Events in St. Petersburg-Clearwater and BeachesIn addition to its many cultural and historic landmarks, this destination hosts a number of outstanding festivals and events that may coincide with your visit.
By Maria White
The Epiphany Celebration , a Greek Orthodox tradition commemorating the baptism of Jesus, is held on January 6 in Tarpon Springs . Following church services at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral, a procession of celebrants heads to the Spring Bayou, one block west of downtown. There the archbishop blesses the murky waters and casts in a white cross; an eager group of young men plunges in after it. The one who emerges with the cross in hand is said to be blessed for a year.
Chasco Fiesta , an event lasting 11 days, occurs along the banks of the Pithlachascotte River in downtown New Port Richey. Visit town in late March to enjoy all the revelry, which includes traditional American Indian activities, boat and street parades, athletic competitions, concerts and fun things to do with kids. If you can't get there this year, don't fret. Started in 1922 and held continuously since 1947, this enduring party certainly isn't losing steam.
Beginning in late March or early April, Dunedin residents honor their community's Scottish roots with a whole week of kilt-laden festivities. First, drummers, dancers and bagpipers pump up already spirited crowds at the Dunedin Military Tattoo . And, while nothing beats burly athletes tossing 50-plus-pound weights, hefty metal balls and stones bigger than their heads, the Dunedin Highland Games also lures spectators with melodious presentations and an exuberant dance-off that gets everyone's toes tapping.
If you missed the two Scottish heritage events mentioned above, check out Dunedin's Celtic Festival in late November. Celtic rock bands add some zing to the day's events, though you'll still find more traditional performers entertaining the masses at Highlander Park.
The Rocktember Fest Fall Festival remembers New Port Richey's most colorful figures—from Roaring Twenties celebs to vacationing sports heroes. The September fair offers arts and crafts, live music and a carnival. Many festivalgoers cruise about in vintage cars with the oldies tuned in and cranked up, and, while enjoying a leisurely pony ride by the petting zoo, those without a driver's license listen attentively to the neighs of their pint-size mounts.
At two of the St. Petersburg-Clearwater area's most colorful affairs, white tents and bustling throngs take over the streets of St. Pete Beach . In early April, admire the works of more than 200 artists at the St. Pete Beach Corey Area Craft Festival , or pick up a few trinkets at the St. Pete Beach Corey Area Art and Craft Fair , held in early June.
Brubeck. Gillespie. Getz. The legends of jazz music have performed at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday since its inception in 1979. The roster for this 4-day event reads like a who's who of jazz, with performers ranging from purists to innovators. Best of all, it's free. Circle the third week in October on your calendar.
See all the AAA recommended events for this destination.
St Petersburg Clearwater, FL
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.