▪ Chalk Festival: The Sarasota Chalk Festival, which moved to nearby Venice last year, kicks off Nov. 8 and runs through Nov. 16. Most of the professional sidewalk art takes three days to complete, but some pieces take longer, and one, which the festival calls the Guinness World Record, will take hundreds of volunteers and more than 25 artists working full time two weeks to complete. Although much of the art is created by professional artists, the public is invited to participate for free, and there are special categories for kids and for seniors, who will paint on vertical walls. This year’s theme is “Eat, Drink and Be Merry.” The main festivities will be at the Venice Airport Fairgrounds, with about 40 pavement artists chalking their creations along West Miami Avenue in downtown Venice. Details: 941-954-5800 or www.ChalkFestival.org
▪ Fantasy Fest: Key West’s Fantasy Fest will run Oct. 23 through Nov. 1 this year, with a theme of “All Hallows Intergalactic Freak Show.” The annual celebration will open with a Royal Coronation Ball and will also include a Goombay street party, The Sexy Side of Star Wars parody at Key West Burlesque, Pet Masquerade and Parade, Headdress Ball, Sloppy Joe’s Toga Party, Masquerade March, street fair, costume contests, parade and more. Details: www.fantasyfest.com.
▪ Disney Springs: Downtown Disney was officially renamed Disney Springs on Tuesday, halfway through the expansion of the dining, shopping and entertainment district. When Disney Springs is completed next year, it will have four interconnected neighborhoods — The Landing, Marketplace, West Side and Town Center — and more than 150 venues, compared to the 75 it has now. The latest addition is Morimoto Asia, a pan-Asian restaurant by “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto, which opened Wednesday. Details: www.disneysprings.com.
▪ Gullah Geechee festival: The Gullah Geechee Group will host the first Gullah-Geechee Mende Culture and Film Festival on Oct. 29 in St. Augustine. The festival will honor Africans who settled on the shores of St. Augustine in 1565 or self-emancipated from elsewhere to St. Augustine in the 1700s. Events will be at Corazon Theatre and St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum. The festival is expected to come to Miami in 2016. Details: 904-377-3465 or www.historiccoastculture.com/event/detail/20601.
▪ Air service: Allegiant, a discount airline, this week and next is inaugurating nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale and three cities: Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Akron/Canton, Ohio; and Rochester, New York. All three will operate twice weekly. JetBlue Airways on Friday launched daily service from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Mexico City.
MIAMI HERALD STAFF AND WIRES