Whatever your passion, Florida has something for you. Here are just some of the major events scheduled this month in the Sunshine State:
SPECTACULAR SUMMER SAVINGS – Everybody knows that summer, calendar be darned, has already started in South Florida. And that always means discounts and BOGOs galore. Here are four we really like:
- The Summer Savings Pass offers unlimited admission to four great SoFla venues: Lion Country in West Palm Beach, Miami Seaquarium, the Museum of Science and Discovery in Fort Lauderdale and Zoo Miami. You can purchase a pass at any of the four attractions or online. The offer starts on May 13 runs through Sept. 30. See summersavingspass.com
- The 2-for-1 Summer Savings in Broward County is already underway and lasts through Sept. 30. It offers buy-one-get-one-free offers at museums, restaurants and bars, shopping and all kinds of indoor and outdoor activities. More than 70 businesses and attractions are participating. See Sunny.org/Summer.
- It matters not a whit that the 9th Annual Coral Gables Restaurant Week is actually three weeks long, from June 6-26. What matters is that you will be able to get three-course lunches and dinners at serious discounts. The three-week time span will give you plenty of time to try new eateries and return to old favorites. See coralgablesrestaurantweek.com
- The Discover Pass offers great deals at Palm Beach County attractions such as the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, Palm Beach Zoo, the Fun Depot and Lion Country Safari, as well as five breweries and selected hotels. The deals are underway and run through Sept. 30. See palmbeachsummer.com.
THE BATTLE ON THE BLUEWAY – Watch paddle boarders compete for more than $10,000 in prize money at this weekend gathering featuring two distance races, sprints and outrigger kayak and canoe races. There’s also a demo day with vendors displaying paddle merchandise and non-profits exhibiting history materials and artifacts.
When: June 11-12
Where: Calusa Blueway, Fort Myers Beach
CARIBBEAN-AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH EVENTS -- Celebrations abound throughout SoFla. You’ll have a great time at all of these:
Colors of the Caribbean
- At Taste of the Caribbean (June 6-10 at the Hyatt Regency in Miami) , you can savor the best in Caribbean cuisine at tasting meals, workshops and seminars with leading chefs who will provide insider secrets on enhancing your dining experience. It’s a competition-style event that showcases the region’s best chefs, pastry chefs, junior chefs and bartenders. See tasteofthecaribbean.com
- Colors of the Caribbean (June 18 at Hollywood Arts Park) is a free family-friendly festival celebrating Caribbean culture. Live acts include Alison Hinds, T-Vice, Red Rat, Queen Omega, Jahnesta and E.sy Kennenga. Also: a Kids Zone, arts and crafts, a food village and smaller stages featuring folk dancing and steel bands. See colorsofthecaribbean.com
- CaribStyleWeek (June 23-26 at various locations in Fort Lauderdale) is a premiere fashion event that offers international platform for designers from Caribbean to connect with customers, media and buyers. See sunny.org
- KooKoo Fest (June 2-5 at various locations in Miami) will present international prize winning Caribbean films and also host celebrity actors and directors. See kookoofest.com
SUMMER MOONLIGHT SEA TURTLE WALKS -- Visitors will enjoy an evening of sea turtle exploration and identification while uncovering the natural history and myths of turtles. With a little luck and weather permitting you might just see a 300-pound Loggerhead venture out of the ocean to lay her eggs.
When: Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from June 7-July 14
Where: Museum of Discovery & Science and the beach, Fort Lauderdale
20th ANNUAL AMERICAN BLACK FILM FESTIVAL – The ABFF was started to promote diversity in the film and television industries and today it is widely recognized as a major conduit for bringing new black talent to the forefront, both in front of and behind the camera. Common is this year’s Celebrity Ambassador.
When: June 15-19
Where: Various theaters and other locations throughout Miami Beach
KEY WEST PRIDE -- This five-day celebration includes a film festival, dance parties, late-night drag shows, bike tours, pool parties, a 10K relay for tutu-wearing runners and walkers, water excursions, a street fair, Pride Pageants and a “Pride in Our Community” parade down Duval Street. Key West shows its Pride every day and now is your chance to join in on the fun.
