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 Lost World of Dinosaurs is a mind-boggling exhibit that features 27 realistic, life-size dinosaurs.

    The Lost World of Dinosaurs is a mind-boggling exhibit that features 27 realistic, life-size dinosaurs.

    - The Lost World of Dinosaurs



    KEY WEST LOBSTERFEST – It’s the 21st celebration of all things crustacean and signals the start of the Florida Keys lobster season. Highlights: Thursday night lobster boil, Friday night Duval Crawl, lots of live music, Saturday street fair with lobster-inspired culinary creations and a luscious lobster brunch Sunday.
    When: Aug. 10-13
    Where: Various locations in Key West
    Web: keywestlobsterfest.com

    HURRICANE ANDREW: 25 YEARS LATER – Yes, it’s been a quarter of a century since Hurricane Andrew roared through Miami (on Aug. 16) and there is a museum exhibit that reflects on the historic Category 5 storm with amazing video footage, stories from people who lived through it and historic photos.
    When: Now through Jan. 15, 2018
    Where: HistoryMiami Museum, Miami
    Web: historymiami.org

    THE LOST WORLD OF DINOSAURS – This exhibit that features 27 realistic, life-size dinosaurs has toured botanical gardens through the United States, but it is appearing in SoFla for the first time. If you haven’t been to beautiful Flamingo Gardens, this would be the perfect reason to go. Discover some of the largest creatures that ever lived, unearth bones in the Dino Dig, touch real fossils and see a real fossilized dinosaur egg.
    When: Through Sept. 4
    Where: Flamingo Gardens, Davie
    Web: flamingogardens.org

    INAUGURAL ISLAMORADA GRAND PRIX OF THE SEA -- Experience non-stop, pulsing action as Powerboat P1 brings Aquax and Superstock offshore races to the Keys. Yamaha and Kawasaki personal watercraft racers along with P1 Panther race boats compete at speeds averaging 75 miles per hour.
    When: Aug. 19-20
    Where: Islamorada
    Web: p1aquax.com

    AFRICAN DIASPORA DANCE AND DRUM FESTIVAL OF FLORIDA – Presented by Delou Africa, this yearly event is always a family-friendly multi-cultural arts and educational gathering. You’ll enjoy African and Caribbean dance and drumming and music workshops and much more.
    When: Aug. 4-6
    Where: Little Haiti Cultural Complex, Miami
    Web: littlehaiticulturalcenter.com or miamiandbeaches.com

    HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD – That’s Hollywood, Florida, not Tinseltown. This friendly city nestled about halfway between Fort Lauderdale and Miami has two monthly events that are worthy of your attention: the Downtown Artwalk and the Dream Car Classic. The former presents a mural tour and the new Hollywood Artisan Market, which features pop-up shops, artist showcases and vintage shopping. The latter features dozens – up to 85 – of hot rods, custom cars and trucks, modern beauties and classics.
    When: Respectively, third Saturday (the 19th in August) and first Sunday (the sixth in August) of each month.
    Where: downtown Hollywood
    Web: hollywoodfl.org

    FISHERMEN’S VILLAGE PIRATE FEST – All are welcome but ye best prepare to get wet, maties and wenches! There is a mock pirate invasion and anyone standing dockside will be sprayed with water guns by a flotilla of attacking boats encircling the fun-infested waters of Charlotte Harbor. Bring your water weapons and do your best to keep the invaders at bay. Also included: a pirate parade, pirate costume contests and a kid’s pirate treasure hunt.
    When: Aug. 25-27
    Where: Fishermen’s Village, Punta Gorda
    Web: fishermensvillagepiratefest.com

    A CENTURY OF FLIGHT: THE STORY OF AVIATION IN MIAMI – Passing through Miami International? You might want to check out this exhibit, presented by both the airport and HistoryMiami Museum.  The exhibit explores Miami’s fascination with flight, showing images, uniforms, model airplanes and other artifacts chronicling Miami’s rise as an aviation hub.
    When: Now through Dec. 31
    Where: South Terminal Greeter’s Lobby, Miami International Airport
    Web: miamiandbeaches.com

    HANG 20 SURF DOG CLASSIC – Need a dog fix when you come to South Florida? Then don’t miss this fun gathering.  In addition to doggie surfing and paddle boarding competitions, there will be doggie agility shows, doggie surfing lessons, live bands, a kids zone and good eats.
    When: Aug. 26
    Where: Carlin Park at Jupiter Beach Civic Center
    Web: furryfriendsadoption.org

