Please check individual websites for complete details; be aware that dates can change and cancellations may occur.


    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 at the 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 at the Pensacola Beach Air Show.

    - Blue Angels

     Florida Events for June and July 2021

    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 diver pretends to play a faux guitar at the Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival, a quirky concert that helps preserve reefs.

    A diver pretends to play a faux guitar at the Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival, a quirky concert that helps preserve reefs.

    - Joe Berg/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO

     

    SOUTH FLORIDA 

          

    ALLIED WITH POWER: AFRICAN AND AFRICAN DIASPORA ART – This art exhibit consists of a sizable selection of African and African Diaspora artists and highlights artists whose work embody the possibilities and complexities these contemporary times. It showcases a wide range of practices and themes, including abstraction, politics, spirituality and race. Face coverings are required and there will be a reduced capacity to help contribute to social distancing.
    When: Now through July 31
    Where: Perez Art Museum, Miami
    Web: pamm.org

    SATURDAY AFTERNOON POLO – Bring your family and friends and a picnic basket and enjoy an afternoon of polo in a beautiful setting. There are two matches, at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Masks are not required, but bring one just in case you come across a situation where you can’t be socially distanced from somebody.
    When: Every Saturday afternoon through the end of June
    Where: Hobe Sound Polo Club, Hobe Sound
    Web: eventbrite.com/e/saturday-afternoon-polo-at-the-hobe-sound-polo-club-tickets-136474770713

    NIGHT MARKET AT DANIA POINTE – When the sun goes down, farmers will have already laid out their produce, craft makers will already have set out their handmade, homemade and remade merchandise and a local musician begins to set the scene for the night. It’s all part of a street bazaar fashioned after the famous Temple Street in Hong Kong.
    When: The second and fourth Friday night of every month for the rest of the year
    Where: Dania Beach
    Web: nightmarketatdaniapointe.com

    J.N. “DING” DARLING WILDLIFE REFUGE – You can still drive, hike or bike through the four-mile wildlife drive every day. (Except Friday, to give wildlife a day off!) The Indigo Trail and the Bailey Tract are the trails still open. Sightings can include a large variety of wading birds and shorebirds, raccoons, marsh rabbits, alligators and occasionally otters and bobcats.
    When: Any time
    Where: 
    J. N. “Ding Darling Wild Life Refuge, Captiva Island
    Web: 
    fws.gov/refuge/JN_Ding_Darling/visit/visitor_activities 

    FORT MYERS SCAVENGER HUNTS – Let’s Roam has some good ones for Fort Myers and all the stops are outdoors. You’ll walk from landmark to landmark to discover art, culture and history. Search plaques, statues and art to solve riddles that can only be found on location. Work with a team to answer trivia questions and complete photo challenges. Earn extra points for each hidden treasure and photo your team takes.
    When: Any day you want, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
    Where: Fort Myers
    Web: letsroam.com/scavenger_hunt/Fort_Myers_Scavenger_Hunt

    FORT LAUDERDALE SCAVENGER HUNT: BY THE NEW RIVER – Download an app and take this self-guided scavenger hunt. It will be easy to social distance and there are no inside locations. Walk from landmark to landmark to discover art, culture and history. Search plaques, statues and art to solve riddles that can only be found on location.
    When: 
    Any day you want, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
    Where: 
    Along the New River in Fort Lauderdale
    Web: 
    letsroam.com

    UNDERWATER BURLESQUE SHOWS – You’ll be able to enjoy living mermaids from MeduSirena and her pod of Aquaticats performing from a porthole view while enjoying a tropical cocktail and dining on fresh seafood. Recently added is a show with The Aquamen. Admission to the show is $60 per person, with a credit of $45 toward food and beverages during the show. Patrons are required to wear masks except while eating and drinking. There will be no bar seating and no dancing. Tables will be spaced out and capacity has been cut by 50 per cent.
    When: Ongoing. The ladies perform every Friday and Saturday night and the men are on Thursday night.
    Where: Wreck Bar at B Ocean Hotel in Fort Lauderdale
    Web: bhotelsandresorts.com/b-ocean-resort/eat-drink/mermaids-at-the-wreck-bar/

    LASTING IMPRESSIONS – That’s what you will be left with after viewing this towering installation of sight and sound that will transport you actually into more than 100 of the world’s most famous impressionist masterpieces. The fully immersive experience uses one-of-a-kind 3D/LED technology, projections, music and lighting, allowing guests to see the artists’ (such as Degas, Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir, Cezanne and Seurat) brushstrokes as paintings come to life all around them. Masks are required and there will be limited capacity seating.
    When: through June 16
    Where: Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami
    Web: arshtcenter.org

    SOUTH FLORIDA ADVENTURE PASS – This will enable you to have unlimited admissions to three popular attractions in Broward County – Butterfly World, Flamingo Gardens and Sawgrass Recreation Park. Check out the appropriate website below for Covid-19 information for each attraction.
    When: Now through Sept. 30
    Where: The three attractions mentioned above.
    Web: southfloridaadventurepass.com for details on the Adventure Pass. Also ButterFlyWorld.com, FlamingoGardens.org and EvergladesTours.com for information on what each attraction offers and Covid-19 measures that may be in place.

