Today's best bets: March 3

March 3, 2013 

Orange Blossom Festival: Mixon Fruit Farms, 2525 27th St. E., Bradenton

Mixon Fruit Farms will host its annual Orange Blossom Festival 9 a.m.-5 p.m. March 3. This year's extravaganza will feature the world famous Wallenda Troupe performing three shows daily. There will be pony rides, Ferris wheel, bounce houses, rock climbing wall, bungee jumping, kids rides, tram tours and live performing bears. Live music will be provided by Yesterdayze. Inside exhibits will feature the Citrus and Produce Crate Label Collectors' Swap along with more than 100 crafters and fun for the whole family. Admission and parking are free. Information: 941-748-5829.

53rd annual Spring Open House: Gamble Plantation Historic State Park, 3708 Patten Ave., Ellenton

The United Daughters of the Confederacy, Judah P. Benjamin Chapter, and the Florida Park Services will host its 53rd annual Spring Open House 10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 3. Visitors can travel back to the Old South through the many lifestyle demonstrations and costumes reminiscent of the era of the 1840-1870. The Gamble Mansion and Patten House will be open to the public with free tours of each building. The Fourth Florida Volunteer Infantry will be dressed in military uniforms re-enacting a Confederate encampment. There will be music, crafts and more. Admission and parking is free. Information: 941-723-4536.

Gumbo Cook-Off: Bridge Street, Anna Maria

The Bridge Street Market and Manatee Children's Services will host a creative Gumbo Cook-Off competition starting at 11 a.m. March 3. Visitors can sample traditional and inventive Gumbo recipes from acclaimed local chefs and culinary aficionados from Anna Maria Island. There will be live music by the Tangled Mangos. Tickets: $5. Proceeds will benefit Manatee Children's Services. Information: 215-906-0668.

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