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Florida travel calendar for March

Check out festivals and events in March across the state.

This list is organized by region.

Central Florida (including Orlando, Kissimmee, Daytona Beach, Sanford, the Space Coast, Lakeland/Polk and Lake County)

Feb. 7- April 18: Universal Studios Mardi Gras, Orlando.This year's Mardi Gras concert line-up has yet  to be announced. See website for concert times. Included with Universal Studios ticket. 407-363-8000. www.universalorlando.com/Events/Mardi-Gras

March 1: Chocolate Festival, Melbourne. Brevard's best chocolatiers, pastry chefs and restaurateurs come together with community volunteers to raise funds to support scholarship programs. Guests may sample chocolate confections, cakes and desserts, then vote to select "Brevard's Best Chocolate Fix."  In addition, there are beverages, appetizers, entertainment by local musicians and an Emerging Artist Showcase. At Eau Gallie Civic Center. Admission. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 321-729-0755. www.zontaspacecoast.org

March 3: Moonlight Carillon Concert at Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales. Visitors can stroll the meditative garden paths and find a spot to relax and enjoy the hour-long carillon concert under the light of the full moon or watch Geert D’hollander play live on the video monitor located behind the Japanese Lantern near the Tower. 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. $5 per person, free for members. 863-676-1408. www.boksanctuary.org

March 4-May 17: Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, Lake Buena Vista. Discover dazzling gardens, high-energy entertainment, family fun and more at this spectacular springtime event. Sprouting once again in 2015, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will be brimming with special experiences for every age and interest. At Walt Disney World's EPCOT with admission. www.disneyworld.com/flower

March 5: Climb to the Moon, Ponce Inlet. Climb to the Moon at Ponce Inlet Lighthouse offers views of the sunset and moonrise from atop the lighthouse once a month. The lighthouse keeper relates the story of this National Historic Landmark. Sparkling cider and hors d'oeuvres are provided by Inlet Harbor Restaurant. The lighthouse is at 4931 South Peninsula Drive. Participation is limited to 25 people and tickets ($25) must be purchased in advance by calling 386-761-1821 ext. 10. ponceinlet.org

March 6-15: Bike Week, Daytona Beach. This annual event and rally is one of the largest motorcycle gatherings around the world. It commences the start of motorcycle season. About 500,000 bikers from around the world come to Daytona Beach. www.officialbikeweek.com

March 6: Jazz Friday at Foosaner Museum of Art, Melbourne. Every first Friday of the month the Foosaner Museum of Art hosts Jazz Friday in their galleries. Expect great music from local favorites. 5:30 pm to 7 p.m. 463 Highland Avenue, Melbourne FL 32901. 321-433-4470. www.visitspacecoast.com

March 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, 28-29: Bands Brew and BBQ music festival, Orlando. A music festival on Saturdays and Sundays at SeaWorld Orlando offers BBQ and bands. Performers have not yet been announced. Concerts begin at 4 p.m. Free with park admission. SeaWorld 407-351-3600. seaworld.com

March 7: First Saturday Jam, Barberville. On the first Saturday each month visit the Pioneer Settlement for entertainment and fun for the entire family. 9 a.m to 4 p.m. Includes informal music jams, free workshops, a chili cook-off, yard sale. Admission is free. 386-749-2959. www.pioneersettlement.org

March 7-8: Floral City Strawberry Festival, Floral City. Primary focus of the event is, of course, the celebration of strawberries - by the berry, by the flat, atop shortcake or covered in chocolate. These and more are among the many strawberry delicacies offered to tempt the palette. Each day includes continuous live entertainment, contests, children's games and activities, and more than 200 arts and craft booths. Special features include an antique car show, pony rides, rock climbing wall, pie eating contest, Strawberry Princess pageants, and continuous children's activities. At Floral Park. Admission. 352-795-3149. visitcitrus.com/events-calendar

March 13: Friday Family Fest, Melbourne Held the second Friday of the month in Historic Downtown, it's a family-oriented event that includes art craft and business vendors, lots of great food, beer and wine, a children's activity. Highland Avenue, Melbourne FL 32922. Free. 321-724-1741. www.downtownmelbourne.com

March 13-14: Central Florida Dragon Boat Festival, Tavares. Dragon boat racing was born out of myth and legend more than 2,000 years ago in southern China, commemorating the life and death of a great patriot who threw himself into the Mi Lo River. When news of his death spread, local fishermen raced out onto the water and splashed their paddles to prevent fish from eating his body. Today, worldwide, some two million people participate in dragon races. Activities kick off with the Awakening of the Dragon Ceremony, traditional Dragon/Lion dance and banquet. Action-packed contests begin with a crew of 20 paddlers led by the loud, steady beat of the drummer. As the long and colorful boats compete, an ancient rite is revisited, all in the spirit of charity and fun. At Wooten Park. 352-504-8158. www.cfdragonboat.org