    MEL SCHWARTZ SLEEPS WITH MAE WEST – In this musical comedy farce set in Miami Beach circa 1986, Milty finds out that his girlfriend of the last five years is actually a man and has also been having sex with his best friend Mel. Milty wants revenge! So, where does Mae West fit in? You’ll have to attend one of the shows to find out. Masks are required, temperatures will be taken upon entrance and there will be reduced capacity seating.
    When: June 11-13 and 16-18
    Where: Empire Stage, Fort Lauderdale
    Web: melschwartzsleepswithmaewest.com

    MANGO FEST KEY WEST – Mango fans, head south! All things mango will be celebrated at this five-day event. Find out all the things you can do with a mango. There will be culinary and cocktail demos galore. The highlight of the gathering is the Vendors Village on Saturday, featuring mango trees for sale, arts & crafts, a farmers’ market and lots of activities for kids. The finale is the Mango Brunch on Sunday. There is also a mango photo contest. Masks are not required, but it would be a good idea to take one in case social distancing is not possible.
    When: June 23-27
    Where: Various locations in Key West.
    Web: mangofestkeywest.com

    MIAMI WEB FEST – The best web series from around the world will be showcased at this four-day gathering. Attendees will see independently produced shows before they are discovered by big television networks and other media entities. It’s also a chance to party and mingle with the stars of the new digital age at some of the most exclusive hotspots in Miami. This year’s gathering will offer both in-person local events and online experiences.
    When: June 10-13
    Where: Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort, Sunny Isles Beach
    Web: miamiwebfest.com

    HEMINGWAY DAYS – Hooray! It’s back to its old self this year. The annual Papa-fest 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 21st birthday, a 5-K run, a paddleboard race and, of course, the famous Look-Alike Contest.
    When: July 20-25
    Where: Various locations in Key West, but the Look-Alike contest and the “Running of the Bulls” will be at Sloppy
    Joe’s Bar
    Web: fla-keys.com/hemingway-days/

    ANNUAL UNDERWATER MUSIC FESTIVAL – Be among the hundreds of divers and snorkelers who go deep each year at this quirky concert 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 10
    Where: Looe Key Reef (about six miles south of Big Pine Key)
    Web: fla-keys.com/calendar/all/florida-keys/202107/

    BUGFEST BY-THE-SEA – Win big bucks by catching big “bugs” – as in lobsters. It’s timed to coincide with Florida’s 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. There’ll be $10,000 in cash and gear prizes up for grabs.
    When: July 27-29
    Where: Lauderdale-By-The-Sea
    Web: discoverlbts.com/bugfest/

    KEY LIME FESTIVAL – This annual affair is a mega-celebration of Florida’s official state pie. If you think you can devour a 9-inch pie faster than anyone else, make sure to enter the always hilarious pie-eating contest. Other events include: The Key Lime Kick-Off (sip champagne on the veranda of the 1869 mansion where key lime pie was first created), the Key Lime Sip & Stroll (sample key-lime infused drinks from 10 bars and vote for your favorite), the Key Lime Pie Hop (sample five different variations of pie), a Key Lime Scavenger Hunt and the zany Key Lime Pie Drop. There is also a fireworks display on July 4th.
    When: July 1-5
    Where: Various locations in Key West
    Web: keylimefestival.com

    PALM BEACH SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL -- SHAKESPEARE BY THE SEA – The Bard’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night will be presented this year as the festival expands to two outdoor locations. 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 & Where: July 8-18, but only on Thursdays through Sundays, at the Seabreeze Amphitheater for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. August 19-29, but only on Thursdays through Sundays, at Commons Park Amphitheater in Royal Palm Beach for Twelfth Night.
    Web: pbshakespeare.org

    JURASSIC GARDEN: A PREHISTORIC ADVENTURE – No matter how many millennia have passed and the fact that dinosaurs have been extinct for, oh, about 65 million years, we still are fascinated by them. Attendees will be able to walk among life-size dinosaurs surrounded by cycads and other living plants that date back to prehistoric times. A cooling mist in the Rainforest and Conservatories will make hiking through Jurassic Garden even more enjoyable.
    When: Now through July 18
    Where: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables
    Web: fairchildgarden.org

    HERE BE DRAGONS – Come celebrate mythical fire-breathing beasts from dragon lore. There are three Dragon Realms to explore: Medieval, Asian and Dragons in Paleontology (a.k.a dinosaurs). There are live creatures, too, including 10 species of lizards. The Ecoscapes exhibit features reptiles that are native to Florida.
    When: Now through Sept. 6
    Where: Museum of Science and Discovery, Fort Lauderdale
    Web: mods.org