When: June 8-12
Where: Various locations in Key West
MARATHON SUPER BOAT GRAND PRIX – Offshore powerboat racing events are held on a course parallel to the shoreline near the famous Seven-Mile Bridge. You can also view the boats up close and meet drivers and crews at the Race Village dry and wet pits.
When: June 24-26
Where: Off the Marathon shoreline and the Marathon Airport
REDLAND SUMMER FRUIT FESTIVAL -- Summer’s a comin’ and it’s time to enjoy seasonal and rare fruits and much more at this annual affair. Vendor booths will feature local wines and yummy foods. Don’t miss the hilarious watermelon-eating contest for kids. Children 11 & under get in free.
When: June 18-19
Where: Fruit & Spice Park, Homestead
FLORIDA KEYS GUITAR FESTIVAL – No bass, no drums, no pianos; nothing but guitars. This series of seven virtuoso concerts throughout the summer features internationally-acclaimed classical guitarists Mateo and Steve Ramos and jazz greats Bob Hanni, Larry Baeder, Michael Gillis and Mike Emerson. They will be playing solos, duets, trios and there’ll be a Guitar Summit with all six performing at the final concert.
When & Where: June 4-5 in Marathon, July 2 in Key Largo and August 5-7 in Key West
SUMMER IN PARADISE – 20 event dates are featured at this summer-long program in downtown West Palm Beach. Enjoy three months of interactive art, special events, watersports, light shows, glow-in-the-dark games and concerts. Country band Parmalee kicks off things with a free concert on May 28.
When: May 28 through the end of August
Where: Various locations in downtown West Palm Beach
STONEWALL PRIDE STREET FESTIVAL & PARADE -- It’s an 11-hour blast, with performances late into the evening on three different stages, along with a marketplace featuring vendors selling arts, crafts and more. There’ll also be food trucks, frozen drink tents and a Kids Zone. Don’t miss the Stonewall Summer Pride Twilight Parade.
When: June 18
Where: Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors
WEST AFRICANA FESTIVAL -- Explore music, art and Afro-Caribbean culture during a three-day destination retreat that focuses on thought, culture and wellness. The festival’s goal is to integrate music, art and cultural tourism, exploring Afro-Caribbean culture.
When: June 16-19
Where: Various locations in Key West
HUKILAU POLYNESIAN FESTIVAL -- Tikiphiles can expect an all-things Polynesian extravaganza, including great musical acts. Headliners are Jason Lee & the R.I.P. Tides, Intoxicators, Skinny Jimmy Stingray, the Disasternauts and the Tikiyaki Orchestra. Don’t miss tiki-carver extraordinaire Jeff Chouinard.
When: June 8-12
Where: Hyatt Regency Pier 66 and the world-famous Mai-Kai restaurant, Fort Lauderdale
SUMMER JAZZ ON THE GULF -- This is the 31st consecutive year for this popular and free Southwest Florida tradition. An appealing and diverse selection of Jazz acts will be presented in a series of four concerts amid a hotel setting that has beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico, stunning sunsets and cool breezes. Pocket Change is the headliner for the first show. Note: Events are open to the general public, not just hotel guests.
When: June 25, July 16, Aug. 20 and Sept. 24
Where: Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club
ULTIMATE MIAMI – Who are the rising local stars among singers, bartenders, comedians, pastry chefs and drag queens? Nine days of competitions will determine that as the locals will share the stage with nationally-known performers in each category.
When: June 10-18
Where: Magic City Casino, Miami
SILVER SPURS RODEO – Billed as the “largest rodeo east of the Mississippi,” the Silver Spurs Rodeo has been drawing crowds to central Florida since the 1940s. Each year seems to pack in more excitement, and this one includes bareback bronc riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, tie-down wrestling and – for the little ones – mutton bustin’, in which little cowboys and cowgirls climb onto the backs of sheep and hang on for their lives.
When: June 10-12
Where: Osceola Heritage Park/Silver Spurs Arena
STAMP & SCRAPBOOK EXPO – The craft knife is mightier than the sword at this scrapbooker’s paradise, filled with all the latest product demonstrations, decals and stickers, ink pads, glues, pens, paints and more. Join a craft table or “creativity center” and make an impressive take-home project, no matter what skill level. Participants get swag bags and can enter to win door prizes and other giveaways.
