Tag Archives: festival

John Levique Pirate Days

Fun Times at John Levique Pirate Days

History of John Levique

John Levique Pirate Days 9The history of John Levique and the history of John’s Pass are linked by the legend naming John Levique as the first man to sail through the pass. According to the legend, a large storm rearranged the sands of the barrier islands, opening a new inlet to Boca Ciega Bay. The new inlet was subsequently named John’s Pass. The boardwalks, restaurants, and gift shops did not appear for another 150 years. The name John Levique is remembered, thanks to his discovery of the pass. Today, his name is used for one of the best celebrations you will find on the Florida Gulf Coast. John Levique Pirate days skeleton manequinJohn Levique was a turtle farmer, so you might wonder why the celebration is called ‘pirate days.’ Here on the Florida Gulf Coast, and especially in Tampa Bay, a true pirate history exists. The pirate theme, often invoked in this region, has been used to enhance the John Levique celebration. Once you’ve experienced the fun at the John Levique Pirate Days event, you will see that John Levique would probably not mind at all.

 

John’s Pass

John Levique Pirate DaysJohn’s Pass Village and Boardwalk is one of the best tourist stops on the Florida Gulf Coast. The small but popular shopping and restaurant district is lined with loads of souvenir shops and lots of great dining. John’s Pass is a fun diversion where you can spend hours walking from one interesting knickknack shop to the next. When you need to resupply your energy, you can choose from a number of unique restaurants, many of them on the waterfront. Seafood is popular at John’s Pass, thanks to the numerous fishing boats that use John’s Pass to reach the Gulf of Mexico. The boardwalks and sidewalks are fun to stroll, and when you are done with your dining, stop into a candy shop to finish off your day. You can find all of these things on an ordinary day at John’s Pass. During the John Levique Pirate Days celebration, that entertaining setting becomes a backdrop for much more.

 

John Levique Pirate Days Celebration

John Levique Pirate Days foodThe John Levique Pirate Days event was on our roster of things to see this spring. This year it was held May 9th through 11th. The event took us by surprise. We expected a few pirates standing in the doorways and perhaps few kiosks- not by a long-shot. The entirety of John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk had been transformed in to one giant event. The street was filled with tents and kiosks selling everything imaginable, much of it pirate themed. Instead of a parking lot we found a large tent where the musicians and dancers performed, along with lots of tables for dining. John Levique Pirate Days 8The other side of the parking lot was the food court, with banquet style vending stalls selling mouthwatering food. Amid the lively setup strolled a large number of attendees, enjoying shops, vending tents, the shows, and the food. However, all of those things together were still not the best surprise. We found no mere dozen pirates at the John Levique Pirate Days event, but rather the streets were filled with them. The pirates had erected tents to mock up how original pirates had camped on the shores of the Gulf Coast. Tons of professional pirate actors roamed the streets along with a number of enthusiasts. Aside from the pirate encampment, we found a pirate wrestling ring, a mechanical bull, a tropical bar, a hula hoop contest and an inflatable slide for the kids, and roaming musicians. John Levique Pirate Days 4Lastly came the large pirate show down at the waterfront of John’s Pass. On the sandy shore, amid the older pylons, some 50 to 60 pirates put on a mock battle. The battle included walking the plank, musket fire, sword fights, and, our personal favorite, ‘death by mermaid,’ which consisted of throwing convicted pirates to the trio of mermaids waiting just off shore. John Levique Pirate Days 6The mayhem lasted for a good five minutes, all under the thunderous explosions from cannons set on the shore. Watching from the drawbridge between Madeira Beach and Treasure Island, the handrails under our palms trembled from the shock wave of the cannon fire. Spectators lined the John’s Pass boardwalk to watch the show, many of them dressed in pirate costumes themselves.

 

John Levique Pirate Days Recommended

John Levique Pirate Days 7

For Love or Money Band

After our visit to the John Levique Pirate Days celebration, we definitely recommend it to visitors to the Florida Gulf Coast. The event was a lot of fun and definitely lived up to its name. There were pirates galore, lots of in-theme trinkets and souvenirs to purchase, good music shows, and fantastic food. The pirate battle topped off the event with a performance that brought the theme to life. The event has earned a place on our list of celebrations to visit year after year.

