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Ozona, Tarpon are packed with weekend activities

It's time for spring cleaning and redecorating in Ozona today and Sunday when a village cleanup coincides with a two-day art festival.

North of Ozona in Tarpon Springs, the aroma of Greek food will fill Craig Park as the Sponge Docks Merchants Association holds its annual family-oriented Taste in Tarpon festival.

Events in both communities are free and open to the public.

Volunteers who want to help pick up trash in Ozona neighborhoods should meet at the Recreation Hall on Bay Street at 8 a.m. today. The Ozona Village Improvement Society will supply garbage bags, but volunteers may want to bring gloves or pointed sticks to help them pick up litter.

"We're going to try and make this an annual event," said Bobbie Painter, president of Ozona Village Improvement Society. "It's good for the community, and it'll clean up our streets."

The Ozona Recreation Club will serve hot dogs and soda to volunteers when the cleanup ends around noon.

At the same time, the Ozona Artists and Fine Craftsmen group will show its wares behind the Red Roe Restaurant, 303 Orange St.

The art show takes place under a big tent from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Sunday. The event features pottery, woodworks, oil paintings and handmade books, among other pieces.

"We want to try to bring as much culture as we can to this area," said Sally Robertshaw, founder of the Ozona Artists and Fine Craftsmen.

The Ozona Village Improvement Society will have a membership drive at the art show. Memberships cost $5 a person or $10 a family. The group also will sell Ozona T-shirts designed by Robertshaw for $12 each.

The art group, founded last year, meets at 7:30 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month between September and May at the Little House next to Red Roe, Robertshaw said.

"We're really trying to encourage people from this area to put their art out," she said. "There are a lot of artists here, but very few artists can support themselves with just art. It's just something they do in every spare moment they have. We're trying to give them a venue."

More than 100 makers of crafts will display and sell their work at the Taste in Tarpon festival in Tarpon Springs' Craig Park, which overlooks Spring Bayou. The festival was moved this year from the Sponge Docks.

There also will be Greek dancing and eclectic music, including some played on unusual instruments such as the sitar and the Peruvian wood flute. Food, beer and wine will be sold.

The Tarpon Springs recreation and fire departments, a magician and a balloon artist will provide children's entertainment all day today.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Profits will go to the Sponge Docks Merchants Association.

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