever had a REALLY good cuban sandwich, the finding out that a Cuban Sandwich Festival exists is probably just a big dull “duh” to you. Am I right or am I right?
Ever since I fell in love with the idea of a Cuban sandwich after Jon Favreau’s “Chef” in 2014, Cuban sandwiches are on my short list of favorite foods to try at new eating establishments.
(If you must know the other items on the list are crab cakes, fish spread, flan, lobster bisque and tortilla soup.)
Now this is just a guess, but I have a hunch that a great place to sample some really tasty cuban sandwiches just might be at a Cuban sandwich festival. Just sayin’ I have the inside scoop on this.
The 2020 Tampa area event is on Sunday, March 29th at Centennial Park in Historic Ybor City at 1800 E. 8th Avenue in Tampa.
The event is an international competition that attracts cooks from all over the world.

Maybe not quite this small

2020 Florida Suncoast Tiny Homes Festival

Oh, the irony that the 2020 Florida Suncoast Tiny Home Festival needs a larger venue.

I should just stop there.

Anyway…The 2020 event will be held March 28 and 29th in England Brothers Park in Pinellas Park and will feature more than 30 tiny structures.

If you’ve been binge-watching Tiny House Nation, then this is for you. Where else can you try on so many small structures, even if just to assure yourself that your McMansion is perfect for you?

Still, as the owner of a 330 SF “tiny home”, I’m intrigued.

Website here: tinyhomestpete.com

Gulfport Grand Prix

It’s fair to say that this event is not without controversy in our sleepy little community. Because during this event the area is anything but sleepy.
Still, for 3 days at the end of March, this boat show and boat race is happening and Boca Ciega Bay is a rather unique area to experience an event like this.
Visit the event’s website for the schedule maps, and other helpful information.
And one thing is guaranteed – you’ve never seen Gulfport like this!
GrandprixGulfport.com

Reggae Rise Up Music Festival

It’s hard to think of better music for a festival than reggae.

And it’s even more difficult to think of a better location and time of year for any music festival than Vinoy Park in St Petersburg in March.

2020 Dates are March 20-22.

Visit the website at reggaeriseupflorida.com for festival info, including the lineup, tickets, what you can bring in and what you can’t and even how to get involved.

Tarpon Springs Fine Arts Festival

When an event is in its 46th year, I think it is safe to say it has been a success.
The 46th Annual Tarpon Springs Fine Arts Festival takes place March 14 and 15th in beautiful Craig Park. This park is ocated between Spring and Whitcomb Bayous.
Tarpon Springs was voted best Historic Small Town for 2018 by USA Today. Tarpon Springs is home to the Sponge Docks, brick streets, Victorian mansions and intimate bungalows.
The arts festival is juried, so you won’t find any mass-produced items here.

Gulfport Grand Prix March 27-29, 2020

Gulfport is thrilled to be part of this Powerboat Championship every year!

Come for the races! Come for the Boat Show! Come for the food and quirky Gulfport!

Watch Formula 1 Powerboats, Tri-Hull and Formula Lights go – fast!

The event is free to the public and you can visit Gulfport Grand Prix for information about parking, traffic, maps and directions.

Watch the video from the 2017 event here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3QEBJzcCkE

February St Petersburg Area Events Splashy

February Recurring Events

Gulfport: First Friday ArtWalk

St Pete: First Friday

St Pete: Second Saturday ArtWalk

Gulfport: Third Saturday ArtWalk

Gulfport: Tuesday Fresh Market

St Pete: Saturday Morning Market

Gulfport’s Get Rescued, Gulfport

Continuing into its 16th year, this event is one of the largest animal rescue events in the state.  All profits benefit participating non-profit rescue groups.  From 10 am to 6 pm Gulfport’s historic waterfront district is overtaken by these organizations to raise awareness and find homes for pets.

Learn about pet health, see training demos, find a new friend and participate in the pet parade with your beloved companion.  The event is free and parking is available in the area.

The 2020 event is on Saturday, February 22nd in the Historic Gulfport Waterfront District.

The event’s website is here.

St Pete Beach Seafood & Music Festival

Fresh and local ingredients means the St Pete Beach Seafood & Music Festival should be on your list

2019 marks the second year for this new event.  Held on Corey Avenue in St Pete Beach Feb 1-3, 2019.

Expect a laid-back vibe with live music, shopping marketplace and tasty foods. ¬†This food won’t be your normal craft-fair food. ¬†Instead it will be food cooked onsite using fresh ingredients and seafood dishes from Florida¬† coastal waters.