    AVRON B. FOGELMAN SPORTS HISTORY MUSEUM – After being closed more than a year due to Covid-19, it is open again. The 3,500 square-foot exhibit holds 1,200 pieces of sports memorabilia valued at about $10,000,000. It is widely recognized as one of the largest private sports collections owned by a private individual. Highlights include: The 13 original rules of basketball by James Naismith, Babe Ruth’s uniform pants worn on his first day as a New York Yankee in 1921, Joe DiMaggio’s 1936 uniform, Roger Maris’s uniform worn in 1961 when he broke the single-season home run record, Hank Aaron’s uniform from 1974 when he broke the career home run record, the final cleats worn by football legend Jim Thorpe, a football signed by the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins, the 1969 Ryder Cup Trophy and the 1985 Kansas City Royals World Series Trophy (Fogelman once owned the Royals).
    When: Now and ongoing
    Where: Florida Atlantic University campus, Boca Raton
    Web: fau.edu/artsandletters/fogelman-sports-museum/

    MIAMI SALSA CONGRESS – This five-day festival features a unique 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. It is recognized as one of the largest festivals of its kind. There will be pool parties, pre-event parties, nightly dance parties, evening galas, dance workshops, concerts, showcases and activities for kids.
    When: July 24-28
    Where: Eden Roc Nobu Hotel, Miami Beach
    Web: miamisalsacongress.com

    KEY WEST MERMAID FESTIVAL – Attend the Mermaid Festival Parade! Have breakfast with mermaids! Meet and greet mermaids! Swim with Mermaids! It’s an all-ages mermaid-a-thon, with the exception of the adults-only underwater Ocean Blue party.
    When: July 1-5
    Where: Various locations in Key West
    Web: keywestmermaidfestival.com

    MANGO DAYS OF SUMMER – The Mango is so big it is going to take an entire month to celebrate its bigness! There are classes, demos and lectures the entire month. On July 4, there is a mango-centric picnic and every Saturday you can attend the Mango Market. In addition to the live events, there will be virtual cooking and cocktail classes featuring local celebrity chefs and bartenders.
    When: Throughout July
    Where: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables
    Web: fairchildgarden.org

    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

    FLORIDA KEYS BREW-BQ – Welcome the new kid on the block of July’s impressive Keys festival lineup, as this is the inaugural edition of this event. In addition to the yummy BBQ, there will be lots of craft beers to wash it down. There will also be a BBQ cooking contest (amateurs only) with prizes, vendors, live music and activities for kids.
    When: July 17-18
    Where: Marathon Community Park, Marathon
    Web: keysbrewbq.com

    TRYST: A LOVERS RENDEZVOUS – Take a risqué journey with this immersive cabaret show, which delicately entices with stories of escapades from a bewitching mistress’s past, present and future loves. It combines teasing, but tasteful, burlesque, cirque nouveau and music and makes for an evening of provocative sensations.
    When: Thursdays through Saturdays in July
    Where: Faena Theater in the Faena Hotel, Miami BeachWeb: faenatheater.com/tryst-1

    FLORIDA JERK FESTIVAL – Fans of jerk food, this one is for you. Some of South Florida’s best Caribbean restaurants will be serving everything jerk, from chicken to ice cream and everything in between. Also included will be live music (Caribbean super stars Shaggy, Skinny Fabulous and Lust are the headliners) and a Kid Zone, featuring exciting games, carnival rides and bounce houses.
    When: July 4
    Where: South Florida Fairgrounds, West Palm Beach
    Web: floridajerkfestival.com

    MIAMI SWIM WEEK – There will be four days of ultra-hip in-person runway shows featuring the latest in swim suit and resort fashions by both star designers and up-and-comers from all around the world. It’s great for celebrity-watching, too, as this event always attracts a lot of A-listers.
    When: July 8-11
    Where: Faena Forum in the Faena Hotel, Miami Beach
    Web: MiamiSwimWeek.com

    The Tampa International Fringe Festival packs a punch with a variety of indie shows and acts ranging from comedy to dance to bizarre performance art, all completely uncensored in keeping with “fringe” tradition.

    The Tampa International Fringe Festival packs a punch with a variety of indie shows and acts ranging from comedy to dance to bizarre performance art, all completely uncensored in keeping with “fringe” tradition.