March 13-15: Tico Warbird Airshow, Titusville. Located at the Space Coast Regional Airport, this annual three day event highlights military aviation and features some of the most famous trainer, transport, fighter and bomber aircraft that flew in combat around the world. Adult tickets are $18. $5 for children. 55 Golden Knights Boulevard, Titusville. www.vacwarbirds.org

March 13-22: Firefighters' Indian River County Fair, Vero Beach. Since 1980, proceeds from this event have supported Indian River County Burn Fund, high school scholarships, Fairground Improvements and other charitable activities. At county fairgrounds. Gate prices are $6 for adults, $4 for children (6-12), $4 for senior citizens. 772-562-2974. http://www.firefightersfair.org

March 14: Taste of Oviedo, Oviedo.The Taste of Oviedo offers visitors the opportunity to sample local fare on March 14. Also on the event’s agenda are entertainment, a car show, vendors’ exhibits, children’s activities and fireworks. A highlight is a Citrus & Celery Cook-Off. Event hours are from10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free. The event is at the Oviedo Mall, 1700 Oviedo Marketplace Boulevard. www.tasteofoviedo.org

March 20-22: 55th Annual Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, Winter Park. The 55th Annual Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival is a juried outdoor fest on March 20-22. More than 1,000 artists from around the world apply for entry and an independent panel of judges selects approximately 225 to participate in the show. The three-day event also features jazz and children’s activities. Admission, to the event on Park Avenue between Canton Avenue and New England Avenue, is free. www.wpsaf.org

March 21: Cruisin' Downtown DeLand Classic Car Show, DeLand. Every 3rd Saturday of the month. East Indiana Avenue in Downtown DeLand. Classic cars & rods line East Indiana Avenue in Downtown DeLand. Live DJ, giveaways, shopping & dining. 4-7 p.m. Free. 386-624-5027. www.MainStreetDeLand.org

March 21: Spring Break Nationals, Daytona Beach. Touted as "The World's Most Famous Soundoff" this custom car audio show is held indoors rain or shine at the Ocean Center at 101 N. Atlantic Ave. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  with a niteglow vehicle contest at 8 p.m. Other things of note: the Aphrodisiac Ice Cream Truck, the World Famous SBN Swimsuit Competitions.  springbreaknationals.com

March 21-22: The Lakeland Craft Festival, Lakeland. The Lakeland Craft Festival displays handmade creations at the Lakeland Center on March 21-22. The Lakeland Center is located at 701 West Lime Street. Admission is $6 for adults (good both days with hand stamp); children 12 and under are free. Parking is free. Fair hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.  www.bucklercraftfair.com

March 21-22: Art and Craft Festival, Flagler Beach. Show offers an array of fine art, fine crafts and food. Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Flagler Beach on A1A. 352-344-0657. www.tnteventsinc.com

March 22-23: 26th Annual Spring Daytona Turkey Run. The 26th Annual Spring Daytona Turkey Run is set inside Daytona International Speedway's infield and showcases more than 3,000 collector cars and trucks. 386-255-7355. www.turkeyrun.com

March 27: Fourth Fridays Art Walk, Sanford. Central Florida's only monthly juried art show. With exhibits and music at participating venues. 6-9 p.m. Downtown Sanford, First Street, Sanford, FL, 32771. Free. 407-323-2774. www.sanfordartwalk.com

March 27-29: Grant BBQ Fest, Grant. On March 27-29, the Grand BBQ Fest serves up live entertainment, a car show, crafts and contests – barbecued pork ribs, chicken or brisket, anyone? Additional competitions include People’s Choice and Sauce. Admission and parking are free. The festival is at 4580 First Street. www.grantbbqfest.com

March 28: 4th Fridays DeLand Art Walk, DeLand.  DeLand Art Walk is a free, self-guided tour of the Historic Downtown area. Enjoy music, food, drinks, arts, crafts and more. Art galleries, museums, cultural venues, restaurants and boutiques host artists within their businesses on the fourth Friday of every month, rain or shine. Look for an official Art Walk banner in the front of each stop to identify the participating venues. Choose your own route, or begin from Museum of Florida Art. Downtown, 100 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand FL 32720. 6-9 p.m. 386-738-0649. fourthfridaydeland.com

