June and July Events in Florida

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

    South Florida | Central Florida | North Florida
     

    a zany “Running of the Bulls” at HEMINGWAY DAYS in Key West

    Ernest Hemingway look-alikes kick off the annual "Running of the Bulls" in Key West.

    - Visit Florida Keys

     

    SOUTH FLORIDA 

    HALL OF HEROES – This comic book superhero exhibit immerses you in the action as soon as you enter, with full-scale statues of biggies such as Superman, Iron Man, Batman (and his Batmobile) and The Hulk. The displays represent the four ages of comics: The Golden Age (1930s-1950s), Silver Age (1950s-1970s), Bronze Age (1970s-1985) and the Modern Age (1985 to the present). At interactive stations, visitors can see how they match up against the superheroes.
    When:
    Now through Sept. 2
    Where:
    Museum of Discovery and Science, Fort Lauderdale
    Web:
    mods.org

    FLORIDA SUPERCON – If you’re a fan of comic books, anime, animation, video games, fantasy, sci-fi, and pop culture, this four-day geek-a-thon is for you. It features celebrity guests, comic book creators, voice actors, cosplayers, writers, panels, films and shorts, costume and cosplay contests, vendors, parties, workshops, celebrity Q & A sessions, gaming events, fantasy Super Cosplay wrestling and a Super Geek Film Festival. Among the featured guests:  John Cusack, George Takei, Nick Frost, Benedict Wong, Danielle Panabaker and Jason Isaacs.
    When:
    July 4-7
    Where:
    Miami Beach Convention Center
    Web:
    floridasupercon.com

    HEMINGWAY DAYS – The annual Papa-fest turns 39 this year and features readings, a museum exhibit of rare Ernest Hemingway memorabilia, a zany “Running of the Bulls,” a three-day marlin tournament, a short story competition, street fair, a party commemorating his July 21 birthday and, of course, the famous Look-Alike Contest.
    When:
    July 16-21
    Where:
    Various locations in Key West
    Web:
    fla-keys.com/hemingway-days

    GO FOURTH, SOUTH FLORIDA! – No matter where you are in South Florida on the 4th of July, you’ll be able to find a great show and other fabulous Independence Day festivities as Americans celebrate the 243rd birthday of our great nation. Just Google any city and you’ll be all set. All of us at VISITFLORIDA.com wish all of you and yours a happy and safe Fourth of July.

    ANNUAL UNDERWATER MUSIC FESTIVAL – Be among the hundreds of divers and snorkelers who go deep each year at this quirky concert (in its 35th year) that emphasizes reef preservation and also is a whole lot of fun. Classic rock is piped in underwater via speakers suspended from boats hovering above the third largest reef in the world. Contact any of the local dive shops to reserve a spot on their vessels and enjoy their costume parties.
    When:
    July 13
    Where:
    Looe Key Reef (about six miles south of Big Pine Key)
    Web:
    lowerkeyschamber.com

    BUGFEST BY-THE-SEA – Win big bucks by catching big “bugs” – as in lobsters. It’s timed to coincide with Florida’s two-day lobster mini-season. The limit is a fabulous 12 bugs per day and night-diving is permitted. Also included: bug-hunting seminars, underwater photo and video contests, and a lobster cook-off.
    When:
    July 25-30
    Where:
    Lauderdale-By-The-Sea
    Web:
    lbtsevents.com/bugfest-by-the-sea

    THE LOST WORLD OF DINOSAURS – Travel back millions of years to when these beasts ruled the roost. There are 27 realistic dinosaur replicas, some of them the largest creatures that ever lived, nestled among beautiful botanical gardens. Explore modern-day plant and animal descendants, unearth bones in the Dino Dig, touch real fossils and see real mounted dinosaur skeletons.
    Where:
    Flamingo Gardens, Davie
    When:
    Now through Sept. 2
    Web:
    www.flamingogardens.org

    KEY LIME FESTIVAL – The seventh annual affair is a mega-celebration of Florida’s official state pie. It includes, of course, pie-eating and pie-making contests, the Key Lime Bar Sip & Stroll, a wacky talent show, the Key Lime Pie Hop, samplings of Keys-distilled rum flavored with the tangy lime, a scavenger hunt, and the Miss Key Lime Pie and L’il Miss Key Lime pageants.  Win $100 by doing the best job in the gravity-defying Key Lime Pie Drop, from the top of Key West's historic lighthouse. A spectacular fireworks display on the Fourth helps open the festivities.
    When:
    July 4-7
    Where:
    Various locations in Key West
    Web:
    keylimefestival.com

    OVERTOWN MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL – It’s a full day of non-stop fun, featuring great live music, ethnic cuisine and artists, crafters and jewelers showcasing their work. There’s also a gigantic Youth Zone for the youngsters that includes more live music, arts and crafts, face painting, bounce houses, karaoke and fun fitness activities.
    When:
    July 13
    Where:
    Overtown Business District, Miami
    Web:
    overtownmusicartsfestival.com

    MEL FISHER DAYS – Celebrate the 17th anniversary of Mel Fisher’s 16-year search for the Spanish galleon Atocha and the discovery of the Atocha motherlode. Events include the annual dock party at Schooner Wharf Bar, tours of salvaging vessels, raffles, silent and live auctions and live entertainment.
    When:
    July 11-13
    Where:
    Various locations in Key West
    Web:
    melfisherdays.com

