Florida Events for February and March 2024
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.
LUMINOSA FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS – More than 150 Chinese artisans used 120 tons of steel and 150,000 feet of silk to create 40 stunning lamp scenes that beautifully illuminate the night with themes such as jungle wildlife, the Lost City of Atlantis, ancient Asian dynasties and Latin culture. This lantern festival immerses visitors in a fantastical world of rain forests and underwater kingdoms. Also included will be live music, acrobatic shows, food and craft cocktails.
When: Now through Feb. 28
Where: Jungle island on Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami Beach
HORSING AROUND IN WELLINGTON – Head west of West Palm Beach to Wellington for two outstanding horse and rider-centric multi-month happenings: the Winter Equestrian Festival and the Palm Beach International Polo Season. The former brings together the partnership of horse and rider during the thrills and grace of show jumping and the elegance of dressage. The latter features the best polo players in the world. Both are as much about the horsey-set lifestyle with many options and side shows to keep you entertained and well-fed.
When & Where: Respectively, Jan. 3-March 31 for the Winter Equestrian Festival and Jan. 1-April 23 for the Palm Beach International Polo Season. Both are at the Wellington International Polo Center.
Web: Respectively, thepalmbeaches.com/top-event/winter-equestrian-festival and thepalmbeaches.com/event/palm-beach-polo-season
ALPHONSE MUCHA: MASTER OF ART NOUVEAU – A renaissance of creativity produced the Art Nouveau movement amid the cobblestone streets and gas-lit boulevards of Paris at the end of the 19th century and dawn of the 20th century. Characterized by sinuous lines, organic forms and intricate designs, this movement in art and design found its virtuoso interpreter in Alphonse Mucha, whose work is featured in this museum exhibition.
When: Jan. 16-April 14
Where: Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, Palm Beach
Web: Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau (flaglermuseum.us)
THE FACE OF IMMOKALEE – This museum exhibit was created through a multi-year collaboration between residents of Immokalee and Naples-based photographer Michelle Tricca. It consists of large-format black-and-white portrait photographs of Immokalee residents of varying backgrounds and ages.
When: Now through April 28
Where: The Baker Museum, Naples
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL’S ECHO – Cirque’s newest Big-Top show, Echo, follows the adventures of very inquisitive young woman named FUTURE and her best friend DOG as they encounter a mysterious CUBE. FUTURE and DOG quickly learn how their actions have the power to shape the world. The show brings bold new visuals and a unique aesthetic. It is packed with vibrant characters, inspiring music and astounding lights and projections and never-before-seen acrobatic feats. It all adds up to an amazing journey of color, wonder and infinite possibilities.
When: February 22 through April 7
Where: The Village at Gulfstream Park, Hallandale
FLORIDA RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL – Come all ye wenches and knaves and journey back to the 16th century as you step through castle gates and into the days of yore. Explore the artisans’ village and see glassblowing, magic, jousting, Irish dancing, archery, axe throwing and tests of strength. Feast on hearty food fit for a king and enjoy live performances on stage and in the lanes. The shows feature more than 100 costumed performers, 12 stages and acts from around the world. Each weekend has a different theme.
When: Saturdays and Sundays from Feb. 3-March 24
Where: Quiet Waters Park, Deerfield Beach
TURTLEFEST – It's focused on promoting conservation, a fun-filled day of close up encounters with endangered and local species of native loggerheads, green and leatherback turtles. Also included: food, live music, fine art, shopping children’s games and activities, educational presentations and a Global Village.
When: Feb. 24
Where: Loggerhead Marine Life Center, Juno Beach
ST. LUCIE COUNTY FAIR – Get ready for the big one! All the county fair fun you could possibly want: rodeos, livestock shows, carnival rides, games and contests, chill-lout zones with fire pits, a family fun zone, a demolition derby, concerts, a Big Swig Beer Festival and, of course, great food. Check out the VIP packages.
When: Feb. 23-March 3
Where: St. Lucie County Fairgrounds, Fort Pierce
MONSTER JAM – What is about 10 and a half feet tall and weighs about six tons? Glad you asked. Of course, it’s a Monster Jam truck. And all the famous ones (Grave Digger, Zombie, El Toro Loco, Mohawk Warrior, Megalodon, Black Pearl, Kraken and Bad Company, just to name a few) will be on hand as they tear up the dirt with their massive stunts and compete head-to-head for the event championship. Take advantage of the pit party and early-access availability to get up close to these machines and meet the drivers.
When: Feb. 24-25
Where: loanDepot Park (where the Miami Marlins baseball team plays), Miami
LAKE WORTH BEACH STREET PAINTING FESTIVAL – It’s the chalk of the town, so to speak. See how the pavement becomes canvas and the street becomes a museum for fine works of traditional, contemporary and 3D art. Lasting only until the next rain drops, these masterpieces (made with environmentally-friendly chalk) are a true beauty to behold. Some 600 artists will participate at one of the largest street painting festivals in the country. There will also be great food, live music and street performers.
When: Feb. 24-25
Where: Downtown Lake Worth Beach
DISCOVER MIAMI INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW – It used to be two boat shows: The Miami International Boat Show and the Miami Yacht Show. Now, they have joined forces to create one of the largest boat and yacht events in the world. The theme is simple – life is better on a boat, be it a kayak or superyacht or everything and anything in between. It will be held at various locations in Miami and Miami Beach and here is what you you’ll see and/or do at each venue:
- Miami Beach Convention Center: power boats up to 49 feet, engine manufacturers, marine accessories, electronics and retail pavilions.
- One Herald Plaza: larger power boats, motor yachts ranging from 50 feet to 125 feet long, yacht tenders, engines, marine accessories and retail pavilions.
- The Progressive Boat Show Experience at Pride Park: Discover a myriad of boating lifestyle options, entertainment, innovative cuisine, educational seminars and a marine accessory pavilion.
- Venetian Marina: Test drive more than 150 sea trial vessels; find additional new and brokerage boats and engine manufacturers.
