Located near I-75 at 11315 N. 46th St., the annual fair (now in its 32nd year) features 20 entertainment stages, plenty of food options, and a host of vendors in the merchant marketplace. Shop for old-fashioned wares including leather, metal, and musical instruments, or gorge on traditional turkey drumsticks, ye olde foot-long corn dogs, and roasted corn. This year's festival marks the introduction of the Medieval Monster Museum, where guests will come face to face with fairies, trolls, and vampires while marveling at archaic creature-fighting weaponry. Prolong merriment for an additional fee at the Pirates' Feast, offering a three-course meal and live entertainment, or head to the Royal Smoker for an early-evening, adults-only soirees with snacks, cigars, sips, belly dancing, limericks, comedy, and sounds.
"We've got more canoes, kayaks and SUPs than fingers and toes to count them," Captain Wendy explains. "Also, two sailboats, eleven pontoons––all rentable. The funny thing is, this business came from a big accident." She's referring to the company’s inception in 2002, when a devastating hurricane led a friend to sign his company’s single sailboat over to Wendy and her husband, Bruce. "We were in marketing––then, suddenly, we were in boating." More than 12 years later, Windsong Charters & Boat Rentals has flourished under the duo’s stewardship. The company now performs 200 weddings each year and equips a wide range of patrons to revel in the breathless joy of cutting through playful zephyrs and out across the water. Wendy and Bruce encourage fishing and bringing pets on boating voyages, and the two share stories to delight guests or calm champagne bottles propped next to brand-new yachts. As propellers hum to life and paddles make a gentle kissing sound against the surf, visitors scan the horizon for the variety of wildlife that slips along just below the surf's surface or comes wheeling out of tufts of cumulonimbus. "I wish the animals would give us their schedules,” Wendy says, “but, on a given day, you could see manatees, dolphins, stingrays, and lots of birds."
Cinema 6 projects second-run films onto first-rate silver screens. Bring some friends and brandish your four movie tickets to see a box-office hit weeks after its premiere—the exact time when it has aged to its optimal ripeness, like a fine wine or a bag of Funyuns. As you watch, sip on two cool, carbonated beverages and chomp on the fluffy explosions of a large popcorn while taking in the scene-stealing performance of a favorite actor for the first, second, or eighth time. Although not included in the deal, Cinema 6 presents in-theater dining tables and a full menu of nonfried fare, including pizza, french fries, and mozzarella sticks, for those with more massive movie munchies. Recent titles have included Little Fockers and Tangled, but Groupon buyers should go online to check out what films are making their re-debut next.
Champions of safety, the owners of Indoor Shooting Company opened their range with the hope to provide a space where people could learn about firearms from certified instructors. Since 1996, people have been pointing handguns directly down the six climate-controlled lanes of their 10-meter Olympic range. Electric target retrievals assist marksmen in taking a closer look at their shots, and certified instructors fluent in English and Spanish assist gun handlers of all skill sets by promoting firearm safety at classes. There, first timers can learn proper gun cleaning and firearm-handling techniques, and experienced shooters can improve their aim in marksmanship-qualification programs or monthly challenge contests.
After a year in law school, Jason Bradstreet felt unsatisfied. A mission trip led him into a period of introspection that caused him to rediscover his passion for playing Division 1 tennis. Channeling this athletic experience into organizing classes that might help children to discover the glee of good-natured competition, Jason founded Bradstreet Sports.
Even as his staff of certified and licensed coaches mentors kids aged 3 and older in soccer, tennis, and martial arts, Jason aims to expand the world of athletes with a range of arts and humanities classes. Lithe dancers lead students in modern jazz and hip-hop dance, sharing facilities with performing- and visual-arts classes taught by actual private-school teachers and opera courses taught by actual phantoms. As pupils rush by clutching martial-arts trophies, instructors aim to imbue their charges with life skills and an appreciation for skills they might not have otherwise discovered.
Programs take place at a range of sites such as the Citrus Park Christian School, where a multipurpose covered court shelters children and instructors from the sun and keeps birds from discovering volleyball. Enrichment classes commence in the school's science lab, computer labs, and art studios, with performance classes held in the school's expansive sanctuary.