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Storms cancel final day of Sarasota Seafood & Music Festival

It had been scheduled to reopen at 11 a.m. Sunday, but Mother Nature had other plans.

SARASOTA, Fla. — The final day of the three-day Sarasota Seafood & Music Festival was canceled Sunday as strong storms moved through the Tampa Bay region, causing tornado warnings in some areas and damaging an apartment building in Clearwater.

The downtown festival, with free general admission, had opened Friday for its sixth year at J.D. Hamel Park. It featured fresh-cooked seafood, crafts and live music Friday night and all-day Saturday. For those who tend to avoid seafood, there was also an array of vegetarian and meat options. And festival organizers proudly boasted about the "tantalizing desserts."

The event, which is hosted by the Downtown Sarasota Enrichment Association, would have continued from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday if it weren't for the lousy weather.

Music throughout the weekend had included everything from blues, to rock to country tunes. Fans had been expecting performances Sunday from Bryan Spainhower & Friends, JP Soars & The Red Hots, and Ronnie Dee & The Superstars.

For pet-lovers, there was a highlight that did manage to happen a day earlier – before the storms. The Humane Society of Sarasota County brought its Big Mac Mobile Adoption Center out to the festival from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. And, it could not have come at a better time. 

This weekend, thousands of Americans have been spreading the word about the "Betty White Challenge," which has been asking people to support animal rescue efforts to mark what would have been the late movie star's 100th birthday on Monday.


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