Florida is sunny and reasonably warm year-round, which makes it the perfect state to host festivals during every season — and they do! They’ve got festivals just for adults, family-friendly festivals, festivals celebrating music, art, and every type of food. And if you’re a pirate? They’ve got festivals for you too!
Let’s dive in, and see what festivals in Florida we can find for you.
The longest running free community festival in Miami Beach has been going strong for over 40 years! This festival takes place on Ocean Drive, and has it all -- food, drinks, films, a classic car show, a dog show, a lecture series, walking tours, and live music. It takes place over the course of three days every January.
Florida Manatee Festival
If you're looking for a festival to entertain the whole family, look no further than the Florida Manatee Festival in Crystal River! This festival features live music and entertainment, a large kid zone, an animal education area (that includes live animals), boat tours, and arts and crafts. There's also a shuttle that will take you to Three Sisters Springs where you can observe the main attraction -- the manatees! -- in their natural habitat.
Gasparilla Pirate Fest
The Gasparilla Pirate Fest is a hugely popular festival that features multiple stages for live music, a massive Mardi-Gras-like parade, and...you know...a pirate invasion. If you're a pirate, or like hanging out with pirates, this is the perfect festival for you! (They hold a Children's Gasparilla the weekend before.)
Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival
I mean, you just have to go so you can get a gator pop! The Frog Leg Festival takes place in the small town of Fellsmere, about an hour south of Orlando. This festival features music, arts and crafts, carnival rides, and a whole lot of frog leg and gator tail foods! Admission and parking is free, and you can purchase armbands for the rides.
Just north of Orlando, you'll find Eatonville, which is the oldest incorporated African-American community in the United States. It's here that they honor celebrated novelist Zora Neale Hurston, who called this community her home, with the ZORA! Festival. Held every January since 1990, this 3-day "festival of the arts" includes public talks, museum exhibitions, and theatrical productions. Admission is $15 at the gate, and those 17 and under are free.
ArtFest Fort Myers
ArtFest Fort Myers is held on the waterfront the first weekend in February! Featuring the art of over 200 artists, this festival is sure to have something for every type of art lover out there. And it's family-friendly, too! There are art education tents for kids, a competition for high school students, and a Florida license plate "tag art" project that raises money for art classrooms at the local schools. Admission is free.
South Florida Garlic Fest
Lake Worth (West Palm Beach)
This festival claims to be "The Best Stinkin' Party in South Florida" and I believe them! This festival offers live music, carnival rides, a kid art area, tents for vendors to sell their wares, and a whole lot of GARLIC! This is the only festival on this list that sells garlic ice cream, and you can't miss that.
This hometown festival features lots of seafood, country music, carnival rides, and arts and crafts. A great place to spend the weekend with your family.
This popular festival is held right on the waterfront and is one of the largest outdoor art festivals in the United States. With more than 350 vendors, you can find a family zone, culinary events, musical concerts, and featured artists. It's held on President's Day weekend, and admission is $15/day, and is free for kids under 12.
Swamp Cabbage Festival
LaBelle (40 minutes east of Fort Myers)
The Swamp Cabbage Festival celebrates swamp cabbage (which is a non-fancy way to say "hearts of palm") with a rodeo, 5K, pageant, parade, bass tournament, live entertainment, and arts and crafts. This family friendly festival has been put on for over 50 years, and is free.
Plant City (20 miles east of Tampa)
The Strawberry Festival is one of Florida's largest food festivals - an 11-day event that has a typical state fair atmosphere with its carnival rides, livestock shows, arts and crafts, and strawberry shortcake. But this festival really shines when it comes to musical performances! Their headliners are top notch year after year, with the likes of Martina McBride, The Oak Ridge Boys, ALABAMA, and Kool and the Gang all performing last year. Now you can see why this festival boasts 500,000 visitors each year!
Down Home Street Festival
Bonifay (35 miles south of Dothan, AL)
The Down Home Street Festival celebrates small town living with a beauty pageant, 5K, golf tournament, car show, and craft and food vendors! And the word is, that when you hear the whistle blow at Noon, you can expect free black eyed peas and cornbread! That's my kind of festival.
Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival
Fort Myers Beach
Shrimp boats pull in shrimp from the Gulf in this seaside town, and that's why Fort Myers has been hosting the Shrimp Festival since 1959! There's a shrimp run for kids, a 5K, a parade, an art and food expo, the crowning of the Shrimp Festival Queen, and of course, a shrimp eating contest! The best part is that a portion of the funds raised from the festival benefit those less fortunate in the community. A great festival to enjoy the local "pink gold!"
