CLEARWATER — Summer is nearly over, the kids are back at school, beach traffic has subsided, and soon the heat and humidity will, too. We'll again venture outdoors to enjoy soft autumn breezes and the brilliant sunsets that make our area a paradise.
As the dog days wind down, we have a short lull before the snowbirds begin their annual migration to parts south. Organizers will have a chance to put the final touches on a flurry of upcoming events sure to appeal to everyone from the jazz lover to the boat enthusiast.
Here's a sampling of the fall lineup, in chronological order:
Miles for Hope: Sept. 21.The 6th annual "Moving towards a Cure" event at Coachman Park will include 5k & 10k run and walks, a one mile survivor tribute walk and a 25k, 50k, and 100k cycling event. For more information or to register in advance, visit www.BrainTumorEvents.org.
A Taste of Clearwater: Sept. 24. Enjoy samples of food from area restaurants. Sponsored by the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Clearwater Gas Systems, this event will be held at the Westfield Countryside mall. The evening will include food, drinks and entertainment. The exclusive VIP area will be located on the ice skating rink. Chefs from four area restaurants will compete in the Cook-Off Challenge. For more information, visit www.clearwaterflorida.org.
Bright House Clearwater Super Boat National Championship & Seafood Festival: Sept. 27-29. Watch some of the world's fastest powerboats compete for the title of national champion. The boats, equipped with F-16 jet canopies and 6,000-horsepower engines, race at speeds of up to 180 mph in the Gulf of Mexico off Clearwater Beach. This three day event in downtown will host a parade of go-fast boats, the Star Spectacular concert and a race village where visitors can meet the competitors. On Sept. 29 the boats will race a loop from Pier 60 north for about a half mile and back. The race is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.clearwatersuperboat.com.
MAXIMA Hispanic Heritage Concert: Oct. 13. The festival will be held at Coachman Park and feature international recording artists. There will be cultural exhibits featuring arts and crafts, plus food and drink concessions. For more information, visit www.clearwater-fl.com.
Clearwater Jazz Holiday: Oct.17-20. Now in its 34th year, the four-night jazz festival will again be held at Coachman Park. This year, the lineup features national performing talents including Chicago, Average White Band, Tower of Power and Brandi Carlile. The event will be held on the bluffs of Clearwater Harbor in Coachman Park. For more information, visit www.clearwaterjazz.com.
Clearwater Beach Chalk Art Festival: Oct. 25-27. Local artists, students and artist groups create chalk artwork and designs along the sidewalks and promenades of Beach Walk. Chalk Artist Jennifer Chapparo, who won “Best in Show” at last year's festival, will return to defend her title. In an email, she said she will create a 3D piece for the Sandpearl Resort. The artists begin creating on that Friday afternoon and work throughout the weekend. Judging and awards take place on Sunday afternoon. For more information, visit www.beachwalkchalkwalk.com.
Heritage Village Country Jubilee: Oct. 26. Located at Heritage Village in Largo, this event is in its 35th year and features music, tours of historic homes and demonstrations of traditional crafts. For those looking to start their holiday shopping early, the event also will feature a giant flea market. Handmade holiday crafts, paintings, jewelry and stained glass will be among the offerings. For more information, visit www.pinellascounty.org/heritage.
Cooters' 20th Annual Crab Fest: Oct. 24-27. This four-day big tent party celebrates the opening of stone crab season. During the festival Cooters offers special menu that features fresh Florida stone crab, Alaskan king crab, snow crab and Dungeness crab all at wholesale prices. Live music will be performed under the big tent. For more information, visit www.cooters.com.
Frenchy's 29th Annual Stone Crab Weekend: Oct. 25-26. The block party at Frenchy's Original Café, 41 Baymont St. on Clearwater Beach, celebrates the beginning of stone crab season. Enjoy live music, food and drink specials including discounted prices on stone crabs, kid-friendly activities and prize giveaways. For more information, visit http://stonecrabweekend.com.
2013 World Rescue Challenge: Oct. 30-Nov. 2. For the first time, this event, sponsored by the North American Vehicle Rescue Association in partnership with the City of Clearwater, will be held in the U.S. Harborview Center and Coachman Park will be transformed into a multi staged disaster site. Thirty teams of firefighters and medical rescuers from around the world will take part in a week long training event that includes the “World Auto Extrication Challenge” and the “World Trauma Challenge.” The United States Coast Guard will demonstrate a swift water marine rescue. For more information visit www.navraus.org or follow the event on Facebook at www.facebook.com/2013WRC.
Boo Bash: Oct. 31. This free event at Bright House Field is a safe community Halloween celebration, featuring many interactive areas for kids, including games, hayrides, a Haunted House, and plenty of candy. For more information, visit www.threshersbaseball.com.
37th Annual Christmas under the Oaks Arts and Crafts Show: Nov. 10. Sponsored by the GFWC North Pinellas Woman's Club and the City of Clearwater, the event will feature over 150 artists, crafters and food vendors over scenic Clearwater Harbor at Coachman Park. Proceeds from the show benefit the scholarships, grants, and community service projects of the GFWC North Pinellas Woman's Club. The event has provided $400,000 to local charities and community service organizations. For more information, visit their website: www.gfwcnpwc.org.
Festival of Trees Tampa Bay "Santa's Workshop: Nov. 22-Nov. 24. The festival, which will be held at the Long Center, 1501 N. Belcher Road, will showcase more than 100 uniquely decorated trees, handcrafted gifts, live entertainment, and children's activities. Proceeds from the festival will benefit UPARC. The Premier Night Gala will kick off the festivities on the evening of Nov. 22. For more information, visit www.uparcfoundation.org.
Editor Jane Bongo contributed to this report.