Florida Events Calendar

    Whatever your passion, Florida has something for you. Here are just some of the major events scheduled this month in the Sunshine State. Please check individual websites for more details.

    South Florida | Central Florida | North Florida

    The Academy of Country Music named Rock The Ocean Tortuga Music Festival the Festival of the Year in 2017 when more than 100,000 folks attended, including fans from all 50 states and 22 countries.

    The Academy of Country Music named Rock The Ocean Tortuga Music Festival the Festival of the Year in 2017 when more than 100,000 folks attended, including fans from all 50 states and 22 countries.

    - Rock The Ocean Tortuga Music Festival



    HAPPY 90TH BIRTHDAY, TAMIAMI TRAIL – The Tampa-to-Miami highway was opened to traffic in late April, 1928. It was a feat of engineering, conquering the once impenetrable Everglades. To this day, it still stands out as a picturesque link between Florida’s two coasts. The 90th birthday celebration will include a parade, live music, a walking tour of historic buildings, and an “old timers” storytelling session.
    When: April 28
    Where: Museum of the Everglades, Everglades City
    Web: evergladesmuseum.org

    ROCK THE OCEAN TORTUGA MUSIC FESTIVAL – The Academy of Country Music named it the Festival of the Year in 2017 when more than 100,000 folks attended, including fans from all 50 states and 22 countries. Friday headliners are Florida Georgia Line, Snoop Dog and Lee Brice. Saturday’s biggies are Keith Urban, Dwight Yoakam, Kim Moore and Shaggy. Sunday’s featured acts are Eric Church, the Brothers Osborne and Cheap Trick.
    When: April 6-8
    Where: Fort Lauderdale Beach
    Web: tortugamusicfestival.com

    MONSTER ENERGY FORT ROCK FESTIVAL – Like your music a little rougher? After a successful 5-year run in Fort Myers, this metal and hard rock ear-splitter moves east to Broward County. The headliners are Ozzy Osbourne, Godsmack, Five Finger Death Punch, Stone Sour, Shinedown, Stone Temple Pilots and Breaking Benjamin.
    When: April 28-29
    Where: Markham Park, Sunrise
    Web: FortRockFestival.com

    CIRQUE DU SOLEIL’S SEP7IMO DIA – NO DESCANSARE: The Cirque troupe returns to Miami with a show never seen before in the United States, after entertaining more than 1 million people in Latin America in 2017.  The group’s 40th show is inspired by the music of the legendary Argentine power rock trio Soda Stereo. It conjures a world outside of time, a place where emotions ebb and flow like the tide, pulsing to the rhythm of band’s emblematic songs.
    When: April 18-22
    Where: Watsco Center, Coral Gables
    Web: cirquedusoleil.com

    VENICE SHARK’S TOOTH FESTIVAL – Venice is known as the “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World” because of the millions of shark’s teeth that have washed up on the beaches. Shark memorabilia will be on display and for sale. Also included: kids activities, arts and crafts, live music, a fishing tournament, marine exhibits, a sandcastle contest and great seafood and barbecue. Make some time to head to the beautiful beaches and hunt for your own shark’s teeth.
    When:  April 13-15
    Where: Venice Airport Festival Grounds
    Web: sharkstoothfestival.com

    MIAMI-DADE COUNTY YOUTH FAIR & EXPOSITION – It’s one of the top fairs/expositions in the country, drawing about 600,000 people each year. Highlights include more than 90 heart-pounding rides, two huge Kiddielands, yummy fair food, livestock and agricultural competitions, live concerts (Nelly, TLC, Gente de Zona, Sugarhill Gang and Ginuwine are the headliners), a European style circus and as they say, much, much more.
    When: March 15 through April 8, except for March 19-20 and April 2-3
    Where: Fair Expo Center, Miami
    Web: thefair.me/thefair

    MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AGRICULTURE, HORSE & CATTLE SHOW – If you didn’t get enough of looking at prime livestock at the Youth Fair, this one is for you. It attracts more than 50,000 folks from around the country and the world. It also includes carnival rides, equestrian shows, dog obedience demonstrations, kids activities, a car show and food trucks.
    When: April 13-15
    Where: Ronald Reagan Equestrian Center at Tropical Park, Miami
    Web: miamicattleshow.org