The Calle Ocho Music Festival has the distinction of being the largest Hispanic festival in the United States! With over a million visitors each year, this Miami festival covers 20 blocks and has 10 stages for music and fun. This musical event is part of the larger Carnaval Miami, which has international food, dancing, and entertainment. The music festival has been the platform for launching musicians Pitbull, Niki Jam and Maluma.
Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival
Winter Park (Orlando)
The Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival is one of the nation's oldest art festivals, and is still running strong with over 350,000 visitors each year! Over 1,000 artists apply to show at this impressive festival, but only 225 get the chance. Held in downtown Winter Park, checking out all the beautiful festival art while walking down the streets lined with live oak and laurel oak trees is a dream. This festival also features some live music, and food -- plus, it's close to popular Winter Park restaurants.
If you're looking for a festival your kids are guaranteed to love, a Disney one is pretty much a sure thing! Disney's Epcot hosts the International Flower & Garden Festival beginning in March and going through June. This festival turns Epcot into a place filled with Disney-themed topiaries, live entertainment, and a whole lot of amazing food. The festival is included with paid admission to Epcot.
Flora-Bama Lounge Mullet Toss
Perdido Key (just south of Pensacola)
Have you ever wanted to throw a dead fish into Alabama?! Now's your chance! Grab your party hat, a lounge chair, and make sure your throwing arm is warmed up -- it's time for the annual mullet toss at Flora-Bama Lounge! For $15, you can throw a dead mullet fish as far as you can from Florida across the line into Alabama. There are winners each day, and money raised from the event benefits local charities. And there's a chance for kids to participate too! This is one I would definitely want to do just for the participation T-shirt.
Shark's Tooth Festival
The city of Venice has so many shark's teeth washing up on their beaches, it has been named the Shark's Tooth Capital of the World! This festival celebrates shark teeth with music, food, art, and fossil collectors who show off and sell some of their finds. Admission is $5 for adults, kids 12 and under are free, and all proceeds benefit the Special Olympics in Florida.
Pompano Beach Seafood Festival
This festival is all about the seafood and the music! You can find every type of seafood you could imagine at this festival, along with three stages for live music, an arts and crafts festival, and boat and car shows. Taking place at a new, larger location this year, this 3-day festival is guaranteed to be a good time.
The Delray Affair is the largest arts and crafts festival in the southeast! In its 57th year, the Delray Affair stretches 12 city blocks along the downtown streets of Delray Beach, and you'll find all type of fine art, crafts, and unique products.
I know you've heard of beer and wine festivals -- but what about a craft soda pop festival? This festival celebrates the art of the craft soda. It offers a family friendly atmosphere during the day, and has an cocktail party in the evening for the adults. Serving such unique sodas such as peach cobbler, espresso, and candied bacon, you're sure to tingle your taste buds with some of the sodas found here. You can also find a classic car show, a kid's zone, and live entertainment. Admission to the festival is free, and you can buy a punch card to participate in the soda tastings.
Worm Gruntin' Festival
Sopchoppy (south of Tallahassee)
The Sopchoppy Worm Gruntin' Festival celebrates the fine art of worm gruntin' -- a technique to make earthworms come to the surface so they can be used for fishing bait! Apparently worm gruntin' is an art that requires vibrating the soil to scare the worms up to the surface. In Sopchoppy, they've turned it into a competitive sport and major event. This festival boasts an arts and crafts show, a horseshoe contest, 5K, a hula hoop contest, and (of course!) a worm gruntin' contest! I've got to be honest, this whole thing sounds completely awesome.
West Palm Beach
Florida's largest waterfront music and arts festival is held the first week of May every year, and it is jam-packed with musical performances! This festival is held right along Florida's Intracoastal Waterway and attracts more than 130,000 people each year. In the past, this event has hosted musical acts such as Weezer, Billy Idol, Cake, Widespread Panic, Snoop Dogg, Nick Jonas, Ice Cube, Flo Rida, Meghan Trainor, The Roots, and Fall Out Boy, just to name a few! They end their music festival with a massive fireworks display on Sunday nights. Four, three, two and one-day tickets are available, and children under 5 are free.
For over 50 years, one of the most popular seafood festivals -- the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival -- has been serving up shrimp to visitors. Over the years, this festival on Fernandina Beach has grown! Now it boasts not only delicious shrimp dishes, but also live entertainment, an arts and crafts show, and antiques festival, pirate contests, a huge parade, a kid's zone, a pageant, a shrimp run, and decorated shrimp boats! There's also an ice cream eating contest, so sign me up!