March 28: Art Walk on Flagler, New Smyrna Beach. Held on the fourth Saturday each month, Flagler Avenue livens up with entertainment and wine tastings at participating venues. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (wine walk 1-7 p.m.). Free ($25 for wine walk). Flagler Avenue, 100 Flagler Ave., New Smyrna Beach, FL, 32169. 386-428-1770. www.flaglergallerygroup.com

March 28: Florida Wildflower & Garden Festival, DeLand. A celebration and a forum to encourage environmentally friendly and sustainable gardening practices, while keeping a fun atmosphere.  Speakers, demonstrations, children's activities & entertainment. The festival also features vendors who provide information, products, and arts and crafts related to general gardening, native plant gardening, gardening for birds, butterflies and wildlife, habitat creation, environmental conservation, recycling and "Green" living. West Indiana Avenue, Downtown DeLand. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. 386-738-0649. mainstreetdeland.org/flwildflowerfest

March 28: Kowtown Festival, Kissimmee. Celebrate Kissimmee's birthday with a family-friendly festival that honors the city's cattle ranching heritage. Enjoy live entertainment, unique games, food and festivities. Features Annual Meatloaf Cook-off with cash prizes. At Historic Downtown Kissimmee and Lakefront Park. Free. 407-846-4643. www.kissimmeemainstreet.com

March 28-29: Spring Antiques, Collectibles & Crafts Show, Mount Dora. This quaint Central Florida town puts on its annual Spring Antiques, Collectibles & Crafts Show on March 28-29. More than 200 vendors are to display their treasures on the downtown streets of Mount Dora from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Admission is free. www.mountdoraspringshow.com

March 28-29: Battle at Narcoossee Mill, St. Cloud. Authentic reenactment of a Civil War battle. Roam through civil war camps and watch the mounted cavalry ride back from the past. Educational and entertaining for all ages. Held at Ralph V. Chisholm Park in Narcoossee. Adults $7, children 5-11 $5, children under 5 are free. www.jacobsummerlin.org

March 28-29: 50th Annual DeLand Outdoor Art Festival, DeLand. Art, Crafts, Food & Live Entertainment at Earl Brown Park.  Free shuttle to and from Florida Wildflower & Garden Festival. Earl Brown Park. 750 S. Alabama Ave. DeLand, FL 32724. Free. 386-717-1888. delandoutdoorartfest.com

Tampa Bay-Sarasota (including Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Sarasota, Anna Maria Island, Bradenton, Tarpon Springs and Homosassa)

Feb. 26 - March 8: Florida Strawberry Festival, Plant City. Strawberry celebration dating back to 1930. Features daily entertainment by some of music's biggest stars, agriculture shows, livestock and the Midway with more than 60 rides. At Plant City Festival Grounds. Admission required. 813-752-9194. www.flstrawberryfestival.com

Through March 6: Real Music Concert Series, Tampa Bay. Busch Gardens Tampa’s longest running concert series, Real Music, returns Jan. 5, 2015 through March 6, 2015 (Monday through Friday) with incredible live music spanning from the 1950s to today, featuring genres for all ages, including swing, blues, pop, jazz, and rock ‘n roll. Concerts are held at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. seaworldparks.com

March 6-8: Swamp Fest, Weeki Wachee. A good, old-fashioned family fun festival presented by three community organizations. Includes swamp food, swamp costume contest, arts and crafts, entertainment, drawings and more. At Linda Pederson Park at Jenkins Creek. Admission $8 for adults, $4 for kids 6-11, free for children 5 and younger with paying adult. 352-596-3575. swampfestweekiwachee.com

March 13-22: Sarasota County Fair, Sarasota. Featuring exhibits, midway rides and fair food. At Sarasota County Fairgrounds. Admission. 941-365-0818. www.sarasotafair.com

March 14-15: Manatee Festival of the Arts, Ruskin. 23rd annual. Award-winning juried fine arts festival celebrating visual, culinary and performing arts as well as promoting awareness and preservation of the West Indian Manatee. At E.G. Simmons Park 2401 19th AVE NW Ruskin, FL 33570. $5 adults, free for children 12 and under. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 813-645-1366. www.facebook.com

March 14-15: Downtown Sarasota Craft Festival, Sarasota. Begun in 2002, this popular craft show takes place 10 am to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday, with approximately 200 crafters exhibiting their wares. Downtown. Free. 941-957-1877. www.escape-to-sarasota.com

March 20-22: Fourth Annual Cuban Sandwich Festival, Tampa. Extra pickles, anyone? The Fourth Annual Cuban Sandwich Festival serves up this favorite treat –sometimes referred to as “the sandwich that conquered America” –in historic Ybor City on March 20-22. On the agenda are music, dances, more than 150 crafts and cultural exhibitors, and a contest between rivals Miami and Tampa to find the best traditional and non-traditional Cuban sandwiches. Admission is free. For information, visit www.thecubansandwichfestival.com.

