Florida Events for May and June 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.
MANOLO VALDES: THE LEGACY – Valdes is a noted Spanish artist who works in paint, mixed media and sculpture. Eighteen of his larger-than-life sculptures will be presented in 12 locations in Miami for six months, with several programs organized around the exhibition, such as guided tours, educational programs for students, public workshops, pop-up performances and the publication of a special-edition book.
When: Now through the end of May, 2021
Where: Various locations in Miami
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
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
VROOOOOOOMS WITH A VIEW! – This outstanding air show in SoFla is guaranteed to thrill: The Hyundai Air & Sea Show is part of the National Salute to America’s Heroes weekend. It features the United States Air Force A-10 and also showcases the men, women, technology and equipment from all five branches of the United States Military and police, firefighters and their first responder agencies. There are several VIP packages to consider. Masks are required except in open beach areas while seated and while seated in designated spaces to eat and drink.
When: May 29-30
Where: Miami Beach
SOUTH FLORIDA FAIR – There are no national touring acts this year due to Covid, but there is still plenty of fun to be had. It will feature all of the rides that fairgoers have come to count on, including the Midway Sky Eye, the largest traveling Ferris wheel in North America. Also returning are the always popular ice skating show, racing pigs and giant sand sculpture. All the buildings will be open for the usual shopping with vendors and arts & crafts and displays of live birds, bees and butterflies. The live entertainment includes top local and regional bands and strolling musicians. There will be livestock shows, too, and plenty of yummy fair food. Masks are required.
When: May 7-23
Where: Expo Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds, West Palm Beach
FOOD NETWORK & COOKING CHANNEL SOUTH BEACH WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL PRESENTED BY CAPITAL ONE – That is one giant mouthful of a title! Pun definitely intended because the mouthfuls you will get at this four-day foodie extravaganza will be, as always, ginormous and delicious. The 20th anniversary edition of the affair will look a little different this year due to Covid, but there will be plenty of opportunities to experience great food and beverages. There will be a plethora of intimate dinner experiences hosted by some of the country’s most celebrated, critically acclaimed chefs. All the events except the wine seminars are outdoors and the organizers are determined to have as safe an environment as possible. Masks are required (except while eating or drinking) and there will temperature checks. Attendees can expect to provide proof and/or attestation of a negative PCR Covid-19 test dated no more than 72 hours prior to the events or alternatively proof of completed Covid-19 vaccination. This is a very popular event and there will be reduced capacities, so book early.
When: May 20-23
Where: Various locations in Miami Beach
Web: sobewff.org for the complete schedule of events and sobewff.org/covid-guidelines for the Covid-19 measures
LIVE MUSIC IS ON THE WAY BACK! People are itching to hear good live music again and these two events should definitely scratch that itch:
- Afro Roots Festival – This used to be a strictly local event, but now it has gone regional, with concerts held throughout South Florida. Two of the headliners are Fabi World Music and Venezonix. Most of the shows are outdoors, but mask wearing and social distancing are musts for all events.
When: April 17-May 30
Where: Venues in Jupiter, Key West, Miami Beach, Miami, Doral and Islamorada
FORT MYERS FILM FESTIVAL – If you are a fan of indie movies, this one is for you. Films for this year’s festival will be curated from all over the world and include movies in the following categories: Features, Documentaries, Shorts, Short Shorts, Strictly Local and Environment. There will be both an in-person and online events. There will be reduced capacities and the organizers strongly encourage the use of masks.
When: May 12-16
Where: Sydney & Berne Davis Arts Center and other locations in Fort Myers
BEYOND THE SHIMMERING WATERS: EVERGLADES & IMMOKALEE PHOTOGRAPHY – This exhibit presented by History Fort Lauderdale features the work of Nicaraguan-born photojournalist Lisette Morales, whose camera has been her tool for activism since the early 1990s when she traveled through war-torn areas of Central America, documenting the disruption from military conflicts. To quote Morales herself: “The exhibit starts with a series of black and white digital photos enhanced with a filter to invoke the tintype photos from the late 1800s. These images highlight Miccosukee Grandmother Betty Osceola of the Panther Clan and her work bringing awareness to the sacredness of our planet. The second part consists of bright color portraits emphasizing the diversity and strength of the Latina and Indigenous women who work or live in the Immokalee area.” Masks and social distancing are required.