    - The Tampa International Fringe Festival


    CENTRAL FLORIDA 

     

    DRIVE-IN MOVIES – Drive-in movie theaters are enjoying a renaissance, catering to those who like to enjoy the group film-watching experience while also keeping a car’s length distance. The Central Florida region has a number of old fashioned drive-ins showing movies old and new, and patrons wearing masks can buy popcorn, soda and Twizzlers at the snack bars. Load up the family – some venues even allow pets – and check out some of the classics under the stars.
    When:
    Five days a week to daily; check hours online
    Where:
    Dade City, Ruskin, Lakeland, Ocala
    Web: 
    silvermoondrivein.com and ocaladrivein.info and joylandrivein.com and ruskinfamilydrivein.com

    LAKE APOPKA WILDLIFE DRIVE AUDIO TOUR – Go on your own mini-safari through the restored former farm fields of Lake Apopka North Shore, where you’ll find lots of native birds, turtles, alligators, bobcats, snakes and other wildlife, as well as spotting rare Florida plant species. The St. Johns River Water Management District created a cool audio tour, which you can access with your mobile device, as you drive along the 11-mile stretch and soak in the scenery and solitude.
    When:
    Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from sunrise to sunset
    Where:
    Lake Apopka North Shore farmlands, Orange County
    Web:
    sjrwmd.com/lands/recreation/lake-apopka/wildlife-drive

    LUKAS NURSERY BUTTERFLY ENCOUNTER – This year-round butterfly and bird conservatory is a fun and memorable experience for kids and adults alike, offering up-close encounters with stunningly graceful butterflies, chirping finches, Chinese button quail and lots and lots of beautiful plants and flowers. Learn about butterfly gardening and life cycles from the on-site experts and feed these fluttering friends right from your fingertips before peak season ends in late September. Can’t make the trip? The nursery offers virtual tours via its YouTube channel: youtube.com/lukasnurserybutterflyencounter
    When:
    Daily
    Where:
    Lukas Nursery, Oviedo
    Web:
    lukasnursery.com/butterfly-encounter

    CENTRAL FLORIDA COMIC CON – Dress up in your best cosplay or simply come as a spectator to celebrate the world of comic books, TV, film, toys, gaming and other nerd-tastic delights. The CFCC will feature a wide array of fun vendors, artists and demonstrations, and guests will have the chance to meet the illustrators, graphic designers and voices behind well-known cartoons and comics. Collectors can expect to browse for hours with several tables of hard-to-find comic, toy and memorabilia items for sale.
    When: June 12-13
    Where: RP Funding Center, Lakeland
    Web: https://www.centralfloridacomiccon.com/

    WINTER HAVEN JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION – Join the City of Winter Haven for its inaugural Juneteenth Celebration, which honors African American history and culture through a day of historical reflections, spoken word performances, a battle of the bands, Family Feud: HBCU edition and a performance by the fun and soulful Gritz andJelly Butter Band. Kids of all ages will have the opportunity to flex their physical fitness by entering an obstacle course designed to challenge speed, strength and agility.
    When:  June 19
    Where: Lake Maude Park, Winter Haven
    Web: https://www.mywinterhaven.com/parks-and-recreation/special-events/2021-juneteenth-celebration/

    SARASOTA MUSIC FESTIVAL (LIVE & VIRTUAL) – Re-imagined to suit both live and virtual audiences, the Sarasota Music Festival is returning for three weeks of internationally recognized guest artists and musicians for what has become known as one of the finest classical-music events in the nation. At this festival, the public gets to enjoy a rare glimpse of these top artists rehearsing and playing together, as well as hearing lectures and learning more about orchestra life and the role of each musician and instrument.
    When: Several dates in June
    Where: Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, Sarasota
    Web: https://www.sarasotaorchestra.org/festival

    ST. PETE PRIDEFEST – Making up for a skipped year of fest-ing due to COVID-19, St. Pete Pride is returning with four themed weeks that safely celebrate the LGBTQ+ community while showcasing the best the city has to offer. The month kicks off with an official pride flag raising at City Hall, followed by several events highlighting outdoor adventures, family, art & music and food. Guests can also expect a variety of dance and music performances, a 5K event, fireworks and more. This year, many of the events require tickets (most around $5 each) to control capacity and ensure proper distancing.
    When: Throughout June
    Where: St. Petersburg
    Web: https://stpetepride.org/

    ST. ARMANDS CIRCLE CRAFT FESTIVAL – A charming village of boutiques and gourmet restaurants, St. Armands is a perfect backdrop for this two-day festival showcasing some of the top local and state artists and creators in the contemporary craft and handiwork scene. Browse and shop for one-of-a-kind jewelry, unique pottery pieces and home decor, plant holders, soaps and clothing, as well as a green market with fresh orchids and tasty dips, jams and sauces for sale.
    When: June 12
    Where: St. Armands Circle, Sarasota
    Web: http://www.artfestival.com/festivals/st-armands-circle-craft-festival-june

    ATHENS BY NIGHT – When you mix the Florida tropics and festive Greek culture, you’re sure to have a memorable time. The Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks are among the state’s best hidden gems, filled with sponge shops and quirky cafes, authentic Greek food and pastries, wine and fresh seafood pulled straight from the Gulf. Experience a recreation of Athens life at this semi-regular evening event, which brings live music to the streets and well as dancing, dining and late-night shopping.
    When: June 12
    Where: Tarpon Springs
    Web: https://spongedocks.net/event/athens-by-night/