    SHAKESPEARE BY THE SEA – The Bard’s “Romeo & Juliet” gets the royal treatment at the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival. Enjoy the play under the stars at a unique beach-side setting. Bring your beach chair, blanket and picnic basket, or enjoy fare from numerous food trucks. Note: It’s officially free, but a donation of $5 per person is suggested.
    When:
    July 11-21, but only on Thursday through Sunday.
    Where:
    Seabreeze Amphitheatre in Jupiter’s Carlin Park.
    Web:
    pbshakespeare.org

    MIAMI SALSA CONGRESS – This five-day festival features a gathering of the world’s top Salsa talent, including local and international touring artists, award-winning dancers, world-class dance instructors, top industry DJs, and great Latin bands. In its 18th year, MSC is recognized as one of the largest festivals of its kind. Also: pool parties, pre-event parties, nightly dance parties, evening galas, dance workshops and showcases, and activities for kids.
    When:
    July 24-28
    Where:
    Eden Roc Nobu Hotel, Miami Beach
    Web:
    miamisalsacongress.com

    EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY IN PALM BEACH COUNTY – These two are sure to make for a happy tummy and a quenched thirst:

    ·        7th Annual Boca Burger Battle -- You’ll not only find great burgers, but an array of tasting stations featuring other gourmet goodies. There also will be a variety of craft beers and outstanding wines.
    When:
    July 13
    Where:
    Sanborn Square Park in downtown Boca Raton
    Web:
    bocaburgerbattle.com

    ·        Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest – Sample some of the more than 150 available craft beers and choose from an array of outstanding food trucks serving delicious fare that will go great with your cold brewskis.
    When:
    July 20
    Where:
    South Florida Fair Grounds in West Palm Beach
    Web:
    palmbeachsummerbeerfest.com

    SUMMERTIME MOONLIGHT SEA TURTLE WALKS – Hopefully, you will observe a loggerhead sea turtle lay her eggs and head out to sea. At the least, you’ll learn a lot about sea-turtle nesting.
    When:
    Various dates in June and July
    Where:
    Museum of Discovery & Science and then the beach, Fort Lauderdale.
    Web:
    mods.org

    THE MONTH OF THE MANGO – Three fests celebrate the King of Tropical Fruit in July: the 27th Annual International Mango & Tropical Fruit Festival, the 23rd Annual MangoMania Tropical Fruit Fair and a relative newcomer, the 2nd Annual South Beach Mango Festival. A variety of mango-centric activities will be offered at all three: yummy tastings, recipes, food demonstrations, refreshing mango smoothies, mango trees for sale, pie-eating contests, island-flavored music, vendors and children’s activities.
    When & Where:
    Respectively, July 13-14 at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables; July 13-14 at the German-American Social Club in Cape Coral, and July 26-28 at Lummus Park in Miami Beach.
    Web:
    Respectively, fairchildgarden.org, mangomaniafl.net and sobemangofest.com

    KEY WEST MERMAID FESTIVAL – This is a new kid on Key West’s solid block of July fests. Attend the Mermaid Festival Parade. Have breakfast with mermaids. Meet and greet mermaids. It’s an all-ages mermaid-a-thon, with the exception of the adults only underwater Ocean Blue party.
    When:
    July 5-7
    Where
    : Various locations in Key West
    Web:
    keywestmermaidfestival.com

    MIAMI SPA MONTH – Why they call it Miami Spa Month when it lasts two months, we do not know. What we do know is that summer is here and what better way to chill than being pampered at some of Miami’s world-famous luxury spas at discount prices?
    When:
    July and August
    Where:
    Various luxury spas throughout Miami-Dade County.
    Web:
    miamispamonth.com

    DAYS OF SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL – Here’s your chance to hit the high seas for a cruise, along with Miami producer/rapper DJ Kahled and fellow artists Cardi B and Post Malone. The cruise and fest will be aboard the Carnival Victory. The ship can hold 2,764 passengers, but you have to be at least 18 years old.
    When & Where:
    Departing for the Bahamas on June 28 and returning to Miami on July 1.
    Web:
    daysofsummercruise.com

    TASTE OF THE CARIBBEAN – Can’t make it to the islands any time soon? Not to worry. June is Caribbean American Heritage Month and this event will bring the islands to you. You’ll 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.
    When:
    June 21-25
    Where:
    Hyatt Regency, Miami
    Web:
    chtataste.com

    SIZZLING SUMMER SAVINGS – Everyone knows that SoFla is hot in the summer, but there are also hot deals to be found. You’ll find discounts and BOGOS galore. Check out these five:

    ·        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. Attendees will be treated to dynamic interactive art, exciting community events, waterfront activities and eclectic shopping and dining. S.I.P. festivities.
    When: through July 26
    Where: West Palm Beach
    Web:   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.
    When: through Sept. 30
    Where: West Palm Beach, Miami, Fort Lauderdale.
    Web:
    summersavingspass.com