    DINE OUT DOWNTOWN DELRAY RESTAURANT WEEK – Discover the diverse dining scene in downtown Delray Beach in this week-long foodie fest. Enjoy prix fixe lunches and dinners along with special Dine Out deals and a series of creative culinary events & classes throughout the week.
    When: Aug. 1-7
    Where: Various locations in downtown Delray Beach
    Web: thepalmbeaches.com/delray-restaurant-week

    19th ANNUAL AFRO-CUBAN DANCE FESTIVAL – Groove to Mambos, Rumbas, Congas, Chancletas, Salsas and many more as this yearly gathering expands to six days. The colorful fest has dance workshops with live drumming, a three-day children’s camp, a street fair and culminates with a gala performance featuring guest artists and the IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Company.
    When: Aug. 14-19
    Where: Koubek Center, Miami
    Web: ife-ile.org               

    MONSTER JAM – Get ready for a weekend of glorious destruction as tricked out five-ton trucks go crashing over cars and race against each other for bragging rights. Fun fact: You have to be over five-foot-six to be taller than the tires on these behemoths.
    When: Aug. 5-6
    Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise
    Web: thebbtcenter.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. 16-20
    Where: Various locations in Key West
    Web: tropicalheatkw.com

    CRAFT BEER BASH – Imagine an entire festival featuring unlimited sampling of 150 first-rate craft brew and cider selections. Combine that with great live music, yummy food stations, all set at a luxury resort in cool air-conditioned comfort and it’s a great way to spend a hot summer day.
    When: Aug. 19
    Where: PGA National Resort & Spa, Palm Beach Gardens
    Web: thepalmbeaches.com

    – Thousands of anglers have participated in the Sarasota Slam since it began 14 years ago, and it’s easy to see why it’s now one of the most beloved fishing tournaments in Florida.

    – Thousands of anglers have participated in the Sarasota Slam since it began 14 years ago, and it’s easy to see why it’s now one of the most beloved fishing tournaments in Florida.

    - Sarasota Slam Fishing Tournament



    MOUNT DORA SEAFOOD FESTIVAL – One of Mount Dora’s most delicious annual events, the Seafood Fest is a great way to try all of the region’s best fresh fish and seafood dishes, including fish and chips, lobster mac and cheese, crab cakes, shrimp kebobs and more. Kick off this year’s fest with a Friday night wine and pub crawl wearing your best pirate or wench attire for prizes.
    When: Aug. 26-27
    Where: Elizabeth Evans Park, Mount Dora
    Web: mountdoraseafoodfestival.com

    THE INCREDIBLE DUCK RACE – Adopt one of more than 5,000 rubber ducks dumped into downtown Tampa’s Hillsborough River and watch them all “race” to the finish line. Proceeds from the adoptions benefit children’s programs and charities via the Tampa Kiwanis Foundation, and there will be lots of fun activities, food, games and other shenanigans at the park leading up to the big race.
    When: Aug. 12
    Where: Curtis Hixon Park, downtown Tampa
    Web: duckrace.com/tampa

    NATIONAL TRAIN SHOW – The mildly curious to the master modelers will take delight in this stunning display of model railroad displays, complete with all the latest and most detailed structures, retractable bridges, landscaping, fast-moving train cars and other accessories for new or experienced builders. Check out this year’s LEGO Miniland and children’s play area and learn from the pros in hands-on demonstrations.
    When: Aug. 4-6
    Where: Orange County Convention Center, Orlando
    Web: nationaltrainshow.org

    9TH ANNUAL GECKO BALL – You know summer is winding down when you start to hear about GeckoFest in Gulfport, and the Gecko Ball kicks off the festivities with a wild dance party, “geckotinis” and hors d’oeuvres. This year’s theme is Geckostock, paying homage to the free-spirited hippie culture of the 1960s, so guests will come dressed head to toe in Woodstock-era costumes and enjoy throwback music while bidding on a well-stocked silent auction.
    When: Aug. 26
    Where: Gulfport Casino Ballroom, Gulfport
    Web: geckofest.com

    SARASOTA SLAM FISHING TOURNAMENT – Thousands of anglers have participated in the Sarasota Slam since it began 14 years ago, and it’s easy to see why it’s now one of the most beloved fishing tournaments in Florida. The competition includes billfish, fun fish and junior angler divisions, making everyone feel included as the week winds down to a dockside BBQ and party as well as the finishing awards ceremony.
    When: Aug. 1-5
    Where: Marina Jack, Sarasota
    Web: sarasotaslam.com

