by Michael Salerno
For Hometown News
PORT ORANGE -- The arrival of spring will mark the return of a popular local tradition.
The Family Days Spring Fair, a four-day event with family friendly activities, including a craft show, a pie baking contest and pony rides, will be at City Center from Thursday, March 7, to Sunday, March 10.
Jill Geddy, executive director of the Family Days Community Trust, said the spring theme sets the event apart from Family Days' flagship event, a four-day festival in October featuring a community expo and parade.
"Our board felt the spring event should be more than a scaled-down version of the fall Family Days, and we identified real enthusiasm for crafters to showcase their skills and sell their creations," she said. "And so we kept the elements we know people want -- the family friendly carnival; movies under the stars; free entertainment; and lots of food. With the two-day craft show, it provides something for everyone, mostly free and with costs held low on everything else."
This year Family Days is trying something new to attract budget-conscious families.
Introduced for this year's Spring Fair is a carnival "Mega Pass" sold at Walgreens stores in advance of the event, which provide unlimited all-day rides on any one of the four days of the carnival for just $15. Mega Passes are available from now until March 8.
Family Days has offered other discounts in the past, such as $20 armbands and an opening night special of $1 rides, both of which will also be offered during this year's fair, but Ms. Geddy said "the Mega Pass offers a better value for a longer time for the many who love carnival rides."
The Spring Fair kicks off Thursday night with a car show, a performance by the "cutting edge" rockabilly band The Torkays, and a food truck roundup with 15 rolling restaurants from the Orlando area, including Kona Dog, Firehouse BBQ, The Flattery, The Crepe Company, Twisted Cuban and Saigon Sizzle.
On Friday night the Amphitheater will show "Charlotte's Web" as its Spring Fair Movie Under The Stars, with popcorn, drinks and snacks available at a concession stand at the Lakeside Community Center.
Saturday will feature a variety of entertainment including pie-baking and pie-eating contests, pet tricks and best dressed pets contests, and Art That Rocks, which will feature the performance artist Perego creating a special "community canvas" to mark the city's centennial celebration of its incorporation by Volusia County.
Deb McCall, president of the Family Days Community Trust, said the event gives people a sense of community pride.
"All Family Days events are planned and executed by community volunteers who want to share our pride in our community with our neighbors and the extended family of those who live in this part of Central Florida and like to have good reason to replace someplace up north they may have come from with a real warm and caring community to call home," Ms. McCall said.
Family Days Spring Fair hours
March 7 - 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
March 8 - 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
March 9 - 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
March 10 - 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information, visit www.familydays.com.