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It's all about Florida-made music at the Orange Blossom Jamboree

The band COPE returns for a reunion performance at the Orange  Blossom Jamboree,  May 17-20 at the Sertoma Youth Ranch in Hernando County. Pictured here in April 2011, Kenny Stadelman (left), Juan Montero, Dave Gerulat, and Dennis Stadelman. Times file
The band COPE returns for a reunion performance at the Orange Blossom Jamboree, May 17-20 at the Sertoma Youth Ranch in Hernando County. Pictured here in April 2011, Kenny Stadelman (left), Juan Montero, Dave Gerulat, and Dennis Stadelman. Times file
Published May 11, 2018

SPRING LAKE — May is here, the temps are rising and festival season is on the wane. As is tradition, the Orange Blossom Jamboree will close out the spring music season at the Sertoma Youth Ranch with an celebratory nod to an eclectic batch of music made right here in the Sunshine State.

The event, held May 17-20, will feature some 60 homegrown bands performing under the stars and the Florida oaks in the natural setting of the 80-acre ranch.

Now in its ninth year, the Orange Blossom Jamboree is one of Florida's most prominent music festivals, a multi-day, multi-stage offering of pretty much you-name-it — rock, funk, blues, punk and reggae. And while the event officially kicks off May 17, ticket-holders are welcome to camp out early for the Wookie Wednesday pre-party ($20) on May 16.

"It's five full days of music — all Florida bands," said event organizer Russ Bowers.

He and his wife, Toby, founded the jamboree in 2010 with a musical experiment that featured 25 bands.

It's been going strong ever since.

Adding some buzz to this year's festival is the return of COPE, a popular quartet out of Tampa, which will be performing a couple of reunion-type sets after a too-long hiatus, Bowers said, adding, "Lots of people are excited about that."

This year's lineup also includes bands such as Resinated, the Bath Salt Zombies, Trae Pierce and T-Stones and Holley Miss Molley. Closing it out on Sunday is Applebutter Express, a four-piece acoustic group from Tampa and festival mainstay.

And while Florida-made music is the highlight, there's more to take in — artistry, interactive music workshops, a full slate of youth-oriented activities and the overall camping experience.

There will be several food vendors on site.

Locally-produced brews produced by Dunedin Brewery, the main sponsor of the event, will be available, with proceeds benefiting youth programs at the ranch.

Contact Michele Miller at mmiller@tampabay.com. Follow @MicheleMiller52.

RELATED: Things to Do in Pasco and Hernando Counties starting May 4

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