May Events You Need To Know About on the Gulf Coast
Happy May days! Can you believe it's the start of another month already? We're inching along toward the summer season where the warm sunny days and cool coastal nights are filled with all of the sand, salt air and Gulf of Mexico waters that your heart desires. May offers up plenty of fun things to do in our Gulf Coast towns and on our beaches. Start marking down these dates and making plans to be at these fabulous events, festivals and area highlights.
Here's what's happening this May on Florida's Gulf Coast. We'll look for you!
Sea Turtle Nesting Season Begins on the Gulf Beaches
It's that time of year again! May kicks off sea turtle nesting season on the Gulf Coast, which continues through October 31st along the western Florida coastline. What does this mean for you? Well, we just ask that you do whatever you can to help keep our sea turtle population safe and protected during this crucial time in their lifecycle.
Here are a few tips of what you can do to help sea turtles on our Gulf beaches each and every day:
- Clean up all beach gear from the beach. Items left on the beach can interfere with nesting females coming and going on the sand, as well as impede hatchlings on their already perilous journey from the sand to the water.
- Turn off all lights at night on the beach and in your Indian Rocks Beach vacation rental or Indian Shores rental. Artificial lights on the beach and off can distract and confuse sea turtles. They use instinct and natural light to guide them back to the water. Other lights may lead them astray. Close your blinds and draw the curtains in the evening so residual light from your vacation rental doesn't interfere with their sense of direction.
- Fill in any and all holes in the sand. They can be deadly for tiny sea turtles and dangerous for female nesting sea turtles. (They're not good for humans, either, since it's easy to overturn your ankle if you're not paying attention!) If you're building sandcastles or digging holes in the sand, just be sure to level out the sand and fill in any holes you or your family dug before heading home for the day.
- Pick up litter and trash. Trash on and off the beach, as well as in the water, are serious threats to sea turtles all year long. They can mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, which happen to be a favorite snack. Fishing line and netting are hazardous to their health, as is all other trash that is either left on or blown into the beach and water. Please clean up litter and trash, even if it isn't yours.
- Report any and all sea turtle activity. Sea turtle activity is closely monitored, so if you see any while on the beach it's best to report it to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. This is especially important if you stumble upon an unmarked nest or a sick or stranded sea turtle.
- Keep a safe distance from marked and unmarked nests. Dogs and kids don't always understand why they need to keep away from the nests, but this is for the safety of the sea turtles. Nests can be appreciated from a distance so inadvertent harm, interruption or distraction doesn't happen to nesting and hatching sea turtles. The sea turtles work against all odds for their survival as it is—let's not add any more.
John LeVique Pirate Days at John's Pass Village and Boardwalk
May 8-10, 2017
John Levique Pirate Days is a three-day pirate themed festival celebrating the discovery of John’s Pass. The great hurricane of 1848 cut this barrier island in half creating the pass discovered by turtle farmer John Levique. Celebrate this historic event with fun, family-friendly activities including a Pirate’s Ball, sea battle and boat parade, a family treasure hunt, adults and children’s costume contests, various themed merchandise, a pub crawl, artists and crafters, food and beverage vendors, along with an abundance of pirate performers. Shop for nautical and pirate themed treasures and experience a real blast from the past. Plan to pillage and plunder John's Pass. Don't miss it, mateys!
Clearwater Beach Taste Fest & Restaurant Week
Taste Fest: May 12, 2017
Restaurant Week: May 15-25, 2017
The 8th Annual Clearwater Beach Taste Fest is held on Friday, May 12 from 6-9pm. This scrumptious event happens on the picturesque Clearwater Beach Walk promenade on South Gulfview Boulevard and features tastings from over 30 participating restaurants, wine and craft beer, live entertainment with Chello Hollyday opening and main entertainment by the notorious funk-band The Black Honkeys. In true Taste Fest tradition there are exquisite raffle items, a live auction, vendors and more! Once you've whet your appetite, embark on the food adventure that awaits you during the Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week from May 15-25, 2017.
2017 Madeira Beach Craft Festival
May 13-14 2017
Madeira Way will be lined with crafters from all areas, displaying their works for sale at this community festival. Join us in Madeira Beach to browse and purchase a wide variety of ceramics, jewelry, stained glass, metal works and much more. Hours are 10am-5pm both days. Buy for yourself and someone else. It's the perfect opportunity to score some unique coastal gifts! The Madeira Beach Craft Festival is free and family friendly. Details here.
May 14, 2017
Give mom the gift of the beach this year for Mother's Day. Whisk her away for a Gulf Coast getaway where she can sit back, relax and enjoy the Gulf of Mexico beaches and waters. Palm trees, sugar sand and Florida sunshine are all part of the experience. Here are few ideas on The Best Ways Pamper Mom at the Beach this year. She's worth it!
Hands Across the Sand Indian Rocks Beach
Join hands with us and draw a line in the sand against offshore oil drilling all along the Gulf Coast. Please meet us on Indian Rocks Beach at the County Park between 17th and 18th Ave., across from Guppy’s for an aerial photo. We will join hands along the shore at 12 noon, registration starts at 11:30.
The line we form symbolizes our communities resolve to fight the ever-present possibility of offshore oil drilling in our gulf waters and the more immediate fight to keep fracking out of Florida. Please come help us create IRB's longest line yet.
Hands Across the Sand is a movement made up of people from all walks of life. We are parents, friends, neighbors, small business owners, and sportsmen. We span political lines, geographic boundaries, and socioeconomic groups. We are united by the desire to protect our coastal economies, oceans, wildlife, fisheries, our environment and our way of life. Hands Across the Sand is not about politics; it is about protection of our shoreline, our waterways, our tourism, our coastal military missions and our valuable properties. Let us share our knowledge, energies and passion for protecting all of the above from the devastating effects of oil drilling.
Visit the Hands Across the Sand Indian Rocks Beach Facebook Page for the latest event updates and check-in to let us know if you're coming!
Memorial Day in Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores
May 29, 2017
The Memorial Day holiday is quickly approaching! Celebrate the symbolic start of summer off right with some time in Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores, Florida. Start perusing our beach cottages, condos and vacation rentals to create your Gulf beach vacation. Stay tuned for next week's post where we'll give you the ultimate guide to Memorial Day on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
What's on your May calendar? We hope there's some beach time penciled in! Happy May!