First we’ll tell you why should want to ask, “What’s happening in Tarpon Springs?” Tarpons Springs is a town on the west coast of Florida about fourteen miles north of Clearwater Beach. Its coastline lacks the amazing soft white sands that bring so many to the beaches to the south, but what it lacks in beaches, it makes up for in plenty of other ways.
Tarpon Springs is a waterfront town. Aside from its long and undulating coastline of mangroves, it also enjoys the frontage along the Anclote River, a slow moving, lazy Florida river. The river is so flat that, at times, you can see it flowing backward when the tides roll in. Lining the shores of the Anclote river are a host of charming fishing boats and sponging boats.
Yes, we said sponging. Tarpon Springs is most famous for its Sponge Docks. There, the largest harvest of live sponges in the world occurs. They keep to strict standards to preserve the wild sponges so that their industry continues and, in fact, help the wild sponges on the seafloor to propagate. Often times when you walk the docks in Tarpon Springs you will see catches of sponges hanging on the boats, or on really busy days, whole piles of sponges will lay on the docks themselves.
The sponge trade is operated in large part by Greek immigrants, the large population having built Tarpon Springs to have a very Greek feel. While the culture is an enjoyable feature of the town, most will agree that the most prominent product that tourists can enjoy is the ample supply of Greek food. The streets are lined with charming old buildings filled with loads of gift shops and in between you will find one Greek restaurant after another.
And so, Tarpon Springs has just what you are looking for when a day trip comes to mind. Fun shopping, great food, and a riverfront, fishing town atmosphere that is very charming.
At last we come to the question that began the explanation, “What’s happening in Tarpon Springs?”
The OPA Palooza Greek Festival comes to town June 9 – June 11, 2017. If you’ve never been to a Greek festival in Tarpon Springs, you are missing out. It is loud and wild and a lot of fun. Shopping is in full swing with vendor tents added to the fray while the food is brought right out into the streets. And dancing? You better believe it. You are welcomed to join in. The style is Greek and you will get to see some great performances of moves brought to America from the Greek Isles. The atmosphere is infectious and it hard to attend without your spirits rising.
June 9 – June 11; Friday 12-9, Saturday 10-9, Sunday 10-5; Dodecanese Blvd, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
Mark the date on your calendar and head up to Tarpon Springs for the weekend. You’ll be glad you did!
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