Hours, directions, parking information and a list and schedule of musical performers can be found on the event’s website.

2Cool Art Show – Gulfport

February 1-2, 2020 at the Gulfport Casino at 5500 Shore Blvd.  The 2Cool Art Show is hosted by the Professional Association of Visual Artists.

Thirty-five juried artists will participate in 2019, showing and selling a variety of hand crafted visual and functional works in paint, wood, ceramics, photography, metal, glass, mixed media and jewelry.  Admission and parking are free!

There’s a sister event to this show in July, for summer visitors – the Cool Art Show.

Check out the 2nd annual Peace. Love and Pride festival

Gulfport Peace, Love & Pride Festival – 2020

2019 was the inaugural year for this event celebrating Gulfport’s commitment to diversity.¬† 2020’s event will take place on February 16, 2020 from noon to 5 pm in and around the Gulfport Casino.

You can read more about the inspiration for this new event here.

Gulfport has two juried art festivals during the month of February!

4th Annual Gulfport Fine Arts Festival

Formerly know as the Gulfport Masters, this festival takes place in Veteran’s Park at 5350 31st Ave S in Gulfport.

The event takes place February 8-9 in 2020 from 10 am to 5 pm both days. ¬†It is also a juried event. ¬†If you don’t know what a juried event is, it means that artists have to apply and their works are determined to be found worthy of entry by a panel of judges. ¬†The process of reviewing the submissions is intended to raise the quality of the show and help the event stand out from the sometimes busy field of art and craft shows.

Visit the events Facebook page for a short video about this year’s event and a preview of a few artists participating this year.

Florida Strawberry Festival

Did you know about Florida’s love affair with the strawberry? No, not the orange. (Or any citrus, really.) ¬†The strawberry! ¬†The first time I visited the Florida Strawberry Festival I thought it might be somewhat unique. ¬†It’s not. ¬†There are strawberry festivals all over the United States and even some in Canada, Australia, Italy and Japan. You can find a website with links to worldwide strawberry festivals here.

But we’re talking about the Florida Strawberry Festival, held in (where else?) Plant City, Florida in late February and early March.¬† 11 days in all.

The website is https://flstrawberryfestival.com.  You van find out about rides & attractions, musical talent and visit the livestock show.  Visit the website and signup for updates via email including 2020 dates!.

Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival

I don’t know about you, but for me blues festivals always seem to come with hot & steamy weather.¬† In Summer.

Summer can be a four-letter word in the South. So how about a blues festival in February, and in Florida. Seems hard to pass up. 2020’s event takes place Feb 21-23.

I suggest liking them on Facebook to get updates on the festival.

Cupid’s Undie Run 5K

A bunch of strangers in their underwear.

Running. What could be better than that? I’m sure everyone will look like a model.¬† Not.¬† ¬†But hey at least you’re not doing the run in Minnesota. Or Philadelphia.¬† Or Chicago.

But in all seriousness, the proceeds go towards the search for a cure for neurofibromatosis, a genetic tumor disorder that affects 1 in every 3,000 births.¬† They run in their undies because those affected with NF can’t cover up their tumors to feel more comfortable, so why should we?

The 2020 St Pete run is Feb 8.  Find out more here.

Yum!

St Pete French Fry Festival

So what’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say St Petersburg?

French fries?

I didn’t think so.

Still, there must be something to it, because this festival goes for 2 days.¬† This isn’t Fred and a few buddies getting together to celebrate pomme frites.¬† I think of chocolate for Valentines Day.¬† The Gulf to Bay Food Truck Association thought potatoes were more fitting.¬† Go figure.

Straub Park, downtown St Pete.  Find info on their Facebook page here.  And send some pictures, will ya? Feb 14 and 15, 2020

St Petersburg Super Greek Festival

Lots of towns have Greek festivals, but St Pete has a Super Greek festival.¬† I’ll be there, doing my super greek version of Rick James’ “Super Freak”.

While just sampling a wide assortment of Greek food should be enough incentive by itself, at the Super Greek festival you can also shop, watch traditional Greek dance performances and send the kids on some amusement rides.

The 2020 dates are Feb 21- Feb 23 at St Stefanos Greek Church, located at 3600 76th St N in St Petersburg.  Check out the facebook page here.

Florida Food & Brews Festival

Feb 1, 2020 England Brothers Park, 5010 81st Ave N, Pinellas Park.  (Rain date Feb 8)

Enjoy fantastic food. Sample some of the areas best craft brewers. Support local rescues. Be entertained.  What more could you want?  Find them on Facebook

St Petersburg Fine Art Festival

The 7th Annual St Petersburg Fine Art Festival showcases original artwork by more than 100 artisans from throughout Florida and across the United States.¬† It really is a don’t miss event, and given that the event spans 2 days you really have no excuse not to go.¬† Dates in 2020 are February 22-23. Location South Straub Park, St Petersburg.