March 21-22: The Sarasota Folk Festival, Osprey. The Sarasota Folk Festival features music on three stages and arts and crafts on March 21-22. Exhibits and a children’s area are also on the agenda and food will be available for purchase. The event, at the Oscar Scherer State Park, opens its gates at 10 a.m. each day. Oscar Scherer State Park is on U.S. 41, six miles south of Sarasota. Ticket prices vary. www.sarasotafolkfestival.org

March 23-28: Citrus County Fair, Inverness. The Citrus County Fair features pageants, a flea market, exhibits, livestock show, and midway rides on March 23-28. The Citrus County Fairgrounds is at 3600 South Florida Avenue. www.citruscountyfair.com

March 25-29: Sertoma Youth Ranch Spring Bluegrass Festival, Brooksville. Sertoma Youth Ranch Spring Bluegrass Festival presents a lineup of artists including IIIrd Tyme Out, Nothin Fancy, and the Boxcars on March 25-29. A variety of tickets is available including a Weekend Ticket that is $68.25. Camping available for a fee. For more information, visit www.evansmediasource.com.

March 28-29: Annual Spring Fine Arts Festival, Englewood. Stroll the avenue viewing the work of more than 100 artists from around the country while you enjoy live entertainment, shopping and snacks along the way. Downtown area. $2 donation requested. 941-474-5511. www.englewoodrotary.org/page6.php

Southwest Florida (including Naples, Fort Myers, Venice, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda)

March 3-28: Sanibel Music Festival, Sanibel Island. Tuesdays and Saturdays in March, Sanibel hosts accomplished musicians from around the world, including the Opera Theater of Connecticut, the American Chamber Players and Emerson String Quartet. Concerts begin at 8 p.m. Sanibel Congregational Church. Admission. 239-344-7025. www.sanibelmusicfestival.org

Through March 8: Southwest Florida and Lee County Fair, North Fort Myers. Old-fashioned and fun, this fair offers midway rides, livestock exhibits, pig races, a petting farm, and entertainment ranging from a comic master hypnotist, clows, family shows and local talent. Adult admission tickets cost $5 in advance. Admission price for children 6 to 11 is $3. Children under 5 are admitted free. Advance-purchase mega-passes allow holders admission and unlimited rides for any day of their choice. 239-543-8368.fair.leeciviccenter.com/

March 5-7: Sanibel Shell Fair and Show, Sanibel Island. In celebration of this world-renowned shelling island, the Shell Fair features shell displays and crafts, food, and entertainment. The fair takes place inside and outside of the Community House. 239-472-2155. sites.google.com/site/thesanibelcaptivashellclub

March 13-15: 64th Annual Art Under The Oaks, Vero Beach. One of the largest art festivals in Vero Beach, the 64th Annual Art Under The Oaks, displays original creations under majestic live oaks in Riverside Park on March 13-15. Approximately 210 artists will display their work across from the Vero Beach Museum of Art, 3001 Riverside Park Drive. Admission is free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. www.verobeachartclub.org

March 13-15: All-Florida Championship Rodeo, Arcadia. This 87th annual rodeo includes Calf Scramble, Mutton Bustin', barrel racing, Shootout and more. Admission. 800-749-7633. www.arcadiarodeo.com

March 14-15: The Bonita Springs National Art Festival, Bonita Springs. The Bonita Springs National Art Festival presents fine arts and fine crafts by 211 artists and artisans on March 14-15. The event is at Riverside Park, Old U.S. 41 Road in Olde Bonita and sits on the Imperial River. Admission is via suggested donation of $5 to benefit the Center for the Arts Bonita Springs scholarship program. Event hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. www.artcenterbonita.org

March 14-15: Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival and Parade, Fort Myers Beach. Fresh shrimp from the local docks to you. Enjoy delicious shrimp cooked a variety of ways and many other taste-tempting foods. Also offered are arts and crafts booths, live entertainment and many children's activities. Coordinated and sponsored by the Fort Myers Beach Lions Club, this is the 57th year for this shrimp festival. Call Lion Ted 239-454-0043. www.fortmyersbeachshrimpfestival.com

March 14-15: Marco Island Festival of the Arts, Marco Island – Fine art and fine crafts are on display during the Marco Island Festival of the Arts on March 14-15. Event hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Admission to the event, at Veteran’s Park off North Collier Boulevard, is free. For information, visit artfestival.com.