When: June 3-4
Where: Gaylord Palms, Kissimmee
DAIRY DAY FESTIVAL – Check out a rural side to Florida that so few get to experience at Dakin Dairy Farms, which hosts a day-long celebration including hands-on grooming demonstrations for show bunnies, chickens, goats and calves, plus face painting, guided farm tours, waterslides and a mechanical bull.
When: June 4
Where: Dakin Dairy Farms, Myakka City
DELAND WATERMELON FESTIVAL – Kick off the summer by experiencing watermelon like you’ve never experienced it before: Watermelon wine slush, watermelon fudge, grilled watermelon, and of course, watermelon eating and seed-spitting contests. There are also pony rides, a petting zoo, a cutest baby contest and a classic car show.
When: June 4-5
Where: Volusia County Fairgrounds, DeLand
POLKA DOT FLEA – Browse among best in vintage, funky, shabby, refurbished, rusty, repurposed, quirky, industrial, and well-loved home and garden goods, all inside an air-conditioned building. Antique collectors love this market, which is choosy about its vendors and is a great place to find one-of-a-kind gifts, jewelry, artwork, signage, furniture and conversation pieces.
When: June 11-12
Where: Central Florida Fairgrounds, Orlando
SARASOTA SUP CHAMPIONSHIPS – The “Battle of the Paddle” returns with 5K, 10K, team sprint races, obstacle courses and other events for paddleboard enthusiasts. Enjoy live music, food, cold beer, board and SUP equipment demos and raffle prizes at Lido Key’s most lively event of the year.
When: June 18
Where: Sandcastle Resort, Lido Key Beach
BLUES & BREWS ON THE BAY – Sample more than 25 types of Florida beer and wine along a craft beer walk while grooving to Cool Corporate Cats and the TJ Brown Band. The street festival comes amid peak blueberry season when the u-pickers are in town, though you can pick up a pint or two of berries here, too. Kayak and paddleboard rentals will also be available.
When: June 11
Where: Downtown Crystal River
NEW SMYRNA BEACH KITE FESTIVAL – This colorful festival is BYOK – bring your own kite – but if you don’t have one, you can build and decorate a kite and join in the high-flying fun. Fancy kite vendors will also be on hand, selling the best and brightest in kite technology, and for those who prefer to sit back and watch, there’ll be plenty of refreshments and other shopping and entertaining on site.
When: June 4-5
Where: Flagler Avenue, New Smyrna Beach
Web: kitestop.com/ kite-festival
ST. PETE CRAB & MUSIC FESTIVAL – Celebrate one of Florida’s best flavors of summer in the form of crab claws, crab cocktail, crab cakes, crab soup and other shellfish dishes. Move to popular Motown and funk tunes by Black Honkeys, Lyfe Jennings and the the Bus Stop Band and get the chance to meet celebrity host, boxer Ronald "Winky" Wright.
When: June 18
Where: Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg
REPTICON – After slithering its way into our hearts several years ago, Repticon returns once again with a strong lineup of scaly, cold-blooded, creepy, crawly critters on display. Watch demonstrations on how to care for large snakes, geckos, tortoises and bearded dragons, or check out the crocodiles, butterflies, parrots and other random creatures for a day of educational fun.
When: June 11-12
Where: Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa
SARASOTA MUSIC FESTIVAL – Music students get a three-week dose of coaching, master classes and performances at one of classical music’s finest teaching festivals. Festival audiences are entertained by a wide variety of symphonic artistry including: Thursday afternoon Artist Showcase concerts, Friday Festival chamber concerts, and Saturday Symphony orchestra concerts. A Festival Pass also allows access to the artists' master classes and rehearsals, as well as several student concerts.
When: June 9-25
Where: Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, Sarasota
ZEPHYRHILLS SUMMERFEST – The free Summerfest returns for a second year, celebrating the first weekend of Florida’s warmest stretch. Grab your lawn chairs and head to Zephyr Park, where kids can experince the bounce houses, slides, a rock wall and trampoline jumpers while adults enjoy live entertainment, food, beer, arts and crafts and a fireworks show.