When: Now through May 28
Where: New River Inn, Fort Lauderdale
A MOSAIC OF THE KEYS – A large mosaic mural featuring art by nearly 300 Florida Keys island chain to celebrate the connection between the community and cultural initiatives. It is made up of individual 6-by-6-inch canvasses showing work in a variety of mediums, including painting, photography, mixed media, beading and quilting. Subjects range from subtropical vistas and the Keys’ laid-back lifestyle to abstract images and underwater scenes. Face masks are required.
When: Now through May 31
Where: Big Pine Key’s Artists in Paradise Gallery from now until April 30 and Key West’s Royal Furniture from May 3-31.
THE HOME & DESIGN REMODELING SHOW – Every year, this show always shows the latest trends and brands in the home improvement industry. Here are just some of the areas that will be covered: kitchen and bathroom remodeling, custom closets, flooring and other surfaces, artificial turf, landscaping, patio design, outdoor kitchens and pergolas, impact windows and doors, smart homes technology and security, furniture, mattresses, solar energy solutions and roofing and gutters. There will be hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of projects to check out. This is an indoor event and masks are required.
When: May 28-31
Where: Palm Beach County Convention Center, West Palm Beach
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
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
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
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
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
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: May 19-June 16
Where: Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami
GOOD EATS! – Attention, all foodies – there are two South Florida events this month, one on the east coast and one on the west coast:
· Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week -- It actually lasts three 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 for $26 or $36 for dinner, depending on the location. Some also will be offering a two-course lunch for $16 or $21 and/or a brunch menu for $22 0r $26. Restaurants will offer takeout, curbside pickup and indoor/outdoor dining, as permissible by public health guidelines.
When: June 3-23
Where: About 70 restaurants in the cities mentioned above
· SAVOR SoFlo Festival – Attendees at this inaugural two-day event will enjoy first-rate dining on one of the prettiest beaches in South Florida. You’ll enjoy better-than-yummy tastings from great restaurants, boutique hot spots and world class hotels. Sip local and international wines and enjoy the best local and national craft brews. Guests are required to wear mask in all locations, except while dining and drinking.
When: June 5-6
Where: Hollywood Beach
FOUNDER’S DAY WEEKEND AT WHITEHALL – Once a year, you can gain access to one of Florida’s great museums for free. Founder’s Day is in honor of the Flagler Museum’s founder, Jean Flagler Matthews, who rescued the estate from demolition and established the museum on June 5, 1959. This year it is being extended over two days to allow as many people as possible to attend and still have a safe experience. Whitehall’s first and second floors will be open, as will Railcar 91on the Flagler Kenan Pavilion. Capacity will be limited and reservations are required. For reservations, call (561)-655-2833, as tickets are not available online or in-person. Face coverings are required and visiting parties are limited to four people.
When: June 5-6
Where: Flagler Museum at Whitehall, Palm Beach
CORALPALOOZA – Looking for a great eco-vacation? This one certainly fills the bill. You’ll have a great time and do a lot of good at the same time. The Coral Restoration Foundation is hosting a day dedicated to promoting awareness and preserving the third largest coral reef on earth. Activities will range from helping shore up coral tree nurseries, monitoring existing colonies and out-planting threatened species of corals. This year there will be one in-person day and one day for online activities. Note: You must be dive-certified to participate in the in-person event.
When: June 5 for the in-person event and June 6 for the digital event
Where: Throughout the Florida Keys
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.