    ·        The 2-FOR-1 SUMMER SAVINGS in Broward County is already underway and offers buy-one-get-one-free offers for museums, restaurants and bars, shopping and all kinds of indoor and outdoor activities. Some 60 businesses and attractions are participating.
    When: through Sept. 30
    Where:
    Broward County
    Web:
    Sunny.org/Summer

    ·        SIZZLE SWFL RESTAURANT WEEK actually lasts two weeks and celebrates dining out at an affordable price. It used to be known as Naples Restaurant Week, but it has been expanded to also include eateries in Fort Myers, Estero, Bonita Springs, Marco Island and Cape Coral. Participating restaurants will offer three-course menus starting at $26 or $36 for dinner and $16 or $21 for lunch.
    When: through June 12
    Where:
    Fort Myers, Estero, Bonita Springs, Marco Island, Cape Coral
    Web: swflrestaurantweek.com

    ·        Not to be outdone, CORAL GABLES RESTAURANT WEEK actually lasts three weeks (June 3-23), which will give you plenty of time to eat your way through Coral Gables, trying new eateries and return to old favorites, all offering prix-fixe menus.
    When: through June 23
    Where:
    Coral Gables
    Web:
    coralgablesrestaurantweek.com

    ·        With the SOUTH FLORIDA ADVENTURE PASS you will be able to have unlimited admissions for one set price from May 15 until Sept. 30 at these five Broward County attractions: the historic Bonnet House, Flamingo Gardens, Sawgrass Recreation Park, Xtreme Action Park and Young at Art Museum. At the Xtreme Action Park, roller skating is free, including skate rentals.
    When: through Sept. 30
    Where: Broward County
    Web:
    southfloridaadventurepass.com

    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. Some of the celebrities include actress-designer-author La La Anthony (she is this year’s festival ambassador), Deon Cole, Jemele Hill and Omar Epps.
    When:
    June 12-16
    Where:
    Various theaters and other locations throughout Miami Beach
    Web:
    www.abff.com

    RAINBOW POWER – Check out any of these great LGBTQ events:

    ·        Enjoy a month-long variety of activities at the OUT IN THE TROPICS FESTIVAL. There will be performances by international, national and local artists.  Also included will be community workshops and lectures. Many of the events are free.
    When: through June 24 at various locations throughout Miami Beach.
    Where: Various locations throughout Miami Beach
    Web: fundarte.us

    ·        The WILTON MANORS STONEWALL PRIDE STREET FESTIVAL & PARADE is 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. The highlight of the event, of course, is the float-laden parade.
    When: June 15
    Where: Downtown Wilton Manors
    Web: wiltonmanorsstonewall.com

    ·        The WYNWOOD PRIDE FESTIVAL celebrates the full spectrum of diversity and also includes drag shows, lips synching battles late-night DJ-hosted parties. The host is Carmen Carrera of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame.
    When: June 21-23
    Where: Wynwood Arts District, Miami
    Web: wynwoodpride.com

    MYSTERY FEST KEY WEST – Highlights include panels, presentations and parties with two dozen high profile and award winning mystery and crime authors, book signings and professional publishing and marketing discussions. Headlining authors this year are keynote speaker Jeffery Deaver, Heather Graham, Lisa Black, Carla Norton and Diane S. Stuckart.
    When:
    June 28-30
    Where:
    Various locations in Key West
    Web:
    mysteryfestkeywest.com

    REDLAND SUMMER FRUIT FESTIVAL -- It’s time to enjoy seasonal and rare fruits 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 22-23
    Where:
    Fruit & Spice Park, Homestead
    Web:
    redlandfruitandspice.com

    KEY WEST INTERNATIONAL GUITAR FESTIVAL: BRIDGES TO PARADISE --   This three-day fest will showcase a fusion of master guitarists performing classical, jazz, Latin, blues, folk and contemporary music. The guitarists are Mateo (he’ll perform the world premiere of his “Melodic Journey”), Larry Baeder and Rolando Rojas. An added bonus this year is vocalist Belle and the Fabulous Spectrelles.  Food and wine events will be paired with the music.
    When:
    June 21-23
    Where:
    Various locations in Key West
    Web:
    keywestinternationalguitarfestival.org

    SUMMER JAZZ ON THE GULF -- 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 Alter Eagles are the headliner for the first show. Note: Events are free and open to the general public, not just hotel guests.
    When:
    June 29, July 20, Aug. 17 and Sept. 14
    Where:
    Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club
    Web:
     naplesbeachhotel.com/summerjazz

    DOWNTOWN VENICE CRAFT FESTIVAL – There’s a significant downturn in the number of arts & craft festivals in SoFla beginning in June, but this one is still going strong. Peruse booths filled with stained glass, photography and even personalized products for children and doggies. Don’t miss the Green Market for plants, handmade soaps, tangy BBQ sauces and orchids.
    When:
    June 15-16
    Where:
    Along Miami Avenue in Venice
    Web:
    artfestival.com

    INTERNATIONAL KINETIC ART EXHIBIT & SYMPOSIUM -- Visitors will see 12 large-scale kinetic sculptures that actually move, powered by solar, water, wind, gravity and human interaction.  Six of the sculptures were created for this exhibition, which occurs every two years. The installations are accessed by an easy-to-walk self-guided tour or scheduled group tours with trained docents.
    When:
    through September
    Where:
    Downtown Boynton Beach
    Web:
    www.IntlKineticArtEvent.org

    OUT IN THE TROPICS FESTIVAL – Enjoy a month of performances by provocative local, national and international artists that boldly address issues of gender politics and sexuality. There will be an array of free educational activities, including workshops and lectures.
    When:
    through June 24
    Where:
    Various locations in Miami and Miami Beach
    Web:
    fundarte.us

     

    CLEARWATER THRESHERS PRIDE NIGHT, fireworks over field

    Spend a fun, family-friendly evening with Clearwater’s own minor league baseball team and sponsor of St. Pete Pride as the Threshers honor equality and diversity and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community along with families, friends and allies.

