FRI 4/15Plenty of "rollin' on the river" jokes to be made, but the (Miami) Springs River Festival (often called simply "the regatta") is serious fun. And this year that fun is elevated with the addition of bicycle racing. Sandwiched by Miami International Airport and Hialeah, Miami Springs is a relatively self-contained town of expensive homes, gorgeous landscaping, and historic buildings. During the fest, though, the downtown streets fill with a carnival and numerous events, from live concerts to fishing contests.
After three decades, most know the family-friendly fun that is this celebration of the portion of the Miami River that rolls along the northern edge of the Springs; some 60,000 turn out for the party. (And most know to get at least three ears of the amazing roasted corn.) The bicycle racing, properly sanctioned and featuring many divisions of riders (from pros to kids) battling on the 1.2-mile loop, brings a new spin to the gathering, which sprawls down several streets near downtown (turn north at Curtiss Parkway from NW 36th Street). The casual three-day fete begins today, with the bike races taking place all day Saturday. The first Springs River Festival Cycling Classic's registration fees and sponsorships will raise money for three charities; call 305-883-4338, or check out www.suncycling.com for details. --Greg BakerEnter Sandman
Do it for the turtles
SAT 4/16If you think spelling out giant words on the beach is just for Gilligan and his crew, you are mistaken. Today from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Cheeca Lodge and Spa (81801 Overseas Hwy., Islamorada) is hosting a "Love the Earth" day where they'll be sculpting giant colored sand letters to spell (you guessed it), "Love the Earth."
The day isn't all about playing in the sand. You can enjoy kayak races, a fishing tournament for the kids, arts and crafts activities, a barbecue, live music, and environmental education booths. And don't forget to register to win a Cheeca Lodge and Spa getaway. The cost for creating a sand letter is $20 to $250, with all proceeds benefiting the nonprofit Save-A-Turtle, Inc. Call 305-517-4429. --Becky Randel