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Big Christian concerts coming to Florida in 2011

Maybe last weekend's Acquire the Fire concerts in Lakeland stoked your interest in Christian music. Maybe it was TobyMac's concert in Clearwater. Or maybe it was the recent Kirk Franklin and Matthew West concerts at the St. Pete Times Forum. Regardless, there are plenty of ways to get into the spirit, musically speaking, in the coming months. Here are some big upcoming shows in Central Florida. — Jay Cridlin cridlin@tampabay.com

Jars of Clay Head up to Silver Springs Nature Park, near Ocala, for a show by the Christian music heavyweights, plus noted singers Matt Maher, Derek Webb and Audrey Assad. It starts at 2:30 p.m. April 30 at the park, 5656 E Silver Springs Blvd., Silver Springs. Tickets are $24.99 (ages 3-10) and $29.99 (11 and up). (352) 236-2121, silversprings.com.

Glory at the Gardens Busch Gardens brings its fellowship festival back for two big shows: Mary Mary and Lecrae on May 7, and Michael W. Smith and Sidewalk Prophets on May 14. Free with park admission. 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. 1-888-800-5447, gloryatthegardens.com.

Sixth Annual Girls Night Out Gospel singers Mandisa (of American Idol fame) and Anita Renfroe headline this four-day Florida tour, which hits the Countryside Christian Center in Clearwater at 7 p.m. June 11. Tickets are $23, with group discounts available. For details, see countrysidechristiancenter.org.

Rock the Universe For one weekend each September, Orlando becomes the Christian music capital of the world. At Universal Orlando, heavy hitters Third Day, Casting Crowns, David Crowder Band, Switchfoot and Anberlin headline Universal Orlando's festival, Sept. 9-11. The music is Friday and Saturday, with a Sunday morning worship service. It's a ticketed event, separate from park admission. For details, see rocktheuniverse.com.

Night of Joy The other Orlando concert that weekend is Disney's Night of Joy. This year's headliners include Newsboys, Jeremy Camp, MercyMe, TobyMac, Jars of Clay and Skillet. Concerts are Sept. 9 and 10. This, too, is a ticketed event, separate from park admission. For info, see nightofjoy.com.

42nd annual Dove Awards

Christian music's version of the Grammys took place Wednesday in Atlanta, and the nominees included Tampa rapper KJ-52. Did he win? Find out when it's broadcast at 7 and 9 p.m. on GMC. doveawards.com.

Big Christian concerts coming to Florida in 2011 04/21/11 [Last modified: Thursday, April 21, 2011 5:30am]

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