    - Clearwater Threshers


    CENTRAL FLORIDA

    STITCHER PARADISE Now in its third year, Stitcher Paradise is a sewing lover’s dream event, created to inspire and connect all sewing and quilting enthusiasts, novices, and anyone who wants to explore the world of color, fabric, fiber art. and more. Participate in workshops by nationally known educators dispensing invaluable tips to stitchers and quilters, fiber artists, hand embroiderers and longarm quilters of all skill levels and interests. Groups and buses are welcome and the hosting Hilton offers special room rates for Stitcher Paradise participants.
    When:
    July 18-20
    Where:
    Hilton Carillon Park, St. Petersburg
    Web:
    happyapplequilts.com/stitcher-paradise

    COKE ZERO SUGAR 400 – Known for its exciting close races and dazzling fireworks shows, this NASCAR Cup Series Stock Car race is one of the most well attended summer events of the year. Country music star Michael Ray will provide the pre-race entertainment along with several other fun fan activities and pageantry. Bring your RV, tents, inflatable pools, and coolers of cold beer for an extra memorable weekend.
    When:
    July 6
    Where:
    Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach
    Web:
    daytonainternationalspeedway.com/Coke-Zero-Sugar-400

    THUNDER ON THE RIDGE – One of Central Florida’s largest and most longstanding Independence Day celebrations, Thunder on the Ridge once again invites families to bring blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy an amazing fireworks show, plus live music all afternoon and evening, a beer garden, plenty of food vendors, a cornhole tournament, and helicopter sightseeing tours.
    When:
    July 4
    Where:
    Lake Eva Park, Haines City
    Web:
    hainescity.com/Thunder-on-the-Ridge

    SHARK CON – Never have sharks seemed more loveable, fascinating and critical to sea life sustainability than at Shark Con, a fun, interactive and educational two-day event dedicated to ocean life conservation, marine research and advocacy. Dip your hands in touch tanks, try scuba diving, plunge down a 22-foot shark slide, dig for sharks’ teeth, and take your photo with mermaids. And new this year, listen to celebrity and expert speakers from “Shark Week,” “National Geographic,” and “Animal Planet,” and meet members of the “SpongeBob SquarePants” cast.
    When:
    July 13-14
    Where:
    Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa
    Web:
    shark-con.com

    SARASOTA MYSTIC FAIRE – People come from all over to find healing, enlightenment and natural health products and techniques at this fascinating fair. Visit with psychics, tarot card readers, mediums, and alternative health practitioners or shop for various hard-to-find items and gifts such as crystals, crystal bowls, jewelry, clothing, books, sacred art, angel art, mandalas and more.
    When: July 27-28
    Where: Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, Sarasota
    Web: mysticfaires.com/sarasota-mystic-faire

    CLEARWATER THRESHERS PRIDE NIGHT – Spend a fun, family-friendly evening with Clearwater’s own minor league baseball team and sponsor of St. Pete Pride as the Threshers honor equality and diversity and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community along with families, friends and allies. Enjoy a great American pastime, refreshments, and a warm crowd, then stay after for an exciting fireworks show.
    When:
    July 27
    Where:
    Spectrum Field, Clearwater
    Web:
    milb.com/clearwater/pride-night

    CALADIUM FESTIVAL & PLANT EXTRAVAGANZA – Celebrate Florida’s rich soil and natural beauty and support local farming at this three-day fest honoring the vibrant and hearty caladium plant. This year’s event includes bus tours, plant and bulb markets, samples of wine from local harvests, an art competition, a floral arrangement contest, a car show, arts and crafts vendors, and food trucks.
    When:
    July 26-28
    Where:
    Stuart Park, Lake Placid
    Web:
    lpfla.com/caladium-festival

    CRYSTAL RIVER SCALLOP FESTIVAL – Citrus County’s official scallop season kicks off in July, and what better way to ring in the scalloping than with live Florida-style music, cold beer, water balloons, and a scallop cook-off? Try your hand at the 32-foot rock wall, sing your heart out at karaoke, and sample local flavors from the various food vendors. Also: a special dance performance and the Miss and Mr. Kings Bay Pageant.
    When:
    July 27-28
    Where:
    Kings Bay Park, Crystal River
    Web:
    bestfloridafest.com/scallop-festival

    METROCON – This eye-popping event for anime lovers brings cosplay entertainment to another level with roving mascots, actors, and other creative acts mingling with guests dressed as their favorite anime, comic book, video game, and sci-fi characters. Meet the voice actors behind your favorite animated icons, hear from screenwriters and illustrators, and take part in the various human chess matches, parties, video game battles, and fire shows.
    When:
    July 11-14
    Where:
    Tampa Convention Center, downtown Tampa
    Web:
    metroconventions.com