Night Market St Pete

For night owls, vampires or just those who are otherwise not afraid of the dark, there is the Night Market.¬† It’s located in the St Pete Warehouse District next to 3 Daughters Brewing and its held sort of whenever they feel like it.¬† The next one is February 27th, 2020.¬† And about 2 weeks after that, so mid-March, they’ll let you know when the next one will be.¬† So I suggest following them on¬†Facebook¬†or something so you can stay in the know.¬†¬†

September St Petersburg Area Events Splashy Ventures

September Recurring Events

Gulfport: First Friday ArtWalk

St Pete: First Friday

St Pete: Second Saturday ArtWalk

Gulfport: Third Saturday ArtWalk

Gulfport: Tuesday Fresh Market

St Pete: Saturday Morning Market

Top Chefs

This dress-up worthy event benefits programs of PARC. ¬†PARC’s mission is to provide opportunities for children & adults with developmental disabilities to exercise their independence and experience life to the fullest.
The Top Chefs event offers open bar drinks, samplings of entrees and amazing desserts prepared by some of the Bay Area’s best chefs working with students from PARC’s Culinary Program.
Proceeds benefit PARC’s programs. Read more about the history of PARC here.

Sample decadent desserts at PARC’s Top Chefs event

Night Market in St Pete

The Night Market in St Pete’s Warehouse Art’s District takes place about 5 times a year in the St Pete Side Lot located at 2133 2nd Ave South. ¬†The best way to stay up to date on the events is to sign up for one on Facebook and then you’ll be alerted to future events.
Attending a market at night is so unusual that its worth a trip.  Local vendors dominate the event and there is plenty of food, shopping and drink.  The market is family and pet friendly.
The market typically lasts from 6 pm to 10 pm, but the 3 Daughters Brewery next door stays open later for an AfterParty!

Clearwater Super Boat National Championship & Festival

180 mph of fun.  Big. Fast. Super Boats.  The 2017 event saw 2,500 boats lining the beaches of the 2.5 mile-long race course.

VIP watch parties are available from sponsor hotels, restaurants and condos along the route.

Parades.  Food vendors. Live Music. More. Oh, and boat races!

2020 Dates: September 25-27

Clearwaer Super Boat 2017

Gulfport Gecko Fest

GeckoFest¬†is Gulfport’s wacky answer to the end of summer. ¬†As noted previously, Gecko’s are Gulfport’s unofficial mascot and definitely the town’s favorite reptile.

GeckoFest takes place in Gulfport’s Waterfront District and is family friendly. There’s food, live music, kids’ activities, street performance artists and a parade.

It might occur to you that a festival named after a gecko might have a colorful backstory and you’d be right. You can read the¬†short history¬†of how the festival got its start, or you can read the¬†O-FISH-al GECKO legends!

(The date for GeckoFest moves between August and September each year, but the Gecko-related events that lead up to GeckoFest are almost always in August.). 2020 Date: September 5th.

10 am to 10 pm. ¬†The Gulfport Trolley and Gulfport’s GetGO offers transportation options so you can attend without worrying about where to park.

Gulfport Gecko Fest Mascot

August St Petersburg Area Events Splashy Ventures

August Recurring Events

Gulfport: First Friday ArtWalk

St Pete: First Friday 

St Pete: Second Saturday ArtWalk

Gulfport: Third Saturday ArtWalk

Gulfport: Tuesday Fresh Market

St Pete: Saturday Morning Market

August Special Events

Great St Pete Cupcake Contest

Held at the Morean Arts Center. 420 22nd St South in the Warehouse Arts District.
Sample and get some ideas of your own, and help St Petersburg choose the Peoples Choice!  Your sweet tooth will thank you.

Great St Pete Cupcake Contest

Pet Pal Pub Crawl

Organized by the Pet Pal Animal Shelter in St Pete, this pub crawl benefits you and animals in need.  Raffle tickets available, Doggie Biscuit Bars at every stop and drink specials.

Art Gecko Show Opening Reception – Gulfport

Artists create larger-than-life geckos in the theme of the current year’s GeckoFest. ¬†In 2018 the theme was Geckocon, so geckos were to reflect the artists’ interpretation of superheroes, villains, cult characters, imaginary locations and more, from comics, books, movies, etc.
After the opening reception the geckos are moved to preview locations in venues throughout Gulfport’s Waterfront District. ¬†The geckos eventually go up for auction at the Gecko Ball.

