Florida Events Calendar


Whatever your passion, Florida has it. Here are just some of the major events scheduled this month in the Sunshine State:

South Florida | Central Florida | North Florida


BUTTERFLY BIGGIE NO. 1 – Butterfly Weekend: Learn how to build a butterfly garden, participate in a butterfly release and see the amazing 3D IMAX film, Flight of the Butterflies. A bonus for the fearless: Get close to an Emperor Scorpion and a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach.
When: Aug. 2-3
Where: Museum of Science and Discovery, Fort Lauderdale
Web: www.mods.org

BUTTERFLY BIGGIE NO. 2 – Summer Butterfly Walk: See some extremely rare species as you walk through various habitats with a naturalist guide. If you’re lucky you’ll see a Dina Yellow, a Dingy Purplewing and an Atala, as well as some of the other 40 rare species at the Deering Estate. Free with Estate admission.
When: Aug. 23
Where: Deering Estate, Miami
Web: www.deeringestate.org

ANYTHING THAT FLOATS REGATTA RACE – Grab your oars and anything that floats and enjoy this race of vessels crafted of non-motorized items from around the house. It’s free to enter and watch. Waterfront watering holes and eateries are great viewing areas. Bonuses: Live music and, of course, a great Keys sunset.
When: Aug. 16
Where: Blackwater Sound, Key Largo, Mile Marker 104
Web: www.keylargoanythingthatfloatsrace.com

16th ANNUAL AFRO-CUBAN DANCE FESTIVAL – Groove to Mambos, Rumbas, Congas, Chancletas, Salsas and many more. This exciting, colorful fest has dance workshops with live drumming and a street fair and culminates with a gala performance featuring guest artists and the IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Company.
When: Aug. 28-30
Where: Koubek Center at Miami Dade College, Miami
Web: www.ife-ile.org

CRUSH GAMES IV – More than 1,000 of the nation’s top CrossFit athletes will battle it out in this three-day test of physical and mental toughness. Also featured: a Family Fun Zone where kids can enjoy activities such as bounce houses and carnival rides.
When: Aug. 22-24
Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise
Web: www.thecrushgames.com

KEY WEST LOBSTERFEST – It’s a crustacean celebration for sure, as the Florida Keys lobster season gets underway. Highlights: Thursday night lobster boil, Friday night Duval Crawl, Saturday street fair with lobster-inspired culinary creations and a luscious lobster brunch Sunday.
When: August 7-10
Where: Key West
Web: www.keywestlobsterfest.com

ROCK ‘N’ BLUES FEST – There’ll be some hot fun in the summertime at this gathering of blues/rock biggies. You’ll think you’re seeing double when the Johnny Winter Band and the Edgar Winter Band (Frankenstein, Free Ride) take the stage as headliners. Also featured: Vanilla Fudge (with all original members, including drummer Carmine Appice), Peter Rivera of Rare Earth and Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown. Rock on, dudes and dudettes.
When: Aug. 15
Where: Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Fort Lauderdale
Web: www.browardcenter.org

BRAZILIAN FILM FESTIVAL OF MIAMI – Expect to see some of the most famous Brazilian actors, actresses and directors in the 18th rendition of this gathering that features outstanding Portuguese language films. Don’t miss the after-parties and the opener, a free outdoor movie night at the North Miami Beach Bandshell.
When: Aug. 16-24
Where: Various theaters in Miami Beach
Web: www.miamifilmmonth.com/filmFestivals/brazil in English and www.brazilianfilmfestival.com in Spanish

TASTEMAKERS OF DELRAY BEACH –  Stroll through a great downtown and enjoy culinary delights from 13 of the city’s best restaurants.
When: Aug. 7-8
Where: Downtown Delray Beach
Web: www.downtowndelraybeach.com

DANCIN’ IN THE STREETS – It’s one of the of the Treasure Coast’s largest music festivals and street parties, featuring three stages, a kids zone and great eats. Some of the featured acts: Clare Dunn, Bryson Jennings, Old Southern Moonshine Revival, Ballyhoo!, Cisco Adler and Bumpin Uglies.
When: Aug. 22-23
Where: Main Street, Stuart
Web: www.stuartmainstreet.org

JAPAN: KINGDOM OF CHARACTERS – Along with Sanrio’s whimsical phenom feline, which has captured hearts all over the world, this exhibit will showcase the history of Japan’s affinity for and fame of its world-renowned and beloved characters, beginning with Astro Boy from the 1950s to Pokémon and more in the 2000s.
When: Through Sept. 7
Where: Young at Art Museum, Davie
Web: youngatartmuseum.org