LGBTQ EVENTS -- There are three in SoFla in June:
· Wilton Manors Stonewall Pride Street festival & Parade –It’s a one-day blast with live music, a marketplace featuring vendors selling arts & crafts, food trucks and a Kids Zone. The highlight of the event, of course, is the float-laden parade in the evening. Masks are required for entry and organizers strongly encourage attendees to keep them on once inside.
When: June 19
Where: Downtown Wilton Manors
· Key West Pride -- It will be scaled down a little this year (no big parade, for example), but there will still be plenty of fun to be had. Events include a sunset sail, Hawaiian style pig roast, a drag show, pool parties, dance parties, wine tastings, a bartending class and a bartending competition. Masks are required at all times when outdoors, upon entry for indoor events and when not seated at a bar or restaurant.
When: June 2-6
Where: Various Key West locations
· Palm Beach Pride Market – Due to Covid-19, organizers are putting an emphasis on shopping instead of socializing this year. If you do attend this yearly event, expect to see many of the vendors who have participated in the past and some new ones. They will offer handmade products, crafts and food ranging from local produce to delicious gourmet meals. As it has been in the past, this is a pet-friendly and-family-friendly event. Masks are required.
When: June 5
Where: Bryant Park, Lake Worth
THE ALLMAN BETTS BAND IN CONCERT – After a successful tour in 2019 as the Devon Allman Project with special guest Duane Betts, the group has reformed as the Allman Betts Band. Devon is the son of Gregg Allman and Duane is the son of Dickey Betts. Also in the band is Berry Oakley Jr., son of another Allman Brothers Band original member, Berry Oakley. There are two shows on each of the two evenings and they will feature new songs from their solo projects and classic Allman Brothers and Greg Allman songs. The opening act is the River Kittens, who do a tasty country-ish version of Bruce Springsteen’s Atlantic City. Masks are required upon entry and when moving about the venue. Attendees can remove mask when seated. That said, social distancing is not guaranteed and if an entire table is not purchased by one party, you may be sitting with someone you don’t know.
When: June 1-2
Where: Key West Theater
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 4-6, 11-13 and 16-18
Where: Empire Stage, Fort Lauderdale
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.
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
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
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.
Where: Lukas Nursery, Oviedo
TACO & BEER FIESTA – It doesn’t get much better than tacos and cold beer on a waterfront setting in May. Returning for a fourth time, this fiesta expands beyond those two delicious staples and includes two dozen gourmet food trucks serving special South American-inspired dishes along with their usual fare of everything from BBQ to sweets. Kids and pets are welcome, and bring your picnic chairs and blankets. The first 300 guests will get a free sombrero this year.
When: May 21
Where: Albert Whitted Park, St. Petersburg
DRIVE-IN HARVEY MILK FESTIVAL – Celebrating the LGBTQ+ community for more than a decade, this festival is creating a drive-in, distanced format for COVID-19 safety while still preserving its mission in entertaining, educating and enriching its community. The four-day event will feature a variety of attractions including live music, performing and visual artists, theatre, speakers, and food and drink vendors.
When: May 13-16
ORANGE BLOSSOM JAMBOREE – Bring your RV or tent and set up camp at this five-day outdoor fest and friendly gathering filled with four days of Florida bands playing everything from rockabilly to funk to country and rock. Prepare your own meals at your campsite or buy food and beer from the many vendors on site while enjoying tunes from Uncle John’s Band, Led Zep, Wall of Echoes and other Sunshine State favorites.
When: May 13-16
Where: Sertoma Ranch, Brooksville
THE WINTER PARK SIDEWALK ART FESTIVAL – Known as one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious juried outdoor art festivals, this 62-year-old event is returning after skipping last year, once again drawing hundreds of fine artists entering categories such as clay, digital, leather, printmaking, jewelry, wood and more. There’s also a schools exhibit of student art and interactive art activities for kids.
