Since 1981, hungry folks throughout Northeast Florida and beyond have gathered in the Oldest City for one of the South’s best seafood celebrations. And this year’s 35th Annual St. Augustine Lions Seafood Festival is sure to surpass expectations.

Mark your calendar for this weekend, March 4-6, when Francis Field (25 W. Castillo Drive) will be filled with live music, more than 100 arts & crafts exhibitors and plenty of kids’ activities like rides and magic shows (and even a pirate village!)

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We’re all busy with holiday hubbub and Christmas preparations, but before you know it we’ll be asking each other the same post-Christmas question: “What are your New Year’s plans?” Yes, the time has come to solidify where you will be ringing in 2016!

The First Coast has no shortage of great options no matter where you are in Northeast Florida. Here are some of the big events this year.

FERNANDINA BEACH

New Year’s Eve with Crescendo Amelia (Crescendo Amelia, Fernandina Beach, starts at 8 p.m.) With all-night entertainment from a 21-piece band, who wouldn’t want to go? Enjoy a classic cocktail or glass of wine while you dance the night away. Silent auction and raffle prizes will be offered, and all event profits go to the Nassau Humane Society.

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Each year, we spend so much time shopping, wrapping, cooking, entertaining and managing seasonal hullabaloo that it can be difficult to actually enjoy this most festive time of year. Relax! We’ve nailed down the best ways to infuse you and your family’s holiday season with the most cheer (and the least stress). Here are three ways to get in the spirit:

1. Check out the local light displays. If there is one thing Northeast Floridians love, it’s a good holiday light display. Here are a few of the best through the area.

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‘Tis the season of giving! To celebrate, Davidson Realty agent Mirtha Barzaga is sponsoring a holiday toy and food drive in the King & Bear on December 5 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to benefit the Emergency Services & Homeless Coalition of St. Johns County.

Mirtha invites the public to contribute to the drive, which will take place at the amenity center located on Oak Grove Avenue in the King & Bear in World Golf Village.

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Dust off your Santa hat and lace up your running shoes! St. Augustine Youth Services (SAYS) is preparing for its annual Santa Suits on the Loose 5K Run on Saturday, December 12. Race day registration begins at 6:30 a.m. and the starter gun goes off at 8 a.m.

The flat, 3.1-mile course starts and finishes at the St. Augustine Beach Pier Park, meandering through St. Augustine Beach’s residential area in between. All Santa runners, Santa joggers and Santa walkers (as well as little elves in strollers) are welcome to participate.

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Davidson Cares is back with their 2nd Annual Cooler & Cocktail Raffle and this year they are putting their support behind the boys at St. Augustine Youth Services (SAYS)! SAYS provides a safe, therapeutic home for boys between 6 and 18 years old from throughout Florida who have suffered from physical or sexual abuse and/or severe neglect. Davidson Cares is teaming up with SAYS to help provide support for the boys’ everyday needs, as well as help fund construction of a new building for the older boys.

This year’s Engel Deep Blue Cooler includes 17 types of top-shelf liquors, as well as a variety of cocktail party favors. Bottles include Bombay Sapphire Gin, Beefeater Gin, Jagermeister, Tanqueray Gin, Grey Goose Vodka, Belvedere Vodka, Gentlemen Jack Whiskey, Patron Silver Tequila, Mocambo 20 Year Rum, Crown Royal Special Reserve, Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel Whiskey, Don Julio Anejo 70th Anniversary Tequila and 2001 Glenrothes Scotch. Ticket prices are one ticket for $10, six tickets for $50 and 15 tickets for $100. All proceeds benefit SAYS.

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Jacksonville is becoming known for its delicious craft brews and here is your chance to try them all in one place! The Beaches Oktoberfest is this weekend, October 16th – 18th, at the Sea Walk Pavilion in Jacksonville Beach, including over 30 craft breweries, 10+ food trucks, live music and a special Dogtoberfest for the pet lovers on Sunday! All proceeds benefit First Coast No More Homeless Pets!

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St. Augustine has been gearing up for its 450th birthday celebration for quite some time. Though the banning of food trucks and remnants from Hurricane Erika might have dampened some excitement, most Augustinians are ready to get the party started. Here are the major events queued up for the week:

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As St. Johns County students gear up to return to the classroom, parents are now looking for after-school activities for the fall. From football to drama classes, our area offers diverse options for all skill levels, talents and interests. Here are just some of the local activity options for your children:

Soccer by Amenity Athletics (Ages 4-13): Games are on Saturday mornings between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at the Heritage Landing amenity center.

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Father’s Day is coming up quickly (Sunday, June 21) and finding activities that dad likes can be challenging. But rest assured there is plenty to do right here in World Golf Village for dad’s big holiday this year. Here are some ideas guaranteed to make his day great!

U.S. Open Week at World Golf Hall of Fame – From Thursday, June 18, to Sunday, June 21, the Hall of Fame is celebrating U.S. Open Week. Go on a scavenger hunt through the Hall of Fame and have your photo taken with the U.S. Open trophy. In addition to its numerous exhibits, the Hall of Fame will also be showing the tournament throughout the museum during regular business hours.

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