Gecko Crawl – Gulfport

A limited ticket event, the Gecko Crawl helps usher in “Gecko Season” in Gulfport. ¬†(And believe me, fall is indeed Gecko Season. ¬†They’re everywhere! Babies, tiny babies and more babies!)
Tickets are only available at the Gulfport Beach Bazaar at 3115 Beach Blvd in Gulfport.
Participation in the crawl includes a free drink at each location, a poker run and an after party.  The after-party includes a band and an award ceremony.

FishKids

If you’re going to be in the area in August and you have an aspiring angler in your midst, I don’t think you can go wrong with Fish Kids.
Dedicated to “shaping the next generation of anglers”, this event, or really series of events, promises something for all. ¬†There are learning labs, demos, knot tying, seminars, castnetting, games and a seawall fishing tournament. Get your youngsters educated and involved in the water and conservation now.
Held at ROC Park in Madeira Beach.

Gecko Ball

Another staple in Gecko Season is the Gecko Ball.  Past themes have included Geckocon, Geckostock, GeckoGras, Roaring Geckos and more.
The ball is held at the Historic Gulfport Casino ballroom. Tickets are only available at the Gulfport Beach Bazaar at 3115 Beach Blvd. S, Gulfport.
Dress to impress! Scenery and decor provided at the event, along with a cash photo booth, dancing, live music, a live and silent auction and tasty treats.
This ball sells out every year so it is important to get your tickets early.  The 2020 ball will be held on August 29th.

It’s Not Every Day You Get to Dress Wacky!

Geckofest

GeckoFest is Gulfport’s wacky answer to the end of summer. ¬†As noted previously, Gecko’s are Gulfport’s unofficial mascot and definitely the town’s favorite reptile.

GeckoFest takes place in Gulfport’s Waterfront District and is family friendly. There’s food, live music, kids’ activities, street performance artists and a parade.

It might occur to you that a festival named after a gecko might have a colorful backstory and you’d be right. You can read the short history of how the festival got its start, or you can read the O-FISH-al GECKO legends!

(The date for GeckoFest moves between August and September each year, but the Gecko-related events that lead up to GeckoFest are almost always in August.)

10 am to 10 pm. ¬†The Gulfport Trolley and Gulfport’s GetGO offers transportation options so you can attend without worrying about where to park.

Festival Goers

Great Bay Scallop Search

Not your usual wine, dine and relax event, the Great Bay Scallop Search is an annual resource monitoring event.
Organized by Tampa Bay Watch, the event recruits volunteers to snorkel along set transect lines to search for scallops in select areas within Boca Ciega and Lower Tampa Bay. The search needs volunteers with shallow draft boats and limited spots for canoes and kayaks.
Bay scallops are important due to their ability to filter water. ¬†They’r extremely sensitive to pollution, thus serving as useful “underwater canaries” to signal changes in water quality.
Bay scallops disappeared from Tampa Bay in the early 1960’s due to highly polluted bay water. ¬†You can see scallop search counts since 1996 here.
Even if you can’t volunteer, it is worth a few minutes of your time to learn about these delightful creatures.

  • If you think sea turtles have challenges, know that of the 12 million eggs a single scallop releases, only one may survive to adulthood. ¬†
  • Tiny blue eyes along the outer rim of the shell detect movement and serve as an early warning system for scallops.
  • Although clams may live 40 years, the average life span of a bay scallop is 12-18 months.
  • An adult scallop can pump as much as 14.7 liters of water per hour by funneling water across open pathways on its gill covers.

Great Bay Scallop Search Helps Count Bay Scallops

Tampa Bay Comic Con

My guess is if you’re interested in a Comic Convention, you probably already have the dates for this one on your calendar. ¬†In advance. ¬†Way in advance. These things are a big deal and attract huge crowds in almost every city that has them. And Tampa is no different.

This event features a roster of comic industry professionals, as well as related celebrities.  Exhibitors reflect a wide variety of interests Рcomic books, toys, games, Star Wars, manga, artwork, clothing, magazines, and, of course, comic books.

2019 dates are August 2-4, 2019.  The event is family-friendly and FREE for children. Tampa Convention Center; 333 S Franklin St, Tampa

November St Petersburg Area Events Splashy Ventures

November Recurring Events

Gulfport: First Friday Artwalk

St Pete: First Friday

St Pete: Second Saturday Artwalk

Gulfport: Third Saturday Artwalk

Gulfport: Tuesday Fresh Market

St Pete: Saturday Morning Market

St Pete Beach: Corey Avenue Sunday Market

Treasure Island: Open Air Market (Fridays)

November Special Events

Tampa Bay Holiday Market

November 17 and 18, 2018 at the Coliseum, 535 4th Ave N. Free parking. (pay attention to the N or NE or S or SE on the end of street addresses when you head into downtown St Petersburg.  For the sake of your sanity.)

