Here comes the fun as Clearwater hosts its 57th annual Fun 'N Sun Festival, showcasing Clearwater and all that it has to offer during one of the most beautiful times of the year. The celebration, which runs from this weekend to next, is a community pleaser that also may encourage tourists to hang around a little longer, said Brian Craig, Clearwater's events coordinator.
Kicking off the smorgasbord of events is this evening's Fourth Friday, a family-friendly street party held on downtown's Cleveland Street from 5:30 to 8:30. Tonight, the classic sounds of Motown and doo-wop bands, JuFraLa and the Twilights, are featured.
Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., is the setting for Saturday's Smooth Jazz Fest and Sunday's Country Concert featuring Travis Tritt. The following Saturday brings masters from the rock 'n' roll era to town.
But the best news is, all three concerts are free. "It's our way of offering the community some really nice escapes and entertainment," Craig said. Reserved seating tickets are also available.
Other Fun 'N Sun events include Saturday's Clearwater Beach stroll and a tree giveaway.
The festivities continue next week with a Clearwater Threshers baseball game, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, followed by a concert at 9:30 featuring the band Dirty Martini — both at Bright House Networks Field.
Come May 1, you can Brunch with the Birds at Moccasin Lake Nature Park or take a flight of your own during Clearwater Airpark's open house. Astronaut Nicole Stott, a Clearwater native, will be on hand to talk about her space adventures, and airplane and helicopter rides will be offered at reduced rates.
A disc golf tourney sponsored by the Tampa Bay Disc Sports Club will be held at Northeast Coachman Park, 1120 Old Coachman Road, May 1 and 2. And the Hispanic Outreach Center can use extra hands to create a mural at Senor Bubbles, 1408 Cleveland St., next weekend as well.
The festival culminates with a classic rock concert from 1:30 to 10 p.m. May 1 at Coachman Park. Among the bands: Eddie Money (Two Tickets to Paradise), Blue Oyster Cult (The Reaper) and Foghat (Slow Ride).
The Fun 'N Sun Festival is "an opportunity for the community to enjoy Clearwater and hear some great music. We hope they take advantage of it," Craig said.