FIFTH ANNUAL KEY WEST BREWFEST On tap: More than 150 beers and micro-brews, along with beer dinners, beer brunches, seminars, pool parties and the Signature Tasting Festival Event. Burp!
When: Aug. 28-Sept. 1
Where: Various locations in Key West
Web: www.keywestbrewfest.com

HOLLYWOOD LATIN FESTIVAL – It’s a full day of fun, sun, food and music. Headlining acts are Orquesta Brava, Roberto Blades and Kynto Elemento.
When: Aug. 17
Where: Main stage on Garfield Street, Hollywood Beach
Web: www.hollywoodlatinfestival.com

TROPICAL HEAT – More than a dozen intriguingly decadent all-male events, ranging from drag shows to themed pool parties and gatherings at island clubs, have made this a world-renowned gay vacation destination.
When: Aug. 14-17
Where: Various locations in Key West
Web: www.tropicalheatkw.com


WAZOO – Sample more than 275 beer samplings inside the fun setting of Lowry Park Zoo, complete with live music and special encounters with furry or feathered friends, at the zoo’s most popular fundraiser event.
When: Aug. 2
Where: Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa
Web: http://www.lowryparkzoo.com/wazoo/

THE NEON VIBE 5K – Running meets rave club at this all-ages traveling nighttime race, where participants are doused in colored (but safe) paint and powders and gilded with glowing bands before trotting around under black lights. 
When: Aug. 23
Where: Sarasota
Web: http://theneonvibe.com/

OKEECHOBEE LABOR DAY FESTIVAL – The quaint Okeechobee celebrates the end of summer with a fair featuring homemade specialty wares and food, including the ever-popular pumpkin fried bread prepared by members of the Seminole Tribe.
When: Aug. 30-Sept. 1
Where: Okeechobee
Web: https://www.okeechobeemainstreet.org/p/26/labor-day-festival

NEW SMYRNA BEACH SHRIMP AND SEAFOOD FESTIVAL – Locals turn out in droves for this mid-week smorgasbord of shellfish and seafood dishes, prepared by some of the area’s best restaurants as they compete for a “Best on the Beach” title.
When: Aug. 21
Where: Flagler Avenue, New Smyrna Beach
Web: http://partyonflagler.com/events/nsb-shrimp-seafood-fest-aug-21

TAMPAPALOOZA – Tampa honors its homegrown businesses and talent at this two-day celebration showcasing local performers, artists, brewers and restaurants. Lots of free children’s activities will be offered, and stick around for the attempt to create “one of the largest sing-alongs in Tampa Bay history.” 
When: Aug. 2-3
Where: Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa
Web: http://www.tampapalooza.com/

LIQUID DESIRES – A unique museum party that combines local craft beer and food with the surrealist work of Salvador Dalí. This year’s theme mirrors the artist’s fascination with double images and illusions. 
When: Aug. 23
Where: Dali Museum, St. Petersburg
Web: http://thedali.org/event/liquid-desires/

SUMMER OF RUM FESTIVAL – Hot and thirsty? Celebrate National Rum Day inside the air-conditioned Cuban Club (or outside if you prefer) and dance along to island-style music while sipping daiquiris, coladas, Cuba Libres and other fun summer libations.
When: Aug. 16
Where: Ybor City
Web: http://www.summerofrumfest.com/

DISNEY’S VILLAINS UNLEASHED – Meet Cruella De Vil, Snow White’s Evil Queen, Captain Hook and 50 other Disney villains at this one-night fright show of dancing, performances, fireworks and villain-themed food or drink. Ideal for older children and adults, and costumes are encouraged.
When: Aug. 23
Where: Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Lake Buena Vista
Web: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/hollywood-studios/villains-unleashed/

SUMMER LIGHTED BOAT PARADE – Tampa loves its lighted boat parades so much, it’s doing one in the summer! Dozens of boats strung with colorful lights will take to the Channel District, finishing the night with a fireworks show.
When: Aug. 31
Where: Downtown Tampa
Web: http://www.funintampabay.com/#!holiday-lighted-boat-parade

GECKOFEST – Pinellas County’s quirky town of Gulfport is keepin’ it weird with its 14th Annual GeckoFest, honoring its unofficial mascot, the esteemed gecko. Use the city’s free trolley service to get to the live bands, food, walking parade and colorful costume contest.
When: Aug. 30
Where: Gulfport
Web: http://geckofest.com/