Santa will be there both Saturday and Sunday.  Just in case you need your Santa fix.

Check out the event’s Facebook page here.  They promise to help you with your holiday shopping list.

Tampa Bay Holiday Market is a must for your holiday shopping list

Ribfest

Nov 9-11 Vinoy Park. Tagline – Rockin’ Ribs – Helpin’ Kids.

There’s some really good musical talent at this event. Both mainstream and cover/tribute bands. Check out the lineup here.

A list of “Ribbers” can be found here.

Shopapalooza

Nov28-29, 2020.  Vinoy Park, downtown St Petersburg.  Or more specifically, 198 Bayshore Drive. 10 am – 5 pm.  Admission is free. There are other ways they will get your money.

This event features more than 130 local shops.  There’s a kids’ zone so you can let them exhaust themselves for a bit, then get back to your shopping.

Well-behaved pets on leash are welcomed.  

Where shoppers go to really shop

St Pete Power & Sailboat Show

Heralded as the largest boat show on the Gulf Coast, this event runs from November 29th to Sunday, December 2 at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts, Mahaffey Theater Yacht Basin and Albert Whitted Park in St Petersburg, Florida.

Clearly displaying boats takes up a little space.

In addition to boats you will find marine gear, special events and educational activities. Hopefully no cooking demonstrations for the latest miracle cookware.

Click here to plan your visit! This event is big so you need to know where you’re going.

Kenwood BungalowFest Tour

Nov 3, 2018, 10 am – 4 pm.  This event is in its 20th year and will feature 10 homes that reflect the historic architecture and character of the Kenwood Neighborhood.

Kenwood’s roots are in an avocado grove in 1912, when the grove was subdivided and developed.  Craftsman homes were common, with most homes built between the 1920’s and 1950’s.  However, as suburbanization occurred, many homes fell into disrepair over the next 3 or 4 decades. Revitalization began in the 1990’s, as a few people began buying and restoring these homes.

Historic Kenwood was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.

Purchase tickets in advance here.  (They are also available the day of the event.)  A trolley is available to take you from house to house.

You can read more about Kenwood here and watch a video.

 
Old Salt Foundation Fish Spread Contest

In 2018 this delicious event is being held on November 13th at Gators Cafe at John’s Pass.

Not familiar with fish spread? Check out our blog post on fish spread here.

This is not an observation-only event.  For a $2 donation you can sample all of the entered fish spreads and vote for the Peoples Choice Award winner.  And if making fish spread is your thing, you can enter for only $10 per entry!

Smoked fish spread at its finest

Treasure Island Sand Sculpture Competition and Music Festival

Also known as the Sanding Ovations Master’s Cup.  November 20-24, 2019, near the Bilmar Beach Resort, 10650 Gulf Boulevard.

Several tons of sand, a bit of water, a vivid imagination (and a plan!) and you find the largest masters competition in the southeastern U.S.

The competition is invitational and will feature at least ten master sculptors.

The event’s website is here and the Facebook page here.

View our blogpost on the 2018 event (with tons of photos!) HERE.

Sand sand everywhere

Sponge Docks Seafood Festival

The Sponge Docks are in Tarpon Springs, so a little more of a drive than we normally consider for the St Petersburg calendar of events, but the docks are so different that it is worth the drive.

This event is in its 31st year, so they’ve clearly figured this festival thing out. Admission is free and there is limited free parking at Dog Splash Park at 508 Live Oak Street, Tarpon Springs.

The Tarpon Springs and Greektown Historic Districts (separate areas) ae listed on the National Register of Historic Places, so you may wish to make this an all-day trek and visit them while you’re in the area. The Tarpon Springs Historic District is bounded by Read Street, Hibiscus Street, Orange Street, Lewis Avenue, Lemon Street and Spring Bayou.  The entire area is about 700 acres and it contains 145 historic buildings.

The Greektown Historic District is Florida’s first Traditional Cultural Property listing. Check the App Store Icon on your phone and search for “Florida Stories”.  You can download the app and click the “Discover” tab to find the Walk: Tarpon Springs tour.