    FLORIDA KIDS & FAMILY EXPO – As the kids prepare to head back to school at the end of a long summer, take the whole family to this air-conditioned event children can play, bounce, create, discover, eat, explore and have fun while you gather new ideas and learn about enriching and exciting programs for all ages. It’s a great way to spend the day and you’ll walk away with a year full of prospects to get your family more involved in athletics, arts, music and more.
    When: Aug. 19-20
    Where: Orange County Convention Center, Orlando
    Web: mycentralfloridafamily.com

    STRAWBERRY CLASSIC CAR SHOW – Classic cars, classic music and classic street food vendors bring you back to a simpler time of shiny Firebirds and ’57 Chevys. Plant City’s monthly community car show will feature classic and antique trucks in August, as well as the usual BBQ, raffles, DJ, kids’ activities and shops and restaurants staying open until the event ends.
    When: Aug. 19
    Where: Union Station Depot, Plant City
    Web: plantcity.org/major-events

    BIG BANG BAZAAR – For one-of-a-kind, fun and quirky gifts and goods, hit the indoor Big Bang Bazaar featuring more than 200 vendors selling vintage and handmade organic skin care products, monster pillows, baby clothing, funky jewelry, travel photography, braided rugs, frilly stationary, vinyl records, antique housewares and other cool stuff. Free admission, free parking and the first hundred guests through the door get a swag bag filled with samples.
    When: Aug. 26
    Where: Central Florida Fairgrounds, Orlando
    Web: bigbangbazaar.net

    FESTIVAL OF INNER PEACE – Experience the relaxing meditative sounds of vocalists, guitarists, flautists and dancers playing and moving in harmony in this touring performance. The USF School of Music hosts the one-night-only show to help bring awareness to the healing powers that take place when music, classical dance and poetic storytelling come together in one production.
    When: Aug. 4
    Where: University of South Florida, Tampa
    Web: facebook.com/inner-peace

    7TH ANNUAL GREAT ST. PETE CUPCAKE CONTEST – St. Petersburg’s Morean Arts Center celebrates its 100th birthday with what else? Delicious, festive cupcakes! Up to 100 bakers will enter this annual competition for best creation in categories such as novice, professional, vegan/gluten-free and youth/teen. For $5, try five different cupcakes and cast your vote, or just pay as you go and try as many as you can handle. Better yet, submit your own special recipe for the top trophy and bragging rights.
    When: Aug. 19
    Where: Morean Center for Clay, St. Petersburg
    Web: moreanartscenter.org

    NIGHT IN THE ISLANDS – Experience the essence of Tarpon Springs at this six-times-a-year night fest right in the famous sponge docks, where you can indulge in an authentic Greek dinner and get a free Greek dance lessons by the Levendia Dance Troupe. Enjoy live music by Ellada, composed of three of the community’s most well-known Greek musicians —Leonidas Zafiris on bouzouki, Elias Poulos on vocals and Dino Theofilos on keyboard. 
    When: Aug. 5
    Where: Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks
    Web: spongedocks.net/night-in-the-islands

    CANAL STREET CRAFT BEER WALK – Along with an art stroll and live music along New Smyrna Beach’s historic Canal Street, grab a six-ounce souvenir tasting glass and follow a map of brew pubs for a sampling of up several local and regional craft beers. The walk, which takes place the first Saturday of every month, is a good introduction to new and tasty brews as well as a fun way to meet New Smyrna locals and visitors.
    When: Aug. 4
    Where: Canal Street, New Smyrna Beach
    Web: canalstreetcraftbeerwalk.com

    SHABBY CHIC VINTAGE MARKET AND ARTISAN DAYS – Spend a day shopping at this quaint, adorable market showcasing artisans from around Florida and beyond as well as restored shabby chic furniture, boutique clothing and antiques. The event will also have gourmet food trucks and vendors selling homemade goodies, as well as street performers and entertainers.
    When: Aug. 19
    Where: Bradenton Area Convention Center, Palmetto
    Web: facebook.com/shabby-chic

