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Ah, it feels like fall festival season

Do you smell fall in the air? Yep, there's nothing like that distinct hint of Kettle Korn floating on the breeze to make you realize it's okay to go out and have some fun at a festival this weekend (and for the next several weekends, actually). We've rounded up some of the bigger ones in the area today and Sunday. And with the weather forecast to be in the upper 80s with drier air, you have no excuse not to check out at least one.

Creative Clay Folkfest

Sounds like a quiet, country affair with lots of pottery mugs, string art and mandolins -- until you see the hot music lineup. On Saturday, it's the spicy Cajun/Zydeco band the Porchdogs, Americana aces Have Gun, Will Travel, and Fort Lauderdale jam band the Heavy Pets. On Sunday, local singer-songwriter goddess Rebekah Pulley, bluegrass jammers Pickford Sundries and Rod MacDonald take the stage before an all-artist Beatles Tribute finale. All for free! Food and drink sales benefit Creative Clay's charitable causes, such as helping artists with developmental disabilities. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Sunday on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg between 11th and 13th Streets. (A bonus: the morning market will be going on at Ferg's too.)

Hyde Park village Art Festival

Prepare to shop. This juried show brings the finest artists to Tampa with everything from $15 earrings to $50 prints to $20,000 sculptures. The artists will be on hand, so you can chat them up about what you're buying. All amid the trendy boutiques and shops of Hyde Park: Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, Restoration Hardware, Milagros soap and lots more. Free. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Sunday, Hyde Park Village, Tampa.

Deep Carnivale Literature


For the hip bookworm who's got it going on -- especially if you can talk all day about John Capouya's Gorgeous George: The Outrageous Bad-Boy Wrestler Who Created American Pop Culture. More than 70 local poets, playwrights and authors will show up in Tampa for readings, book signings and spoken-word and hip-hop performances. And how cool is this? A poetry lounge for teens. Plus, plenty of kids' activities, vendors and live music. Expect the celebration to fill all four floors of the Cuban Club and spill out into the street. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 14th Street, between Palm Avenue and Ninth Avenue, Ybor. Free admission.

New Port Richey Founder's Day

No offense, but we've never really thought of New Port Richey as the "Hollywood of the East." Turns out it was once a swinging 1920s hot spot with wild prohibition antics. Well, we can only hope there'll be more of that as the city celebrates its official founding in 1924 with a carnival, arts and crafts, pumpkin painting, boat tours, vendors and live music (including a gospel/folk sing-along at 10 a.m. on Sunday; if you've got a tambourine, bring it and be prepared to shake it). 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sims Park and Orange Lake, one block north of Main Street in downtown New Port Richey. Free, but a $2 donation is recommended.

'I Like It Hot' Festival

and Barbecue

With a spunky slogan like "We don't have to kick you in the butt to make it hurt," better bring the extra-large bottle of Tums before nibbling on a variety of fiery foods and sauces. Want to really turn up the heat? Sign up for the jalapeno-eating contest and kiss your taste buds goodbye. Or if you fancy yourself a hot sauce gourmet, bring 16 ounces of your homemade brew Saturday and enter it in the amateur competition. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Minnreg Hall, 6340 126th Ave. N, Largo. Adults $3, kids under 12 free. Free parking.

Save the dates

• Harbor Sounds Music Festival (Oct. 4-5, Safety Harbor)

• Hot Pepper Fest at Sunken Gardens (Oct. 5, St. Petersburg)

• Asia Pacific Rim Festival (Oct. 11-12, Pinellas Park)

• Rock, Rib and Ride Fest at fairgrounds (Oct. 16-19, Tampa)

• John's Pass Seafood Festival (Oct. 25-26, Madeira Beach)

• Times Festival of Reading (Oct. 25, St. Petersburg)

• Guavaween Street Party and Mama Guava Stumble (Oct. 25, Ybor City)

• Sarasota Blues Festival (Nov. 1)

• Ribest (Nov. 14-16, St. Petersburg)

Ah, it feels like fall festival season 09/26/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 1:27pm]
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