Fort Lauderdale Air Show
This air show comes to Fort Lauderdale in May. The Thunderbirds are the main attraction at this air show, which you can watch from several areas. But if you'd like to sit in a lounge chair on the beach for this one, Drop Zone Beach is the place for you!
The Tupelo Honey Festival is held under the beautiful trees along Lake Alice in the town of Wewahitchka! (Say that 5 times fast.) Tupelo honey is rare, because the Tupelo trees only bloom in April and May, and the best honey only comes from the ones in the Apalachicola River Valley. This festival happens to be the perfect place to get this seasonal delicacy! Local farmers have their booths set up with their honey, and there's also an arts and crafts festival, live music, and lots of stuff to do with the kids.
Florida Folk Festival
White Springs (north Florida)
Held on Memorial Day weekend at Stephen Foster Culture Center State Park, this huge event is a must-do for music and history lovers. Over the 3-day weekend, more than 300 different musical performances can be heard! This festival focuses on the state's cultural heritage, and the music brought over by immigrants. It also features crafts, dancing, live demonstrations and workshops, food, and a kid's area.
Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival
Fort Walton Beach
ARRRRRGH! What started off as a water skiing festival in the 1950's, has turned into an amazing pirate festival for the whole family in Fort Walton Beach! This pirate-themed festival has food, music, a 5K, and kid's zone, fireworks, and ends with a parade. Make sure you know how to talk like a pirate, because I'd hate for you to have to walk the plank!
Alright adults, this one's just for you! The Hukilau is a festival that celebrates Polynesian tiki bars with drinks, musical performances, mermaid shows, hula events, rum tastings, and cocktail classes. You'll find all sorts of different ticket passes for their 5-day festival, so you can enjoy your version of island-inspired fun.
Wynwood Pride Festival
The inaugural Wynwood Pride Festival will be held this year and will celebrate diversity in the Wynwood Arts District! Attendees can expect a live concert series, lip-sync battles, DJs, art installations and more. The event will benefit their three non-profit partners.
It's not uncommon for divers and snorkelers to find a mermaid pretending to play a "fluke-a-lele" in the waters of Looe Key Reef during this underwater July concert. The Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival is a one-of-a-kind event that aims to promote reef protection. Hosted by US1 Radio 104.1 FM, they promote a "submerged soundtrack" for divers and snorkelers to enjoy while taking in the beauty of the reef. The playlist often includes ocean-themed tunes, like the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine."
International Mango Festival
Experience the largest mango collection in this world at this festival that celebrates the mangos of the Dominican Republic! Packed with information about tropical gardening, this festival has fruit trees for sale, cooking classes, and mango tastings. Beer and food vendors, and an arts and crafts show round out this fruity fest!
Everybody starts looking like Ernest Hemingway once the Hemingway Days festival hits the Keys! Hemingway look-alikes, writers, fishermen, and fans of the literary giant descend upon Key West in July to honor the author who lived on the island for most of the 1930s. The annual Hemingway Look-Alike contest is a well-known part of the festival, but there's also a marlin tournament, poetry readings, and Hemingway memorabilia on display.
Pensacola Beach Air Show
The Pensacola Beach Air Show features the Blue Angels of the United States Navy! The air show is held on a July Saturday, but you're sure to catch them practicing along the beach in the days leading up to the main event.
MegaRumba is a free Latin Music Festival held in the Wynwood Arts District in Miami. The all-day event has food trucks, drinks, arts and crafts, and live dancing demonstrations during the day, before turning into a full-blown concert at night!
Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam
Panama City Beach
The Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam brings 15,000 concert goers to Panama City Beach to enjoy the white sandy beaches during the day, and the country music at night. With headliners like Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean, and Kid Rock, this event is always a good time. Tickets are for the entire 3-day event, no single day tickets are available.
The annual International Food & Wine Festival at Epcot begins in August and runs through November. This festival features food and beverage pairings, a nightly concert series, plenty of activities for the kids, culinary demonstrations, cheese seminars, and the chance to eat with a celebrity chef! Oh, and did I mention the food and wine?! So much food and wine! The festival is included with Epcot admission, but some of the specialty events require an extra fee.
Wausau Possum Festival
Wausau (90 miles west of Tallahassee)
I mean, could you ever forgive yourself if you missed the crowning of the Possum Queen?! Make your way to Wausau for a chance to enjoy all the Wausau Possum Festival has to offer! A pancake breakfast, arts and crafts, live entertainment, music, and the Possum Parade! There's also old-fashioned sack races, and some greasy pole races thrown in. And you definitely can't miss the hog callin', rooster crowin', or cow lowin' contests. Quite frankly, I can't believe there aren't more possum festivals.
