Prepare for a packed weekend on the Treasure Coast.
The best events and things to do include a country concert at the last local county fair of the year, a festival for the first national wildlife refuge, an arts and crafts show under oak trees, a cornhole tournament to fight child abuse, a reptile show, a pit bull party and a St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Here’s What To Do in 772.
The Indian River County Firefighters’ Fair kicks off this weekend at the Indian River County Fairgrounds at 7955 58th Ave., north of Vero Beach. The fair lasts through March 17.
A highlight of this year’s fair is a concert with country music singer Clay Walker at 7 p.m. Sunday. The Tom Jackson Band is the opening act at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are required to get into the concert area of the fair, and different seating options are available.
- General admission bleacher seating or standing is $10, plus a $2.50 service fee. Fair admission, which must be bought separately, is $8 for adults and $5 for kids ages 6-12, adults ages 55 and older, veterans and first responders.
- VIP silver tickets are $40 each, plus a $5 service fee. VIP gold tickets are $100 each, plus a $9 service fee. Both silver and gold include seating, early access to the seating area and a private bar. Neither include fair admission.
- VIP platinum tickets are $250 each, plus a $13 service fee. Platinum includes fair admission, elevated seating, a meet and greet, early access to the seating area, a private bar and private restrooms.
Other new fair highlights include pig races, a “Farmily Feud” agricultural game show, Indian River County Fire Rescue vehicle extrication demonstrations and the traveling 100-year photographic timeline on display in the exhibition hall through March 14.
Proceeds benefit Indian River County’s Burn Fund, and a check will be presented to a burn victim before the concert. To buy concert tickets or for more information, go to www.firefightersfair.org.
Activities include live wildlife shows, a rehabilitated pelican release if available, environmental exhibitors, arts and crafts, native plants for sale, children’s activities and games, food vendors, educational presentations, historical reenactments, an amateur photography contest, raffles, silent auctions and boat tours to Pelican Island.
Admission is free. The festival celebrates the anniversary of the establishment of the nation’s first National Wildlife Refuge by President Theodore Roosevelt on March 14, 1903. The late president is brought to life by Roosevelt interpreter, Joe Wiegand. For more information, go to www.firstrefuge.org/pelican-island-wildlife-festival.
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Arts and crafts
More than 200 artists from across the nation exhibit their work throughout the park, and vendors have local food for sale. Admission is free. Proceeds benefit the Vero Beach Art Club. No pets allowed. For more information, go to www.undertheoaksartshow.com.
The Exchange Club of Indian River’s third annual Toss Out Child Abuse Charity Cornhole Tournament starts at noon Saturday at Walking Tree Brewery at 3209 Dodger Road in Vero Beach. Registration and practice begin at 11 a.m.
It’s a double-elimination tournament. Each team of two plays a minimum of three games. Teams are divided into two ability levels determined by qualifying rounds. Payouts are $400, $300, $200 and $100.
The cost is $40 per team in advance and $50 at the door. Proceeds benefit local projects for the prevention of child abuse. To register, go to www.exchangeclubofindianriver.org/cornhole.
Those who attend the reptile show can see live animals from across the world, buy pets and pet products directly from experts and learn about reptiles and exotic animals at seminars and demonstrations. Pets for sale include reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, spiders and small exotic animals. Many vendors allow people to interact with the animals.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages 5-12 and free for kids younger than 5. For more information, go to repticon.com/15656-2.
Pit bull party
The St. Pittie’s Day Party is 2-5 p.m. Sunday at Pet Supplies Plus at 3215 S.W. Port St. Lucie Blvd., Unit A.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and pit bulls with doggie beer, Irish food for dogs and humans and goodie bags. Plus, the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast will have pit bulls available for adoption. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/humanesocietytc.
Powerboats, sailboats, kayaks, canoes and paddleboards are blessed at they pass the U.S. Coast Guard vessel, marking the beginning of a safe boating season.
Then, a free community barbecue with marine safety booths, Coast Guard demonstrations and live music starts at noon at South Causeway Park at 414 Seaway Drive. For more information, go to www.lovefortpierce.com/about-1.
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The final Gnarly Charley Surf Series Winter Contest for groms ages 15 and younger starts at 9 a.m. Saturday at Pepper Park Beach at 3302 N. State Road A1A, north of Fort Pierce. Registration begins at 8 a.m.
Here are the divisions: ages 6 and younger push in; ages 10 and younger push in; ages 10 and younger longboard; ages 15 and younger longboard; and exceptional/autistic.
The entry fee is $25. Each additional division is $15. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/gnarlycharleygromseries.
The Pre-Paddy Pardy is 1-5 p.m. Sunday at Summer Crush Vineyard & Winery at 4200 Johnston Road, north of Fort Pierce.
The party includes two live bands playing Irish pub songs, traditional tunes, Irish folk song and contemporary music. Plus, there will be food, including Irish dishes, for sale. For more information, call 772-460-0500 or go to www.summercrushwine.com.
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Admission is $5 each and free for kids younger than 5. For more information, call 772-318-8258 or go to www.facebook.com/ftpierceraid.
The 12th annual Jensen Beach St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday along Jensen Beach Boulevard. The parade begins at 2 p.m.
The pet parade and the bagpipers kick off the main parade. The festival includes street vendors, Irish food for sale, arts and crafts, games and a kazoo band.
Admission is free. For more information, call 772-334-3444 or go to www.jbstpatricksparade.com.
The contest is open to all artists, who have two hours to paint a local landscape. The art is judged, and awards are given at noon. Then, the art is for sale from noon to 2 p.m. Unsold paintings will be displayed in the Lighthouse ArtCenter Gallery in Tequesta.
Registration is $30-$40 for each artist. En plein air is a French expression that means “in the open air” and is used to describe the act of painting outdoors. To register, go to www.pleinairlac.org.
The ninth annual Polo Classic for Molly’s House is noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Port Mayaca Polo Club at 12499 S.W. Conners Highway, west on Indiantown, on Lake Okeechobee. Gates open at 11:30 a.m.
Tickets start at $50 for a carload and tailgating spot. For tickets, go to www.mollyshouse.org/all-event-list/polo-classic-2019. For more information, call 772-223-6659.
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Laurie K. Blandford is TCPalm’s entertainment reporter and columnist dedicated to finding the best things to do on the Treasure Coast. Read her weekly column, Laurie’s Stories, on TCPalm.com. Follow her on Twitter at @TCPalmLaurie or Facebook at faceboook.com/TCPalmLaurie.