- Museum Park Marina: the latest sailboats, catamarans and sailing accessories,
- SuperYacht Miami at IGY Yacht Haven Grande at Island Gardens: This one is for lovers and gawkers of some of the world’s largest and most spectacular yachts. However, this one is only available with the purchase of the Windward VIP ticket or SuperYacht Miami tickets.
When: Feb. 14-18
Where: Various locations in Miami and Miami Beach
THE LOVE BURN – It’s an official regional version of the huge Burning Man arts event held every year in Nevada. This year’s theme is “Sparkle Galactica.” Inventive interactive sculptures will be erected to support that theme and people are encouraged to wear costumes that are theme-appropriate. The event adopts such Burning Man principles as self-reliance, gift-giving, self-expression and leaving no trace left behind. With the latter in mind, all the sculptures will be burned down at the end of the event! And, all who attend are expected to take everything they bring away when they leave. There’s a lot more, too, including themed camp grounds, circus-like tents, sun salutations, pop-up live music, performance art and parlor games. No official scheduled bands, no vendors – just people having a good time interacting with each other. This is an all-volunteer event. Hence, all participants will be required to volunteer their time for at least two to four hours. Note: If you want to attend, book early because tickets sell quickly and will not be sold at the gate during the event.
When: Feb. 15-18
Where: Virginia Key Beach Park, Miami
FLORIDA IN WORLD WAR II – Florida played an important part in the war effort, becoming home to hundreds of military installations. Florida’s strategic location, excellent flying weather and proximity to vital shipping lanes made it ideal for army and navy airfields, most notably the 5,800-acre Boca Raton Army Air Field. The exhibit explores home-front contributions, military training, the U-Boat threat and Floridians in service.
When: Now through May 17
Where: Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum, Boca Raton
EDISON FESTIVAL OF LIGHT – Thomas Edison wintered in Fort Myers from 1885 until his death in 1931 and this fest pays homage to the great inventor. Highlights include the Thomas Alva Edison Science & Inventors Fair, Strolling Flower Show, Antique Car Show, Thomas Edison Birthday Party, Crafts on the River & Vintage Market, Grand Parade, parties and the don’t-miss-it Mutt Strutt.
When: Feb. 10-18
Where: Various locations in Fort Myers
FOOD NETWORK & COOKING CHANNEL SOUTH BEACH WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL – It’s a mouthful of a title, but the mouthfuls you get if you attend are amazing. Known as the “Super Bowl of Foodies,” it’s a star-studded extravaganza that showcases the talents of famous chefs, culinary personalities and wine and spirit producers. Events include brunches and lunches, grand tastings and demos, seminars, intimate dinners, walk-around tastings and late-night parties. It’s great for people-watching, too, as celebrities abound. Book early for all events (some are already sold out).
When: Feb. 22-25
Where: Various locations in Miami-Dade County
SWAMP CABBAGE FESTIVAL – This will be the 57th year that the authentic Florida town of La Belle just east of Fort Myers has been celebrating swamp cabbage in this down-home festival. You can sample dishes made with swamp cabbage (also known as hearts of palm). The many activities include armadillo races, a rodeo, beauty pageants, a parade with floats, live music, a fishing tournament, a car show and a lawn mower race. There is a circus theme to all the festivities this year: Under the Big Tree Top.
When: Feb 24-25
Where: Various locations in La Belle
SEA FOOD, EAT FOOD! – In addition to all the foodie events mentioned above, there are some more excellent seafood festivals in SoFla in February. The events all include yummy seafood and may also have live music in a variety of genres and a marketplace of arts, crafts and other fine products. Some also have carnival rides and games. Here are some of the fests:
- Port Charlotte Seafood & Music Festival – Feb. 16-18 at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds, Port Charlotte; fairsandfestivals.net/events/details/2024-port-charlotte-seafood-and-music-festival
- Bonita Springs Seafood & Music Festival – Feb. 9-11 at the grass field next to The Poker Room (the old dog track), Bonita Springs; seafoodfestivals.com
- Jupiter Seafood Festival – Feb. 17-19 at Carlin Park, Jupiter; eventbrite.com/e/2024-jupiter-seafood-festival-feb-17-18-tickets-732455101927
THE COGNIZANT CLASSIC – It has a new name (it used to be the Honda Classic) but it will still attract many of the world’s top golfers who will battle for some $7 million in prize money and try to rack up early points in the race for the Fed Ex Cup title. The course is still the same and it features the famous “Bear Trap,” one of the most treacherous three-hole stretches (15, 16 and 17) on the tour. Some recent winners include Chris Kirk (defending champion), Sepp Straka, Matt Jones, Sunjae Im, Keith Mitchell, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott and Rory McElroy. At press time, the field had not yet been announced, so check the website for updates.
When: Feb. 26-March 3
Where: Championship course at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens
THE CHUBB CLASSIC -- Do you also like the aging-gracefully golfing greats? Check out this Champions Tour event, as many of the best over-50 golfers compete for the $1.8 million in purse money. The seemingly ageless Bernhard Langer has won the tournament five times including the last two. At press time, the field had not yet been announced, so check the website for updates.
When: Feb. 15-18
Where: The Tiburon Golf Club at the Ritz-Carlton, Naples
ORANGE BLOSSOM FESTIVAL RODEO – It’s the 86th edition of this 10-gallon hat-a-thon and you’ll see top professional cowboys and cowgirls compete in all the usual thrilll-a-minute events, such as bronc riding, steer wrestling barrel racing and bull riding.
When: Feb. 24-25
Where: Weekley Brothers Pro Rodeo Arena, Davie
SOUTHWEST FLORIDA BURROWING OWL FESTIVAL – A whole lot of folks give a hoot about this well-attended gathering in Cape Coral, which is home to the largest known population of this threatened species. It’s a family-fun filled event with live owls, educational exhibits, bus tours to local owl burrows, live music, food vendors and arts & crafts activities for kids.
