TARPON SPRINGS — Want a cultural dining experience this weekend, but don't want to get stuck indoors? Head to the Tarpon Springs International Food Fest and Expo.
From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, music and the aroma of international cuisine will waft along the Sponge Docks.
With two stages providing music and more than 70 vendors, organizers have set up everything from fine arts and jewelry to arts and crafts and plants for sale. The food will be as diverse as the music — Italian delicacies to seafood specialties and fare from barbecue to Cuban cuisine, crab cakes and, of course, Greek food.
"Many people said they'd never seen so many people come together on the Sponge Docks as we had at last year's event," said Scott Meehan, one of the event organizers. "We had to turn away vendors this year. We have food vendors coming from Miami and other parts of the state. We also decided to have two music stages, one on either end of the Sponge Docks."
The separate stages will feature music for lovers of the 1960s, '70s and '80s as well as current tunes. Food vendors will set up on both ends of the docks. Strung along the path in the middle will be booths with a wide range of goods. For those who like to stroll, the Sponge Docks themselves are a draw.
"This is an annual event that was such a success during the inaugural event, we decided to make it two days this year," said Rea Sieber, president of the Sponge Docks Merchant Association.
Music starts on stage one at noon Saturday with Woody Blair. Stage two at the opposite end of the docks cranks up with Frank Hewlett at the same time. The Saturday lineup continues with Moonlight Graham and DJ Louis Martinez and ends with the jazz fusion sounds of FME.
On Sunday, Terrel Lovett takes stage one at noon and on the opposite stage, the father and son duo of Joel/Dakota will perform.
"This is a great family event," said Meehan, "and it's free."