When: May 14-16
Where: Central Park, downtown Winter Park
ART & SEAFOOD ON THE WATERFRONT – Among one of the best spots to stroll an outdoor event, Safety Harbor is beginning to welcome back its springtime weekend offerings of fresh air, good food and beautiful artwork. This free fest combines a juried art show with a number of vendors serving delicious shrimp, fish and other seafood dishes along the beautiful waterfront and quaint downtown area. The artists’ work will include mixed media, paintings, 3-D artwork, photography, wood, metal, fiber and jewelry.
When: May 22-23
Where: Waterfront Park, Safety Harbor
THUNDER ON COCOA BEACH – Returning in 2021 with some new event categories, this offshore boat racing event brings some of the world’s fastest speedboats and lots of adrenaline to the shores of the Space Coast. The five-day event draws bigger and bigger crowds each year, adding buzz to the live entertainment, dancing, parties and chances to see the impressive speed boats and racing teams up close at Race Village in Port Canaveral. Can’t catch it in person this year? Download the event’s app to live stream the races.
When: May 20-23
Where: Cocoa Beach
DAYTONA BEACH OCEANFRONT BANDSHELL SERIES – A time-honored tradition on one of Florida’s most famous beaches, this live weekend concert series kicks off in May with some great performance along the Atlantic Ocean – a precursor to the strong summer lineup. Country star Chris Janson headlines the first show followed by the soulful St. Paul & The Broken Bones later in the month. Buy tickets early! Due to COVID-19 protocols, attendance is limited and chairs will be provided.
When: May 22
Where: Daytona Beach
ORLANDO FRINGE – This 14-day arts festival celebrates its 30th year as one of Orlando’s most unique cultural events, offering 850 un-juried, uncensored, and highly talented theatre, music, dance performances and artist displays of all genres. Kids Fringe for children and families also returns, bringing entertaining performances by Fringe artists, workshops, hands-on art activities. For those who cannot attend live, check out DigiFringe in June.
When: May 18-31
Where: Various venues, Orlando
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
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
SILVER SPURS RODEO – Known as the “largest rodeo east of the Mississippi,” the Silver Spurs Rodeo has been drawing crowds to central Florida since the 1940s. This year’s crowd will be masked and distanced but as enthusiastic as ever while they enjoy several rounds of bareback bronc riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling, tie-down wrestling, the crowd-pleasing mutton bustin’ for kids, and for the first time ever, breakaway roping, which is a women’s calf roping event.
When: June 4-5
Where: Osceola Heritage Park/Silver Springs Arena, Kissimmee
A CELEBRATION OF OLDE FLORIDA – Located west of Daytona Beach in Volusia County, Barberville Pioneer Settlement will host a special version of its “Playing on the Porches” series, featuring living history demonstrations, musical performances, antique displays and interactive presentations on Florida life in the 1800s. Learn the art of broom making, weaving and blacksmithing while snacking on “cracker vittles” such as swamp cabbage, lassie cakes, BBQ and grits.
When: June 5
Where: Barberville Pioneer Settlement, Barberville
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
LIVE MUSIC? YES, REALLY — In a sign of a slight spark of normalcy, some indoor and outdoor music fests are reappearing on calendars. Of course, there are Covid precautions.
BLUE ANGELS PRACTICES — Be prepared to ooh and aah because the Pensacola-based Blue Angels are finally hosting their spring practice sessions along the coastline again. Due to current restrictions, access to the flight line and the National Naval Aviation Museum is open to Department of Defense ID card holders and their guests only. Don’t have a DoD ID? Not to worry. The world-famous pilots and their dazzling aerial feats can be seen by the general public as they cruise at speeds of up to 700 miles per hour over the city. Practice sessions typically last about 55 minutes and begin at 10:30 a.m.
When: May 12, 18-19
ROMANZA FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS — St. Augustine’s two week, daily salute to the arts, culture, cuisine and heritage has more than 30 events, many of which are free. The festivals headliners include Duo Beaux Arts, a husband and wife team of concert pianists (5/1); Mama Blue, a Jacksonville soul singer (5/9); Kaleidoscope of Dance (5/10); and Akia Uwanda, a Jacksonville jazz singer (5/15).