March 17: Fishermen's Village Annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration, Punta Gorda. Features the Emily Ann Thompson Band. Includes American standards, Broadway hits and gunfighter ballads. At Fishermen's Village Center Stage. Free. 941-639-8721. www.fishville.com

March 18-21: 63rd Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sebring. Each year on the third Saturday of March, Sebring International Raceway hosts thousands of race fans from around the world to witness the historic 12-hour classic. All the legends have raced at Sebring, including Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Dan Gurney, Stirling Moss, Juan Manuel Fangio, Phil Hill and dozens of others, driving race cars built by the world's great manufacturers such as Ferrari, Porsche, Jaguar, Audi, Ford, Maserati, Aston Martin and Nissan. Gates open on Wednesday and remain open 24 hours a day through Saturday's title race. Admission. 800-626-RACE. www.sebringraceway.com

March 19: Downtown Gallery Walk, Punta Gorda. Held monthly on the third Thursday, 5-8 p.m. Visit any of the downtown merchants, restaurants and galleries for your game card. As always, there will be live entertainment, food and drink samplings, art, beauty and health demonstrations, a free trolley, and an evening of fun. Free; free parking. www.charlotteharbortravel.com

March 20-22: Marco Island Seafood & Music Festival, Marco Island. This scenic Southwest Florida enclave sets the scene for the annual Marco Island Seafood & Music Festival on March 20-22. The festival features live music, crafts, kids’ zone, and plenty of delicacies from the sea available for purchase. Admission to the festival, at Veterans Park, 403 Elkcam Circle, is $8. For information, visit www.marcoislandseafoodfestival.com.

March 19, 2016: Southwest Florida Reading Festival, Fort Myers. Enjoy the multiple stages with nearly 30 best-selling authors, buy books and have them signed. Kids can have fun watching and listening to popular authors and illustrators, pick out a free book and make a craft. Teens can find a book, make a craft and watch the Reading Rocks! Teen Battle of the Bands final competition, and more. Free at Harborside Event Center and Centennial Park in downtown Fort Myers. 239-479-4636. www.readfest.org

March 21-22: Peace River National Arts Festival, Punta Gorda. Charlotte County's premier outdoor juried fine arts show, the seventh annual Peace River National Art Festival returns to Laishley Park, Punta Gorda, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 941-639-8810. http://www.charlotteharbortravel.com/events/

March 21-22: Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts, Naples. An annual event for the entire family. Along Fifth Avenue South in downtown Naples. Free. 239-262-6517. naplesart.org

March 28: Florida Wiener Dog Derby, North Fort Myers. Cash prizes, giveaways and more. Free admission, but registration fee. 440 Hickman Dr. Sanford, Florida. 321-394-8497www.floridawienerdogderby.com

March 28: Swamp Buggy Nights, Naples. The 65th Running of The World Famous Swamp Buggy Races return to the FloridaSportsPark March 28. The Budweiser Cup Championship is once again up for grabs under the lights. Gates will open at 4 pm with the green flag droping at 6 pm sharp. Adult tickets are $15 in advance. 239-774-2701 swampbuggy.com

South Florida and the Keys (including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Key Largo, Key West and the Treasure Coast)

March 1: Suntrust Sunday Jazz Brunch, Fort Lauderdale. Live outdoor concert series bringing the area's best local jazz artists to the city's scenic Riverwalk the first Sunday of each month. Listen to the soulful sounds on four different stages.  Everyone is welcome to attend, including well-behaved, leashed pets, and there is ample room to set up chairs, blankets and picnic baskets. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Free admission. 954-828-5363. www.fortlauderdale.gov/events/jazzbrunch/jazzbrunch.htm

March 1: 13.1 Marathon Miami, Miami Beach. This event is a half marathon consisting of 13.1 miles, of which 45-50 percent of the route will take participants through Miami Beach. Walkers welcome. Course remains open for three and a half hours. www.131marathon.com/

March 6-15: Miami International Film Festival, Miami. Brings the best of world cinema to South Florida, exhibiting U.S. and international films, with a special focus on Ibero-American cinema. Since its fruition, the festival has presented films from more than 50 countries, including Oscar nominees and winners and many international prizewinners. At various locations throughout Miami and Dade County. 305-237-3456. www.miamifilmfestival.com/

