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Festivals and Special Events Around the Treasure Coast



St. Lucie County Fair

From overhead, the St. Lucie County Fair is a swirl of bright colors and lights. This year the fair runs from Feb. 22 to March 3. NATE BOTTORF PHOTO

BY SUSAN BURGESS

It’s festival time on the Treasure Coast! Sparkling events large and small bring families out for a day or an afternoon to relax, have fun and get some time away from home. It’s a chance to experience something new or take part in a beloved, not-to-be-missed event you always attend. Not every festival or special event is on this list, but you’ll find many of them below for the 2018-19 season.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE MAJOR EVENTS:

Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival — The festival returns to its roots this year with local musicians, but keeps the carnival rides, arts and crafts, the Junkanoo parade and the Bahamian vendors. Expect to see the pineapple theme throughout the area in art galleries, restaurants, contests and activities. No more admission fee; the event is now free. Hours vary. Nov. 16-18.

Festival of Trees — More than 50 custom decorated trees, unique gifts, gingerbread village, ice skating for the kids, Santa’s Village and the entire Riverside Theatre campus decorated for the holidays in Vero Beach. Nov. 17-18.

Bacon and BBQ Festival — Featuring everything bacon in festival foods. Live entertainment, more than 100 vendors and a Kids Zone, all in Veterans Memorial Park, Fort Pierce, free admission. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Nov. 17-18.

Causeway Boat Show and Marine Flea Market — More than 100 boats on display in the water and on land; more than 100 vendors for boating and fishing enthusiasts. Enjoy the seafood festival and live music too. Causeway Cove Marina, Fort Pierce. Dec. 7-9.

Treasure Coast History Festival: Waldo Sexton Homestead Days — Tour the 1914 homestead of Vero Beach visionary Waldo Sexton whose unique buildings can be seen today in the Ocean Grill, Driftwood Inn, Patio Restaurant and Szechuan Palace. Hear tales of Sexton from family members. It’s an experience you won’t forget. Presented by Indian River Magazine, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 5-6.

Seward Johnson Exhibition — At McKee Botanical Garden, see Johnson’s world-renowned 25-foot-tall bronze figure of an exuberant sailor embracing a woman when the end of World War II is declared. Twenty other sculptures, life-sized and so realistic that they are easy to mistake for live people, are also on exhibit in this Celebrating the Familiar series. Jan. 5 to April 28.

Stuart Boat Show — It’s the 45th anniversary of this show, which draws thousands to see boats from 12 to more than 80 feet on water and on land, and related products from more than 200 exhibitors. Attend seminars and enjoy music, food and drinks. North Stuart. Jan. 11-12.

Treasure Coast History Festival: Sidewalk History Festival — See historical re-enactors, go on a ghost tour, enjoy the historical trolley rides, rustic crafts, and visit the Old Florida Authors Alley. Learn about the history of the Seminole Indians and piracy in the area at the Sunrise Theatre in Fort Pierce. Enjoy an old-fashioned fish fry for lunch caught and cooked by descendants of the Summerlin family, $12. Presented by Indian River Magazine, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 13.

Port Salerno Seafood Festival — Wildly popular waterfront festival drawing more than 30,000 people last year. Features every kind of fresh seafood, including the catch of local fishermen. Hosted by the Port Salerno Commercial Fishing Dock Authority, a not-for-profit which shares the proceeds with many local organizations. Free parking, Molly the Trolley shuttles and water taxi. Entertainment on three stages, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; food served 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 26.

Taste of Little Italy — A mouthwatering festival with delicious Italian foods. Set in the Tradition community in western Port St. Lucie, it offers cooking demos and a popular wine seminar, bocce games, fun contests, festival games and rides, live entertainment and Italian-themed vendors. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26-27.

Gardenfest! — Riverside Park, Vero Beach, turns into a garden for the 18th year with more than 85 vendors on hand to show off plants and garden accessories. Experts are featured all day. Enjoy the food court and let the kids try some crafts. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Feb. 2-3.

Party in the Park — An annual event at the Fort Pierce Inlet State Park with food, music and exhibits hosted by the Conservation Alliance of St. Lucie County. Check conservationallianceslc.org for information and date.

60th Martin County Fair — Spend a week and you still may not see it all. Livestock, entertainment, food, agriculture, games and rides plus a new general store, 70 new categories in the Home Arts section, a science building and mad science lab, loads of demonstrations from goat milking to fencing, entertainment, fair food and drink. Hours vary. Feb. 8-16.

Treasure Coast Pirate Fest — Ahoy, matey! Climb onto a pirate ship and survey the pirate encampment, mermaids, contests, pirate weapon demos and pirate bands playing. Climb down and take part in the treasure hunt, play in the Little Buccaneer Kids Zone, watch historical re-enactors, visit the arts and crafts booths, and enjoy the food and drink in Veterans Memorial Park, Fort Pierce. Hours vary. Feb. 15-17.

St. Lucie County Fair — With a theme of We’ve Got a Good Thing Growing, the fair celebrates all the traditional elements of an old-fashioned county fair. Small animals, livestock, home arts and crafts, demonstrations, a fair queen, games and rides, entertainment, clowns, food and more. Feb. 22 to March 3.

Downtown Stuart Art Festival — Whimsical and practical works of art offered by nearly 200 national artists in a juried art show (exhibitors must be approved by a panel of art judges to enter). Feb. 23-24.

Indian River County Firefighters Fair — Hosted by Indian River County’s firefighters, this old-fashioned county fair features all the events expected — entertainment, large and small animals, great fair food, home crafts, games and rides, competitions, agriculture and fun characters roaming around. Kids will love the Firefighter Training Show, racing pigs and more. March 8-17.

Under the Oaks Fine Arts and Crafts Festival — More than 200 nationwide artists exhibit in Riverside Park, Vero Beach, in one of the top shows in the nation. Browse, buy, marvel at the works produced by the artists. Food court, free admission and free parking. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. March 8-10.

New York Mets Spring Training — The Mets begin spring training on Feb. 23 at 1:30 p.m. with the Atlanta Braves at the Mets stadium in St. Lucie West. Training ends March 24. Single game tickets on sale Jan. 12.

Shrimp Fest and Craft Brew — Three days of shrimp, craft beer, live music, food, vendors and events for children. Shrimp cook-off, craft beer tasting, motorcycle show and ride-in on Saturday. Car show on Sunday. Riverview Park in Sebastian. Times vary. March 15-19.

Sandy Shoes Seafood and Brew — Sandy Shoes returns with delicious seafood and craft beers, competitions, vendors and music all day and evening. Veterans Memorial Park in Fort Pierce. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. March 23.

Hooked on Music — canceled for 2019.

Fort Pierce Oyster Fest — Feast on plump oysters made in at least 11 different ways, delicious seafood, good music from many bands, arts and crafts, and a great day on the waterfront at Veterans Memorial Park. Shells are saved for oyster restoration projects to help clean the water of the Indian River Lagoon. Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 6-7.

Hibiscus Festival — A fun weekend showcasing historical downtown Vero Beach with music, booths, fine arts and crafts show, children’s activities, a parade and a special centennial recognition for Vero Beach. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. April 13-14.

Martin County Shrimp and Lobster Festival — Enjoy succulent lobster and shrimp, premier artists, crafters, musicians and a children’s area. The seafood menu is extensive and includes deviled crab, conch fritters, lobster tails, coconut shrimp, jerk fish and so much more. There is also a non-seafood menu. Dates and times to be announced.