    36th ANNUAL CONCH REPUBLIC INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATION – The Florida Keys didn’t really officially leave the United States back in 1982– or did they? The celebration’s motto is “We seceded where others have failed,” but judge for yourself and have a great time at this 10-day, tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek bash. Events include: a drag race (not cars; remember, this is the Keys!), a wacky bed race, a polar plunge, a light-hearted sea battle featuring tall ships and a cruiser car show. Go early in the festival and see the hilarious play, “Conch Republic, The Musical.”
    When: April 20-29
    Where: Various locations in Key West
    Web: conchrepublic.com

    WYNWOOD LIFE FESTIVAL – This annual event is all about everything Miami loves: art, music, food and fashion. Highlights: The Back Alley, where artists paint live daily; the Live Music Stage, featuring 15 bands; the Style Lounge & Runway, where all the fashionistas hang out; and the Wynwood Culinary Showcase for great food and drink.
    When: April 20-22
    Where: The iconic RC Cola Plant, Miami
    Web: wynwoodlife.com

    WHATEVER FLOATS YOUR BOAT! – If it’s plywood head to the Plywood Regatta. If it’s cardboard, check out the Cardboard Boat Regatta. At the former, middle school, high school and college students will build and race boats using hand tools and a limited set of supplied materials. The latter is open to folks of all ages, but the idea is pretty much the same. Good fun and lots of laughs will be had at both.
    When & Where: Respectively, April 14-15 at Whiskey Creek in Dania Beach; April 21, at Four Freedoms Park in Cape Coral.
    Web: Respectively, plywoodregatta.com and capecoralregatta.com

    BLACK GOLD JUBILEE – This annual festival pays homage to the rich soil (hence, Black Gold) of the Glades Region (consisting of Belle Glade, Pahokee and South Bay) at the end of the harvest season. Highlights include great food, country music, a parade and a fireworks show.
    When: April 14
    Where: Torry Island Campground & Marina, Belle Glade
    Web: blackgoldjubilee.org

    O, MIAMI POETRY FESTIVAL – This month-long event’s bold mission is to have every person in Miami-Dade County encounter a poem. Mixing traditional readings with innovative poetry-in-public places projects, the festival weaves poetry into the fabric of the existing infrastructure and cultural life. It’s a community-based festival that considers itself a “Miami” festival first and a “poetry” festival second because the poetry is the means to celebrate the city. Other highlights: a comedy night and the return of the Manual Cinema shadow puppetry show.
    When: April 1-30
    Where: Various locations throughout Greater Miami and The Beaches
    Web: omiami.org

    A DOUBLE DIP FOR THE KIDS – Are they fans of Curious George and/or Clifford The Big Red Dog? Then they’ll will love these two museum exhibits. The former leads the young ’uns on a fun, meaningful interactive math, science and engineering based adventure. The latter transports visitors to the world of Clifford, Emily, Elizabeth and all the residents of Birdwell Island. You’ll be able to do both on the same day because they’re at the same museum.
    When: Through May 6 for both
    Where: Museum of Discovery & Science, Fort Lauderdale
    Web: mods.org

    LONGINES GLOBAL CHAMPIONS TOUR – This equestrian show jumping event is called the “Formula One” of show jumping, and with good reason. It always features some of the best four-legged jumpers and two-legged riders in the world. Make sure you leave time for some of the best people-watching on the planet at the Miami Beach outdoor eateries and watering holes.
    When: April 5-7
    Where: Collins Park, Miami Beach
    Web: globalchampionstour.com

    MIAMI WEB FEST – The best web series from around the world will be showcased at this four-day gathering. Attendees will see independently produced shows before they are discovered by big television networks and other media entities. It’s also a chance to party and mingle with the stars of the new digital age at some of the most exclusive hotspots in Miami.
    When: April 26-29
    Where: Various locations throughout Miami and Miami Beach
    Web: miamiwebfest.com

    GOING ONCE, GOING TWICE… -- There are two great car auctions in SoFla this month: The Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction and the Collector Car Auction. At each one you can get in on the bidding or just gawk at some beautiful old machines, from American classics to European sports cars. Each event offers a wide array of “automobilia” – including dealership signs, hood ornaments, gas pumps, racing posters, transportation toys and more.
    When & Where: Respectively, April 12-15, at the South Florida Fairgrounds Expo Center in West Palm Beach; April 6-7 at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale.
    Web: Respectively, barrett-jackson.com and auctionsamerica.com