    BODY MIND SPIRIT CELEBRATION – This one-of-a-kind holistic living festival 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 animal communication, meditation, tarot readings, diet, herbal medicine, financial health and relationships.
    When: June 19-20
    Where: Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa
    Web: https://www.bmse.net/bmseweb/event/eventhome.php?eid=357

    ST. PETE STREET FOOD & CRAFT BEER FEST – What better way to end the week than at a waterside park with an indulgent meal, a cold beer and a view of sailboats and small jets off on the horizon? Enjoy creative gourmet dishes and desserts from an assortment of food trucks, plus servings of chilled wine or beer to wash it down. Bring your pets, picnic blankets and chairs and let the kids blow off some steam at the playground at this beautiful location just on the edge of downtown St. Pete.
    When: June 18
    Where: Albert Whitted Park, St. Petersburg
    Web: https://www.facebook.com/events/335103200980181

    INK THE BAY – More than your typical tattoo convention, this three-day expo combines art, fashion and media to showcase some of the country’s top talent and teach new techniques to tattoo artists, models, bloggers, photographers, fashion designers and digital gurus. But you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy the demos, displays and deco-style galleries. Tattoo and art fans will love seeing new ideas and checking out some of the up-and-coming leaders in the industry.
    When: June 11-13
    Where: Tampa Convention Center, Downtown Tampa
    Web: https://inkthebay.com/

    HOMOSASSA FIREWORK FEST & POKER RUN – Returning for a 23rd year, this event kicks off at noon, bringing a full day of live music and games and contests for people of all ages, including cornhole, tug-o-war, pie- and hot dog-eating contests and shuttles zipping folks from spot to spot for a poker run tournament. Then, come nightfall, stick around for Homosassa’s only professional fireworks display of the year. It’s a fun way to check out this cute Gulf Coast town, known for its surrounding wildlife parks and swamplands.
    When: June 26
    Where: Homosassa
    Web: https://www.discovercrystalriverfl.com/events/homosassa-firework-fest-poker-run/

    TAMPA BAY COMIC CONVENTION – Florida’s comic book, video game, cult film and anime fans look forward to this all year, planning their stunning cosplay looks for months. Tampa Bay Comic Con is a fun, geeky, family-friendly spectacle of characters, Hollywood stars, comic book authors and illustrators. Buy new toys and games to add to the collection or get photos and autographs from celebrities such as The Walking Dead’s Chandler Riggs, film star Dante Basco or comic book artist Omar Francia. Kids are free at this family-friendly event.
    When: July 30-Aug. 1
    Where: Tampa Convention Center, downtown Tampa
    Web: https://tampabaycomicconvention.com/

    TAMPA INTERNATIONAL FRINGE FESTIVAL – Slightly smaller than in years past, this fest still packs a punch with a variety of indie shows and acts ranging from comedy to dance to bizarre performance art, all completely uncensored in keeping with “fringe” tradition. Prepare to be highly entertained by some memorable and original artists and performers who get 100 percent of the ticket sales. The event stretches several days among two venues, set in the funky history Ybor City neighborhood where roosters roam and parties are a’plenty.
    When:  July 29-Aug. 8
    Where: Hillsborough Community College, Ybor City
    Web: https://tampafringe.org/

    THUNDER ON THE RIDGE/RIBS ON THE RIDGE – This year, one of Central Florida’s largest and most longstanding Independence Day celebrations, Thunder on the Ridge, is joining forces with Central Florida’s largest BBQ festivals, Ribs on the Ridge. Families from all over the area bring blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy an amazing fireworks show, as well as live music all afternoon and evening, cold beer and delicious pork, chicken and ribs.
    When: June 3-4
    Where: Lake Eva Park, Haines City
    Web: https://www.hainescity.com/353/Thunder-on-the-Ridge

    GULFPORT’S FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK – Stroll the streets of one of Florida’s charming, artsy small towns and check out a variety of paintings, photography, jewelry, sculpture and other one-of-a-kind pieces to appreciate or take home. July’s theme is “Body Beautiful,” inspiring artists to celebrate bodies of all shapes, sizes and colors. Gulfport is filled with some of the county’s best restaurants and bars, too, or grab some takeout and enjoy the waterside at sunset.
    When: July 2
    Where: Downtown Gulfport
    Web: https://visitgulfportflorida.com/first-friday-art-walk/