When: Feb. 24
Where: Rotary Park Environmental Center, Cape Coral
COCONUT GROVE ARTS FESTIVAL – It’s a nearly one mile-long mixture of great art, gourmet eats at the Global Food Village, street performers, an eclectic mix of live music and a children’s area. About 300 of some of the finest artists and craftsmen in the world will display their work at one of the largest outdoor art festivals in the country.
When: Feb. 17-19
Where: Coconut Grove, Miami
ARTS & CRAFTS GALORE – Can’t make it to the Coconut Grove Arts Festival? Not to worry. There are many other art and craft festivals and art in SoFla in February, with some offering live music and/or food and drink. Here are some of them:
- Artigras Fine Arts Festival, Feb. 17-18 at the Gardens North County District Park, Palm Beach Gardens; artigras.org
- Art Wynwood, Feb. 14-18 on Biscayne Bay, Miami; artwynwood.com
- Coconut Point Mall Art Festival, Feb. 17-18 in Estero; ArtFestival.com
- Downtown Delray Beach Craft Festival, Feb. 24-25; ArtFestival.com
- Downtown Stuart Art Festival, Feb. 24-25; ArtFestival.com
- Naples National Art Show, Feb. 23-25 at Cambier Park; Art in the Park — Naples Art Institute
- Old Island Days Art Festival, Feb. 24-25 at Truman Waterfront, Key West; keywestartcenter.com
- South Miami Rotary Art Festival, Feb. 24-25 in downtown South Miami; somiartfest.org/
PALM BEACH JEWELRY, ART & ANTIQUE SHOW – One of the largest shows of its kind in the United States, it includes a lecture series with industry experts offering their extensive knowledge. Specialists such as curators, skinners and conservators will provide an abundance of information and entertainment.
When: Feb. 15-20
Where: Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach
MELTON MUSTAFA JAZZ FESTIVAL WEEKEND – Trumpet player extraordinaire Melton Mustafa has performed with some of the most famous jazz outfits to hit the stage (the Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Woody Herman orchestras, to name a few). Now, he’s an educator at Florida Memorial University and he hosts and organizes a great jazz festival every year. Headliners are Endea Owens, Mariel Bildsten, Shirazette Tinnin, Tajae Veal, Jazmin Ghent, Nicole Yarling, Quiana Lynell and, of course, The Legendary Melton Mustafa Orchestra. There will also be performances by some outstanding South Florida college jazz bands.
When: Feb. 22-25
Where: Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater, Miami
DEERFIELD BEACH PIONEER DAYS – It’s a three-day celebration of the city’s agricultural roots and features arts & crafts, live concerts, yummy food, a parade with some 50 floats, a fireworks show and a beach bonfire.
When: Feb. 17-18
Where: Main Beach Parking Lot, Deerfield Beach
CARNAVAL MIAMI – As always, this series of events showcases the best of art, music, fashion and sports. It attracts about a million attendees each year. Here are the various March and April events:
- Carnaval on the Mile, March 2-3 on Miracle on the Mile, Coral Gables: It features the best of local art, live music, yummy food and children’s entertainment.
- Domino Tournament, March 4-6 at Domino Park, Miami: This is a classic Little Havana cultural experience that attracts domino enthusiasts from around the country. Don’t let the laid-back atmosphere fool you – the competition is fierce!
- Calle Ocho, March 10, between SW 12th-27th Avenues in Little Havana, Miami: It’s one of the largest Latin music festivals in the world, stretching across 15 city blocks and filled with multiple stages, international food, sampling sites, folkloric dances and family-oriented fun.
- Soccer 5v5 Challenge, April 6, at a location to be determined: Some 4,000 participants from the ages of 8-19 will compete.
Web: carnavalmiami.com for all the events
THE MIAMI OPEN – It has always been one of the closest tournaments to a fifth major championship on the pro tennis circuit and will be again this year. As of press time, tickets were available to purchase but the field had not yet been announced, so check the website below as the tournament nears. Hopefully, 2023 winners Daniil Medvedev and Petra Kvitova will be there to defend their titles. Keep your camera or smart phone handy, because celebrities always abound. Food, fashion, art and entertainment always are a large part of the scene.
When: March 17-31
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens
JAZZ IN THE GARDENS – Once again, a stellar lineup will be featured, along with other happenings to entertain you. Jess Hilarious will host the first night and the performers will be Summer Walker, Davido, Jazmine Sullivan, Kirk Franklin, Tink and Eric Bellinger. Also schedule is a DJ set by Kid Capri. Rickey Smiley will host the second night and the scheduled artists are Maxwell, Babyface, Jeezy, Scarface, Tamia, Jaheim, Marsha Ambrosius and October London. Also on the program will be DJ Cassidy’s Pass the Mic Live. There will also be art vendors and a food village. In honor of Women’s History Month, the festival and the city of Miami Gardens will present the Women’s Impact Luncheon, designed to inspire women to live centered, active, fulfilled and balanced lives. There is also a festive Opening Night party to get things started.
When & Where: March 8 for the Women’s Impact Luncheon at a location to be determined, March 8 for the Opening Night Party at the Hard Rock Casino Hotel in Hollywood and March 9-10 for the concerts at Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL -- Party-hearty folks from around the world will once again head to this three-day electronic dance music extravaganza. More than 100 performers will be on hand, including the best in that genre literally from A (Afrojack) to Z (ZedsDead). Other headliners are Calvin Harris, David Guetta, Tiesto, Armin van Buuren, Hardwell, Martin Garrix, Oliver Heldens, Steve Aoki and Eric Prydz.
When: March 22-24
Where: Bayfront Park, Miami
RELAND COUNTRY FESTIVAL – In addition to 15 hours of toe-tapping country music, there will be 150 arts & crafts, fashion and food vendors. The gathering also includes the Redland Craft Beer Festival, which will have unlimited samples of craft beer, wine, spirits and food.