    DAYTONA FLEA MARKET ARTS & CRAFTS SHOW – The Daytona Flea Market sets a special day aside every month to invite all artists and craftspeople to bring their best handmade wares to the table, drawing shoppers looking for unique and creative artwork, home goods and gifts. An area is devoted to the painters, potters, wood-workers and more, allowing no manufactured items and displaying a charming assortment of talent in one spot.
    When: Aug. 13
    Where: Daytona Flea & Farmers Market, Daytona Beach
    Web: daytonafleamarket.com

    23RD ANNUAL GRAPE STOMP – Ring in the late summer vineyard harvest season in Florida with Lakeridge Winery’s annual stomping of the grapes. Stompers of all age can experience the squish between their toes as a fun, competitive tradition to honor this year’s bounty, plus families can enjoy live music and tasty treats as part of the weekend-long fest.
    When: Aug. 19-20
    Where: Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, Clermont
    Web: lakeridgewinery.com/harvest-festival

    The triple threat that makes each of Cirque du Soleil’s shows so unique lies in the compelling artistry, mesmerizing score and talented cast. Each of their touring productions has a distinct beauty and voice and Ovo is no different.

    The triple threat that makes each of Cirque du Soleil’s shows so unique lies in the compelling artistry, mesmerizing score and talented cast. Each of their touring productions has a distinct beauty and voice and Ovo is no different.

    - Cirque du Soleil


    DINOSAURS IN MOTION — This is as close to the movie “Night at the Museum” as regular patrons can get; you can use levers, pulleys and remote controls to see how a T. rex really moves. The 14 true-to-life interactive skeletons are crafted from recycled metals by North Carolina sculptor John Payne and were designed to resemble actual fossils. Finally, an exhibit that allows you to look … and touch.
    When: through Sept. 10
    Where: MOSH, Jacksonville
    Web: themosh.org

    JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS TRAINING CAMP — Will the Jags finally resuscitate their non-existent running game with the legs of first-round draft pick and LSU standout Leonard Fournette? Here’s your first chance to check him out and see if QB Black Bortles will get a little breathing room for touchdown machines Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. Fans must RSVP to attend the practices, which are free, through the team’s website. The final two days of camp will feature a joint practice with the Jameis Winston-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers and stars of HBO’s 2017 season of “Hard Knocks.”
    When: July 27, 28, 31; Aug. 1-3, 14, 15
    Where: Everbank Field, Jacksonville
    Web: jaguars.com/trainingcamp

    OVO — The triple threat that makes each of Cirque du Soleil’s shows so unique lies in the compelling artistry, mesmerizing score and talented cast. Each of their touring productions has a distinct beauty and voice and Ovo is no different. Catch one of the last stateside productions before the tour heads abroad and be transported to the Brazilian jungle and the circle of life as performers cloaked as spiders, crickets and butterflies dazzle with flexibility and daring.
    When: Aug. 2-6
    Where: Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
    Web: cirquedusoleil.com/ovo

    BIRTHDAY FISH FRY — Make a wish and help blow out the candles to celebrate the 121st birthday of beloved Florida author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. The state park and the friends of MKR Farm are hosting the a down home fish fry with all the fixin’s in the spirit of her books “Cross Creek” and “Cross Creek Cookery.” Both books are also celebrating the 75th anniversary of their publication. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
    When: Aug. 5
    Where: Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park, Hawthorne
    Web: floridastateparks.org/Marjorie-Kinnan-Rawlings

    48TH ANNUAL WAUSAU FUN DAY AND POSSUM FESTIVAL — This tribute to the possum, which thrives in the Central Panhandle, also features down-home family fun like hog callin’, rooster crowin’ or cow lowin’ contests. There’s also a crosscut sawing contest, a pancake breakfast, 5K “Possum Trot” and a square dance. Of course, it wouldn’t be the annual festival without the crowning of the king and queen, and honestly, the possum is only one star at this “real Florida” fest.
    When: Aug. 5
    Where: Wausau
    Web: wausaupossumfestival.com

    JAXCOT FOOD TRUCK RALLY — Eat your way around the world at this cost-conscious culinary experience. Bring your appetite and prepare to feast on multicultural eats from food trucks. Each truck will have a $5 value menu offering that represents a specific country. Also features an international bar crawl, kids zone, vendors, live music and more.
    When: Aug. 5-6
    Where: Seawalk Pavilion, Jacksonville Beach
    Web: foodtruckeatsjax.com