 

Other posts you might enjoy:

Treasure Island Kite Festival 2014

Best View of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge

Clearwater Beach Stone Crab Festival 2013

 

Dragon sand sculpture

The Amazing Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival at Clearwater Beach

Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival 2014

TSugar Sand Festival sculpturehe Sugar Sand Festival made its second appearance at Clearwater Beach this April. The show ran from April 5th through the 13th. A large tent went up long before the event opened, getting the folks at the beach a heads up the festival was coming. The artisans got busy sculpting, all with the show’s theme in mind. This year, cinema was the theme, with the title of “Beach Walk of Fame.” Inside the tent, sculpted figures from Hollywood history were found along a ribbon of film also crafted from sand. Visitors viewed images from the very beginning of cinema, like Charlie Chaplin, through the most recent movies, including Dolphin Tale.

 

Sugar Sand Festival Extras

Sand sofas at beach restaurantThe sand sculptures were at the heart of the event, but surrounding the tent were a host of additional activities that had the beach buzzing with activity. Sand artists held special shows and contests for beach visitors, including speed sculpting. Directly surrounding the tent were a number of other fun attractions. The Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa, one of the event sponsors, had a kid’s sand sculpting area, complete with umbrellas and chairs for the parents. Frenchy’s restaurant hosted a “Sand Bar” right on the beach, with a fenced off area set up as pub. Area restaurants sponsored a restaurant setting behind the show tent with sand sculpted sofas for restaurant guests, with the sand sofas right on the beach. The attractions surrounding the tent were a success, with plenty of attendees joining into the extra fun.

 

Sugar Sand Festival Pier 60 Entertainment

Pier 60 Sugar Sand FestivalPier 60 is a Clearwater Beach attraction every evening, two hours before and after sunset. For the Sugar Sand Festival, however, the vendors and street performers showed up every day, all day long. The usual Pier 60 fun was in overdrive. Clearwater Beach visitors were treated to non-stop entertainment. The pier was lined with vendors selling every manner of souvenir, while the street performers spread across a wider area than usual to accommodate the extra visitors. With a larger amount of people at the beach for the festival, Pier 60 was a hub of activity.

 

A Successful Clearwater Beach Sugar Sand Festival

Sand sculpture Willows in the WindIf the number of visitors to Clearwater Beach last week was any indication, then the 2014 Sugar Sand Festival was a success. The beach enjoyed lively crowds and, each time we checked in, the Pier 60 shows were running. The line leading into the sand sculpture tent enjoyed a constant flow. If you are considering a Clearwater Beach vacation, be sure to check this one out for 2015. Judging by the turnout for this one, the Clearwater Beach Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival will back again next year.

Bugs Bunny sand sculptureOther blogs you might enjoy:

Ultimate Tourist Attraction at Pier 60 Clearwater Beach

Treasure Island Kite Festival 2014

Dunedin Celtic Music and Craft Beer Festival

 

Clearwater Beach

Secrets of the Fall at Clearwater Beach

Gorgeous Autumn Weather at Clearwater Beach

Clearwater BeachClearwater Beach has seasonal weather just like anywhere else. While you will never find snow here, it can dip down to perhaps the 40’s in the winter time. However, we are fortunate enough to not see those extremes very often. The fall in Clearwater Beach is never so cold. The weather is warm and the sun is most often shining. The subtropical rainstorms of summer afternoons are fading away and all that is left to replace them is warm air and sandy beaches. While autumn might not seem like prime time to take a beach vacation, you might be surprised how much fun you can have here at Clearwater Beach from September to November.

 

Fantastic Fall Festivals at Clearwater Beach

Stone Crab Fest Clearwater BeachOne of the best parts about autumn at Clearwater Beach is the festivals. You will find some of the best events hidden in the last third of the year. Among the best known festivities are the various stone crab festivals, the Chalk Walk festival, the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, the Super Boat Races, the TriRock Triathlon, and the Dunedin Celtic Music festival. Coming to Clearwater beach after summer has Clearwater Beach Chalk Walk 3013ended can definitely have its advantages. All the above events draw great, upbeat crowds, all those attending enjoying the setting of the Florida Gulf Coast. Clearwater Beach comes alive during many of these events, adding an exciting buzz to the air in addition to the natural beauty of the beach.

 

Find Cheaper Vacation Rentals at Clearwater Beach

Vacation rental with beach viewOne of the most popular things about coming to Clearwater Beach in the autumn months is the price. While the cheapest time to come is still November and December, you will find that the rates you search for online for autumn are going to be less expensive than spring and summer.