    ST. PETE BURGER FEST – Also known as the “Burger, Beer & Blues Fest,” this fest will once again draw more than a dozen mouthwatering food trucks selling everything from fresh seafood to fancy crepes to gourmet grilled cheese, and of course, juicy burgers. Bring picnic blankets and lawn chairs, as well as the dogs and the kids, and enjoy the beautiful Albert Whitted Park waterfront view while listing to tunes by the Voodoo Monkeys. A vendor will also be on site selling beer, wine and other beverages.
    When: July 17
    Where: Albert Whitted Park, St. Petersburg
    Web: https://www.facebook.com/events/albert-whitted-park-downtown-st-petersburg/st-pete-burger-fest/2631860367114778/

    SARASOTA MYSTIC FAIRE – After a hiatus year, the Sarasota Mystic Faire returns, bringing its usual good vibes, healers, unique product vendors and spiritual lecturers all under one roof for a weekend. 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 24-25
    Where: Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, Sarasota
    Web: http://mysticfaires.com/sarasota-mystic-faire.html

    CALADIUM FESTIVAL – Celebrate Florida’s rich soil and natural beauty and support local farming at this three-day fest honoring the vibrant and hearty caladium plant for its 30th year. The event includes plant and bulb markets, samples of wine from local harvests, an art competition, a floral arrangement contest, a car and bike show, a 5K race, arts and crafts vendors and food trucks. Hop on a bus tour and learn more about the history, growing and harvesting of these strong and beautiful blooms and immerse yourself in the creative agricultural community that embraces the caladium life.
    When: July 23-25
    Where: Stuart Park, Lake Placid
    Web: https://www.caladiumfestival.org/

    SMOKE ON THE WATER & FIRE IN THE SKY – Three nights, three different cities along Florida’s Space Coast, three spectacular fireworks shows. Enjoy free parking and free admission and join in the Independence Day-themed fun at these three waterfront spots, each with their own special views, dining options, amenities and experiences. This year’s celebrations will also feature live bands and kid-friendly activities, creating a memorable July 4th holiday for all.
    When: July 2-4
    Where: Cove at Port Canaveral, Riverfront Park in Cocoa Village & Cocoa Beach
    Web: https://www.visitspacecoast.com/events/cocoa-beach/2021-smoke-on-the-water-night-2

    METROCON – Billed as “Florida’s Best Anime Convention,” this exciting event returns, bringing 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 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 exciting fire shows that have now become annual tradition.
    When: July 23-25
    Where: Tampa Convention Center, downtown Tampa
    Web: https://metroconventions.com/

    BUSCH GARDENS SUMMER NIGHTS – Busch Gardens is bringing back its summertime after-hours fun, keeping the safari-themed park open until well after dark so guests can enjoy open-air dance parties, glowing lights lacing the trees and thrill rides and – new this year – a spectacular fireworks show and “Cirque Electric,” an awe-inspiring acrobatic stunt show exclusively produced for the park at the Stanleyville Theater. Grab a beer at the new Giraffe Bar and sample some grilled snacks or sweets that evoke the flavors of a backyard cookout.
    When: Every night in July
    Where: Busch Gardens, Tampa
    Web: https://buschgardens.com/tampa/events/summer-nights/

    FREEDOM ON THE WATERFRONT – The quaint little city of Mount Dora kicks off Independence Day with an evening of live music by Season 14 American Idol contestant Alexis Gomez and opening act David Letourneau, as well as a dazzling fireworks over Lake Dora. Let the little ones run around in the Kids’ Zone and grab some grub from the food trucks. The free event is fun for all ages and picnic blanket-friendly.
    When: July 3
    Where: Tampa Convention Center, Downtown Tampa
    Web: https://ci.mount-dora.fl.us/984/Freedom-on-the-Waterfront-Fireworks-and-

    BOOM BY THE BAY – Not to be outdone by other Florida-style Fourth of July pageantry, the City of Tampa is hosting one of its most booming Independence Day celebrations yet, featuring six – six! – fireworks displays along the downtown waterfront. Settle into a spot or wander the Riverwalk to check out live bands, eat some BBQ, drink cold beer and enjoy the revelry. Also new to this year’s celebration will be a parade of boats arriving for a Blessing of the Fleet, adorned in patriotic lights, banners and flags.
    When: July 4
    Where: Downtown Tampa
    Web: https://www.tampa.gov/events/boom

    The Blue Marlin Classic, held out of Miramar Beach, is considered one of the top ten big-money, off-shore fishing tournaments in the world by Marlin magazine.

    The Blue Marlin Classic, held out of Miramar Beach, is considered one of the top ten big-money, off-shore fishing tournaments in the world by Marlin magazine.