HIPPIEFEST – Break out your old tie-dye shirts and roll up in your Volkswagen bus for this far-out homage to the 1970s – freedom rock bands, food trucks, booze, raffles and a VW Bug Show.
When: Aug. 16
Where: Downtown Tarpon Springs
Web: http://www.spongedocks.net/hippiefest.htm

ENGLEWOOD PIONEER DAYS – Running strong for nearly six decades, Englewood Pioneer Days nods to the town’s 1800s settlers with two weeks of special events, including a cardboard boat race, a shipwreck-themed dance, a fish-a-thon, a parade and contests crowning the best watermelon-eating, pie-eating and beard-growing.
When: Aug. 16-Sept. 1
Where: Englewood
Web: http://www.englewoodpioneerdays.com/

SOUTHERN DARKNESS FESTIVAL – Tampa claims to be the birthplace of death metal, so it’s appropriate that some of the nation’s darkest, heaviest and hardcore bands come together for this metal-fest, spread among three Ybor City venues.  
When: Aug. 23
Where: Ybor City
Web: http://southerndarknessfest.com/

15 MINUTES OF FAME FILM FESTIVAL – Film festival organizers stay true to their “no-frills, just films” promise, accepting submissions from aspiring or established filmmakers of all types without the distraction of galas or seminars.
When: Aug. 30-31
Where: Cocoa Beach
Web: http://15minutefilmfest.com/

SARASOTA CRAFT BREW FEST – Get out of the heat and into a nice, covered arena, where $35 ($30 in advance) gets you unlimited samples of suds, including summer brews and other handcrafted specialties, as well as food samples and live music.
When: Aug. 23
Where: Downtown Sarasota
Web: http://floridabeerfestivals.com/2014_FBF/pages/events/sarasota_14/sara_14-pre.htm


JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS TRAINING CAMP The Jaguars shocked NFL pundits by choosing the University of Central Florida’s quarterback Blake Bortles with the third overall pick in May’s draft. Then, the team announced they were opening up more of training camp to the public so fans can track Bortles and the rest of the Jags before the first game of the season at Everbank Field. Fans must RSVP to attend the practices, which are free, through the team’s website.
When: Aug. 1-2, 4-6, 11-12
Where: Florida Blue Health & Wellness Practice Fields, Jacksonville
Web: http://www.jaguars.com

45TH ANNUAL WAUSAU POSSUM FESTIVAL & FUNDAY This tribute to the possum also features down-home family fun such as hog callin’, sack race and rooster crowin’ contests.   
When: Aug. 1-2
Where: Wausau
Web: http://www.wausaupossumfestival.com

REPTICON Satisfy your exotic “pet” fantasy at this two-day expo show geared toward all things cold-blooded. Pick up feeder insects or small mammals for the pets you already own, or check out a presentation featuring super-sized snakes and lizards captured locally by the LB Reptile Experience, a Jacksonville-based reptile rescue program.
When: Aug. 2-3
Where: UNF University Center, Jacksonville
Web: http://www.repticon.com/jacksonville.html

THE LURE OF FLORIDA FISHING Explore the history of Florida’s love of sport fishing from the 19th century to the present day in this special exhibition that features more than 100 artifacts, including fish mounts, paintings of different fish species by William Aiken Walker and deep sea fishing rods. Special events include “Wayfinding at Sea” on Aug. 26 and a “Fishy Fashion Show” on Aug. 21.
When: Aug. 1-26
Where: Museum of Florida History, Tallahassee
Web: museumoffloridahistory.com

FARM TO GLASS COCKTAIL WORKSHOPS One part innovation, one part inspiration, one part bartending basics, this workshop encourages “future” mixologists to get creative using seasonal samples, mixers and spirits to create unique cocktails. Optional tours of the distillery, which makes its own small batch whiskey, rum, gin and vodka in house, are available.
When: Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Where: St. Augustine Distillery
Web: staugustinedistillery.com

PENSACOLA PARA CON 2014 This convention proves geeky, sci-fi love has no borders as fanboys (and girls) of seemingly diverse interests such as MMA, horror movies, gamers and paranormal enthusiasts can coexist under one roof. Hot draws at the event can be animate, like The Incredible Hulk’s Lou Ferrigno or The Outsiders’ C. Thomas Howell, or inanimate like Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine or Back to the Future’s Delorean.
When: Aug. 9-10
Where: Pensacola
Web: http://www.pensacolaparacon.com

