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.
THE CARIBBEAN COMES TO SOUTH FLORIDA – Can’t make it to the islands any time soon? Not to worry. June is Caribbean American Heritage Month and these SoFla events will bring the islands to you:
- At Taste of the Caribbean (June 2-6 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 chtataste.com
- Colors of the Caribbean at Hollywood’s Arts Park features island-flavored concerts on all five Thursday evenings in June. It’s free, family-friendly and a whole lot of fun. You’ll hear great live music and enjoy great food and drinks, a Kids Zone and arts & crafts. See colorsofthecaribbean.com
- CaribStyleWeek (June 1-4 at the Westfield Broward Mall in Plantation) is a premiere fashion event that offers an international platform for designers from the Caribbean to connect with customers, media and buyers. See caribstyleweek.com
- The Caribbean American Exhibition & Festival (June 24 at the Pembroke Pines City Center) will offer exhibitors and vendors, multi-cultural exhibits, arts & crafts, health and wellness booths, island food, steel-band music, reggae artists, beauty queens and interactive fun activities for the entire family. See cahmusa.com
SIZZLING SUMMER SAVINGS – Summertime and the livin’ is easy. Fish are jumpin’ and the bargains are fly. With apologies to George Gershwin, everybody knows that summer, calendar be darned, has already started in South Florida. And that always means discounts, BOGOs and freebies galore. Here are six we really like:
- S.I.P. IN W.P.B. (SUMMER IN PARADISE IN WEST PALM BEACH) offers free things to do in downtown West Palm Beach throughout the summer. Some of the highlights: movies under the stars, Glow Fore It miniature golf and Aesop’s Tables, a whimsical art-installation spin on the classic fables. The tales come to life with 25 painted picnic tables, music, pop-up performances, storytelling and games. S.I.P. festivities start on June 1 and run through Aug. 31. See wpb.org/summer-in-paradise
- 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 runs from May 13 through Sept. 30. See summersavingspass.com
- The 2-for-1 Summer Savings in Broward County is already underway and lasts through Oct. 15. It offers buy-one-get-one-free offers at museums, restaurants and bars, shopping and all kinds of indoor and outdoor activities. Some 60 businesses and attractions are participating. See Sunny.org
- The 10thth Annual Coral Gables Restaurant Week is actually three weeks long, from June 5-25. You’ll 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 Naples Restaurant Week Spring Edition lasts two weeks (June 1-15) and celebrates dining out at an affordable price. With more than 30 of the best restaurants in Naples participating, patrons get to experience specially curated three-course prix fixe dinners. See naplesrestaurantweek.com
MIAMI FASHION WEEK – It’s the only fashion week that is dedicated to resort wear. Some 30 designers and 20 jewelry and accessory designers from around the world will show their wares. More than 10,000 people attended the fashion shows, seminars, special events and after parties last year.
When: May 31-June 3
Where: Various locations throughout Greater Miami and the Beaches
BIRDS OF PARADISE – Developed over eight years by “National Geographic” and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, this exhibit captures all 39 known species of birds-of-paradise. The exhibit encompasses sound bites, videos, photographs and artifacts gathered in 18 expeditions. The hands-on, multi-media components and mechanical digital mini-stations allow you to better understand these beautiful creatures.
When: May 27 through Sept. 5
Where: Museum of Science and Discovery, Fort Lauderdale
THIRD ANNUAL CORALPALOOZA – In honor of World Oceans Day (June 2), the Coral Restoration Foundation is hosting a weekend dedicated to promoting awareness and preservation our coral reefs. Activities will range from helping in coral tree nurseries, monitoring existing colonies and out-planting threatened species of corals. Note: You must be dive-certified to participate.
When: June 2-4
Where: Key Largo
21st 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. Regina Hall (Brenda Meeks in the first four “Scary Movie” films) is this year’s Celebrity Ambassador. She’s also in the opening night film, “Girls Trip,” along with Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish.