March 7: Conch Shell Blowing Contest, Key West. Enthusiastic contestants, from children to seniors, are polishing their conch shells, puckering up, and are ready to demonstrate their shell-blowing talents. The occasion is the Conch Shell Blowing Contest, sometimes called the "Conch Honk." The event, which has been held for 53 years, celebrates the historic importance of the conch in the Keys, where the far-reaching sounds from conch shells were used by Calusa Indians for communication, by sailors as fog horns, and by early Key Westers to signal salvagers that a sinking ship had been spotted offshore. The contest, sponsored by the Old Island Restoration Foundation, will take place in the garden of the Oldest House. There is no cost to enter or compete, and no experience is necessary. Conch shells will be available for purchase for those who do not have their own. oirf.org/event.php?id=10

March 7-8: 27th Annual Art Fest by the Sea, Juno Beach. This festival brings together longtime favorites and newest names in the contemporary art scene. Life-size sculptures, paintings, one-of-a-kind jewels, photography, ceramics and more. At A1A Donald Ross Rd. and Marcinski. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. 954-472-3755. www.artfestival.com

March 7-8: Conquistador Cup Regatta, Punta Gorda. 22nd annual regatta of Punta Gorda Sailing Club, the largest sailboat regatta in Southwest Florida. Races on Saturday and Sunday. Best viewing points Fishermen's Village or Ponce de Leon Park. www.pgscweb.com

March 7-June 8: 36th Annual Week of the Ocean Festival Sea-son, Fort Lauderdale. Marine-related events to further awareness of the wonderful world of water. Ocean expo, waterway cleanups, school marine fair and regatta. 954-462-5573. www.national-week-of-the-ocean.org

March 10-15:  Okeechobee County Fair, Okeechobee. For those looking for some old-fashioned fair fun, the Okeechobee County Fair features exhibits, beauty pageant, midway rides, equine events, petting zoo, livestock show and entertainment on March 10-15. The fair is at the Agri-Civic Center & Fairgrounds, 4601 Highway 710 East. Tickets ($5) may be purchased online and picked up at the fair’s box office. www.okeechobeecountyfair.com

March 12-April 5: Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition, Miami. This county fair offering nearly 50,000 exhibits, concerts, a circus, strolling entertainment, food, games, shopping and a 100-ride midway. At Fair Expo Center. www.thefair.me

March 13-14: Delray Beach St. Patrick’s Day Festival, Delray Beach. It’s that time of year to celebrate all things Irish during the annual Delray Beach St. Patrick’s Day Festival and Parade on March 13-14. The festivities include a two-day Celtic Siamsa Party featuring Irish dancing, traditional pipe and drum bands, Irish storytelling and live music on the corner of Atlantic & Swinton Avenue. Food and beer will be available for purchase. The Siamsa is hosted by “master leprechaun” Jake De Fayke. Festivities begin at 5 p.m. on Friday and continue on through Saturday evening at the Delray Beach Center for the Arts at the corner of Atlantic and Swinton Avenue. The Parade, which kicks off on Saturday, marches on most of the downtown Main Street from just west of the Intracoastal and ends at the Fire Station. It is celebrating its 47th year, draws marching pipe and drum bands from around the world, and honors the service of the International Firefighters. Admission to both the Parade and the Festival is free. www.festivalmanagementgroup.com

March 13-15: Fairchild's 13th Annual International Orchid Festival, Coral Gables. Explore the wonder of orchids during one of our many garden workshops and walking tours where local and national vendors will sell an amazing variety of orchids and orchid products. Free for members and children 5 and under. $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and up. $12 for children 6 to 17. 305-661-8953. www.fairchildgarden.org

March 14-15: Original Marathon Seafood Festival, Marathon. Celebrate the fishing heritage of the Middle Keys at this popular event offering lobster, stone crab, conch chowder and fritters, local fish, smoked fish dip, key lime pie and more. Also includes arts and crafts, boat show, nautical market, and live entertainment. At Marathon Community Park. $5 per person, free for children 10 and under. 305-743-5417. www.marathonseafoodfestival.com

305-223-7060305-223-7060Admission.    