    MIAMI BEACH GAY PRIDE – This annual event drew more than 60,000 people last year and features more than 125 LGTB-friendly vendors, exciting celebrities, musical performances, parties, parades, refreshments, food and a family-friendly play area.
    When: April 2-8
    Where: Ocean Drive, between 5th and 15th Streets, Miami Beach
    Web: miamibeachgaypride.com

    DELRAY AFFAIR – It’s pedestrians only, so join the throngs who cram 12 city blocks and side streets for all kinds of fun, highlighted by one of the largest arts & crafts festivals in the Southeast (more than 800 vendors!). Also included: concerts, street entertainers, great food (don’t miss the conch fritters) and a family-fun zone featuring 30 arcade games (none involving shooting or violence).
    When: April 13-15
    Where: Downtown Delray Beach on Atlantic Avenue
    Web: delrayaffair.com

    THE BLUE WILD OCEAN ADVENTURE EXPO – If you love the ocean and believe that life should be one big adventure, this one’s for you.  Experts on just about anything life-on-the-water related will be on hand. Topics include: spearfishing, lobstering, swamp exploration, stand up paddle boarding, adventure travel, surfing, marine art, underwater photography and videography, marine art and scuba diving.
    When: April 14-15
    Where: Broward County Convention Center, Fort Lauderdale
    Web: thebluewild.com

    LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! -- There are two film festivals of note in SoFla in April, one on each coast: the Fort Myers Beach Film Festival and the OUTShine Film Festival. Both feature world premieres, celebrities, parties and more. (Note: OUTShine is the new name for the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.)
    When & Where: Respectively, April 25-29 at various locations on Fort Myers Beach; April 20-29 at various locations throughout Miami and Miami Beach
    Web: Respectively: fmbfilmfest.com, and outshinefilm.com

    HATSUME FAIR – A normally tranquil park will be transformed into a unique Japanese festival that features Taiko drumming, martial arts demonstrations, samurai sword fighting performances, a costume and fashion show contest, arts & crafts, yummy street fair food and plant sales. There are lots of activities for kids, including getting to meet some of their favorite anime, comic book and pop culture characters.
    When: April 21-22
    Where: Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach
    Web: morikami.org/hatsume

    POMPANO BEACH SEAFOOD FESTIVAL – Yummy food for sure – but there’s also a craft fair, lots of great live music on three stages and a great kids’ zone.
    When: April 27-29
    Where: On and near the Pompano Beach Pier in Pompano Beach
    Web: pompanobeachseafoodfestival.com

    SUNCOAST BBQ & BLUEGRASS BASH – If you want mouth-watering chicken, ribs, chili, pork and beef brisket, along with outstanding toe-tapping live bluegrass music, this one will satisfy on all counts.  Much more, too: a kids park, chili cook-off, barbecue cook-off, a cornhole tournament and a sporting clays shooting tournament.
    When: April 20-21
    Where: Venice Airport Festival Grounds, Venice
    Web: suncoastbbqbash.com

    MORE YUMMY FOOD & DRINK HAPPENINGS – They abound throughout SoFla in April:

    • Redland Blues & Barbecue Festival – April 14-15 at Fruit & Spice Park, Homestead. redlandfruitandspice.com
    • Boca Bacchanal – April 6-7 at Boca Raton Resort & Club and private residences in Boca Raton. bocabacchanal.com
    • FTL Taco Battle & Craft Beer Fest – April 14 at Esplanade Park, Fort Lauderdale. ftltacobattlecraftbeerfest.com
    • Las Olas Wine & Food Festival – April 20 on Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale; sunny.org
    • Sprung! Spring Beer Festival – April 7 at the RC Cola Plant in the Wynwood district of Miami; sprungbeerfest.com

    MIAMI RIVER DAY FESTIVAL – This annual affair celebrates the historic Miami River’s unique culture and natural environment. Highlights include river boat rides, kayak and paddleboard races, historic re-enactors, kids activities, food, drinks and more.
    Where: Lummus Park, Miami
    When: April 7
    Web: miamirivercommission.org

    ORCHID & PLANT FESTIVAL – Plant lovers will have the opportunity to vividly experience (and purchase) diverse, colorful and fragrant varieties of orchids, tropical plants and herbs and fruit trees. There’s more, too: garden art, food vendors, cocktails, birds of prey, animals and live music.
    When: April 7-8
    Where: Sawgrass Nature Center, Coral Springs
    Web:  sawgrassnaturecenter.org


    Cocoa Beach’s two-day foodie fest, Cocoa Beach Uncorked, returns for a second year, bringing in some of the area’s best restaurants and chefs to whip up their best and favorite dishes to put up for a tasting and a vote.