    ST. PETE SUMMER MARKET SERIES – It doesn’t get much more St. Pete than an indie market, sunshine, and shuffleboard. Hosted by the Indie Flea, this summer pop-up series features a number of independent vendors selling hip clothing and accessories, homemade bath and body products, plants, artwork, and gifts. Come hungry and enjoy brunch and craft cocktails while you play and shop.
    When:
    July 28
    Where:
    St. Pete Shuffleboard Club, St. Petersburg
    Web:
    facebook.com/shuffleboard

    FLORIDA VEGAN GOURMET FOOD FESTIVAL – Inside the beautiful USF Botanical Gardens, celebrate the plant-based lifestyle and taste gourmet dishes and unique recipes while meeting local chefs of vegan cuisine. Learn the art of preparing gourmet vegan dishes with live cooking and food preparation demos, participate in a one-with-nature meditation session, and shop at an organic farmers market. Kids 12 and under are free, and there are plenty of activities for all ages.
    When:
    July 27
    Where:
    USF Botanical Gardens, Tampa
    Web:
    facebook.com/USF-vegan

    INDIALANTIC CRAFT FESTIVAL – Held in a stunningly pretty oceanfront park in the small community of Indialantic, this craft fest welcomes all to its gallery-style booths filled with gems and jewelry, sculptures, photography, pottery, paintings, ceramics, and other gifts and artwork for sale. Meet the artists and feel free to bring leashed pets along for the stroll.
    When:
    July 6-7
    Where:
    Nance Park, Indialantic/Melbourne
    Web:
    artfestival.com/indialantic-melbourne-craft-festival

    DAYTONA BEACH BANDSHELL CONCERTS – You know Florida summer is finally here when the Daytona Beach Bandshell fires up its fun and free concert series, which begins Memorial Day weekend and runs through the end of September. Check out a wide variety of genres and tribute bands right along Daytona’s beautiful coastline as dusk turns to night and stick around on Saturdays for a spectacular fireworks show at the Daytona Beach Boardwalk and Pier.
    When:
     every weekend through the end of September
    Where:
    Daytona Beach
    Web:
    daytonabeach.com/bandshell-concerts

    DALI MUSEUM’S VISUAL MAGIC EXHIBIT Be among the first to try out this special interactive exhibit featuring some of Salvador Dali’s most monumental works through the lens of augmented reality technology. Viewing the artwork through the Dali Museum app on a mobile device, visitors get to see the paintings come to life, highlighting and exploring their complexities in a completely different way. Don’t have a device? The museum can provide one of theirs.
    When:
    June 15-Nov. 3
    Where:
    The Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg
    Web:
    thedali.org

    ST. PETE PRIDE – What began as a modestly small parade and street fair 17 years ago has grown into Florida’s largest LGBT pride celebration drawing more than 250,000 people, and this year is expected to be bigger and better than ever. Three days of events include a night parade of dazzling and colorful floats, lavish costumes, live performances by musical artists such as Lisa Loeb and a fireworks show along St Pete’s beautiful downtown waterfront.
    When:
    June 21-23
    Where:
    St. Petersburg
    Web:
    stpetepride.com

    SARASOTA MUSIC FESTIVAL – Music students get a three-week dose of coaching, master classes and performances at one of of classical music’s finest teaching festivals, all open to the public. 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 1-22
    Where: Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, Sarasota
    Web: sarasotaorchestra.org/festival

    SUMMERFEST ZEPHYRHILLS – The free Summerfest returns for a fifth year, celebrating the first weekend of Florida’s warmest stretch. Grab your lawn chairs and head to Zephyr Park, where the evening begins with a dance contest, and kids can hit the bounce houses, slides, a rock wall and trampoline jumpers while adults enjoy live entertainment, food, beer, arts and crafts and a 30-minute fireworks show to end the night.
    When:
    June 22
    Where:
    Zephyr Park, Zephyrhills
    Web:
    facebook.com/SummerFestZephyrhills

    OPA! PALOOZA – Head towards the historic Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks for a free, two-day celebration of Greek heritage and culture at the Opa! Palooza Greek Festival. The pet-friendly event, hosted by the Tarpon Springs Merchant’s Association, will feature live music, a kids play area, dancing, seminars, workshops, food, pastries and spirits that will leave you shouting, “Opa!”
    When:
    June 15-16
    Where:
    Dodecanese Boulevard on the Sponge Docks, Tarpon Springs
    Web:
    spongedocks/opapalooza

    TAMPA THEATRE SUMMER CLASSICS MOVIE SERIES
    – If you’re looking for a cool, dark escape from the summer heat, head to the beautiful, historic (and air-conditioned!) Tampa Theatre, which begins its Summer Classics series the first weekend of June. Revisit old scenes you forgot, recite your favorite lines under your breath and reminisce with old favorites such as “Jaws,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “9-to-5” and a sing-along version of “Grease.”
    When:
    Sundays in June through August
    Where:
    Tampa Theatre, downtown Tampa
    Web:
    tampatheatre.org/summer-classics