When: May 1-15
Where: St. Augustine
TUPELO HONEY FESTIVAL — Enjoy a day trip to “real” Florida in the one stoplight town of Wewahitchka, known for a generation of beekeepers harvesting the liquid gold that’s also known as Tupelo honey. Purchase locally-made products featuring the honey, get a picture with the newly-crowned queen of the Miss Tupelo pageant and chill to live music. Also includes arts and crafts, food vendors and kids activities.
When: May 15
SPRINGTIME TALLAHASSEE — Although scaled back to only one day, Springtime Tallahassee is happening in 2021! Shop from arts, crafts and food vendors; cheer on the New Orleans-style krewes and floats during the Grand Parade; and let the little ones expend a lot of energy at the Children’s Park. The day concludes with an evening music festival.
When: May 15
Where: Kleman Plaza, Tallahassee
DIGITAL GRAFFITI — Reserve a drive-thru ticket for Alys Beach’s reimagined digital art festival during Covid times. In lieu of canceling the 2021 event and to follow social-distancing guidelines, the annual beachfront fest will welcome visitors by car to view the works of more than 25 international artists projected on the white walls of the community’s various homes and buildings. Guests must reserve their ticketed entry time online; first available time slot is at 8 p.m. daily. Because this is an evening art show, vehicles without tinted windows or with windows that open are recommended to best view the works of art.
When: May 12-15
Where: Alys Beach
SUNFLOWER FIELDS FOREVER — Experience the magic of walking through six acres of sunflowers with blue skies and perfect puffy clouds overhead. Because Mother Nature rules the roost, the exact date the fields open for visitors usually happens in mid-May. Kids will also enjoy being able to visit with farm animals, participating in a Tug-A-War or playing in the Ball Zone. Family photo ops are included with admission.
When: May 13 through the blooming season
Where: Amazing Grace Family Farms, Green Cove Springs
PENSACOLA JAZZFEST — Scatting, sax solos and improv are all the rage during Jazz Pensacola’s free, family-friendly festival which showcases two days of live music and 18 acts including national headliners Doug Horn, the Joe Murphy Quartet and Tony Viviano. Patrons are invited to kick back and relax under the shade provided by the gorgeous live oaks in Seville Square for the 37th annual event. Also includes food and drink and arts and craft vendors.
When: May 15-16
Where: Seville Square Park, Pensacola
SOUL OF SOUTHSIDE ARTS & HUMANITIES FESTIVAL — Celebrate the rich cultural history and diversity of Tallahassee’s Southside neighborhood with this inaugural fest that pairs neighborhood tours, a Youth Entrepreneurship EXPO + Pitch Competition and live music with a vibrant two-day street festival. The event’s musical lineup includes The Hamiltones, Kevin Lemons & Higher Calling, Glenn Jones, Adrian Crutchfield and Tallahassee Nights Live. For those not ready to venture out, there is an option to experience some events virtually through the festival’s livestream.
When: May 20-22
COMIC CONS — These conventions prove geeky, sci-fi love knows no borders as fanboys and girls of seemingly diverse groups can finally don their favorite costumes and geek out together again under one roof. Guests will be required to follow Covid safety precautions specific to each event.
· Pensacon 2021 (May 21-23, Pensacola): Includes meet-and-greet opportunities or panels with more than 100 celebrity guests, artists, authors and personalities including Anthony Michael Hall, Annabeth Gish, Andrew Divoff, George Wendt and Emily Swallow. Also includes Adult and Kids Cosplay contests, a short film festival and vendor booths. https://pensacon.com/
· Infinity Con Tallahassee (June 5-6, Tallahassee): Guests of Tally’s annual comic convention will not be disappointed after the Covid hiatus. Star Wars fans can take selfies with a 17-foot-long lifesize model of Roxy the Rancor, gamers can compete in a two-day gaming tournament of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and budding special effects stylists can attend a panel hosted by Jeh Howell (Zombieland). Plus, all guests are eligible to compete in the Cosplay Contest. https://infinitycontally.com
DRIVE-IN LASER LIGHT SHOW — Kick back for a drive-in nighttime, family-friendly laser light show set to current pop and classic hits. Advance ticket purchases are required and there is an 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. show each evening.