Live music, local seafood, arts and crafts and specialty vendors. Insider tip: Visit Spongeorama while you’re there.  There’s an exhibit center inside along with a short movie/video and the people that work there are extremely knowledgeable.  We wanted to pull up a chair and listen for hours!

You may find a sponge or two. Or three.

Clearwater Beach Uncorked – Sip Savor Repeat

Uncorked is not just a food and wine event in a beach town.  The trademarked phrase for the event is “Wine in your hand, toes in the sand”.  This event is held directly on Clearwater Beach, south of Pier 60.  The event is held rain or shine and there are no refunds for inclement weather.

Children under 21, pets, outside food and drink and backpacks not permitted.

Uncorked

Craft Beer Festival

Get a souvenir tasting mug and sample over 100 craft ales. It’s not every day you can find this many choices in one place.

Hosted at Cajun Cafe on the Bayou in Pinellas Park.  2 – 6 pm November 3, 2018

Fall King of the Beach Fishing Festival

Another great event sponsored by the Old Salt Fishing Foundation, the fall Kingfish tournament Nov 8-10, 2018 is being held in Maderia Beach Florida.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the tournament, so there’s sure to be some celebrations to make it even more memorable.

King of the Beach Fishing Festival

St Pete Beach Bike Fest

Nov 14 -18, 2018 St Pete Beach, Tradewinds Resort.

Five days of motorcycles, music and mayhem. You can find the event calendar here.

October St Petersburg Area Events Splashy Ventures

October Recurring Events

Gulfport: First Friday ArtWalk

St Pete: First Friday

St Pete: Second Saturday ArtWalk

Gulfport: Third Saturday ArtWalk

Gulfport: Tuesday Fresh Market

St Pete: Saturday Morning Market

St Pete Beach: Corey Avenue Sunday Market

October Special Events

VW Beach Bash – Pass-A-Grille

October 20, 2018.  9th Ave from 10 am Р4 pm. In its 10th year.

Betty’s Beach Clean Up starts at 8 am. VW Car Show at 10 am.

Free to the public. Merchandise goes early, so you may wish to order early. Check the event’s Facebook page here. You can order by emailing them or messaging them from the Facebook page and they will ship them a few days after the show.

VW Bash at Pass-A-Grille

Clearwater Jazz Holiday

October 18-21, 2018. Coachman Park, Clearwater.  National and local performing acts.  2018 headliners include The Doobie Brothers and George Thoroughgood and the Destroyers.

Tickets go up the day of the event.  Reserved seating available.  Sounds like a good time!

Honeymoon Island’s Halloween in the Park

October 26-27, 2018 at Honeymoon Island State Park, 1 Causeway Blvd, Dunedin, Fl

Haunted hayrides, carnival games, crafts, DJ music jams, Boo in the Zoo, costume contests (for children 12 and under), bounce houses, scary trail, mythical-magical children’s trail, storytelling! Oh, and ghouls, ghosts and goblins!

$5 ($10?) parking, $5 Haunted Hayride, $10 Wristband (includes most other events). Pricing unclear.

Download the flyer here.

Ghosts, goblins and ghouls!

Howl-O-Fest

October 19 and 20, 2018 at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, 6-10 pm both days. 2900 31st St S, at the Environmental Studies Area.

This family-friendly event features Inflatable games, fire shows, hay rides, arts & crafts and trick or treat cabins. Cake Walks at 7 pm, 8 pm and 9 pm. ¬†Bet you haven’t done one of those in awhile.

St Pete Zombie Food Booze Crawl

Zombie flash mob anyone? Um, maybe? Albert Whitted Park (downtown St Pete) hosts this event with fun, food, live music, and, of course, zombies.

Tons of food trucks and a costume festival.  Admission is free. 6-10 pm.  October 19, 2018

Clearwater Chalk Art Festival

Arts, crafts, a kid zone.  Three days. October 19th, 20th and 21st in 2018.

During these 3 days chalk artists quite literally transform sidewalks of BeachWalk on South Clearwater Beach. Planning on hanging around for awhile and watch these artists create these masterpieces before your eyes.

Competition, prizes and “People’s Choice Awards” on the last day of the event.

Views photos from the 2017 Chalk Art Festival here.

Clearwater Chalk Art Festival

John’s Pass Seafood Festival¬†

A 4 day celebration, including a halloween Block Party. ¬†Live music. ¬†Costume contests. ¬†Battle of the Gulf Fishing Tournament. ¬†World’s Largest Bloody Mary Toast. Face painting. ¬†Balloon artists. John’s Pass Seafood and Jazz Holiday.

A wonderful comeback for this event, as it looked like it would be canceled after the 2018 event due to increased site fees.  Congratulations team! 2020 Dates are October 23-25.

