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One of the first signals of fall in Florida has to be the number of arts and entertainment options geared to a broad range of appetites.

The Clearwater Jazz Holiday celebrates its 35th year by bringing a New Orleans vibe to the four-day festival and includes events in the renovated historic Capitol Theatre. You'll find stories about both in this issue of Bay.

Opera buffs should delight in one of our fashion features, which has some fun with themes of performances scheduled throughout the area this new season.

Florida storyteller Carl Hiaasen comes to St. Petersburg later in the month, one of dozens of writers who will appear at the Times Festival of Reading. In Sarasota, the Ringling International Arts Festival has an eclectic lineup.

This issue of the magazine also focuses on a St. Petersburg couple whose extensive art collection is a major part of their daily life. You'll also meet a Largo alpaca farmer, a St. Petersburg sculptor and a Tampa woodcrafter.

With so many offerings so close to home, it's a great time to revisit the familiar and indulge in something new.

- Have comments, questions or story ideas? Let us know. Contact Mary Jane Park at (727) 893-8267 or