Big, Established and Green, Yikes! What Does that Mean?

This weeks’ title sounds like the start to a children’s joke but it really is an explanation of a silly running theme.  First up we have “big”, all of the events featured have very large numbers of attendees; 10’s of 1000’s actually. Second, the events this week are all at least 10 years old. In fact, most are at least 25 years old. And one is close to 200 years old! Now that is “established”. And third, is the green. That means gardening but also means early Saint Patrick’s Day events.

The show that is almost 200 years old is The Philadelphia Flower Show. Think about what 200 years old in the event business means. The first show predates the Civil War and started when Abraham Lincoln was only 10 years old.  Simply known as The Flower Show to us locals, it is a show that surpasses it’s hype. You will never see anything on this scale and of this beauty at an indoor event anywhere in the world. The 2012 theme is Hawaii: Islands of Aloha and it promises to be another winner.

For those who love the great outdoors for sports rather than horticulture, I have two  events highlighted this week; the Louisiana Sportsman Show and the Journal Sentinel Sports Show. Both are wonderful and feature all the latest equipment for outdoor and recreational activities. Grab your fishing poles when you head out since one offers a trout pond and the other offers free equipment appraisals.

Miami plays host to one of the biggest events all year this week, Calle Ocho. Translated it means 8th Street and it closes down 8th Street in Little Havana for a first rate festival celebrating Cuban culture in the U.S. Talk about dancing in the streets! I have been to it many times and this event is the very definition of fun.

Up the road a few hundred miles from Miami on Amelia Island in Florida is Concours D’Elegance. One of the finest examples of these type of events and it is certainly worth a visit if you love magnificent driving machines. I just cannot bring myself to call them cars. Once you attend, you will see why.

Next up this week is Yuma Lettuce Days. As I have often said, we can celebrate almost anything in this country. Who would think the lowly lettuce could rise to new heights through it’s own festival?  But it has and it is a “head” above most other events. Ok, I am sorry. It’s just that it is so hard to find exciting things to write about lettuce so I have been reduced to bad puns. Don’t be fooled however by the name, Lettuce Days is a celebration of agriculture and that is worthy of it’s own festival and no bad puns.

And finally this week features some of the very best Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations that do not take place on Saint Patrick’s Day. So if you want to get a jump on the celebrating early, try visiting one or more of these excellent “green” events.

As always, there is something exciting happening right outside your door. So use the search box and find some terrific things to do in your backyard this week!

Irish Fest on Flagler

Mar 10, 2012 – Mar 11, 2012

Flagler Drive West Palm Beach, FL US 33401

Since 1987, juried arts and crafts event. Featuring internationally famous Irish American entertainment, bag pipers, stepdancers, carnival, fireworks, childrens activities, Irish marketplace, plus much more. A fun filled event for community.
50,000 Attendees

Philadelphia Flower Show

Mar 04, 2012 – Mar 12, 2012

Philadelphia Convention Center Philadelphia, PA US 19102

Since 1829, one of the largest and most prestigious indoor flower shows in the world. The Philadelphia Flower Show week will pay tribute to Philadelphia’s Horticultural Heritage, 60 major exhibits and 130 vendors.
275,000 Attendees

Journal Sentinel Sports Show

Mar 07, 2012 – Mar 11, 2012

Wisconsin State Fair Park West Allis, WI US 53214

Since 1940, a natural stop for outdoor enthusiasts eager to pursue hunting, fishing, boating, camping and travel experiences.
145,000 Attendees

Calle Ocho

Mar 11, 2012

Little Havana District Miami, FL US 33299

Since 1976, “Calle Ocho” – Spanish for 8th Street, is the single largest celebration of Cuban culture in the United States. “El Festival de la Ocho”, as commonly known to many, closes down S.W. 8th Street (the most popular street in Little Havana), from 27th to 4th Avenues to span twenty-three city blocks. It is the world’s largest street party filled with musical stages, youth sites, folkloric sites and food vendors. Broadcast by all major television networks and radio stations, photographed by international newspapers, magazines and filmmakers. Listen to a myriad of Latin music performers, dance, savor ethnic foods and take home bags full of products distributed by some of the largest corporations in America.
1,000,000+ Attendees