    SAVOR SARASOTA – Sarasota’s culinary scene has been growing over the years, both in creative scope and ethnic variety, and this is a wonderful chance to try some of the area’s best flavors, from fresh seafood to French cuisine to Peruvian tapas. For two weeks, dozens of restaurants will offer special prix-fixe, multi-course lunch and dinner menus for just $16 and $32 per person.
    When:
    June 1-14
    Where:
    Participating restaurants throughout Sarasota County
    Web:
    visitsarasota.com/savor

    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 22-23
    Where:
    Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa
    Web:
    bmse.net/bmseweb

    BEACHES FREEDOM FESTIVAL in Jacksonville, band on stage in front of big crowd

    The Beaches Freedon Festival in Jacksonville invites you to enjoy an All-American, family-friendly day at the beach complete with a Corn Hole Tournament and Hot Dog Eating Contest.

    - Beaches Freedom Festival

     

    NORTH FLORIDA

    SUMMER MOVIE CLASSICS Some movie buffs have argued that 1994 was one of the top years for Hollywood, and looking at the Florida Theatre’s lineup for their annual Sunday afternoon showings it’s easy to see why. Fans will have a chance to revisit “Forrest Gump,” an Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Director, Actor and Adapted Screenplay (showing on 8/25), “Pulp Fiction,” Academy Award winner for Best Original Screenplay (6/23), “Little Giants” (7/7), “The Shawshank Redemption” (7/21) and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” (8/18) all on their 25th anniversary. Also includes showings of films celebrating their golden anniversary: “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (6/30), “Easy Rider” (7/14), “The Italian Job” (8/4) and “Midnight Cowboy” (8/18). Although the theater is used primarily for live entertainment, it is one of the state’s original movie palaces. A chance to explore the Moorish interior architecture is as much a draw as an air-conditioned movie on a hot summer day.
    When:
    June 23 to Aug. 25
    Where:
    Florida Theatre, Jacksonville
    Web:
    floridatheatre.com

    SMOKE ON THE COAST BBQ AND FIREWORKS FESTIVAL Fourth of July fireworks fever is the gift that keeps on giving, with Destin hosting a pre-party on the eve of the nation’s birthday. With dozens of local restaurants and award-winning BBQ veterans serving up $1 samples, there’s no way that you’ll vote for the People’s Choice winner on an empty stomach. Includes live music, family entertainment and fireworks.
    When:
    July 3
    Where:
    Destin Commons
    Web:
    destincommons.com/smoke-on-the-coast

    REAL.FUN.FOURTH Three days. Three beachfront fireworks shows. One big American birthday bash.

    ·        Freedom Rocks: Rock your spot and tune in to Kick’n 103.5 for fireworks show choreographed to a music simulcast through the station’s app or online at kickin1035.com.
    When: July 3     
    Where:
    Treasure Island Marina
    Web:
    grandlagoon.com/freedom-rocks

    ·        Star Spangled Spectacular: Arrive early to set up your beach chair for a front-row seat to PCB’s dueling fireworks show, which utilizes both the city (Russell-Fields) and county (M.B. Miller) piers as the blastoff points. Kickin 103.5 will simulcast music through their app during the show.
    When: July 4
    Where:
    Panama City Beach
    Web:
    (visitpanamacitybeach.com

    ·        Light Up the Gulf Fireworks Show: The 12th annual bash includes seafood and live music prior to the area’s largest private fireworks show.
    When: July 5
    Where: Boardwalk Beach Resort
    Web:
    boardwalkbeachhotel.com
    FLORIDA FOURTH Experience Independence Day with small town hospitality in one of the state’s northern communities. These family-friendly events usually take place along a tree-lined park, riverfront or the Gulf. Many of the celebrations kick off with a parade (with or without tractors or golf carts) plus local eats and live music before the first boom sounds in the night sky. Here’s a quick a roundup of some of the celebrations for you to explore:

    ·         2019 Independence Day Celebration (June 29): Memorial Park/Duck Pond Park, Macclenny. bakerchamberfl.com

    ·         Vernon Firecracker Day (July 4): Vernon Sportsplex. visitwcfla.com/vernon-firecracker-day

    ·         4th of July Fireworks (July 4): St. Joseph Bay in Port St. Joe and Lake Alice Park in Wewahitchka. visitgulf.com/4th-july-fireworks-gulf-county

    ·         St. George Island Independence Day (July 4): Blue Parrot Oceanfront Cafe, St. George Island. floridasforgottencoast.com/st-george-island

    ·         4th Independence Day Celebration (July 4): White Springs Veteran’s Park

    ·         Cedar Key Golf Cart Parade and Fireworks (July 4): Cedar Key. cedarkey.org/independence-day-fireworks

    ·         Williston Independence Day Parade and Fireworks (July 3): Horseman’s Park. visitnaturecoast.com

    ·         4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza (July 5): Carrabelle Visitor Center. floridasforgottencoast.com/carrabelle-independence-day

    SHINE ON CEDAR KEY Cedar Key’s historic lighthouse will illuminate the coastal community again thanks to a new replica lens from the Florida Division of Historical Resources. The station was built in 1854 and had a working light until 1915. The coastal community will host a daylong party featuring live entertainment and food and drink specials leading up to flipping the switch at 9 p.m. followed by a release of paper lanterns and fireworks. 
    When:
    July 5
    Where:
    Cedar Key Light Station
    Web:
    ncbs.ifas.ufl.edu/shine-on