When: June 14-18
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 7-11
Where: Various locations in Key West
ULTIMATE MIAMI – Who are the rising local stars among bartenders, comedians and drag queens? Three days of competitions will determine that as the locals will share the stage with nationally known performers in each category. The comedy night features Carlos Mencia of the Comedy Central show “Mind of Mencia.”
When: June 8-10
Where: Magic City Casino, Miami
REDLAND SUMMER FRUIT FESTIVAL -- 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 10-11
Where: Fruit & Spice Park, Homestead
FLORIDA KEYS GUITAR FESTIVAL – No bass, no drums, no pianos -- nothing but guitars. Three amazing musicians (Mateo Jampol, classical; David Feder, contemporary finger style, and Rolando Rojas, Latin guitar) will perform at three different Keys locations on one weekend. They will play individually, as duos and also as a trio.
When & Where: June 2 at the Coral Isle Church in Tavernier, June 3 at the Florida Keys Country Club and June 4 at the Key West Theater.
STONEWALL RIDE 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 will also be food trucks, frozen drink tents and a Kids Zone. Don’t miss the Stonewall Summer Pride Twilight Parade.
When: June 17
Where: Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors
KEY 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 22-25
Where: Various locations in Key West
HUKILAU POLYNESIAN FESTIVAL -- Tikiphiles can expect an all-things Polynesian extravaganza, including great musical acts, a cocktail academy, mermaid show, Tiki Treasures Bazaar, symposiums and a rum island pool party.
When: June 7-11
Where: Hyatt Regency Pier 66 and the world-famous Mai-Kai restaurant, Fort Lauderdale
SUMMER JAZZ ON THE GULF -- This is the 32nd 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. The Betty Fox Band is the headliner for the first show. Note: Events are open to the general public, not just hotel guests.
When: June 17, July 8, Aug. 19 and Sept. 16
Where: Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club
OAKLAND ART AND MUSIC FESTIVAL -- This free festival showcases artists in all areas of expression, including visual arts, music and drama, with more than 30 youth, amateur and professional participating artists and musicians.
When: June 10, 2-8:30 p.m.
Where: Oakland Town Center
DAYTONA BEACH JUNETEENTH FAMILY FESTIVAL – Join thousands of attendees in this 16th annual, day-long celebration that includes activities for kids of all ages, such as inflatables, face-painting, a rock climbing wall, train and pony rides, a teen splash pool and more. This year, check out the Pound Cake Contest and the Sankofa African-American Museum on Wheels, featuring more than 500 historical artifacts.
When: June 18
Where: Cypress Park, Daytona Beach
SEAGRAPES WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL – If you can’t make it to France or Napa Valley this harvest season, experience the next-best thing by attending Lakeridge Winery’s annual stomping of the grapes. While only adults can sample the winery’s delicious, award-winning Florida wines, guests of all ages can partake in the squishy fun of stepping on fresh grapes, as well as enjoying live music, arts and crafts.
When: June 9-11
Where: Lakeridge Winery, Clermont
BRADENTON BOAT SHOW – Ring in the summer boating and fishing season by dropping in on this weekend full of boats of all scale and sizes, fishing gear, apparel, safety accessories and other watersport necessities. Learn expert tips at the all-day lineup of lessons scheduled, including fly fishing best practices, how to use live bait correctly, in-shore fishing pointers and cast net demonstrations.
When: June 9-11
Where: Bradenton Area Convention Center, Palmetto
SOLUTIONARY PEACE WALK & FESTIVAL – This free feel-good festival is full of inspirational speakers, vegan food vendors, yoga classes and kids’ activities aimed at bringing solutions and sustainable practices to the Orlando community and beyond. Bring your pet and take the one-mile walk around Lake Eola Park, then stay to enjoy live music and an eco-friendly vendor fair.
When: June 17
Where: Lake Eola Park, Orlando
SUMMERFEST – SummerFest returns to Zephyrhills, complete with a watermelon-eating contest, a dance-off, bounce houses and a fireworks show at sundown. Bring your own lawn chairs and dogs and enjoy this small-town Florida festival that’s sure to beat the summer doldrums for folks of all ages.