When: June 25
Where: Zephyr Park, Zephyrhills
ST. PETE PRIDE – Once again, the streets of St. Pete explode with color, costumes, and other intrigue at this popular LGBT night parade and street festival, the largest in Florida. Due to its popularity in years past, the festival now stretches an entire city block, and the parade promises to be even more show-stopping than ever.
When: June 23-25
Where: St. Petersburg
VERO BEACH AIR SHOW – The elite U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron ‒ the Blue Angels ‒ star in the Vero Beach Air Show as they soar and perform stunts in F/A-18 Hornets over Indian River County. Other attractions include the Shockwave jet truck, the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team, the Misty Blues All-Woman Jump Team and lots of solo performers. Aviation geeks can also check out the impressive aircraft displays and take photos with some of the best pilot stuntmen and stuntwomen in the world.
When: June 25-26
Where: Vero Beach Regional Airport
26th ANNUAL HARVEST FESTIVAL – Lakeridge Winery holds its flagship festival, complete with the popular annual stomping of the grapes more than 80 local artists and crafters displaying their work. Taste some of the winery’s best seasonal wines and beer, fill up on fair food and take a tour of the facility.
When: June 10-12
Where: Lakeridge Winery, Clermont
SUN, SAND AND SPEED: FLORIDA AUTO RACING — Although NASCAR owes its racing origins to the infamous bootlegger drivers from Virginia to Georgia, Florida can trace its racing roots back to Daytona Beach’s Bill France. Explore the history of auto racing from 1903 to the present and check out hot memorabilia like Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s 2008 National Guard-sponsored Chevy, or the Cunningham C4-R sports car that was built in Florida and won 12 Hours at Sebring in 1953, or the original 1908 stock car trophy from the Ormond-Daytona Beach race.
When: June 1 - July 4
Where: Museum of Florida History, Tallahassee
48 HOUR FILM PROJECT — This is your chance to help a budding filmmaker’s wildest dream come true — to show their film at Cannes. The gist of the competition goes like this: Registered filmmakers attend the event kickoff on June 3 and have 48 hours to produce and edit teir short film. On June 14-16, you get to watch those films. The winning film from Jacksonville is screened at Filmapalooza 2017 with other winning films from around the world. The grand prize winner from Filmapalooza heads to Cannes.
When: June 3, June 14-16 (screening)
Where: Sun Ray Cinema, Jacksonville
TALLAHASSEE LATIN DANCE FESTIVAL — Lionel Richie might have encouraged us to the keep the party going all night long in the 80s and participants of the Latin Dance Festival are heeding his advice more than three decades later. The weekend festival, which features dance workshops for all skill levels in various styles including bachata, tango and salsa, also includes live performances by world-class dancers and instructors. The event, now in its fourth years, has expanded to the city’s largest conference center.
When: June 3-6
Where: The Moon, Tallahassee
WORLD SEA TURTLE DAY — Although based in landlocked Gainesville, the Sea Turtle Conservancy is one of the oldest and most accomplished sea turtle organizations to improve the life expectancy for sea turtles. Members of the conservancy will be participating in a daylong series of sea turtle education geared toward children. Kids can check out sea turtle specimens, create sea turtle crafts and talk scientists.
When: June 4
Where: Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville
DRAKE’S RAID — In 1586, the English corsair Sir Francis Drake and his band of raiders invaded the city of St. Augustine and burned the city. The 29th authentic reenactment begins on with a battle between the British and Spanish in the historic district at 7 p.m. If you’ve never participated in a reenactment, this is your chance. The Historic Florida Militia usually has loaner clothes available but you must bring your own period-correct shoes or purchase a pair of sandals on site. Leading up to the “battle” is a living history 16th-Century, military-style encampment with drills and demonstrations at Fountain of Youth Park.
When: June 4
Where: Fountain of Youth Park, St. Augustine
BREWERY YOGA — It’s been hot to host yoga in expected places -- like at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg or on paddleboards in the Intracoastal Waterway near Amelia Island. So, why not in a brewery? We love this clever idea from Gainesville’s craft brewery First Magnitude, which allows attendees to get their most of their Sun Salutation and then celebrate with a glass of beer. All that’s required is that you bring your own mat. The instructors rotate out each Sunday and a $5 donation is suggested to benefit a cause chosen by the brewery.