    Cocoa Beach’s two-day foodie fest, Cocoa Beach Uncorked, returns for a second year, bringing in some of the area’s best restaurants and chefs to whip up their best and favorite dishes to put up for a tasting and a vote.

    - Cocoa Beach Uncorked


    BROOKSVILLE BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL – The Blueberry Festival returns even bigger and better this year, celebrating the region’s sweet, juicy harvest with a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band, a Blues Brothers show, pony rides and activities for kids, and of course, the many foods and products starring blueberries, including wine, desserts, soaps, candles and more.
    When: April 28-29
    Where: Hernando Park, Brooksville
    Web:  BrooksvilleBlueberryFestival.com

    U.S. ASTRONAUT HALL OF FAME INDUCTION & GALA – Be a part of history as veteran astronauts Dr. Thomas D. Jones and Capt. Scott D. Altman receive one of the highest honors in their industry at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The ceremony takes place in the Space Shuttle Atlantis while the orbiter floats overhead, and the public is invited to attend as part of the daily admission price.
    When: April 21
    Where: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Titusville
    Web: kennedyspacecenter.com

    PINELLAS PEPPER FEST – Put your palate to the ultimate test at one of Pinellas County’s hottest festivals, which draws hot pepper lovers from all over the state. Try and buy various hot sauces, salsas, rubs, jellies and other creative dishes and flavors while you enjoy live music and participate in a hot pepper-eating contest or “Spicy Lolly Lick-a-thon.” This year also offers whip-cracking demonstrations and lessons.
    When: April 28-29
    Where: England Brothers Bandshell Park, Pinellas Park
    Web: pinellaspepperfest.com

    LAKESIDE JAZZ FESTIVAL – The City of Port Orange and its high school and middle school music programs once again join together for a 20th year to create this inspiring little showcase of the of Florida’s best young musicians, as well as several military and college bands. Check out some of the region’s best up-and-coming music students and enjoy two days of sweet jazz, powerful big band music and other performances. 
    When: April 20-21
    Where: Port Orange
    Web: lakesidejazz.org

    COCOA BEACH UNCORKED – Beautiful Cocoa Beach’s two-day foodie fest returns for a second year, bringing in some of the area’s best restaurants and chefs to whip up their best and favorite dishes to put up for a tasting and a vote. This year’s event will include special appearances by Doreen Colondres, celebrity chef, social media personality, cookbook author, and creator of “The Kitchen Doesn’t Bite” and “La Cocina No Muerde.” Try local craft beer and specially selected wines as well.
    When: April 28-29
    Where: Alan Shepard Park, Cocoa Beach
    Web: CocoaBeachUncorked.com

    SPRINGFEST GARDEN ART & FAERIE FESTIVAL – When it comes to whimsical, unusual and colorful celebrations, Gulfport never disappoints. What better way to celebrate spring than with fairy wings, garden crystals and baubles, flower garlands, maypole dancing and miniature gnome houses? Enter a fun costume contest, enjoy the beer garden, shop for plants and dance along to live folk music.
    When: April 7-8
    Where: Clymer Park, Gulfport
    Web: facebook.com/GulfportSpringfest

    BEARD IN BALDWIN FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL – More than 25 of the area’s top restaurants serve BBQ, sushi, Mexican cuisine, pasta dishes and other flavorful plates paired with wine, craft cocktails or local brews. The event, set against the backdrop of gorgeous Lake Baldwin and Harbor Park, benefits the James Beard Foundation Scholarship Program, which helps aid talented students studying culinary arts, baking and pastry, agriculture and other disciplines.
    When: April 14
    Where: Baldwin Park, Orlando
    Web: beardinbaldwin.com                                                      

    LAGOONACY – Celebrate the wonders of the Indian River Lagoon with an exciting day of kayaking, archery, face painting, arts & crafts, a live mermaid and a fun cardboard boat race. Check out the local vendors, food trucks, beer, games and lineup of bands as the kids participate in the “Conservation Carnival” aimed at educating them about the mysteries of the sea, as well as a number of other interesting marine lessons. Kids under 10 get in free.
    When: April 21
    Where: Marine Discovery Center, New Smyrna Beach
    Web: marinediscoverycenter.org