When: March 2-3
Where: Rancho Grande Farm, Miami
FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS BOCA – The organizers have yet again put together an outstanding and eclectic lineup. The opener is a tribute to the legendary Hendry Mancini featuring the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra, with Monica Mancini on vocals, accompanied by a visual journey through the life of the iconic composer. The live-music movie (featuring the Festival Orchestra Boca) this will be Jaws. Renee Fleming, the Grammy-winning queen of sopranos, will be on stage for two nights, first with a performance and then leading a program called Music and the Mind, which explores the connection between music and mental well-being. The Authors & Ideas program will feature Nicholas Thompson, CEO of The Atlantic and former editor of Wired magazine, and poet Richard Blanco, who was selected by President Obama to be the fifth Presidential Inaugural Poet in U.S. history. Other highlights include the Barcelona Flamenco Ballet and the multi-talented Isaac Mizrahi, who will perform Hello Isaac, his critically acclaimed cabaret show. The festival’s finale will be the Festival Boca Jazz Orchestra performing 100 Years of Rhapsody in Blue.
When: March 1-10
Where: Mizner Park Amphitheater, Boca Raton.
TENNESSEE WILLIAMS KEY WEST FESTIVAL – Happy 113th birthday to the great playwright who liked to say “I work everywhere but I work best here.” The “here” is Key West, where he visited and lived from 1942 until his death in 1983. You can celebrate his birthday and his life at this multiple-events festival. Five Tennessee movies will be shown: The Rose Tattoo, A Streetcar Named Desire, Baby Doll, The Fugitive Kind and Period of Adjustment. Other highlights: A Trolley Tour Named Desire that shows all the Tennessee Williams-related Key West venues, a staged reading of Ten Blocks, a curator tour of the Tennessee Williams Museum that will focus on The Rose Tattoo (filmed in Key West), a poetry contest, a short story contest, a plein air painting contest and, of course the grand-finale Tennessee Williams birthday bash (at which the short story and poetry contest winners will read of their works).
When: Throughout March
Where: Various locations in Key West
PALM BEACH INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW – If you want a boat, need a boat or you like to fantasize about boats, this one’s for you. You’ll see about $1.2 billion in products. There is an amazing array of vessels – Cigarettes, Comanches, Super Cats, inflatables, cruisers, runabouts, fishing boats, high performance, bow riders and, of course, super yachts (some up to 300 feet long). You’ll also find a full lineup of accessories and nautical fashions. It all adds up to one of the top boat shows in the country, especially with the Superyacht Show Palm Beach as part of the festivities. There will also be a free kids (ages 4-16) fishing clinic, jetpack demos, electric surfboards, paddleboards and Hobie kayaks. From the Windward VIP option to the AquaZone, there will be experiences that cater to all ages and adventure-seeking lifestyles. The boat show coincides with the Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary Art Fair. Boat show attendees who opt for the Windward VIP option will have access to both events.
When: March 21-24
Where: Along Flagler Drive in downtown West Palm Beach, across the waterway from Palm Beach Island for the boat show and the Palm Beach Convention Center for the Art Fair
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY FAIR & EXPOSITION – It’s one of the top fairs/expositions in the country, drawing about 600,000 people each year. It includes heart-pounding rides, two huge Kiddielands, yummy fair food, livestock and agricultural competitions, pig races and live music featuring local bands.
When: March 14-April 7 (Except March 18-19 and April 1-2)
Where: Fair Expo Center, Miami
COLLIER COUNTY FAIR – All the county-fare staples are included: livestock shows and competitions, arcade games, carnival rides, live music featuring local bands, kids’ activities, and all the cotton candy you could ever want.
When: March 21-31
Where: Collier County Fairgrounds, Naples
ASIAN CULTURAL FESTIVAL – This annual event showcases Asian crafts, art, exotic music and dance and a tasty selection of Far Eastern cuisine. There will be demonstrations of Ikebana (the art of Japanese flower arrangements) and Origami (Japanese techniques of folding papers into decorative shapes). One of the featured performers will be Japanese Taiko drummers Fushu Daiko. Other highlights: fruit and vegetable carvings, games, puppet shows, a Buddha exhibition, dragon boat racing, lots of activities for kids, martial arts demonstrations, Chinese royal carriage rides and Muay Thai kickboxing. If you can’t make it to one of the Asian countries this year, try this event instead. You’ll discover the beauty, richness and uniqueness of Asian culture, all brought together in two days of colorful activities. A highlight this year will be a version of the Water Festival, which is celebrated by many countries in Southeast Asia.
When: March 2-3
Where: Tropical Park, Miami
BOCA RATION INTERNATIONAL JEWISH/ISRAELI FILM FESTIVAL – This inaugural event will present some 70 feature-length films, documentaries and shorts from the United States and around the world, including Israel, Canada, Switzerland, Poland, Italy, France, Germany and Australia. Filmmakers, producers and actors will be on hand to discuss their films.
When: Feb. 25-March 17
Where: Cinemark Palace in Boca Raton from Feb. 25-March 2 and the Movies of Delray and Lake Worth from March 3-17; or, from the comfort of your own home with the festival’s virtual component.
CLEWISTON SUGAR FESTIVAL – This annual celebration of the end of the Sugar Cane Harvest is a fun-for-all-ages gathering, for sure. There will be food trucks and other food vendors, arts & crafts, lots of live country music (the headliner is Jordan Davis), a cornhole tournament, a homerun derby, the Sweet Taste Baking competition, an antique tractor display, a car show and plenty of activities for kids.
When: March 16
Where: Civic Park, Clewiston
IMMOKALEE CATTLE DRIVE & JAMBOREE – It’s not often you see a cattle drive down a city’s main street these days, but here is your chance. It’s an all-day event that captures Immokalee’s cattle culture: past, present and future. The Jamboree part of the festivities has food, drink and craft vendors, music, horse dancing, story-telling, roping and whip cracking demonstrations and the Kids’ Korral that has a petting zoo, games and crafts.