When: June 24
Where: Zephyr Park, Zephyrhills
ST. PETE PRIDE – Florida’s largest gay pride celebration continues to grow with a new night parade location along downtown St. Petersburg’s waterfront. Enjoy a dazzling array of sequins, beads, leathers and feathers along the parade route followed the next day by a large street festival of various vendors, organizations and business in St. Pete’s Grand Central District, all to celebrate diversity.
When: June 23-25
Where: St. Petersburg
NEW SMYRNA BEACH KITE FESTIVAL – Let’s go fly a kite! This whimsical, colorful event showcases the simplest of outdoor toys, powered by the Atlantic sea breeze. Check out professional kite demonstrations, free lessons and tips for novices, free kite kits for the first 400 guests and decorating stations for the kids.
When: June 3-4
Where: New Smyrna Beach
THE BADDEST BBQ ON THE BONE FISHING SLAM – Professional BBQ “teams” and fishing enthusiasts come together in a three-day party of delicious smoked meats and sides, fishing competitions, music, pig races and beer. Bait is provided for the Kids Fishing Rodeo, and even the little ones who don’t like fishing can find something to do in the Kids Zone. The main fishing slam pays out $25,000 in prize money.
When: June 8-10
Where: Madeira Beach
SUNCOAST INTERNATIONAL DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL – Paddlers of all types – community groups, recreational club rowers, corporate teams and even boats made up of breast cancer survivors – converge along the waters of the beautiful, 3-year-old Nathan Benderson Park rowing center facility. Proceeds from the event go to In the Pink, a non-profit serving women, men and children with cancer in Sarasota.
When: June 3
Where: Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota
TAMPA BAY CARIBBEAN HERITAGE FESTIVAL – Experience the rich and varied cultures of the Caribbean, including an Indian fashion show, African drumming presentation and Haitian, Puerto Rican and Dominican dance performances. Live reggae and jazz bands will entertain, with DJs spinning Caribbean popular tunes in between sets. However, the real showstopper is the cuisine: spiced, fragrant and tasty meat dishes served with tasty sides from the islands.
When: June 3
Where: University Park, Tampa
KIAFEST MAIN STREET BLAST – New Port Richey gets a jumpstart on Independence Day with its annual Main Street Blast, a fun-filled, freedom-loving, fireworks-studded weekend celebration. The region’s best cover bands play all the classic rock and soul hits while patrons enjoy food and beer tents, classic cars and military vehicles on display and a fun trolley pull competition.
When: June 30-July 1
Where: Sims Park, downtown New Port Richey
BODY MIND SPIRIT EXPO – This one-of-a-kind touring expo brings the latest and greatest in alternative health practices, products and ideologies, as well as psychics, mediums and spiritual teachers to help guide those seeking a holistic approach to wellness and life goals. For a $12 admission, attend a whole weekend of seminars on topics such as meditation, tarot readings, herbal medicine, financial health and relationships.
When: June 24-25
Where: Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa
TAMPA THEATRE SUMMER CLASSICS MOVIE SERIES – Aside from swimming pools and ice cream parlors, there may be no better place to be this summer than inside the beautiful, historic (and air-conditioned!) Tampa Theatre, which begins its Summer Classics series the first weekend of June. Recite your favorite lines under your breath or attend special sing-along viewings of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Graduate,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Grease” and “Casablanca,” to name a few.
When: June 3-Sept. 3
Where: Tampa Theatre, downtown Tampa
TARPON SPRINGS OPA! PALOOZA GREEK FESTIVAL – Tarpon Springs does what Tarpon Springs does best: Throw a big, fat Greek festival and invite all the neighbors. This inaugural event is a summer celebration of the town’s deep-rooted Greek heritage and culture and will serve up plenty of Greek food and pastries while featuring Greek dancing, music, workshops and a kids’ play area.
