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Sunsets at Pier 60

Clearwater sunset festival is a daily celebration!

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Although off to a shaky start in 1995, the daily Clearwater Sunset Festival has grown steadily both in local support and popularity. Now, several hundred people each night stroll along Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach and browse stands set up by 40 to 60 craft vendors selling an array of locally made goods – watercolor paintings and photographs of beach scenes, soaps, candles, jewelry, and do-dads made of leather, beads, metal, stamps and more. Near the entrance to the pier, artists etch portraits of customers in charcoal and tattoo those that are willing.

The adjacent beach front park and its amenities – a playground, pavilions, winding walkways and concessions – add to its appeal. It is under one of those pavilions that a live band plays popular music which adds to the festive atmosphere. Nearby, a huge sand sculpture of a turtle draws a steady crowd, while the squeals of children can be heard in the background as they romp around the large playground.

Some enjoy the beach and the waves from the Gulf of Mexico, some play volleyball and fly kites, while still others quietly absorb the gentle breeze, warm sand, and the tranquil sounds of the waves. Then at sunset... in a tradition that began in Key West, the crafters whip out conch shells and blow them.

The Sunsets festival is held nightly from two hours before sunset to two hours afterwards, assuming there is no rain. The festival is free. Parking is available just south of Pier 60 for an hourly charge. Additional parking is available further south along the beach.

This celebration is for everyone – young and old – and provides the perfect end to a busy day of sightseeing, or for the locals... a hard day at the office. Once you have experienced a sunset celebration, you'll want to come back night after night – after all who can resist a beautiful sunset and a good festival all rolled into one?

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