When: March 9
Where: Main Street and the Roberts Ranch, Immokalee
PLAY BALL! – Spring is getting ready, to well, spring upon us and that means baseball. Pitchers and catchers are the first to report in the third week in February and full rosters soon after that. Then, in March, the games begin and go on all month.
When: Starting about the third week in February and then throughout the month of March.
Where: For the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins, Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter. For the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros, Ball Park of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach. For the Boston Red Sox, JetBlue Park in Fort Myers. For the Minnesota Twins, Lee County Sports Complex in Fort Myers.
Web: rogerdeanstadium.com for the Cardinals and Marlins; ballparkpalmbeaches.com for the Nationals and Astros; redsox.com/jetbluepark for the Red Sox; mlb.com/twins/spring-training/ballpark for the Twins.
SAVOR THE AVENUE – In its 15th year, this yearly Delray Beach tradition is known for its 5-block, 1300-foot long table that seats 1,000 people. They will enjoy a four-course meal provided by 12 different restaurants. Tip: If you want to be part of the long-table dining experience, try to register as soon as you see this. Reservations started on Feb. 1 and the event usually sells out quickly. Even if you get shut out for that, you can still enjoy dining at one of the participating restaurants or other fine eateries in the downtown area.
When: March 25
Where: Along East Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach
MORE GOOD EATS (AND DRINKS!) Food and beverage-centric events abound throughout SoFla in March. Many have more than food and drink, including live music, arts & crafts vendors, parades and activities for kids. Here are some that whet our appetite and thirst:
Naples Craft Beer Fest, March 2 at Bayfront, Naples; naplescraftbeerfest.com
- Marathon Seafood Festival, March 9-10 at Marathon Community Park; marathonseafoodfestival.com
- Fort Myers Beach Lions Club Shrimp Festival, March 9-10 at various locations; fortmyersbeachshrimpfestival.com
- Wellington Bacon & Bourbon Festival, March 23-24 at the Village of Wellington Town Center Promenade; baconbourbonfest.com
- Homestead Stone Crab & Seafood Festival, March 2-3 at the Homestead Sports Complex, Homestead; HomesteadSeafoodFestival.com
- Naples Seafood & Music Festival, March 15-17 at 7035 Airport-Pulling Road, Naples;eventbrite.com/e/naples-seafood-music-festival-tickets-700822808887
PALM BEACH PRIDE – For more than two decades it has been Palm Beach County’s largest LGBTQ event, celebrating that community, equality and respect in a family-friendly environment. The event features a colorful parade, live performances and entertainment for all ages, booth vendors, a tasty selection of food from local restaurants and food trucks, beverage benders and a large Youth Village. It’s pet-friendly, too.
When: March 23-24
Where: Lake Worth (Bryant Park for most of the events; the parade starts in downtown Lake Worth and ends at Bryant Park.
WINTER PARTY FESTIVAL – “Party” is definitely the operative word at this LBGTQ+ multi-day event. There will be dance parties, pool parties, beach parties, late-night parties and cocktail parties.
When: Feb. 28-March 5
Where: Various locations throughout Miami and Miami Beach
SUN & STAR FEST – In the daytime there will be canoe rentals available, a guided nature walk, sun gazing with the Everglades Astronomical Society, a silent auction and live music. Then, at night there will be star gazing and multiple campfire programs.
When: March 9
Where: Collier-Seminole State Park, Naples
MIAMI SAILING WEEK – Some 600 sailors from 20 nations will compete in this world-class racing event. Since everyone is welcome, the entry list includes former Olympians, world champions and sailing legends, along with weekend-sailing warriors. Once the sailing is over each day, you can expect an array of social events with live music, food and spirits.
When: March 3-9
Where: Biscayne Bay, Miami
BROWARD COUNTY WATERWAY CLEANUP – Here is a good way to go outdoors and do a good deed at the same time. Even if you don’t have a boat, you can help clean up shorelines.
When: March 2
Where: Various locations in Broward County
ISLAMORADA ISLAND FEST – Yummy food is always a mainstay during both days, but the Taste of Islamorada Competition on Sunday brings out the best from local restaurants as they vie for top honors. Attendees will get to cast their ballot for the coveted People’s Choice Award. Part of Island Fest includes the Plantation Yacht Harbor Arts & Crafts show featuring some 100 artists. Back this year will be the All-American Road Vintage Cruisers Car Show, featuring antique cars, trucks, motorcycles and rat rods.
When: March 23-24
Where: Founders Park Islamorada
MARCH MADNESS, ARTS & CRAFTS VERSION – The arts & crafts show scene is still going strong in March. Here are some of them (some may also include food and live music):
- Las Olas Art Fair, Part II, March 2-3 along Las Olas Avenue in downtown Fort Lauderdale; artfestival.com
- Downtown Venice Art Classic, along March 2-3 along West Venice Ave; artfestival.com
- Bonita Springs National Art Festival, Riverside Park, March 2-3; artcenterbonita.org/artfest/
- Hollywood Beach Broadwalk Craft Festival, March 2-3, Hollywood Beach; artfestival.com
- ArtFest by the Sea, March 9-10, Juno Beach; artfestival.com
- Punta Gorda Sullivan Street Craft Festival, March 9-110; artfestival.com
- Boca Fest, March 25-26, Town Center Mall, Boca Raton; artfestival.com
- Coral Springs Festival of the Arts & Crafts, March 16-17 at The Walk at University, Coral Springs; coralsprings.gov/Events-directory/Arts/Festival-of-the-Arts
- Naples Downtown Art Fair, March 23-24, Cambier Park, Naples; hotworks.org
- Downtown Stuart Craft Fair, March 23-24; artfestival.com
TAMPA BAY COLLARD GREEN FESTIVAL – Returning once again to the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum and surrounding streets, this free and wholesome festival is a celebration of health, agriculture, history, culture, food and community wrapped into one. Sample delicious variations of the prized leafy green, enter the collard green cook-off or simply stroll St. Pete’s Historic Deuces Corridor to enjoy live bands, farmer’s markets, food trucks, wellness vendors, kids’ activities, cooking demonstrations and more. This year’s special guest is acclaimed food writer and two-time James Beard Award winner Adrian E. Miller, who will present at the special ticketed “Collards After Dark” event on Feb. 16 in Ybor City.