When: June 9-11
Where: Historic Sponge Docks, Tarpon Springs
COCOA BEACH UNCORKED – Some of the Florida Space Coast’s best chefs, restaurants and breweries get together to create the area’s most delicious foodie event of the year, right on the beach. Admission gets you all the food, beer and wine samplings you can consume, from fresh Atlantic Ocean-caught seafood to delectable desserts to silky pinot noirs, and you can also learn from live demonstrations and interactive experiences.
When: June 3-4
Where: Alan Shepard Park, Cocoa Beach
RIVER OF DREAMS: THE ST. JOHNS AND ITS SPRINGS — The St. Johns River, which extends from its headwaters in Indian River County for 310 miles to the Atlantic Ocean east of Jacksonville, has served as a primary source of food, water, transportation and recreation for northeast Florida dating back to the native Americans. This exhibit includes art photography by Anne Ledbetter and Bruce Mozert, artifacts from the Kingsley Plantation, a model of a shell mound plus other documents and images.
When: through June 24
Where: Matheson History Museum, Gainesville
BILLY BOWLEGS PIRATE FESTIVAL & TORCHLIGHT PARADE — Avast landlubbers! Get ready for a long weekend of frolickin’, skirmishes and treasure hunting during the most dastardly pirate festival along the Emerald Coast. Kids will have their run of the Pirate Play Zone of carnival games and attractions. Meanwhile adults can buy all-you-can-drink tickets for the Pirate’s Lair on Friday or the Billy Bowlegs Beer Tour on Saturday. The evening Torchlight Parade featuring more than 100 floats, boats, vessels and marching bands concludes the festival on Monday.
When: June 2-3, 5
Where: Fort Walton Beach Landing
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 Ropa 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 3
Where: Fountain of Youth Park, St. Augustine
TASTE OF GAINESVILLE — Sample the hottest dishes and coolest drinks from more than 35 local restaurants and vendors during the eighth annual event which benefits children’s charities. Your ticket also includes front row access to the crowning of the winner of the 2017 Iron Chef Gainesville cooking competition.
When: June 4
Where: UF Hilton Hotel, Gainesville
FLORIDA SAFARI — Beat the heat and still enjoy a day in the great outdoors on a ranger-guided tram tour through Silver Springs longleaf pine forest. The guides will talk about land management and identify flora and fauna including white-tailed deer, Gopher tortoise, Sherman’s fox squirrel and wild turkey (if spotted). Safari participants will also go on a short, hike along the swamp trail to the Silver River. Reservations recommended.
When: June 4
Where: Silver Springs State Park, Ocala
FLORIDA AFRICAN DANCE FESTIVAL — This three-day conference hits a major milestone in 2017 as it celebrated 20 years as the premier source of African cultural activities in the state highlighted by energizing performances. Internationally renowned performers will teach dance and drum workshops in different styles spanning the cultural influence from Guinea to Senegal. There will even be a workshop for wheelchair-bound participants.
When: June 8-10
Where: various venues, Tallahassee
WILD BLACKBERRY FESTIVAL — Hamilton County, the Wild Blackberry Capital of the Sunshine State, has a jam-packed lineup for the seventh annual festival. Start your day with a fun run so you’ll be hungry for the pancake breakfast that immediately follows. Other entertainment throughout the day includes a concert by Teddy MacElvis and the Legends, craft vendors, the Miss Blackberry pageant, a birds of prey demonstration and classic car cruise-in. We haven’t mentioned the festival star yet. Yes, there will be cobblers and blackberries by the pint for sale as well as jams and jellies.
When: June 10
FAMILY SEINING — Get a firsthand look at the underwater species of the Guana Lake with this fishing expedition. All participants will receive waders and boots and then have a chance to pull a seine net through the lake collecting a variety of species of fish, crabs and more. Staff from the reserve will identify the species and explain their role in the ecosystem. Reservations recommended.
