What the 2011 Hibiscus Festival is all about

VERO BEACH – The historic Hibiscus Festival will be held on Saturday, April 16 along 14th Avenue in downtown Vero Beach. This event is the largest, most all-inclusive family-oriented community event in Indian River County. The day begins at 7 a.m. with the 5K Hibiscus Run from the Vero Beach Airport.  The run is followed by the downtown Pancake Breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

More than 150 Marketplace Booths are expected to participate, offering a myriad of crafts, jewelry, plants, selected home goods and more.  You’ll be continually entertained from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. by musical entertainment throughout the Festival; 10 of the best musical groups on the Treasure Coast.  The Juried Fine Art Show will boast nearly thirty fine artists of varied medium.

Visit the Heritage Center for the Children’s Activities. For a nominal $5 entrance fee, children will have access to age appropriate bounce houses, face painting, a dunk tank and climbing wall (additional charge for climbing wall) and karaoke from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Showcasing musical performances by area youth is the Salute to Youth from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. You’ll discover some of the sweetest fruits and vegetables, hot barbecue sandwiches and a whole lot more in the Farmer’s Market.

Bring your non-perishable foods to the Canned Food Drive and Shopping Cart Display and Parade from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s fun and quirky and all for a good cause; the needy on the Treasure Coast.

Visit the Train Depot from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for special historic activities, exhibits and the antique auto collection on display.

You won’t go hungry with an array of food glorious food in the Food Garden.  Relax and enjoy the good eats; chairs and tables will be provided nearby.

New activities include a Classic Video Game Entertainment Experience for all ages from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Part museum and part interactive experience, the Retrocade offers attendees, for a minimal fee, a chance to see and play classic game systems.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. is a Model Train Display ideal for model train enthusiasts, hobbyists and those people just curious about model trains.

A must see is the Old Vero Ice Age Sites Committee Exhibit educating the public about the presence of fossils at the Old Vero sites. Visitors can expect to see Ice Age Art of Mammoth carvings from around the world, spectacular fossils and artifacts, videos, maps, and drawing of species of animals living in Vero during the Ice Age.

An Easter Bonnet Doggie Parade will be held at 9:30 a.m. with registration at 8:30 a.m. Place a bonnet on your dog with the symbolic hibiscus flower, real or artificial and receive a special gift for participating.

A Mini Indian Pow Wow, fully attended with a drum and many dancers will be on display from 1 to 2 p.m. Audiences may also find story telling with some elders telling their history.

The inaugural Chinese Auction, boasting over $16,000 worth of auction items, will be held from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Discover tables filled with nearly 150 goods and service items.  Bidding tickets are $1 each and you might win something worth $1,000!

Don’t miss the Evening Street Party from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The award-winning SOLID*GOLD Band will present their Dancin’ Through the Decades variety show, taking audiences from sock hops to hip hop and featuring costumed dancers, a Vegas impersonator and an authentic Motown Revue. Admission to the Street Party is $2.

For more detailed information, visit www.Hibiscusfestival.org.

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