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Take time out for a festival or two

By Sharon Kennedy Wynne
Published February 22, 2007


Now is prime time for visitors and for festivals. So if you have house guests in need of entertaining and an urge to get out, you can kill two (snow)birds with one stop at some of the multiple festivals this weekend:

YBOR CITY FIESTA DAY: It started originally as Ybor City Day, a day of rest for the cigar workers of the district. Now Saturday's annual Fiesta Day is a celebration of the African, Cuban, German, Italian, Jewish and Spanish immigrants who came to Ybor City in the late 1800s. There will be an arts marketplace, ethnic foods and entertainment. Don't miss the International Parade of Flags at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. - a musical riot of color.

BEER FEST: The Florida Brewers Guild is the barkeep for 100-plus beers on Saturday that are bound to satisfy any beer connoisseur. It runs 2 to 6 p.m. in Centro Ybor, Ybor City; $20 for advance purchase tickets, $25 on the day of the event. Visit

FLORIDA AFRICAN-AMERICAN HERITAGE CELEBRATION: Heritage Village in Largo hosts this celebration Saturday with a wide range of activities and entertainment. Catch some African-influenced entertainment such as jazz, gospel, R&B and reggae. Then there's the storytelling and puppetry areas, an African-American art show and marketplace, ethnic cooking demonstrations and activities for adults and kids throughout. It's free and it runs 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Pinewood Cultural Park, Walsingham Road and 125th Street N, Largo. (727) 588-6342.

CLEARWATER SEA-BLUES FESTIVAL: Get dinner and a show, festival style, Saturday and Sunday at this blues-seafood festival (think lobster, crab cakes, oysters, grouper, seafood gumbo). The music lineup is yummy, too, with the legendary Johnny Winter on Saturday night as well as Coco Montoya, Chris Beard, Eric Sardinas, Eric Lindell and Tinsley Ellis. Gates open at noon, music 1 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday and gates 11 a.m., music noon to 9 p.m. Sunday; Coachman Park, downtown Clearwater;

TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS FAN FEST: Take the kids to this free event Saturday, where they can play in the kids zone, join the home run derby challenge, try out the batting cages and meet Devil Rays players, coaches and major league baseball alumni. It's 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Think you like ballpark hotdogs? The six-time hot dog eating champion and current world record holder Takeru Kobayashi will be there signing autographs and posing for pictures.

PRIDE IN THE PARK: When Hillsborough County commissioners banned governmental recognition of gay pride events in 2005, Tampa's gay community reacted with Winter Pride, an event that drew 5,000 people to Lowry Park last year - with full city support. Organizers moved the event to Al Lopez Park on Saturday, because they expect a bigger crowd for the entertainment, family fun area and vendors. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Al Lopez Park, 4810 N Himes Ave., Tampa;

[Last modified February 21, 2007, 14:47:47]

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