Location: John’s Pass Boardwalk

Strut, Wag & Rock – Tampa

October 20, 2018 at Ferg’s Live Tampa. 490 Channelside Dr, Tampa. 2-9 pm

This year’s event will have a 60’s theme – “Grateful Dawg Day” and music will be provided by a Grateful Dead cover band, Uncle John’s Band.

The event will have a 100 dog costume contest, although contestants do not have to dress in the theme.

You can register online and proceeds benefit Vets4Pets Charitable Clinic.

Howl-O-Ween Pet Fest & PAWrade St Petersburg

Bring your best furry friend and push, pull or carry him or her in the most spook-tacular PAWrade of the year.

You can make a float to use in the PAWrade, as long as it is not motorized.

Costumes are judged on both the pet’s and pet human’s costume.

11 am – 3 pm, October 27, 2018 at 3 Daughter’s Brewing, 222 22nd St S, St Petersburg, Fl.

Your pet could be here

Treasure Island Children’s Halloween Spooktacular & Fall Festival

October 26, 2018 at the Treasure Bay Golf and Tennis Facility at 10315 Paradise Boulevard, starting at 6 pm.

Interactive Inflatables, Games, Moonwalks, Train Rides, Fortune Teller, Stiltwaker, Magician, Face Painters, Caricature Artist.

Costume Contest 6:30 pm; Haunted House 7-9 pm.

Event flyer here.

SPCA Tampa Bay Pet Walk

Held in 2018 at Vinoy Park.  Dedicated to raising money to help support the homeless animals of the Tampa Bay community, this event has something for everyone.  Music for the humans, agility courses, costume contents and a doggie water park for your furry friends.

Click here to visit the SPCA Tampa Bay website and learn more.  

It looks like the 2020 walk has been moved to April at the new Pier.

St Petersburg Festival of the Arts

Rather than a single festival, the St Petersburg Festival of the Arts is really a month-long series of artistic events ranging from plays to music to film to dance to wine.

The events are spread out during the month, so click here to be taken to the website and their listing of events and more information.

December St Petersburg Area Events Splashy

December Recurring Events

Gulfport: First Friday Artwalk

St Pete: First Friday

St Pete: Second Saturday Artwalk

Gulfport: Third Saturday Artwalk

Gulfport: Tuesday Fresh Market

St Pete: Saturday Morning Market

St Pete Beach: Corey Avenue Sunday Market

Treasure Island: Open Air Market (Fridays)

Lighted Holiday Boat Parades

One of my favorite things about this time of year is the numerous lighted boat parades that take place along the waterways of Pinellas county.

The exact dates vary from year to year, but they’re generally coordinated and spread out so that they don’t all convene on the same nights.

Following is a listing of the area lighted holiday boat parades. ¬†You can visit the specific event’s website for more details.

  • Gulfport & Boca Ciega Yacht Club’s Lighted Boat Parade – December 8, 2018
  • Treasure Island’s Lighted Boat Parade – December 14, 2018
  • Pass-A-Grille and Vina Del Mar Boat Parade
  • Indian Rocks Beach Holiday Lighted Boat Parade – December 15, 2018
  • Redington Beaches/Indian Shores Holiday Boat Parade
  • Madeira Beach Festival of Lights Holiday Boat Parade – December 8, 2018
  • St Pete Beach Holiday Boat Parade and Winter Festival in the Park – December 7, 2018
  • St Petersburg Annual Rotary Club Illuminated Boat Parade – this event has been canceled for 2018 due to ongoing construction at the Pier.

 

If your explorations are taking you outside of the St Petersburg area during the month of December, Florida by Water publishes a very comprehensive list of boat parades around the state, complete with short descriptions and links to websites. (But ours is more helpful if you’re in just the St Petersburg area.)

Florida By Water Boat Parade List

December Special Events

St Pete Boat Parade & Winter Festival in the Park

You can dress up for this one.  The Parade Viewing Party starts at 6 pm in Horan Park and includes music, hot chocolate, art projects for children and a visit from Santa.  Admission is free.

Horan Park is next to the St Pete Beach Community Center at 7701 Boca Ciega Dr.

Click here for the parade route.

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Jingle Bell Kids’ Fishing Tournament

In 2018 this event is being held on December 1 at John’s Pass Village. ¬†The entry fee is an unwrapped toy and non-perishable food item. ¬†Donations benefit Santa’s Angels and The Kind Mouse.

All fishing myst be done from the dock or beach only. No fishing from boats or kayaks.

See the Angler Amory website for more rules, pictures and details!