When: June 10, 24
Where: GTM Research Reserve, Ponte Vedra Beach
WORLD PADDLE FOR THE PLANET DAY — World Paddle for the Planet Day was founded as an opportunity for a community to pick a charity or cause they believe in and take to the water to support it. In St. Augustine, there will be paddling trips (both kayaks and paddleboards are welcome) starting at 9 a.m. from the marina and the benefit support the Matanzas Riverkeeper. It’s $10 for adults or $5 for kids and includes lunch and live music.
When: June 10
Where: Genungs Fish Camp and Marina, St. Augustine
ST. AUGUSTINE MUSIC FESTIVAL — Take a break from the seasonal deluge of jazz, funk, blues and country music fests to salute the world’s greatest composers — Stravinsky, Bach, Debussy, Chopin, Mozart, Haydn and many more — at the country’s largest free classical music festival. Featured musicians like violinist Nigel Armstrong, guitarist Stephen Robinson, the Diaz Trio and violinist Elissa Koljonen will be joined by members of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.
When: June 15-17, 22-24
Where: Cathedral Basilica, St. Augustine
VETTES AT THE VILLAGE — Treat your dad to a pre-Father’s Day adventure to admire the sleek lines and natty details of more than 100 late model and custom corvettes. Cast your vote for the People’s Choice winner and then enjoy lunch at Murray Bros. Caddy Shack, a walk down memory lane at the World Golf Hall of Fame or a round of golf at the Slammer and Squire.
When: June 17
Where: World Golf Village, St. Augustine
GREAT ATLANTIC COUNTRY MUSIC FEST — the tagline says it all: “Beach, Boots, Bikinis and Brews”. The music lineup is still TBD, but any fest at Jax Beach it a rockin’ time at the beachfront music pavilion. Just imagine country crooners, sunset and rolling waves on the other side of the dunes. And the fest is free and family friendly. Now we definitely have you hooked.
When: June 17
Where: Seawalk Pavilion, Jacksonville Beach
ANGLING FOR THE BIG ONE — Fishing enthusiasts will be able to handpick which sport fishing tournament where they want to cast a line into the Gulf during the month of June.
- Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic (June 21-25, Miramar Beach): Marlin Magazine ranks this tourney with nearly $2 million in prizes as one of the Top Ten Big Money Tournaments with huge payouts for dolphin, tuna and wahoo. The weigh-ins take place each day at Baytowne Marina at Sandestin and include live music, food and Friday night fireworks. fishecbc.com
- Choctawhatchee Catfish Round-Up (June 2-3, Caryville): The Choctawhatchee River is known for serving up very large catfish to very lucky anglers during this roundup. The charity event doesn’t offer a huge payout like the Blue Marlin Classic but the lucky winner of the top prize will take home $1,000. facebook.com/choctawhatcheecatfishroundup
- Big Bend Classic Saltwater Classic (June 16-17): With two divisions in the 29th annual event — recreational and junior — winners will be awarded in multiple species including cobia, sheepshead, wahoo and dolphin. Pretty much any species you reel in could be eligible for the jackpot if it meets the minimum qualifying length. saltwaterclassic.com
61ST 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 Julie Roberts, Restless Heart, Darryl Worley and The Grascals. The festival also has plenty of watermelon, a run, pageant, custom and classics car show, pancake breakfast, parade and watermelon auction.
When: June 23-24
Where: Pals Park, Chipley
DODGEBRAWL CHARITY TOURNAMENT — Remember Patches O’Houlihan’s advice in the movie “Dodge Ball” -- “the five D’s of dodgeball: dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge” during the annual charity tournament. The winning team gets to donate their winnings to the local charity of their choice and avenge any long-held grudges for being last chosen in gym class. Of course, the double-elimination tournament will feature unique awards that encourage teams to match knee socks and headbands or attempt to pick the oddest name plus there will be a beer garden to kick back and relax at between matches.
When: June 24
Where: Pensacola Bay Center
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.