    - Blue Marlin Classic

     

    NORTH FLORIDA 
         

    GHOSTS, MURDERS AND MAYHEM SEGWAY TOUR  Learn a little more about Pensacola’s dark side and the ghosts who wander the city’s old Red Light District once the moon rises. Guests will zip along the city’s streets visiting the site of a street car bombing or the first drive-through funeral home. They’ll also learn about Seville Quarter’s bartending ghost. Tours must be booked in advance and are limited to only 6 guests. Stories told on the tour vary nightly.
    When:
     Daily
    Where:
     Pensacola
    Web:
     emeraldcoasttours.net/segway-tours

    KAYAK AMELIA  With Florida’s state parks now open, Kayak Amelia, which has its home base on the Big Talbot Island State Park, is back in business. The coastal barrier island, known for its boneyard beach, sits just south of Amelia Island and on Jacksonville’s far northeast corner. If you’re an experienced kayaker and want to set out on your own, they rent kayaks and paddleboards by the hour. But if you want to learn more about the coastal ecosystem join one of the guided kayak tours. Tour options include a Salt Marsh Eco Tour or an Eco Tour to Kingsley Plantation. For paddleboarders, Kayak Amelia offers an introductory class or SUP Yoga.
    When:
     Dates vary
    Where:
     Big Talbot Island
    Web:
     kayakamelia.com

    WATERMELON FESTIVAL — For 70 years, Monticello has been rolling out the red carpet through its historic downtown for a family-friendly festival that includes a 5K fun run, antique car show, parade, family circus, live music and arts and craft vendors.  
    When: June 18, 19 vary
    Where: Monticello
    Web: https://www.monticellowatermelonfestival.com

    CARRABELLE RIVERFRONT FESTIVAL Relax and unwind along downtown Carrabelle’s waterfront for the 30th annual family festival. Captain Davy will keep the youngest guests entertained with music, magic, juggling, games and face painting. Also includes a kids zone with free activities like Mr. John’s Party Train. For the more mature guests, there will be seafood vendors, a “fishy” fashion show, arts and crafts vendors, live entertainment and maritime exhibits.
    When: June 12
    Where: Carrabelle
    Web: http://carrabelle.org/things-to-do/events-calendar/30th-annual-carrabelle-riverfront-festival/548

    SEAWALK MUSIC FESTIVAL This annual free oceanfront music festival is usually a harbinger for spring on the First Coast. Instead, guests will enjoy hot summer sounds from musical acts like the Curt Town Band, Split Tone, Second Shot and Cowford. The two-day event also includes food, beverage, and arts and crafts vendors.
    When: June 12-13
    Where: Seawalk Pavilion, Jacksonville Beach
    Web: https://www.communityfirstseawalkmusicfest.com

    ILLUMIZOO SUMMER SPECTACLE As day fades into night, the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens comes alive with illuminated displays, live entertainment and interactive projections. Geared for “kids” of all ages, guests will enjoy sunset views and live music in the Riverview Gardens, fog bubbles and aquatic projections at the Play Park and a fire and ice theme at the Gardens at Trout River. The evening will also feature adult beverages, gourmet eats, unlimited Wildlife Carousel rides and animal stilt walkers.
    When: Friday nights, through Aug. 27
    Where: Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens, Jacksonville
    Web: https://www.jacksonvillezoo.org/illumizoo

    GONE FISHIN’ It’s peak fishing tournament season in Florida with boat captains and anglers hoping to score a big pay day at one of these top tournaments, two of which are celebrating 50 years in 2021. 

    · Bill Hargreaves Fishing Rodeo (June 17-20, Pensacola): This local Pensacola fishing tournament, now in its 50th 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. It doesn’t have the high dollar payout of some of the events below, but has become a beloved family tradition. This year, organizers will celebrate the generations of fathers, sons and grandfathers who have fished together over the years. Includes an awards ceremony and Fish Fry on Father’s Day. www.billhargreavesfishingrodeo.com

    · Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic (Miramar Beach, June 23-27): The Blue Marlin Classic is considered one of the top ten big-money, off-shore fishing tournaments in the world by Marlin magazine.
    This year’s event is predicted to give out more than $2 million in cash awards. These large 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. Did you know? A 899.6-pound blue marlin still holds the record for largest catch in the tournament’s history. www.fishecbc.com

    · Pensacola International Billfish Tournament (Pensacola, June 30 - July 4): This other Pensacola tourney is also celebrating 50 years with $20,000 going to angler who reels in the largest blue marlin at or over 700 pounds. Hosted by the Big Game Fishing Club, the first gathering was a members-only affair with just a handful of competitors. Since then, more than 24,300 people have fished the gulf coast during the tournament. Cash prizes are also awarded in the dolphin, tuna and wahoo categories. https://www.pbgfc.com

    · 2021 Ancient City Game Fish Association Challenge (St. Augustine, July 8-11): This four-day competition also gives love to future anglers, with a Kid’s Night, Clinic and Registration on the day before the Junior Anglers go to work reeling in their catch. The adult winner of the Kingfish Tournament will take home $20,000. Proceeds from the tournament aid the Coastal Conservation Association’s offshore restoration efforts and upkeep of three 40-acre artificial reefs. https://www.acgfa.com/our-tournaments

    · Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament and Festival (Jacksonville, July 12-17): Grab your rod and enjoy one of the coolest outdoor locales in Northeast Florida in July while cruising the coast. More than 300 boats will participate in the 41st annual tournament. This year, the tournament will pay out more than $385,000 with the grand prize winner taking home a Contender 25T with twin 150HP Yamaha Outboards, Magic-Tilt Trailer and Custom T-Top valued at $160,545. kingfishtournament.com

    CONQUISTADOR FESTIVAL Support the men and women of Florida’s National Guard while enjoying a day of live music, family-friendly games and food. The event highlight is the Bike Competition. Guests will be able to deck their bikes in hopes of claiming a prize in one of these categories: Most Patriotic, Best Custom, Ladies Choice and Best of Show. 
    When: June 19
    Where: St. Johns County Fairgrounds, Elkton
    Web: https://www.floridashistoriccoast.com/events/conquistador-festival

    PANHANDLE WATERMELON FESTIVAL Yes, there will be watermelon but really it’s just an excuse to throw a banging summer party. As always, the true star of this festival is the live country music lineup and it’s all free. This year fans will be able to sing along (in or out of tune!) with Jamie O’Neal, Andy Griggs, the Gatlin Brothers, Wendell Mobley, Lee Thomas Miller, Larry Cordle, Carl Jackson and Val Storey. Also includes a 5K, pancake breakfast, parade, melon auction, classic car show and beauty pageant. 
    When: June 25-26
    Where: Chipley
    Web: www.panhandlewatermelon.com

    30TH ANNUAL TALLAHASSEE MODEL RAILROAD SHOW & SALE The next generation of model train conductors and enthusiasts will enjoy a supersized event as the festival expands to two days while to celebrate 30 years. Model builders looking for the next gotta-have-it accessory for their collection will be able to shop from more than 40 vendors selling new and used items from “Z” to “G” scale. This year’s exhibitors will feature 14 layouts in a range of model scale sizes including “Live Steam”.   
    When: June 26-27
    Where: North Florida Fairgrounds, Tallahassee
    Web: https://www.tallahasseearts.org/event/30th-annual-tallahassee-model-railroad-show-sale

    5TH ANNUAL FORGOTTEN COAST SEA TURTLE FESTIVAL Although there will be live music, food vendors and kids activities at the fest, the main reason for the gathering is sea turtle education. Guests can attend turtle talks where they’ll learn about the importance of the state’s coastal habitats in the sea turtle’s life cycle. The event also includes the Gulf Specimen Seamobile with touch tanks, education and conservation booths and a sidewalk chalk art contest. 
    When: June 27
    Where: Port St. Joe
    Web: https://www.visitgulf.com/event/5th-annual-forgotten-coast-sea-turtle-festival/317

    SMOKE ON THE COAST With fireworks, BBQ, and family fun -- the only thing missing from this 10th annual festival is apple pie. Celebrate America’s birth a day early with $1 BBQ samples from local restaurants before casting your ballot for the People’s Choice winners. The festivities conclude with an Independence Day fireworks extravaganza. 
    When: July 3
    Where: Destin Commons
    Web: https://destincommons.com/event/smoke-on-the-coast

    OUTDOOR PATRIOTIC CONCERT Crescendo Amelia will close out their Music Under the Stars concert series with a full 18-piece orchestra for their annual Independence Day-themed concert. Singers, dancers and entertainers will join the musicians for two, 50-minute sets. Advance reservations are recommended, and the concert will be rescheduled for July 4 if it rains.
    When: July 3
    Where: Amelia Musical Playhouse
    Web: https://www.ameliaisland.com/Calendar/Crescendo-Amelia-Outdoor-Patriotic-Concert

    RED, WHITE & BOOM There is no better way to celebrate the nation’s birth, then with a mega fireworks display. After many cities decided to forgo their displays in 2020, a fireworks-filled Fourth of July celebration is back for many cities. Here’s a roundup of some of the bigger displays throughout north Florida. 

    · Freedom Festival (Live Oak, July 2)

    · Independence Eve Celebration (Apalachicola, July 3)

    · Fourth of July Celebration (Lake City, July 3)

    · Fireworks at the Beach (Pensacola Beach, July 4)

    · Star Spangled Spectacular (Panama City Beach, July 4) 

    · Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration (Port St. Joe, July 4)

    · 4th of July Celebration (Sopchoppy, July 4) 

    · Fireworks Over the Matanzas (St. Augustine, July 4) 

    · Fourth of July Fireworks (Jacksonville Beach, July 4)

    · Fourth of July Celebration (Jacksonville July 4)

    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 high-flying pilots like Gary Ward, Kevin Coleman and Julian MacQueen, 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 with dress rehearsals running on Thursday and Friday.
    When: July 7-10
    Where: Gulfside Pavilion at Casino Beach, Pensacola Beach
    Web: http://visitpensacolabeach.com/whats-happening-blue-angels

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