305-223-7060www.fairexpo.co

March 13-14: Historic House Tours, Key West. Presented by the Old Island Restoration Foundation, this house and garden tour offers a rare opportunity to see inside some of Key West's charming tropical residences. Each tour showcases five homes chosen for their contribution to the Key West community as significant historic buildings, creative renovations or examples of the Keys lifestyle. Tour participants will discover unique interiors filled with art collections and antiques as well as lush gardens and imaginatively designed outdoor living areas. Admission $25 per person. Tours available 10 a.m to 4 p.m. 305-294-9501. oirf.org

March 15: St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Irish Fun Celebration, Jensen Beach. Historic downtown Jensen Beach sets the scene for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Irish Fun Celebration on March 15. Event hours are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the parade kicking off at 3 p.m. and going from Jensen Beach Boulevard (from circle) to Indian River Drive. A free Kid’s Area features bounce house, slides, music, sand art and games. www.jbstpatricksparade.com.

March 19: Third Thursday Art Walk, Islamorada The Morada Way Third Thursday Art Walk presents local fine arts, music and culinary specialties. The galleries of Morada Way are between Mile Markers 81 and 82. Event hours are from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. For details, visit moradaway.org.

March 22: 18th Annual Taste of the Islands, Marathon. Here’s a treat for tastebuds in the Keys: the 18th Annual Taste of the Islands features tastes from local restaurants on March 22. Admission is free and visitors may purchase tasting tickets at the event at the Key Colony Beach city park grounds. Music, vendors and a fashion show are also planned. Event hours are from noon to 4 p.m. Proceeds benefit local charities. For details, visit www.facebook.com/pages/BPW-Taste-of-the-Islands/208075109203744?fref=nf. For information on travel to the Florida Keys, log on to www.fla-keys.com.

March 28: TurtleFest, Juno Beach. Guests of all ages can enjoy up-close encounters with threatened and endangered sea turtles during the 12th Annual TurtleFest on March 28 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Loggerhead Marinelife Center and Loggerhead Park. Local bands will take the stage while educational activities, art, shopping and other activities are available for children. Admission is free. For more information, call 561-627-8280. www.marinelife.org/turtlefest

March 28-29: ArtsFest, Stuart. In addition to arts and crafts booths, the festival features live entertainment and children’s art activities. Event hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The festival takes place along Ocean Boulevard and Memorial Park in downtown Stuart. Admission is $5 (children under 12 are free). www.martinarts.org

March 28-29: 27th Annual Las Olas Art Fair Part II, Fort Lauderdale. The 27th Annual Las Olas Art Fair Part II displays original artwork on quaint Las Olas Boulevard in the heart of Fort Lauderdale on March 28-29. Admission is free. Event hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. For information, visit www.artfestival.com.

March 28-29: 24th Annual Florida Keys Island Fest, Islamorada. One hundred artists and crafters from around the state will display their work and food will be available for purchase. Live music and a "Taste of the Islands" competition where the best Upper Keys restaurants compete for coveted awards round out the event at Founder’s Park, Mile Marker 87, bayside.  For information, visit www.islamoradachamber.com

Northeast Florida (including Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Flagler County and Amelia Island)

March 3-31: Garden Month 2015 at Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, Jacksonville. Come celebrate these historic and nationally recognized gardens. 904-899-6038. www.cummer.org

March 6-8: Lions Seafood Festival, St. Augustine. Great seafood, live music, arts and crafts, family-friendly contests and prizes. At Francis Field, behind Visitor Information Center. $3 adults, free for children 12 and younger. 904-825-0850. www.lionsfestival.com

March 13-15: Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, Amelia Island. Celebrates classic cars and the people who admire them. Events take place at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Islandm and The Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach. 904-636-0027. www.ameliaconcours.org

March 13-15: The St. Augustine Celtic Music & Heritage Festival, St. Augustine. Celebrate romantic St. Augustine's Celtic heritage. Saturate your senses in the sights, sounds, and tastes of Celtic history.Tickets are $5 with VIP upgrades available. Main festival events are on Francis Field, 14 W Castillo Dr. St. Augustine 32084. www.celticstaugustine.com

March 14: Gate River Run, Jacksonville. Extraordinary 15k run through Downtown Jacksonville and over its bridges, in its 35th year and attracting nearly 20,000 runners and walkers. Live music plays throughout the course to pump up the participants. Registration deadline is Feb. 28. www.gate-riverrun.com

March 28: Uptown Saturday Night, St. Augustine. Uptown Saturday Night features live music, exhibits, book signings and more at the galleries, antique stores and shops on the Old City’s San Marco Avenue between Ripley’s Museum and the Mission Nombre de Dios on March 28. The free event is from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and the Mission Nombre de Dios provides free parking. www.floridashistoriccoast.com

March 28: Ponte Vedra Beach Home And Art Tour, Ponte Vedra. In its sixth year, Ponte Vedra Beach Home And Art Tour offers an insider’s view of four unique homes on March 28. Artists and interior designers are special guests onsite to meet visitors and talk about their work. Tickets are $30 including admission to Fantasy Farms, an exotic animal farm and habitat for endangered species. For information, visit the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach’s website at www.ccpvb.org.