    TAMPA BAY BLUES FEST – For more than two decades, this event has drawn blues fans from all over the country to this beautiful waterside park, where some of the world’s top artists and bands play their hearts out to an adoring audience. This year’s lineup includes Buddy Guy, Beth Hart, Mississippi Heat, Robert Cray and Quinn Sullivan. The three-day fest also includes some strong “after-shows” at some of the city’s top live music venues.
    When: April 6-8
    Where: Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg
    Web: tampabaybluesfest.com

    CENTRAL FLORIDA EARTH DAY – Returning for a 13th year, Central Florida Earth Day aims to celebrate our environment, health and wellness and spirituality with a day of speakers and demonstrations, vegan food vendors, animal rescue groups, raffles, a day-long schedule of yoga and meditation classes and a kids zone that includes storytelling, a veggie scavenger hunt and live hip-hop dancing performances.
    When: April 21
    Where: Lake Eola Park, Orlando
    Web: cfearthday.org

    TAMPA BAY CARIBBEAN CARNIVAL – You’ll be moving your hips all day to the festive, rhythmic sounds of Caribbean music filling the fairgrounds as a colorful, flamboyant parade snakes through the crowds. Stomp your feet to the steel pan bands, sample spicy and sweet Caribbean foods, and feel like you’re nestled in the islands for the day in this family-friendly, culture-embracing carnival. 
    When: April 21
    Where: Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa
    Web: tampabaycaribbeancarnival.com

    FLORIDA LIGHTHOUSE DAY – Celebrate the maritime history of Florida's 29 surviving lighthouses by visiting Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and enjoying hands-on activities and workshops designed for children and families. Climb to the top of Florida's tallest lighthouse, meet the "Old Lighthouse Keeper" and learn what life was like for keepers and families living at this once-isolated light station on Florida's east coast.
    When: April 7
    Where: Ponce Inlet Lighthouse & Museum
    Web: ponceinlet.org


    For 125 years, St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park has been thrilling visitors with an opportunity to come face-to-snout with the state’s honorary mascot.

    For 125 years, St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park has been thrilling visitors with an opportunity to come face-to-snout with the state’s honorary mascot.

    - St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park



    ALLIGATOR ANNIVERSARY — Each year millions of tourists drop their towels in the sand laying claim to their own personal piece of the beach or queue up in Orlando’s top theme parks. And then there are those who seek out the historic attractions that are part of old Florida. For 125 years, the Alligator Farm has been thrilling visitors with an opportunity to come face-to-snout with the state’s honorary mascot. In 1893, the park opened as a small exhibit of Florida reptiles. Today, it is the only place in the world where guests can see every species of alligator, crocodile, caiman and gharial. To celebrate this year’s anniversary, it’s opening a new exhibit, Oasis on the Nile, featuring Nile crocodiles and Egyptian artifacts with feeding shows and bi-level crocodile viewing opportunities.
    When: open daily, Oasis on the Nile opened March 1
    Where: St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park
    Web: alligatorfarm.com

    BLUE ANGELS PRACTICE — Ooh and aah while the world-famous pilots fly at speeds of 700 miles per hour while defying physics with dazzling aerial feats. This is a great chance to catch the Pensacola-based Blue Angels during their mid-week practices. Practice sessions typically last about 55 minutes and begin at 11:30 a.m. CST. There is open bleacher seating for about 1,000 people in the outdoor viewing area at the National Naval Aviation Museum. After practice, set aside time to explore the museum, which houses more than 150 restored aircraft with unique histories including the NC-4 (first aircraft to cross the Atlantic by air) and Que Sera Sera (first aircraft to land at the South Pole).
    When: March 20-21, April 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 24-25
    Where: National Naval Aviation Museum at Naval Air Station Pensacola
    Web: navalaviationmuseum.org

    EASTER IN THE NATION’S OLDEST CITY — Attend Easter services in one of St. Augustine’s historic churches or arise early for a beachside sunrise service before the non-denominational Easter celebrations begin. Walk with St. Augustine’s Royal Family (chosen from members of the community annually) during the Easter Promenade in Plaza de la Constitucion, where awards will be presented in categories such as best-dressed couple and best hat. Next up is the full-scale Easter parade featuring horse-drawn carriages, marching bands, floats, drill teams and the Easter Bunny. Immediately following the parade will be the Fromajada Celebration. Attendees can taste test traditional Minorcan pastries and cheer on the winners of the Easter Parade.
    When: April 1
    Where: St. Augustine
    Web: oldestcityeaster.org