Anime Festival Orlando
The Anime Festival Orlando has been going strong since 2000. Held at the Wyndam Orlando Resort, this festival hosts 3,500 attendees who enjoy a weekend of anime and video game entertainment. This festival has fan events and panels, a cosplay and costume contest, dance events, a gameshow theater, and tabletop gaming. They focus on anime voice talent and Manga artists.
The Sing Out Loud Music Festival features free concerts at various venues around historic St. Augustine! This concert series takes place over the course of all the September weekends, and features artists such as St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Jenny Lewis, Kurt Vile and the Violators, Shovels & Rope, and more. The only ticketed event is the Kacey Musgraves Benefit Concert, and proceeds will benefit Horseplay Therapy Center and Green Hands Community Outreach Initiatives.
Pensacola Seafood Festival
The Pensacola Seafood Festival takes place in downtown Pensacola and serves up every type of seafood, arts and crafts, a children's area, and live music! If you're looking for a conch fritter, or maybe some crawfish mac n' cheese, this event is for you. This festival is family friendly, and free!
Punta Gorda Sullivan Street Craft Festival
Punta Gorda in southwest Florida has been holding a craft festival here for over 20 years. Many unique crafters take part in this festival, that takes place along the banks of the Peace River and the Gulf of Mexico. Admission is free.
Inverness (northwest of Orlando)
First of all, a cooter is a turtle! I know you knew that. The Cooter Festival held in Inverness is a music festival that features eight bands, two water shows, and a carnival. They also hold hourly "cooter races"! Admission and parking for this totally unique weekend event is free.
There are plenty of Oktoberfest events, but this one in Lake Worth draws almost 40,000 people to its event, held during two weekends in October. For food, drink, music, and dancing - this massive event is the place to be for all things Oktoberfest!
The ultimate costume party for adults, Fantasy Fest is a 10-day event that features costumes, parades, drinks, and no shortage of good times in beautiful Key West! Bring your best costume or body paint, and get ready to party with hundreds of your new friends. Events abound at this event, include a BART (Beer and ART walk), arts and crafts, food, drinks, parties, discounts if you dress like Elvis, the crowning of the King and Queen of Fantasy Fest, musical concerts, a zombie brunch, pool parties, and SO MUCH MORE! The big draw is the Fantasy Fest Parade, that winds down Duval Street from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. You've got to see it to believe it!
Cedar Key Seafood Festival
For almost 50 years, the Cedar Key Seafood Festival has been celebrating the town's fishing heritage. The festival is a weekend filled with food, arts and crafts, live music on a clam boat stage, and a Seafood Festival Parade. This is a family friendly and free event.
The Mount Dora Craft Fair is a huge arts and crafts show that hosts as many as 100,000 visitors over the 2-day weekend! With over 400 crafters and artists, you're bound to find something for everyone on your holiday list.
American Indian Arts Celebration
Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation
The American Indian Arts Celebration is a celebration of Indian cultures. The event hosts traditional and contemporary crafts, dance and music of the Seminole, alligator wrestling, and southeastern and other Indian tribes from across the country. Admission is free.
Florida Seafood Festival
The Florida Seafood Festival draws thousands of visitors each year! With seafood, arts and crafts, a 5K, a parade, and an oyster-eating contest there's plenty to see, do, and eat at this weekend event. Come for the delicious seafood, stay for the crab races! Admission is $5.
Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival
The Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival is one of the most popular arts festivals in the U.S. This art festival features 200 of the best artists, live music, a student art show, and plenty of food and drink. Held in Seville Square, admission is free.
Electric Daisy Carnival
Part of the global EDC festival series, Electric Daisy Carnival is a 3-day weekend filled with music, art, food, and fun. Techno and dance music lovers descend upon Orlando for the fantastic stages, elaborate performances, and carnival rides at Tinker Field. Several ticket options are available.
Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade
Private boats, corporate yachts, and giant showboats get decked out in thousands of holiday lights for the annual Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade! This festival features music, entertainment, and beauty queens.
Wine & Chocolate Festival
Celebrating wine and chocolate is something I can completely get behind! Local chocolatiers are on hand, wine tours are available, and live musical entertainment is provided at this popular weekend festival. Art, crafts, games for the family, and a food court complete with wine and beer bars round out this festival. Adult admission is $10, and children 12 and under are free.
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