    GULF COAST CREOLE & CAJUN FESTIVAL Pensacola’s adding another food festival to its annual lineup with this inaugural event featuring Creole and Cajun eats and drinks from restaurants in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Also includes DJs, live entertainment, and kid play area.
    When:
    July 5-6
    Where:
    Pensacola Blue Wahoos
    Web:
    creolecajunfest.com

    PENSACOLA BEACH AIR SHOW The Blue Angels’ jaw-dropping aerial feats are even more breathtaking as they buzz beachgoers at their home base along Pensacola’s sugar-soft sandy beachfront. The air show also features other fan-favorite performers like Fat Albert (C-130 Hercules), Gary Ward, and Veterans Flight, but this is Blues country and their pilots are the stars of the show. Catch a glimpse of the Blues leading up to the main event at the Breakfast with the Blues meet and greet (Wednesday), or during practice (Thursday and Friday).
    When:
    July 10-13
    Where:
    Gulfside Pavilion at Casino Beach, Pensacola Beach
    Web:
    visitpensacolabeach.com/blue-angels

    SWAMP STOMP MUSIC FESTIVAL Spread your blanket under the Spanish moss dripping from the dense live oak canopy for a night of acoustic music by Southern singer/songwriters, including Dylan “Rag Picker” Allen, Bell & the Band, Mimi Hearn, Brian Bowen, Hot Tamale, and Del Suggs. Kids can explore the museum’s 52-acre park along Lake Bradford either at ground-level along the boardwalk and trails or from the treetops on the zipline adventure. The event is free for active-duty military personnel.
    When:
    July 13
    Where:
    Tallahassee Museum
    Web:
    tallahasseemuseum.org/swamp-stomp

    BEACHES FREEDOM FESTIVAL Enjoy an All-American, family-friendly day at the beach complete with a Corn Hole Tournament and Hot Dog Eating Contest. The free festival includes more than a dozen food trucks, live entertainment with The Band Be Easy and Let’s Ride Brass Band as headliners, beer garden, and a kid zone with crafts and games.
    When:
    July 13
    Where:
    Jacksonville Beach
    Web:
    beachesfreedomfest.com

    GREATER JACKSONVILLE KINGFISH TOURNAMENT AND FESTIVAL Grab your rod and enjoy one of the coolest outdoor locales in Northeast Florida in July as you cruise along the coast. More than 300 boats will participate in the 39th annual five-day tournament that also features an offshore contest for junior anglers. The weigh-in each day is the hotspot for photos, but festival goers can also enjoy the food festival, Liar’s Tent, live entertainment, boat display, and Boatique. This year, the tournament will pay out more than $186,000 with the grand prize winner taking home a Contender 24 Sport with 250HP Yamaha Outboard, Magic-Tilt Trailer, and Custom T-Top.
    When:
    July 15-20
    Where:
    Jim King Park & Boat Ramp at Sister Creek, Jacksonville
    Web:
    kingfishtournament.com

    C-QUARTERS YOUTH FISHING TOURNAMENT More than 200 future anglers cast their lines and crossed their fingers while waiting to hook a big one during last year’s tournament. C-Quarters Marina has been hosting this tournament for kids 16 years old or younger for 15 years. It kicks off with a mandatory Fishing Clinic offering instruction that offers overall safety while also teaching the kids how to tie knots or tie on hooks. After the clinic, each child gets a rod, reel, T-shirt, hat, and bait to use in the tournament that allows them to go out on a boat or to fish dockside.
    When:
    July 19-20
    Where:
    C-Quarters Marina, Carrabelle
    Web:
    www.c-quartersmarina.com/youthfishing

    CRAB CAKE COOK-OFF In other parts of the country, Maryland’s crab cakes may reign supreme. But Florida chefs will give them a run for the title. Come hungry and be prepared to sample your way through a variety of crab cakes during Carrabelle’s fourth annual cook-off. Also includes live music, activities, and a silent auction.
    When:
    July 27
    Where:
    Marine Street Grill, Carrabelle
    Web:
    floridasforgottencoast.com/crab-cake-cook-off

    JAX SUMMER FEST Even though the summer heat lingers long after the season technically ends in Florida, the organizers consider this an end-of-summer blowout bash for indie talent. Themed live entertainment events include Flaribbean Flava, Drip Fest (a cookout and beach party) and a Hip Hop/Reggae VIP After Party. Non-music events include a Performer Showcase and Game Night, Fashion and Hair Show, and live taping of the local tv series “LIVE from New Jax City.”
    When:
    July 25-28
    Where:
    Jacksonville
    Web:
    eventbrite.com/jax-summer-music

    SEED-SPITTING SHINDIGS No, they’re not quite “one in a melon” as three north Florida communities host fests saluting the juicy fruit that offers a “smile with every slice.” Too much? We’ll stop with the kitchen towel sentiments and get down to the nitty gritty.