When: Feb. 17
Where: St. Petersburg
FLORIDA GOURD ARTS FESTIVAL – Got squash? The Florida Gourd Society is once again hosting its annual three-day gathering of pumpkin and gourd enthusiasts, offering a full roster of seminars and workshops so guests can learn more about the cultivation and crafting of these bulbous, versatile fruits, transforming them into decorations, bowls, canvasses and sculptures. Take home one of your own creations in a step-by-step class, ranging from those for beginners to the more technically savvy sculptors. This year’s theme is “Steampunk Gourds,” so expect lots of metalwork embellishments and Victorian-era artwork.
When: Feb. 23-25
Where: Azan Shriner’s Center, Melbourne
FLORIDA STATE FAIR – The Florida State Fair is a mecca of thrill rides, flavor overload and entertainment, drawing hundreds of thousands of fans to its stages spotlighting star country and pop music acts, circus performers, Hollywood racing pigs and other wild shows. Learn more about Florida history and agriculture at colorful walk-through exhibits, and come hungry so you can try the bacon waffle cheeseburger, Pop Rocks-covered pickle and strawberry shortcake kebab, all washed down with a jalapeno lemonade. Guests of all ages can also learn about farming with hands-on experiences at the Ag-Venture for grown-ups and Little Farm Hands for tots. Cracker Country, an immersive display of 19th-century Florida pioneer life, is a beloved fair tradition.
When: Feb. 8-19
Where: Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa
152nd SILVER SPURS RODEO & PARADE– Rodeo cowboys from all over the country compete in bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping, and barrel racing events. In between the serious stuff, a rodeo clown entertains the crowd and the Silver Spurs Quadrille team perform a square dance on horseback. For those who like the show and tradition as much as the sport, be sure to check out the previous weekend’s Silver Spurs Parade featuring local business and politician “grand marshals” and this year’s Miss Silver Spurs Court along with rodeo queens from all around the country.
When: Parade is Feb. 10; Rodeo is Feb. 15-18
Where: Osceola Heritage Park/Silver Spurs Arena, Kissimmee
PINE CASTLE PIONEER DAYS – Local historians share a piece of Central Florida history frozen in time – the Pine Castle neighborhood between Orlando and Kissimmee – with a recreation of the area’s turn-of-the-century events. Actors play out old dueling scenes and give history lessons, folk bands play, horse carriages give tours and vendors sell handcrafted wares. This year’s Pioneer Days festival theme is “Wheels of Time,” which will delight antique and classic car, jeep and truck fans while teaching guests about Florida’s transportation roots.
When: Feb. 24-25
Where: Cypress Grove Park, Orlando
OSCEOLA COUNTY FAIR – The Osceola County Fair is a time-honored Central Florida tradition, drawing families, competitors and visitors to its flashing lights, spinning rides, carnival games, tractor pulls and sideshow acts. Fill up on funnel cakes, corn dogs, popcorn and candy, or buy some fresh Florida berries and citrus to take home. The real centerpiece of the fair is the livestock component, showcasing prized hogs, rabbits, cows, goats, chickens and other animals raised by breeders of all ages.
When: Feb. 9-18
Where: Osceola Heritage Park, Kissimmee
SUNWEST SHRIMP & CRAB FESTIVAL – Feast on fresh Florida grouper, shrimp, crab and other seafood dishes and enjoy the sandy beaches of Hudson’s SunWest Park at this weekend-long celebration of all things sea life. Check out the hilarious crab races and rock along to the Journey and Bon Jovi tribute shows. There will also be a rum and spirits tasting bar, roving pirates and a family fun zone where kids can bounce and play all day with a $10 wristband.
When: Feb. 23-25
Where: SunWest Park, Hudson
HAINES CITY RIBS ON THE RIDGE – Pit masters serve up platters of fall-off-the-bone meat to hungry visitors at this Florida BBQ Association-sanctioned competition, bringing professional and backyard teams from across Florida, as well as from other BBQ-loving states, to compete for cash and bragging rights to the best BBQ in town. Beer, wine and other food vendors are on available, plus live music all day and the chance to pick up grilling and smoking tips from the experts.
When: Feb. 16-17
Where: Lake Eva Park, Haines City
WEEKI WACHEE SWAMP FESTIVAL – Get in touch with your mossy and monstrous side at Swamp Fest, a 30-year tradition that grew from a parking lot party to what is now a major event celebrating Florida’s wetlands, wildlife and Weeki Wachee weirdness. Shop among hundreds of arts, crafts, food and gift vendors and sample state delicacies such as fried gator. Watch some clog dancing or dance to live folk music, and enter the Swamp Monster costume contest for a chance to win one of hundreds of prizes donated by local businesses.
When: March 1-3
Where: Linda Pederson Park, Spring Hill
BIKE WEEK – For more than eight decades, Daytona’s famous Bike Week has been a favorite among bikers from all over the world, drawing around a half a million people each year to the 10-day party on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. The festivities include bike shows and rodeos, rock and country concerts, organized scenic rides along Daytona’s hard-packed sand, games, prizes, raffles, food and lots of opportunities to relax on the beach or enjoy the area’s restaurants, pubs, shops and other attractions.
When: March 1-10
Where: Daytona Beach
FLORIDA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL – For several decades, this famous festival has marked the beginning of spring by honoring one of Florida’s most prized gems: The sweet, juicy strawberry. Aside from all the shortcake and berry-flavored treats, this 11-day fair showcases the state’s agricultural accomplishments, prized livestock and historical legacies. Guests of all ages can enjoy carnival rides, magic shows, racing pigs and other sideshow entertainment. This year’s headlining musical performances include Cody Johnson, ZZ Top, Black Eyed Peas, Foreigner, Flo Rida, Parker McCollum, Jordan Davis and many others.
