The Marine Industries Association of South Florida is once again organizing the largest one-day environmental event in South Florida, The Broward County Waterway Cleanup Day. On Saturday, March 4th from 9AM-1PM, participants can help clean up the waterways we so love to enjoy. Last year more than 100 boats and 1,500 volunteers removed 22 tons of trash and debris from streams, rivers and coastal areas of Broward County. Everyone can get involved since you do not need a boat to participate. Volunteers will get an official event T-shirt and invitation to the Trash Bash after-party event that immediately follows the clean-up. Additional details and registration information can be found at waterwaycleanup.org.

St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah

The Hostess City of the South knows how to throw a party, and there is no better example of that than Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Savannah’s Irish invite you to come celebrate with the second-largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the U.S. and third largest in the world. Taking place on March 17th from 10:15AM-2:30PM, the parade consists of 300 groups and more than 15,000 people participating. While the parade is the feature event, it is only one in an entire month of Irish celebrations. On March 11th from 11AM-5PM, the city also puts on “Tara Feis”, a traditional, non-alcoholic, family-friendly event full of Irish food, music, and dance. More information on all of the events is available at savannah.com/savannahs-st-patricks-day-celebration/. (Read our Savannah cruising article online at southernboating.com/destination-savannah.)

Florida Keys Outdoor Fest

The organization Friends and Volunteers of Refuges and the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges (FAVOR) sponsors the second annual Outdoor Fest March 11-18. The event takes place over four fun-filled days complete with outdoor adventures and hands-on activities. The event promoters plan guided birding and nature walks, a historical bike ride, art and photography workshops, kids’ programs, a behind-the-scenes kayak excursion into the Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge, and much more! More information about FAVOR and this event can be found at favorfloridakeys.org.

Calle Ocho

Cruisers throughout the Southeast are either dreaming of or actually planning trips to Cuba to experience the original sights and sounds of the Cuban culture. If you aren’t quite ready to make the 90-mile run from Key West but still want to taste the flavor of Havana, plan to attend Calle Ocho in Miami, Florida. Taking place on March 12th from 10AM-7PM, Calle Ocho is the grand finale of the 10-day Miami Carnival extravaganza. The festival is centered on 8th Avenue in Little Havana and extends outward for 23 blocks. Calle Ocho is a festival of food, music, dance, and art that celebrates the richness and diversity of the Cuban people. The good feeling you’ll have attending this event doesn’t just come from the music and food. It also comes from knowing the proceeds from the event go to the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana to support service programs in the community. Event details can be found at carnavalmiami.com.

By Bob Arrington, Southern Boating Magazine March 2017

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