    ·        69TH ANNUAL WATERMELON FESTIVAL: This annual event represents a slice of downhome Americana family fun. Don’t get us started on the Great American Bed Race. We’re not talking about kind of bed, but flatbed carts. Teams of adults or teens (two pushers, one rider), build their “bed”, decorate it, don costumes and race their way through the streets of Monticello to be first to the finish line. Of course, there’s a 5K, car show, parade, pageant, dog and baby photo contests and watermelon. If you don’t think the Great American Bed Race is a major draw, maybe the Ultimate Air Dogs are more your thing.
    When: June 13-15
    Where: Monticello
    Web:
    monticellojeffersonfl.com/watermelonfestival

    ·         PANHANDLE WATERMELON FESTIVAL: Yes, there will be plenty of watermelon to eat but the true star is the country music lineup and it’s all free. This year, Sara Evans’ big voice will be joined by William Michael Morgan, Jimmy Fortune and The Drummond Family. Also includes a 5K, classic car show and beauty pageant.
    When: June 28-29
    Where: Chipley
    Web: panhandlewatermelon.com

    SWIMMING WITH THE BIG FISH If you’re angling to reel in the big one, these Gulf Coast fishing competitions offer up both gorgeous Emerald Coast scenery and fun in the sun.        

    • BILL HARGREAVES FISHING RODEO: This local Pensacola fishing tournament, now in it’s 49th year, had its beginnings as a family event which had a 25-cent entry fee and made $12.50 for the local Kiwanis club in the first year. Now, the fest’s purse is about $7,000 in the Open Division and includes an awards ceremony and Fish Fry on Father’s Day.
      When: June 13-16
      Where:
      Pensacola
      Web
      : billhargreavesfishingrodeo.com

    • EMERALD COAST BLUE MARLIN CLASSIC: The Blue Marlin Classic is the richest off-shore fishing tournament on the Gulf Coast. Last year’s event had a record-setting 91 boats and more than $2 million in cash awards. This year, the field should eclipse 100 teams which would mean a $2.5 million purse would be up for grabs. Huge payouts are awarded to top marlin, tuna, wahoo and dolphin with daily weigh-ins at Baytowne Marina complete with live music, food and Friday night fireworks.
      When: June 13-23
      Where: Sandestin
      Web: fishecbc.com

    FLORIDA ANIMATION FESTIVAL Several animated short films went viral in 2018 including director Domshee Shi’s weeper “Bao” which screened before Incredibles 2. The animation festival, hosted by the Tallahassee Film Society, gives animated film lovers a chance to enjoy over 75 animated shorts submitted from around the world. The festival also includes a kick-off party, filmmaking workshop and a family-friendly screening featuring only G-rated animated shorts.
    When:
    June 13-16
    Where:
    All Saints Cinema, Tallahassee
    Web:
    floridaanimationfestival.com

    COUNTRY MUSIC FEST — It’s always a rockin’ time at Jax Beach’s oceanfront music pavilion and 2019 brings a new title sponsor, kickin’ new logo, new website and a lineup of chill country acts that fits the locale: Ryan Hurd, Tucker Beathard, Few Mile South, Soul Circus Cowboys and Second Shot Band. As always, the fest is free (unless you want VIP premium seating) and family friendly.
    When:
    June 15
    Where
    : Seawalk Pavilion, Jacksonville Beach
    Web:
    csicountryfest.com

    26TH ANNUAL JAX BEACH LIFEGUARD CHALLENGE You won’t see teams of lifeguards with perfect hair running in slow motion down the beach during this annual competition. Teams of lifeguards from Atlantic Beach to Miami will compete in fast-paced, hard-nosed relay event with Florida bragging rights at stake.
    When:
    June 20
    Where:
    Jacksonville Beach Lifeguard Station
    Web:
    jacksonvillebeach.org/lifeguard

    XIV PAN-AM TAEKWON-DO I.T.F. GAMES For the first time, the Pan-Am Taekwon-Do games will be held in the United States with Ocala’s ITF Taekwon-Do Academy acting as host. During the biennial competition, more than 5,000 athletes will compete in 36 sports and 400 events for gold, silver and bronze medals in various cities representing North, South and Central America and the Caribbean.
    When:
    June 20-23
    Where:
    Ocala
    Web:
    itf-tkd.org/itf-events

    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 — Schubert (Symphony No. 5), Mozart (Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major), Arnold Schoenberg (Transfigured Night), Beethoven (Septet in E flat major), Liszt (St. Francis Walking on the Waves) and many more — at this free classical music festival. Now in its 13th year, some of the festival’s announced featured musicians include violinist Nigel Armstrong, percussionists Kevin Ritenauer and Joseph Becker and members of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.
    When:
    June 21-22, 27-29
    Where
    : Cathedral Basilica, St. Augustine
    Web:
    staugustinemusicfestival.org

    28TH ANNUAL TALLAHASSEE MODEL RAILROAD SHOW & SALE The next generation of conductors and model enthusiasts will be over the moon while exploring the 14 model train layouts complete with animation and enhanced technology. For model builders looking for the next gotta-have-it accessory for their collection, more than 40 vendors including Lionel, Walthers, Broadway Limited and Micro Trains will be selling new and used items from “Z” to “G” scale.
    When:
    June 22
    Where:
    North Florida Fairgrounds
    Web:
    tallahasseearts.org/model-railroad-show-sale

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