    14TH ANNUAL KINGFISH SHOOTOUT — Looking for a reason to gas up your boat and put a new reel on your rod? We’ve got 5,000 reasons, because that’s the how much money will go to the angler who catches the largest kingfish. The three-day tournament will give out $16,500 in prize money with categories for Spanish mackerel, youth angler and lady angler.
    When: Aug. 5-7
    Where: C-Quarters Marina, Carrabelle
    Web: c-quartersmarina.com/shootout.html

    25TH EMERALD COAST POKER RUN — Feeling lucky? What better reason to spend a day cruising the beautiful shoreline of the Emerald Coast for a cause than a Poker Run? The 25th Annual Poker is the culmination of a weeklong series of boat-themed events including a boat parade, bikini contest and Rockin’ the Docks Captains Party. There are two registration levels — ruby or emerald — and the event will be held rain or shine.
    When: Aug. 9-13
    Where: various venues, Okaloosa County
    Web: emeraldcoastpokerrun.com

    CONVOCATION OF THE SEMINOLE WARS HISTORIANS — History buffs of the Seminole Wars should save the date for the first convocation of Seminole War Historians. Events include a parade featuring 40 re-enactors and a commemoration ceremony of the funeral of Major Francis Dade at the National Cemetery at St. Francis Barracks, a social at the St. Augustine Officers Club, a lunch presentation on Seminole arts and culture by tribal member Elgin Jumper, afternoon lectures by Seminole War experts and an awards ceremony.
    When: Aug. 11-13
    Where: various venues, St. Augustine
    Web: seminolewars.org

    SEA TURTLE BABY SHOWER — With sea turtles laying a record number of nests (101) in 2016, come “shell”-abrate the hatchlings who will be making their trek from local beaches to the sea this year. The family friendly event allows attendees to inspect turtle shells and skeletons, guess the date when nests will hatch and educates the public on the hatchings biggest obstacles: bright lights from beach homes, condos and businesses. Attendees can also vow to keep the beaches litter free, fill in beach holes and stay away from nesting areas.
    When: Aug. 12
    Where: Landshark Landing, Pensacola Beach
    Web: margaritavillehotel.com

    PENSACOLA COMIC CONVENTION — This convention proves geeky, sci-fi love has no borders as fanboys and fangirls of seemingly diverse genres can coexist under one roof. Top celebrities scheduled this year include pro wrestling legend Scott Steiner (Big Bad Booty Daddy), actor Rick Cosnett (“Vampire Diaries” and “The Flash”) and paranormal investigators The Ghost Brothers (Dalen, Markus and Juwan). Also includes a live ghost investigation at the haunted Victorian Inn with the Ghost Brothers. Of course, no comic con would be complete without a costume competition, so start planning your duds now.
    When: Aug. 19-20
    Where: Pensacola Interstate Fair Grounds Expo Hall
    Web: pensacolacomiccon.com

    PADDLE AT THE PORCH — Forget running on the beach. Thanks to our gorgeous Florida coastline, paddle boarding events are becoming a thing. Pick your distance based on experience from the 1-mile beginner ride to the 3-mile recreational race and the 6-mile elite race. Awards will be presented to the first three finishers in each category.
    When: Aug. 19
    Where: Back Porch Seafood & Oyster Bar, Destin
    Web: destinchamber.com/paddle-at-the-porch

    FESTIVAL OF THE CHARIOT — Festival of the Chariots, or Ratha Yatra, originated in India as a celebration of the invitation to the Lord of the Universe to enter festival goers’ hearts. The Jax Beach festival features a Bhakti Yoga Festival centered on love and devotion, plus a 25-foot tall chariot, live music, vendors, workshops and more.
    When: Aug. 19
    Where: Jacksonville Beach
    Web: festivalofchariots.org

    PICKIN’ IN THE PARK — Celebrate the end of “summer” — the season, not the weather — with an evening of acoustic jams on the banks of the spring at the state park. The musicians and instruments vary each month but usually include banjo, upright bass, guitar and fiddle. Foot tapping and cheering is a must.
    When: Aug. 20
    Where: Silver Springs State Park
    Web: silversprings.com

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATIONAL PARKS SERVICE — It’s never too late to “find your park.” Coming off the National Parks Service’s centennial celebration in 2016, love for our nation’s historical and natural treasures is still at an all-time high. Although many parks always feature free admission, this is your chance to visit St. Augustine’s historic fort at no charge.
    When: Aug. 25
    Where: Castillo San Marcos, St. Augustine
    Web: nps.gov/casa

    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:

    South Florida

    Central Florida

    North Florida

    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.

    Places to Remember