WATER STREET FESTIVAL OF ICE Imagine surviving the dog days of summer without air conditioning. Can’t do it, correct? You can thank Dr. John Gorrie, of Apalachicola, who invented the ice-making machine and is considered the father of air conditioning in the 1840s. So it makes sense to pay tribute during the hottest month of the year with ice carvings, snow cones, a champagne toast and a lecture on the impact of the introduction of ice to North Florida development.
When: Aug. 15-16
Where: Apalachicola
Web: cityofapalachicola.com

GREAT AMERICAN BLUES FESTIVAL & BBQ CHALLENGE Blues and barbecue, beer and brats, chocolate and peanut butter some things are just meant to go together. As for the Blues, national acts such as Canned Heat, Joe Louis Walker and the Royal Southern Brotherhood will bring the chill factor from the stage. Meanwhile, 20 barbecue masters, including Rescue Smokers of the BBQ Pitmasters reality show, will bring the heat.  
When: Aug. 16-17
Where: Aaron Bessant Park, Panama City Beach
Web: http://www.americanbluesfest.com

FIFTH ANNUAL GREAT SOUTHERN TAILGATE COOK-OFF No one will go home hungry after sampling dry-rubbed, smoke-infused and well-sauced meats at this salute to the start of football season. This fantastic feast pits more than 40 professional and backyard barbecue teams against each other for $12,000 in prize money in a competition sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society. The Dirt Floor Krackers, Swingin’ Medallions, RockIt Fly and Beech Street Blue Band will provide live entertainment.
When: Aug. 22-23
Where: Downtown Fernandina Beach
Web: www.gstailgatecookoff.com

GRAPE HARVEST FESTIVAL Channel your inner Lucille Ball. Kick off your shoes. Let down your hair. And squish some grapes. The grape stomp is just one part of the wine festival, which opens up 45 acres of muscadine grapes to visitors to festival goers. Other activities include a 5K vineyard run, grape and wine sampling, pick your own grapes, grape throwing competition and kids’ petting zoo.
When: Aug. 23
Where: FAMU Center for Viticulture, Tallahassee
Web: http://www.famu.edu/index.cfm?GHF

SANDCASTLE LESSONS Build twisting turrets, sturdy arches and a deep moat just like the pros do at this weekly sandcastle-building workshop by master sculptor Mark Flynn. 
When: Aug. 6, 13, 20, 27
Where: Alys Beach
Web: www.alysbeach.com

19TH ANNUAL ANTIQUE APPRAISAL FAIR Do you have the next American masterpiece hanging in your house, or want to know if the porcelain teapot inherited from your great aunt Polly is more than just a dust catcher? Think Antiques Roadshow meets “American Pickers.” It’s only $5 to appraise the first item, $3 for each item after that.
When: Aug. 30
Where: Garth’s Auction House, Pensacola
Web: quinahousemuseum.org

JAMAICAN MUSIC FESTIVAL Of course this festival features great live music and Jamaican eats and specials on Red Stripe beer, but the highlight actually is the “Anything that Floats” bathtub races in the Santa Rosa Sound. Cheer or haze the competitors by splashing them as they make their way around the race course.
When: Aug. 29-31
Where: Pensacola Beach
Web: http://www.pensacolabeachchamber.com

11TH ANNUAL THUNDER ON THE GULF Enjoy two days of power boat racing along the Florida/Alabama line. On Aug. 22, check out the action beachside at Perdido Key; late, on Aug, 24, the boats will rev their engines along the waterfront of historic downtown Pensacola.
When: Aug. 22 and 24
Where: Perdido Key and Pensacola
Web: http://www.thunderonthegulf.com

PEPSI GULF COAST JAM Some of the biggest names in country music are headed to beach for three days of broken-heart ballads, fiddle solos and country-inspired rock. Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, Big & Rich, Lonestar and Blake Shelton will have festival goers singing along to their most popular songs from the Main Stage at Frank Brown Park.
When: Aug. 29-31
Where: Pensacola Beach
Web: http://www.gulfcoastjam.com

If you have an event you’d like to be considered for inclusion in this monthly feature, please forward information at least 30 days in advance of the event’s date to one of our correspondents:

South Florida

Central Florida

North Florida

Our mission is to support and promote Florida tourism across the state. Because of the heavy volume of requests for listings, not all submissions can be included in our calendar each month.

You can also submit press releases  for consideration to insiders@VISITFLORIDA.org


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