New Haven St. Patricks Day Parade

Mar 11, 2012

Reviewing Stand at New Haven City Hall New Haven, CT US 06540

Since 1974, colorful Marching units from throughout New England and Ireland! it’s always a grand time! Area residents can contribute to the parade budget by purchasing a St. Patricks Day button at area bars and restaurants. Since the mid-1950’s the St. Patrick’s Day Parade of Greater New Haven has become one of New England’s premier Irish events. It is the largest, single- day spectator event in the State of Connecticut. As the 6th oldest parade in the nation, its fame was recognized by the Library of Congress in 1999. This keepsake of New Haven’s Irish community became a national keepsake when the Library of Congress selected the Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade as an outstanding example of American folk life.
250,000 Attendees

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Mar 11, 2012

Downtown Baltimore, MD US 21201

Since 1956, features marching units, color guards, several floats and more than 20 bands. Baltimore’s St. Patrick Parade is truly the jewel in Maryland’s emerald crown. Thousands of spectators from the region have crowded the streets and sidewalks of downtown Baltimore and the famous Inner Harbor to watch thousands more march and celebrate Irish culture, music, song, and dance.
100,000+ Attendees

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Mar 10, 2012

Downtown Morristown, NJ US 07963

Since 1993, Parade day begins with Mass at 10am at the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 91 Maple Avenue in Morristown. The parade starts at 12pm near the corner of South Street and James Street. It proceeds up South Street around the Morristown Green and Ends at Atno Avenue. There will be about 20 bands with about 70,000 in attendance either in the parade or as spectators. Come and see the largest family oriented St. Patrick’s Day Parade in all of New Jersey. Come celebrate with the Irish and their friends as we recognize their contribution in building a great America.
70,000 Attendees

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Mar 11, 2012

Downtown Washington, DC US 20599

Since 1970, more than 150,000 watch the “wearin ‘o’ the green”. Look for floats, Irish dancers, bagpipers, marching bands, and more! It’s fun for the whole family and best of all, it’s free!
150,000 Attendees

Yuma Lettuce Days

Mar 10, 2012 – Mar 11, 2012

Main Street Plaza Yuma, AZ US 85364

Since 1998, celebrating the Winter Lettuce Capitol of the World! Arizona has long been known for citrus and cotton – but the fertile lands here at the Colorado River’s delta are lush and green all winter, serving as the nation’s salad bowl. This annual festival celebrates Yuma’s booming agriculture industry, and has been rescheduled this year to follow the Yuma Fresh Vegetable Growers Association’s Southwest Ag Summit. The culinary component for the festival will be vastly expanded, with celebrity chefs, cooking demonstrations and much more! Events held throughout Yuma and at Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park.
40,000 Attendees

Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance Weekend

Mar 09, 2012 – Mar 11, 2012

Ritz Carlton Amelia Island Amelia Island, FL US 32034

This annual automotive event features a display of over 250 restored vintage production cars and race cars from seldom-seen private collections. All cars are invited to enter the event for judging; Best-in-Show goes on to compete for the prestigious Louis Vuitton Award. The weekend events include seminars on Friday and Saturday, the RM Auction of collectible cars, a Silent Auction, book signings by noted automotive authors, a Wine Maker’s Dinner on Thursday evening, duPont Registry Live! event on Friday evening, and a Gala Dinner on Saturday evening. Sunday’s car show is the highlight of the weekend.
18,000 Attendees

Louisiana Sportsmen’s Show and Festival

Mar 09, 2012 – Mar 11, 2012

Lamar Dixon Expo Center Gonzales, LA US 70030

Since 1979. Louisiana Sportsmen’s Show and Festival, one of America’s Largest Fishing, Boating, Hunting and Camping Extravaganza. Boasting over 30 acres of indoor and outdoor exhibit space. Events include Fishing and Hunting Seminars, Vacation Planning, Resorts and Tourism, Outdoor Skeet Shooting, Hunting Dog Demonstrations, Monster Truck Rides, Cajun Food Area, Live Music and a Giant Carnival Midway.
50,000 Attendees

Maria can be reached directly at or visit her website at
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