When: Feb. 29-March 10
Where: Plant City
DELAND OUTDOOR ART FESTIVAL – For nearly 60 years, the small city of DeLand has been drawing artists and art lovers to this tree-shaded fest featuring fine painters, photographers, sculptors, jewelers and other artisans showcasing their work and competing for cash prizes and awards. Relax and stroll the various professional and youth artists’ booths, shop for homemade soaps and crafts and enjoy live country, bluegrass and folk music. Plenty of food vendors and trucks will be on hand selling BBQ, ice cream, cotton candy and other treats.
When: March 23-24
Where: Earl Brown Park, DeLand
VENICE BOOK FAIR AND WRITERS FESTIVAL – Established and aspiring writers come together with avid readers and book fans at this fest filled with special readings, writing and publishing workshops, autograph sessions and refreshments, followed by a day-long book fair and market in beautiful Blalock Park. Learn how to tell a great story from a prize-winning journalists and authors, and visit dozens of writers of children’s, science fiction, nonfiction and historical books. Proceeds benefit Venice’s historical Lord-Higel House and the Venice Museum & Archives.
When: March 22-23
Where: William H. Jervey Jr. Venice Public Library and Blalock Park, Venice
PASCO BLUES FESTIVAL – Grab your lawn chairs and blankets for a day of serenading from award-winning blues artists and tasty festival food. The Shaelynn Band, The Charlie Morris Band and The Backtack Blues Band will take over the stage, filling the scenic Heritage Park with soulful tunes while spectators of all ages relax and play until sunset. Vendors selling sliders, loaded fries, snow cones, kettle corn and other takeaway dishes will be on hand, and there’s a nearby playground for the little ones.
When: March 9
Where: Heritage Park, Land O’ Lakes
ARCADIA ALL-FLORIDA CHAMPIONSHIP RODEO – With roots that go back nearly a century, this rodeo event has grown from its Florida pioneer beginnings to an exciting showdown of highly skilled barrel racers, steer wrestlers, bull riders and other wild showdowns. Children as young as 4 can participate in the “calf scramble,” and young contestants compete in the Mutton Bustin’ event to see who can ride sheep the longest. It’s good fun, but highly competitive. Athletes competing for purses and points aim for the National Finals held annually in Las Vegas.
When: March 7-10
Where: Mosaic Arena, Arcadia
HOT RODS FOR HEROES – Returning to the Oveido Mall lot for a sixth year, this event celebrates and honors the U.S. military while raising funds to send veterans on honor flights to visit Washington D.C. memorials. Along with checking out a car show featuring more than 200 vehicles and motorcycles on display, guests can visit with WW II, Korean and Vietnam heroes, witness a war plane flyover following the national anthem and listen to bagpipes courtesy of the City of Mount Dora and Central Florida First Responders Pipes & Drums. The event is free for spectators.
When: March 16
WILL MCLEAN MUSIC FESTIVAL – Celebrate the life of Florida folk songwriter William McLean with by gathering among like-minded musicians and poets for jam sessions, storytelling, song contests and campfires. Held every spring since 1990, this event includes a three-day concert spread among five stages, as well as the chance to attend learn pointers on banjo or fiddle, watch the future of folk perform in the Young Performer’s Showcase and mingle with friends old and new.
When: March 8-10
Where: Florida Sand Music Ranch, Brooksville
WINTER PARK SIDEWALK ART FESTIVAL – Known as one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious juried outdoor art festivals, this three-day creative showcase draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to elegant Winter Park, where artists from all over the world display their works. Stroll and admire sculptures, digital art, drawings and pastels, jewelry, paintings, woodwork and more. The fest features free, hands-on art activities for children, and there’s plenty of snacks and treats for sale along with the surrounding cafes and restaurants. Don’t miss this year’s Friday Night Concert to kick off the weekend.
When: March 15-17
Where: Winter Park
BLOOMIN’ ARTS FESTIVAL – Set on Main Street near the Polk Historical Museum, this 53rd annual fest draws more than 100 regional and national artists who come to showcase and sell their paintings, sculptures, jewelry, wood and metal art, pottery and other creative works. The weekend-long event has an impressive Saturday classic car show, a flower show and a colorful quilt show inside the Polk Historical Museum, as well as a kids’ activity tent, live music and food trucks and tents. Take home some gorgeous plants, handmade wind chimes, original artwork and hand-stitched goods.
When: March 2-3
CENTRAL FLORIDA FAIR – Orange, Seminole, Volusia, Lake, Osceola and Brevard combine forces for this quintessential Central Florida Fair, featuring youth livestock shows and auctions, carnival rides, games, mini-golf, indulgent fair food and live music. Check out some prized swine and rabbits, ride a helicopter or pony, rock out to the Battle of the Bands, cheer on some MicroMania wrestling and check out the various 4-H accomplishments on display, including confectionery arts, creative arts and horticulture competitions.
When: Feb. 29-March 10
CHAMPING AT THE BIT — When Kentucky’s horse country is blanketed in snow or bitter cold, the Sunshine State, and more specifically, Ocala, with its rolling green hills, is the winter home for equestrian lovers. The mid-winter schedule at Ocala’s World Equestrian Center is filled with weekday and weekend shows and competitions. The center includes six climate-controlled indoor and seven outdoor arenas, as well as restaurants and shopping. https://worldequestriancenter.com/ocala-fl
- Winter Spectacular Show Series, Week 7 (2/13-2/18): FEI CS13*/Premier Hunter/Level 6 Jumper
- Winter Spectacular Show Series, Week 8 (2/20-2/25): FEI CS13*/Premier Hunter/Level 6 Jumper
- Winter Spectacular Show Series, Week 9 (2/27-3/3): FEI CS13*/Premier Hunter/Level 6 Jumper
COLORS OF THE WILD — The holidays are over, but the Jacksonville Zoo is still aglow with one of the largest lantern displays in the country. Guests will walk through a fiery-hued tunnel created by a larger-than-life dragon’s tail or gaze into the jaws of a roaring hippo. The light show includes more than 70 scenes of plants and animals created by Asian lanterns. Guests can purchase a ticket only for Colors of the Wild, or they can purchase a combo ticket that includes regular zoo admission.
