Florida Friday Vol. 3, Issue 19 | March 29th, 2019

Easter in Florida

Colourful parades, egg hunts, live music and aerial displays are just some of the egg-citing things going on in the Sunshine State over the Easter break. Here's our pick:

The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel
For an Easter egg hunt with a difference, head to Cape Coral. This glow in the dark egg hunt, taking place on April 12 at Four Freedoms Park 6-7.30pm, is fun for kids of all ages. Once egg-hunters have returned to base, there'll be Easter games and craft-making stalls into the evening. Registration is required in advance and entry costs from $24 per person.

Daytona Beach
Fast-paced fun continues throughout the Easter holidays and beyond at Daytona Beach. On April 12-14 it's the Jackie Robinson Weekend with the Daytona Tortugas baseball team at Jackie Robinson Ballpark, followed by the P1AquaX Daytona Beach Grand Prix jet ski competition at the Rock Hotel Daytona Beach on April 13-14. Later in the month jeep enthusiasts and sellers from across the US, Canada and further afield will gather for this year's Jeep Beach on April 22-28.

Visit St.Pete/ Clearwater
Watch in awe as over 1,000 tonnes of sand comes to life in a 21,000 square-foot walk-through display at Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach from April 12-28. The hugely popular Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival attracts visitors from far and wide for street performers, artisans, live music, sand sculpting classes and speed sand demonstrations, plus the main event - a master sand sculpting competition.

Visit Pensacola
The skies above Pensacola Beach will come alive with an aerial display by the US Navy Blue Angels on April 16-19, while April sees the start of the summer Bands on the Beach concerts, taking place every Tuesday night until the end of October. Bring a chair or a rug to the Gulfside Pavilion overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and lie back and enjoy the hot music and smooth grooves.

Florida's Historic Coast
This year is the 60th anniversary of St. Augustine's Easter Parade, the second oldest Easter parade in America. Based on the Spanish tradition of Parade de los Caballos y Choches, there'll be horses and carriages dressed in their finest, with Easter bonnets, flower garlands, silk and satin. Taking place on Saturday April 20, the parade starts at 9am and will travel through the city with marching bands, colourful floats, historic re-enactors and, of course, the Easter Bunny.

Visit Panama City Beach
Schooners local beach club hosts the Little Locals Easter Egg Hunt on April 20. This year, the Easter Bunny has hidden 10,000 eggs across the sandy white beach in front of the club for children aged 10 and under. Kids can collect and hunt for the candy-filled eggs and race to win prizes including treats, gift certificates and trophies. Be sure to get your photo taken in front of the giant annual Easter sandcastle with all your candy eggs and prizes!

The Florida Keys & Key West
There will be 20 days of eccentric fun at the 37th Annual Conch Republic Independence Celebration in Key West on April 19-28. The event, which marks the Florida Keys' symbolic secession from the US in the early 1980s, features a roster of hilarious events including the Great Conch Republic Drag Race, a light-hearted Great Sea Battle for the Conch Republic in Key West Harbour, tall ship sailing adventures on the Schooner Wolf, a pirates' ball and the election of the republic's 'royal family'.

West Volusia County
Take the kids along to the Lake Helen Community Spring Festival & Easter Egg Hunt at the Lake Helen Equestrian Center. There'll be lots of fun for all the family, with pony rides, face-painting, games, live entertainment, DJs, food trucks, raffles, an egg hunt and even an 'invasion' of pirates and mermaids. Entry is free and it's on Saturday April 20 10am-2pm.

New Smyrna Beach
Join locals young and old for the annual Easter Egg Hunt at Old Fort Park, New Smyrna Beach, on Sunday April 21, 12-2pm. Old Fort Park is a famous archaeological site which is home to 40-by-80-foot coquina ruins, almost like the foundations of a pyramid, whose origin and purpose remain a mystery. The site overlooks the marina and is close to historic Canal Street where you can browse the shops and galleries afterwards.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
Enjoy a top musical line-up and fabulous food and wine from around the world at this year's Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival and SeaWorld's Seven Seas Food Festival. Running up to and over Easter, you can enjoy performances from the likes of Foreigner and Boyz II Men at Busch Gardens, plus Earth, Wind & Fire, Macy Gray and many more at SeaWorld's Bayside Stadium, along with globally-inspired flavours, local wines, craft beers and speciality cocktails.

Easter is the ideal time for a Florida family road trip and Hertz has created Ride 'n' Seek, the perfect game to play while exploring the Sunshine State. Playing Ride 'n' Seek involves the whole family and is a fun way to get them interested in anything from local food to landmarks and world famous structures. Simply select Florida on the interactive map to be presented with 10 top road trip destinations, including family-favourites such as Orlando, the Florida Keys, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Tick as many as you will be visiting and 'Start Your Trip' for 10 different sights to seek. Each time one of those sights is spotted, take a snap and post it to Instagram with the hashtag #ridenseekflorida. Once photos of all 10 sights on the list have been posted, complete the online registration form for the chance to win up to 1,000 Gold Plus Rewards* or 1 of 10 Polaroid cameras for the best Ride 'n' Seek Instagram posts, as chosen by Hertz. Don't forget to book Easter car hire from any of the 300+ Hertz locations across Florida.

*800 Hertz Gold Points = one free day's car rental in participating countries.

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