March 28-29: Old Town Art & Craft Show, St. Augustine. The Old City puts on the Old Town Art & Craft Show on March 28-29. The juried outdoors fair features the work of local, regional and national artists and takes place at Francis Field, 25 West Castillo Drive. Admission is free.  Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. www.holidayartshows.com

 

North-Central Florida (including Ocala, Gainesville and Tallahassee)

March 6: Moon Over the Mounds, Crystal River. Moonlight tour and interpretation of the Crystal River State Archaeological Site, by archaeologists and park staff. Interpretive guides tell the story of the famous Crystal River Site by torchlight as guests tour though the moon-lit mound complex. Travel back to AD 600 when the Crystal River site was the most important ceremonial site in the region. Begins at 8 p.m. Free. 352-795-3817. www.floridastateparks.org

March 7-8: Azalea Festival, Palatka. One of Florida's oldest festivals, enduring for 69 years and surviving WWII, floods and financial disaster. Held in the historic downtown area and Memorial Park. 386-312-6266. www.flazaleafest.com

March 13-15: Nature Coast Civil War Reenactment, Crystal River. This annual living history reenactment will be held at the Holcim Mine property, seven miles north of Crystal River. Authentic costumes, modern concessions, battle reenactments. Admission. www.crystalriverreenactment.com

March 14-20: Paddle Florida, Lee. Experience the Ochlockonee and primitive north Florida over approximately 76 miles of wilderness river trail. Register on the main website by Feb. 28. 386-364-1683. www.paddleflorida.org

March 19-22: Suwannee Spring Fest, Live Oak. Springfest is held each spring at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park on the famous Suwannee River. Enjoy Americana and grassroots music on the river. General admission tickets are between $50 and $80. 386-364-1683. www.suwanneespringfest.com

March 21: Wild Azalea Festival, White Springs. Festival highlights include musical performances, arts and crafts, the Little Miss Azalea Contest, the Suwannee River Duck Race, Children’s Area and other outdoor recreational opportunities. Visitors can to spend the day enjoying this street crafts fair where expert artisans will display and sell their handmade specialties. “Wild Azaleas” are a highlight of this event and will be available for purchase along with other native Florida plants. Visitors can listen to the sounds of music as they stroll through historic downtown White Springs. www.floridastateparks.org/stephenfoster/Events.cfm

March 28: Annual Springtime Tallahassee, Tallahassee. The Annual Springtime Tallahassee celebrates the season in our state capital beginning at 10 a.m. on March 28. On the festival’s agenda are a Grand Parade with floats and marching units, Jubilee in the Park, Children’s Park and multiple stages with live entertainment including the Rock/Jazz/Blues Stage at Jefferson Street and Adams Street featuring local and regional talent, and a Community Stage at McCarty Park featuring local performers. More than 200 arts and crafts and food booths are to be featured.Some of the festival’s activities are free; others have fees. www.springtimetallahassee.com

March 28-29: Cedar Key's 51st Annual Fine Arts Festival, Cedar Key. A juried art show with more than $10,000 in prize money and purchase awards. Features paintings, sculptures, jewelry, crafts, ceramics, textiles, photography and more. Downtown area. Cedar Key Arts Center. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 352-543-5400. www.cedarkeyartsfestival.com

The Panhandle (including Pensacola, Panama City Beach, Apalachicola and Destin)

March 6-7: Smokin' in the Square, Pensacola. Come enjoy live music while you taste the best of the best BBQ around at this annual cooking contest. This free event is held from noon to 9 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday. www.smokininthesquare.com

March 7-8: The Gulf Coast Renaissance Faire, Pensacola. Come tour the castle where you can meet the King and Queen, watch full-metal jousting, and drink and be merry while you're entertained by jesters, gypsy dancers, magicians and more. $10 for adults and teens, $5 for children 5 - 12, free admission for children under 4. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. www.yesteadyhands.com/GulfCoastRenaissanceFaire

March 21: City of Destin 15th Annual Run with the Dogs 5K, Destin. Runners and walkers are invited to enjoy the nice, flat course of this annual 5K. Oh, and their dogs are invited too. Registration is between $20-$25 and ends March 20. www.active.com

Correspondent Georgina Cruz contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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