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Festivals pack crowds into North Pinellas

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Published:   |   Updated: April 11, 2014 at 02:40 PM

There was a little something for everyone this past weekend in North Pinellas.

Special events from Dunedin to Safety Harbor and Palm Harbor to Tarpon Springs offered up a diversity of options for residents looking to get outside and enjoy the weekend's pristine, sunny weather.

Original music, arts and crafts, Ferris wheels, telephone-pole tossing — it was all happening in locally and north of Drew Street.

Starting in the north, crowds once again packed into Craig Park on Saturday and Sunday afternoons for the 40th annual Tarpon Springs Fine Arts Festival.

“It's a really warm atmosphere, the artists are treated very well and it really packs that community punch,” said artist Lee Hazelgrove from under his display tent Sunday. The creator of high-end ceramics came from Richmond, Va., to reserve a booth.

“The crowds, the music — the weather today — it's just an excellent show,” said Jim Murray, operator of Orlando-based Olde Country Kettle Korne, one of the event's food vendors for the past 12 years.

A short drive south on Alt. U.S. 19 from the arts festival was the 2014 Palm Harbor Citrus Festival.

The event brought four days of live music, carnival rides, food, beauty pageants and dance contests to the city's historic downtown.

Another eagerly anticipated event took over Dunedin's Highlander Park and wrapped up Saturday evening: the Dunedin Highland Games and Festival. As always, plenty of Scottish pride, kilts, bagpipe playing and tests of strength were on full display.

One accomplishment of note: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office deputies defended their Tug-of-War title for the seventh consecutive year.

To the southeast of Dunedin, a music-centric event was making its debut with a three-day splash.

The Safety Harbor Singer Songwriter Festival attracted 30 acts from all over the country to scenic Waterfront Park.

Organizers with the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center led up to the festival with other related musical performances at its downtown gazebo from Wednesday to Friday.

Volunteers at the gate Sunday said the overall turnout was promising for a first-year event the city plans to continue annually.

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