    SPRINGTIME TALLAHASSEE — What began as a small-town celebration to promote Tallahassee’s beauty has turned into two full-fledged days of entertainment marking its 50th anniversary this year. More than 200 arts, crafts and food vendors, a Grand Parade featuring New Orleans-style krewes with floats, a 5K and a children’s park will keep festival-goers (including more than 27,000 out-of-town guests) entertained. The Music Festival on Friday night will feature national country artists Parmalee and headliner Scotty McCreery, the season 10 winner of American Idol.
    When: April 6-7
    Where: Kleman Plaza, Tallahassee
    Web: springtimetallahassee.com

    ONE SPARK — What started in Jacksonville as the world’s largest crowd-funding festival for business innovators but seemed more like an excuse to hold a street party has been rebooted and reimagined. One Spark thrived as an opportunity for creators, sometimes with ideas still in the start-up stage, to get real-time peer-to-peer feedback and receive market validation in an informal setting. This hasn’t changed. Guests will be able to speak with more than 150 creators and entrepreneurs in 1DEA City in five different zones: MindSpark*, TechSpark*, HealthSpark*, LifeSpark* and WorldSpark. One more thing that hasn’t changed: festivalgoers who see or experience the next big thing will still have a chance to vote for their favorites.
    When: April 6-7
    Where: Daily’s Place Amphitheater at EverBank Field, Jacksonville
    Web: onespark.com

    3RD ANNUAL WASHINGTON COUNTY HERITAGE FESTIVAL — One of Florida’s unique geological features Falling Waters Sink, a 100-feet deep, 20-feet wide cylindrical pit in which a stream flows to create a waterfall effect is the backdrop to experience real Florida in this past-meets-present celebration. Flint knappers and blacksmiths will intermingle with chainsaw artists and jewelry designers, all demonstrating their crafts in a family-friendly atmosphere. Also includes a petting zoo, Indian village, antique tractors, live alligators, entertainment and more.
    When: April 6-7
    Where: Falling Waters State Park, Chipley
    Web: bit.ly/2Hp2guG

    FLORIDA STATE BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL & CHILI COOKOFF — Pair your toe-tapping, foot-stomping bluegrass tunes with a chili cookoff, pine trees and Moon Pies. Mountain Faith, Nothing Fancy, Jo Odom, Dave Adkins, Lonely Heartstring Band and Adventures of Annabelle will headline this year’s live entertainment. Also features the Florida State Bluegrass Music Championship Finals Competition in which a group of select statewide performers competes for the title and the aforementioned Taylor County Chili Challenge.
    When: April 5-7
    Where: Forest Capital State Park, Perry
    Web: floridastatebluegrass.com

    ALL. THAT. JAZZ. — From ragtime to blues, hot jazz (think Louis Armstrong) to symphonic jazz (think Paul Whiteman), the evolution of American jazz from its Dixieland roots keeps bringing old and new generation of fans to these longtime festivals.

    • JazzFest (April 7-8, Pensacola): For 35 years Seville Square has hosted world-renowned acts. This year’s headliners include the Scott Wilson Quintet, Paula Atherton, Michael Pellera, Andy Martin, Patrick Frost, Gene Bertoncini and The 4 Korners. jazzpensacola.com/jazzfest
    • Seabreeze Jazz Festival (April 18-22, Panama City Beach): The annual fest, which marks a milestone on its 20th anniversary, was also named one of the Top 10 Jazz Festivals in the country by Jazziz Magazine. Enjoy a weekend of sun and beach fun paired with top talent like Brian Culbertson, Boney James and Kool and the Gang. seabreezejazzfestival.com

    18TH ANNUAL SOPCHOPPY WORM GRUNTIN’ FESTIVAL — In Sopchoppy, that age-old idiom about the early bird getting the worm is a way of life for city’s earthworm harvesters. The Revell family members spend their mornings making “music,” which sounds like grunting, to coax thousands of earthworms from the dirt. They will also be hosting a demo before the festival’s competition for “amateur” worm whisperers. Although the demo and competition are the bee’s knees of this event, there is also a 5K, crowning of the Earthworm King and Queen, a horseshoe championship, hula hoop competition, live music and art vendors.
    When: April 14
    Where: downtown Sopchoppy
    Web: wormgruntinfestival.com