 

Cleawater Beach in Autumn

Clearwater harbor lightsIf the tourism high season of spring or the traditional beach days of summer aren’t for you, then consider a trip to Clearwater Beach in the fall. You will find warm days with good weather, an abundance of festivals to attend, and rates that might put a smile on your face. Clearwater Beach in the fall is a great vacation idea.

 

Dunedin Celtic Music and Craft Beer Festival

Clearwater Beach TriRock Triathlon 2013

Clearwater Beach Stone Crab Festival 2013

 

Frenchys Salt Water Cafe Stone Crab Fest

Clearwater Beach Stone Crab Festival 2013

Cooters Stone Crab Fest Clearwater BeachStone Crab Festivals on Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach just celebrated Stone Crab Weekend with the help of some great hosting by area restaurants Friday, October 25th through Sunday the 27th. The stone crabs were devoured by large happy crowds, along with some other great seafood and regular treats from the restaurants.

Enjoying the Stone Crab Weekend at Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach Stone Crab Festival tentA few members of our staff visited the Stone Crab Festival at Frenchy’s Original Café, Cooter’s Restaurant and Bar, and Frenchy’s Saltwater Café. Each location had live music, tents to shelter visitors from the midday sun, and lots of food and drinks to go around. During the sunlight hours, the area had plenty of visitors and lots of activity. When the sun went down, the enclosed areas for the festival swelled wall to wall with happy beach-goers.

Clearwater Beach Stone Crab Weekend Success

Clearwater Beach sunsetEven outside the event areas, the streets were filled with people. Pelican Plaza, Crabby Bill’s Seafood Co., and some other locations also had live musicians, filling the air at Clearwater Beach with sound. The crowds at Pier 60 were large, and just down the street was the second annual Chalk Walk Art Fest, which drew a large number of onlookers. In addition to the lively crowds and plenty of entertainment, the weather was perfect, with fantastic sunsets. If you are considering visiting the beach during autumn, take a look at next year’s October line up of events. It is a very good time to vacation at Clearwater Beach.

Clearwater Beach Stone Crab Festival at Frenchys

Cooters Stone Crab Fest Clearwater Beach

 

Cooters Stone Crab Fest Clearwater Beach

Serial Fun Stalking

Fun Activities on the Gulf Coast

Fun things to do along the central Gulf Coast are not difficult to find. Narrowing down the events you want to attend might be more difficult. We have compiled a quick list of serial events, that is to say, events that occur on a regular basis.

2nd Friday Dunedin Wine & Art Walk

The Main Street area of Dunedin is one of the favored local areas for shops and pubs. On the second Friday of the month Dunedin shop owners and vendors show off art, sell food and offer entertainment for street-goers. Visitors can enjoy music at the nearby Pioneer Park. Find out more about this event at the Second Friday Dunedin website.

Friday Night Shuffle

Each Friday night the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club opens up its courts to the public for free. Enjoy the fun of competing with friends and strangers alike under with the towering lights of St. Petersburg nearby. The shuffleboard courts are a great addition to the well-known St. Pete downtown nightlife and is open to all ages. Address and hours for the event can be found at the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club website events page.

Brooker Creek Preserve Guided Hikes

Brooker Creek Preserve is a large natural area with a variety of terrains to explore. Volunteers guides will lead you on hikes at the preserve, offering information you might not otherwise discover. Walk along sandy trails through breezy forests of tall oaks, wide, sunny tracts of low-lying Saw Palmettos, and secluded wetland areas filled with beautiful trunks of Cypress trees. Keep your eyes sharp and you might see some of the parks residents, such as deer, Gopher Tortoises and wild turkeys. Visit the Brooker Creek website to find out more about ongoing guided hikes.

Our Town

Our Town Conversation is an intellectual and educational event that is held each month at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg. The newly renovated museum is a wonder in itself and provides a fantastic venue. The event host engages noteworthy guests in conversations regarding the activities that have made them community leaders and celebrities. Listen and learn firsthand what has made these individuals key players in the region. See the Dali Museum website for more information on this event.

Dunedin Green Market

The Dunedin Green Market draws in vendors of every description to create an enjoyable culinary experience for visitors. Browse unique fruits and vegetables, along with your standard favorites, sold alongside of bar-b-que delights and regional-favorite Greek recipes. Pioneer Park provides the venue, placing popular area shops and restaurants just across the street. Spend the morning snacking, dining and shopping amid the neighborhoods and shops of Main Street Dunedin. Visit the Green Market webpage for more information.

Some of the local events listed here are seasonal so be sure to check the links for more detailed information!