▪ Dunedin’s Highland Games: With kilt-clad athletes battling it out in traditional Scottish athletic events, competitions in piping, drumming and dancing, and celebrations of the tastes and traditions of Scottish culture, Dunedin’s 50th annual Highland Games Week kicks off March 26. The games themselves, with some participants wearing kilts, will be on April 2, but other activities are scheduled in the run-up to the games, including a free concert March 26, a traditional Scottish gathering with music and dance March 31, a parade April 1 and a 5K trail run April 2. Dunedin, which claims a rich Scottish heritage (if the name isn’t clue enough), is north of St. Petersburg. Details: www.dunedinhighlandgames.com.
▪ Rapids Water Park opening: Rapids Water Park in Riviera Beach was set to open Saturday for its 37th season. The park’s season will run 195 days, to Oct. 30. The water park has 42 water slides and attractions, with a new thrill ride, Brain Drain, under construction. It also has a restaurant, two bars, cabanas, snack food areas and pavilions for group events. Details: www.rapidswaterpark.com.
▪ Calusa Days in Everglades City: The National Park Service will hold the eighth annual Calusa Days, exploring the history of the ancient Calusa Indians and the Ten Thousand Islands, next week. The event runs Monday through Saturday in Everglades City at Everglades National Park’s Gulf Coast Visitor Center. Monday through Friday, rangers will offer one interactive Calusa Day program a day from 11 a.m. to noon and will offer them all back to back on Saturday, March 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Other events includes story telling, a workshop on prehistoric pottery, canoe trips, booth displays and more. Reservations required for some events. Details: www.nps.gov/ever/learn/news/calusa-days-at-everglades-national-park.htm.
▪ Panama City Beach’s spring break crackdown: Tourism officials in Panama City Beach are shutting the door on wild spring breakers. Seeking to shed its reputation as a spring break mecca, the city recently passed ordinances that ban alcohol on the beach, mandate that bars close at 2 a.m. and prohibit loitering in parking lots. The first test of whether the new laws will work to slash the normal volume of 250,000 spring breakers comes now through the end of March, with colleges on spring recess. The city hopes to counter a drop in spring break travelers by offering more family-friendly draws such as its first SpringJam country music show in April. Details: www.visitpanamacitybeach.com.
Allegiant is adding seasonal nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale and Destin/Fort Walton Beach in the Panhandle beginning May 26. The airline will make the 35-minute flight twice a week, Thursday and Sunday, through Aug. 14. The service will be Allegiant’s 18th route out of Fort Lauderdale. Details: www.allegiantair.com.
Miami Herald staff and wire services