When: May 27-30
Where: St. Johns County Fairgrounds, Elkton
MARCH ON — After a yearlong hiatus, Pensacola is ready to party starting with these events that locals love year after year.
· Pensacola Grand Carnival Parade (May 29, downtown Pensacola): Elaborate floats and outlandish costumes will lead the Florida-style pageantry for the annual parade which usually features more than 6,000 participants from Krewes, local organizations and marching bands. https://pensacolamardigras.com/event/pensacola-grand-mardi-gras-parade
· Grand Fiesta Parade and Boat Parade (June 4-5, downtown Pensacola): Pensacola’s heritage celebration of the city’s founding by the Spanish Conquistador Don Tristan de Luna in 1559 kicks off the summer season with back-to-back parades — one by land, one by sea. There will be floats, high school marching bands and an appearance by the 2021 Fiesta King and Queen and their “royal” court. https://www.fiestapensacola.org
CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE — Rather than cancel 2021’s high-end automobile show, event organizers pushed it back to late May. Other than a date change, all the reasons why Amelia Island’s annual celebration is one of the top auto shows in the county are the same. More than 300 classic, present and futuristic automobiles will be on display on the Ritz-Carlton’s golf course, guests can reserve tickets for the Porsche Driving Experience and the festival seminars will include past racing legends like Dale Earnhardt Jr. In a first, the Concours will toast former driver Lyn St. James as the festival’s first female honoree. Covid safety protocols will be in place.
When: May 20-23
Where: Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
UNWINED — UNwineD’s grand tasting features a global lineup of wine, spirits and craft beer samples as well as food pairings from local restaurants. Guests are encouraged to bring their own blankets and lawn chairs so they can chill in the park while enjoying live music by Seattle rocker Ayron Jones.
When: June 4-5
Where: Aaron Bessant Park
PEPSI GULF COAST JAM — Usually PCB’s annual salute to country music on the coast marks the end of the summer beach season. This year, festival headliners Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan and Lynryd Skynyrd will toast the start of the season during the beach’s biggest music bash. Other top performers include Cody Jinks, Cole Swindell, Brother Osborne, Joe Nichols, Billy Ray Cyrus and Riley Green. The festival will be 100% cashless and will announce its Covid safety precautions closer to the event date.
When: June 4-6
Where: Frank Brown Park, Panama City Beach
WELLBORN BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL — Indulge in all things blueberry: from cobblers and pies to ice cream and jellies to syrups and fudge. Don’t miss the blueberry pancake breakfast and this year's parade that’s themed “Hometown USA”. Also includes a classic car show, food and craft vendors and live local entertainment. Blueberry bushes and fresh-picked berries will be for sale.
When: June 5
SEED-SPITTIN FUN — The North Florida agricultural scene includes more than strawberry, blackberry and blueberry festivals (see above), with juicy watermelon also being a top early summer performer. Of course, that means there are festivals to celebrate a slice of the good life.
· Tour de Melon (June 5, Chiefland): This annual bike ride is considered a great “starter” event for participants looking at ease into their first Century ride (100-mile) because the route is flat and traverses well-marked rural highways. Those looking for a little less distance can choose from 20, 40 or 60 miles on the Rails-to-Trails paved path. Participants can celebrate their accomplishment at the Chiefland Watermelon Festival after (see below). http://www.tourdemelon.com
· Chiefland Watermelon Festival (June 5, Chiefland): Although festival details and the parade route are still a work in progress, the annual event is back on in 2021! See the festival’s queen be crowned, enjoy live music and be prepared to fill up on just picked from the farm melon slices. https://chieflandwomansclub.org
· Watermelon Festival (June 18-19, Monticello): 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. 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
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
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