When: June 5, 12, 19, 26
Where: First Magnitude, Gainesville
CIRQUE DU ROSEMARY “LUMIERE” — Experience the oohs and ahhs of circus life under the stars in a Big-Top-free setting. The free, outdoor circus will light up the night with amazing aerial feats and unique acrobatics on one-of-a-kind circus apparatuses.
When: June 7, 14, 21, 28
Where: Rosemary Beach
Full Moon over the Fort by Mary Garrish ~ John B Andreozzi
AMERICA’S PARKS EXHIBITION — To celebrate the centennial of our National Parks, the traveling exhibit America’s Parks I Encore will spend the summer in St. Augustine. The artwork on display depicts our national parks from regional artists stretching across the country from Washington to Maine. There’ll also be a juried component specifically highlighting the natural beauty of Fort Matanzas and Castillo de San Marcos from the Find Your Park plein air painting event held in April.
When: June 10 - Aug. 31
Where: Lightner Museum, St. Augustine
BATTLE OF THE BEACH BBQ AND BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL — Fernandina trades shrimp for down home BBQ during their the annual cook off featuring 35 top BBQ teams from the Southeast. The event will have a pro and backyard competition, live bluegrass music, fiddle and banjo battles, a kids zone, vendors and world-class eats.
When: June 10-11
Where: Fernandina Beach
12TH ANNUAL PUTT N CRAWL — Dig out your argyle socks, plaid shorts and visors for the most unique 18 holes of miniature golf you’ll play. Bars, restaurants and local charity organization create their part of the course. Your mission: Just get the ball in the hole while having fun.
When: June 11
Where: Jacksonville Beach
ST. AUGUSTINE MUSIC FESTIVAL — The Cathedral Basilica’s breathtaking setting in the heart of historic St. Augustine always pairs beautifully with this free classical music festival, which plays homage to the masters — Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Copland and Wagner — in its 10th year. Seating for all concerts are first-come and feature a different lineup of classical selections each evening.
When: June 16-18, 23-25
Where: St. Augustine Cathedral Basilica, St. Augustine
SUMMER SOUNDS — Get your groove at one or both (!) of these music fests, which feature the sounds of season. Start at CaribFest along the banks for the St. Johns River in downtown Jacksonville for a little island flavor when 13 acts take the stage. Then, make the short trek out to Jacksonville Beach for the Salt Life Festival.
When: June 18
Where: Jacksonville Landing and Seawalk Plaza (Jacksonville Beach)
Web: facebook.com/caribfest (CaribFest), jaxbeachfestivals.com/salt-life (Salt Life)
SWAMP CHALLENGE — If you can do a snatch, clean and jerk, a wallball and a double under, you’re ready to compete in the annual Swamp Challenge. Actually, you get props for just knowing what a snatch means in the world of competitive fitness. But the Swamp Challenge, which returns to Florida Field this year, isn’t just for fitness hotshots. There is an adventure race and mini obstacle course geared toward kid challengers.
When: June 18-19
Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville
60TH ANNUAL PANHANDLE WATERMELON FESTIVAL — It’s got watermelon in the name, but country music at the heart of this two-day fest in the small Panhandle town of Chipley. The country music lineup this year includes Jeff Hyde, Clint Daniels, Gene Watson, Tracy Lawrence, The Thompsons and Dailey & Vincent. The festival also has plenty of watermelon, a road race, a pancake breakfast, parade and watermelon auction.
When: June 24-25
Where: Pals Park, Chipley
7TH ANNUAL BLUEBERRY BASH — Pick, eat or purchase? Why not commit to all three at Milton’s annual Blueberry Bash. The 7th annual festival gives blueberry lovers the chance to indulge in sweet treats after lacing up the sneakers for a 5K Fun Run or checking out the glimmering chrome detail work during the Show and Shine Car Show. Also includes food and art vendors, kid’s activities and a plant sale so you can cultivate your own piece of blueberry heaven.
When: June 25
If you have an event you’d like to be considered for inclusion in this monthly feature, please forward information at least six weeks in advance of the event’s date to one of our correspondents:
Our mission is to support and promote Florida tourism throughout the state. Because of the heavy volume of requests for listings, not all submissions can be included in our calendar each month.
For a month-by-month list of Florida events, check out our Florida Yearly Events Calendar.