Snowfest

No fake snow here! Sixty-four tons of snow will fall on North Straub Park in early December. (Possibly December 1 in 2018)

St Petersburg Annual Rotary Club Illuminated Boat Parade

This event is organized by the Rotary Club, this event moved back to downtown St Petersburg in 2017.  The boat parade starts at 401 Bayshore Dr, NE at 6 pm and the other festivities start at hour earlier, at 5pm.

Gulfport & BCYC’s Holiday Boat Parade

December 8, 2018.  The parade begins at Gulfport Municipal Marina, passing by the Boca Ciega Yacht Club clubhouse, then to Williams Pier, Town Shores, Pasadena Yacht Club, Pasadena Golf Estates and Dolphin Boulevard South, finally visiting Isla del Sol and returning to the BCYC clubhouse for the Post Parade party.

Visit the website to download a boat parade flyer, or to find out how to participate with your boat! ¬†Entry “fees” are unwrapped toys for Operation Santa.

And see below for Gulfport’s Holiday Hoopla, taking place on the same day!

Click here for a link in Paradise News about this event that is in its 33rd year.  Sponsors are needed!

sailbcyc.org/christmasboatparade

Gulfport’s Annual Holiday Hoopla

Holiday Hoopla is a celebration of arts, crafts, foods, holiday music and roving holiday characters.

The festivities run from 10 am to 6 pm on Beach Boulevard in Gulfport’s Waterfront District. ¬†The event benefits Operation Santa and Gulfport families in need. ¬†Come find one-of-a-kind gifts that cannot be found anywhere else!

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Roving Rudolph at Gulfport’s Holiday Hoopla

Historic Old Northeast Candlelight Tour of Homes

This event is being held December 9th in 2018.

Check the HONNA (Historic Old Northeast Neighborhood Association) Facebook page for details as the event gets closer.

Christmas Market & Parade on St Pete Beach

The parade starts at St Pete Beach City Hall (155 Corey Ave) and heads west down Corey Ave, south on Blind Pass Road, east on 73rd to Bay Street and back to City Hall.

The best parade viewing areas will be along Corey Avenue and parking is available at the Community Center.

This event also includes a visit from Santa and an opportunity to meet with all the Whos in Whoville. Grinch themed crafts, face painting and light refreshments too.

Pass-A-Grille and Vina Del Mar Boat Parade

This small event starts at Merry Pier in Pass-A-Grille. I’ve heard that Santa will make an appearance at The Seahorse, where St Pete firemen will cook burgers and hot dogs outside. ¬†Santa is also available for pictures with the kids. ¬†Luminaries along the sea wall and carolers at Merry Pier.

Festivities start at 5 pm.

Indian Rocks Beach Holiday Lighted Boat Parade

The parade starts at the Holiday Inn Harborside. then goes under the Walsingham Bridge and ending at Harbor Drive North.

Redington Beaches/Indian Shores Holiday Boat Parade

This boat parade goes from the Tom Stuart Causeway to “The Pub” restaurant in Indian shores. ¬†The event starts at 5:45 pm.

New in 2018 is a lighted dock competition, but this would be hard to experience unless you’re in the parade yourself.

Festival of Lights Madeira Beach Boat Parade

The Madeira Beach “Festival of Lights” boat parade begins at ROC Park and ehads down the Intracoastal Waterway to John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk.

The event starts at approximately 6:30 pm and goes until 9 pm.

Check out the event flyer here.

Treasure Island’s Lighted Boat Parade

Treasure Island says its lighted boat parade is like Las Vegas on the water Рdazzingly decorated boats of all kinds.  There is a friendly competition for prizes.

The TI Causeway Bridge closes to vehicular traffic during the parade (usually around 7 pm) and stays closed for 30 – 45 minutes to allow the boat parade to pass through.

The best public viewing areas for the Treasure Island Lighted Boat Parade are:

  • 115th Avenue on the Isle of Palms
  • Treasure Island Causeway Bridge
  • Kingfish Drive at John’s Pass (Gator’s Cafe & Saloon)
  • Blind Pass Bridge (between Treasure Island & St Pete Beach)

Click here for a map of the parade route. ¬†It’s an old map but the route hasn’t changed in years.

Corey Avenue Art Festival

December 1 and 2, 2018.  10 am to 5 pm both Saturday and Sunday. 595 Corey Ave in St Pete Beach Fl.

More than 100 talented artisans with jewelry, pottery ceramics, photography, painting, clothing.  There is also an expansive Green Market with plants, orchids, exotic flora, handmade soaps, gourmet spices and other goodies.