    SUWANNEE RIVER CATFISH FESTIVAL — Want to feast on freshwater catch? Most of the state’s festivals are in the coastal areas, so for a change of pace head in land to Branford, population: 700. The all-day event kicks off with a flag-raising ceremony and the introduction of the winners of the Miss Catfish, Teen Miss Catfish, Preteen Miss Catfish and Toddler Miss Catfish. The rest of day features live music, family entertainment and catfish dinners.
    When: April 14
    Where: Suwannee River Greenway, Branford
    Web: suwanneerivercatfishfestival.com

    TALLAHASSEE PRIDEFEST — The state capital’s annual pridefest has grown and evolved throughout the years but one thing remains the same it is event providing the community with an outlet for all people to celebrate and be themselves where they are accepted and loved without fear of reproach. The 2018 event has two main components, the annual drag pageant to crown the 2018 Miss Tallahassee Pridefest and the main event, Pride in the Plaza, which features live entertainment on the main stage, food and a kid’s zone in a family-friendly environment.
    When: April 14, 21
    Where: Kleman Plaza, Tallahassee
    Web: pridefest.familytreecenter.org

    SANDJAM FEST — Panama City Beach rocks out during Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam, one of the hottest country music fests in the state. Now the same producers are hoping lightning strikes again with the introduction of SandJam Fest, three days of adult-alternative rock. This year’s lineup includes Incubus, Sublime with Rome, St. Lucia, Kaleo, Capital Cities, Fitz & The Tantrums and more.
    When: April 26-28
    Where: M.B. Miller County Pier, Panama City Beach
    Web: sandjamfest.com

    SOUTH WALTON BEACHES WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL — Meet renowned winemakers, rub elbows with celebrity chefs, attend wine seminars and choose your samples wisely from more than 800 wines at the Grand Tasting on either Saturday or Sunday. This event runs like a well-oiled Rolls Royce as guests receive a tasting booklet outlining the featured wines, allowing savvy tasters to fine-tune their battle plans. Bottled water is plentiful, as are good eats in the Savor South Walton Culinary Village, and the festival app allows tasters to add favorite bottles to their shopping cart, available for pick up before heading home. VIP tickets sell out well in advance and other festival events include a Winemakers and Shakers Tasting, Craft Beer and Spirits Jam and the Destin Charity Wine Auction.
    When: April 26-29
    Where: Town Center of Grand Boulevard, Miramar Beach
    Web: sowalwine.com

    INTERSTATE MULLET TOSS & GULF COAST’S GREATEST BEACH PARTY — Come on. Who doesn’t want the opportunity to throw a dead fish across the Florida state line into Alabama? Those who get lucky and don’t throw their mullet out of bounds might just make it into the finals. And if you don’t (you only get one shot), it’s just an opportunity to join one the biggest beach parties in Perdido Key that much earlier. Here’s a quick primer on the rules: (1) No gloves or sand on the mullet. (2) After you throw your fish, you must also retrieve it! (3) Mullet must be thrown from inside a 10-foot circle and stepping out of the circle results in an immediate disqualification. Seems easy, right?
    When: April 27-29
    Where: Flora-Bama Lounge, Package and Oyster Park, Perdido Key
    Web: florabama.com/mullet-toss.html

    EN PLEIN AIR — With French impressionist masters Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir reigning as champions of the plein air painting movement, other artists began to set up their easels outside to capture natural beauty in the moment. Plein air painting is in the midst of a renaissance and when it’s paired with April’s ideal temperatures, many North Florida locations are scheduling paint-outs for artists or for those who just want to watch the magic happen.

    • St. George Island Paint Out (April 8-14): Fifteen artists will set up their easels from Sike’s Cut to the state park. Includes artist workshops, artist meet-and-greets and a finale reception and show. sgipaintout.com
    • 3rd Annual Santa Fe Springs Plein Air Paint Out (April 11-15): Catch artists at work at Poe Springs, Blue Spring, Rum Island Springs and other locations around High Springs. Map with painting locations can be picked up at Lanza Gallery & Art Supplies. facebook.com/springspaintout
    • 2nd Annual St. Augustine Plein Air Paint Out (April 22-29): Works created during the event will be included in the juried show “Where Art Meets History” with monetary awards to the winners. staaa.org/pleinair


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