When: nightly on Thursdays through Sundays through Feb. 18
Where: Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
FORT MOSE JAZZ AND BLUES SERIES — Now in its third year, the annual February concert series boasts a lineup of six world-renowned artists to help Fort Mose, the first legally-sanctioned free African settlement in the U.S., celebrate its rich history by bringing the community together through music. The rapper turned actor, Common, kicks off the first weekend of concerts (Feb. 8). He’ll pass the torch to two renowned jazz entertainers: the New Orleans-based Preservation Hall Jazz Band (Feb. 9) and Wynton Marsalis (Feb. 10). Christone “Kingfish” Ingram (Feb. 16) and Keb’ Mo’ (Feb. 17) close out the series. Proceeds from the concert series support the Fort Mose Historical Society effort to rebuild the fort with a historically accurate representation.
When: Feb. 16-17
Where: Fort Mose Historic State Park, St. Augustine
BATTLE OF OLUSTEE REENACTMENT AND ANNUAL OLUSTEE FESTIVAL — More than 25,000 visitors arrive in Lake City for two days of live music and the annual Civil War battle reenactment. The Olustee Festival is Friday and Saturday and features arts and crafts vendors, live music, a parade, and food vendors. Guests looking to jumpstart their Saturday can participate in the Olustee Blue/Grey 5K which traverses downtown Lake City’s historic neighborhoods. On Saturday and Sunday, everyone heads to the historic battlefield for the 47th Annual Reenactment of the Battle of Olustee, the site of Florida’s largest battle of the Civil War. The Battle of Olustee annually attracts more than 1,700 reenactors (including children!) and boasts one of the country’s best marketplaces for purchasing authentic period goods, uniforms and accessories. Olustee regularly attracts close to 50 sutlers, a.k.a. Civil War-era merchants, to their vendor lineup.
When: Feb. 15-18
Where: Olustee Battlefield State Park (reenactment), downtown Lake City (festival)
Web: www.olusteefestival.com, http://www.battleofolustee.org
AMELIA ISLAND BOOK FESTIVAL — Bookworms looking to add new titles to their annual “To Read” lists will have an opportunity to fill out their 2024 list after attending the festival Authors’ Expo and Reader Extravaganza. Readers can chat with authors or attend panel discussions and a writing workshop. The fest always kicks off with the Celebrity Author Gala at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, featuring New York Times bestselling authors David Baldacci (suspense), John Grisham (legal thrillers) and James Ponti (youth). Other authors of note attending the fest include Terah Shelton Harris (Southern fiction), Eileen Meyer (picture books), Kevin Powers (fiction), Deborah Royce (thrillers) and James Spooner (graphic novels). The expo is free, but pre-registration is required for any special sessions.
When: Feb. 23-24
Where: Fernandina Beach
NORTHEAST FLORIDA SCOTTISH HIGHLAND GAMES AND FESTIVAL — Throw your hat in the ring and compete in an epic throwing event like the caber toss (ie. long, tapered pole that’s balanced vertically on one end), the sheaf throw (ie. a 20-pound bundle of straw that’s wrapped in burlap bag and tossed with a pitchfork over a raised bar) or the hammer throw (ie. a 20-pound metal ball is attached to the end of a solid wooden shaft). If hefting heavy objects isn’t quite your thing, the festival salutes Scotland with Highland dance performances, fiddle playing, food, pipes and drums shows and more.
When: Feb. 24
Where: Green Cove Springs
MARDI GRAS BARKUS PARADE & FESTIVAL — Who let the dogs out? You! You! You! Since 2010, Apalachicola’s Mystic Krewe of Salty Barkers has hosted its annual Mardi Gras-inspired parade in Riverfront Park as a fundraiser for local Humane Society and the Florida Wild Mammal Association. The event’s highlight is always the pooch parade. This year’s Wild West theme, Git Along Little Doggies, will have attendees dusting off their cowboy boots and hats and looking for a matching costume for their four-legged, tail-wagging best friend. As always, two adoptable dogs from the local shelter are crowned the parade’s king and queen. The Fais Do-Do public party that begins after the parade ends includes live music, Cajun food, local seafood and arts and crafts vendors.
When: Feb. 24
Where: Riverfront Park, Apalachicola
ALL THE RIGHT NOTES — Gather your lawn chairs and blankets for the start of the outdoor music festival season. These annual events always signify that spring is right around the corner.
- Community First Seawalk Music Festival (Feb. 24-25, Jax Beach): This two-day music festival is always a harbinger for the beach season on the First Coast. The family-friendly event, which is free, is ideal for spending a relaxing weekend along the ocean while listening to great tunes from The Curt Towne Band, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, 2nd Shot and US2 U2 Tribute Experience. Guests looking for an amped up experience can purchase VIP tickets which include private port-a-lets, chairs, private beverage lines and access to the VIP and Artist Lounge. https://www.communityfirstseawalkmusicfest.com
- Field Day Music Festival (Feb. 25, Tallahassee): Spend a chill afternoon listening to a half-day of great music at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park. In addition to live music presented by The Lil Smokies, Sugarcane Jane and Revival, the family-friendly outing includes food trucks and field games like giant Jenga and cornhole. The seventh annual fest also includes a Beer Tent, featuring pours from Lake Tribe Brewing; and a VIP tent that includes a full dinner, bar and covered seating areas. https://www.tallahasseearts.org/event/field-day-music-festival-4
HOW SWEET IT IS — Strawberry season is serious business in the Sunshine State with more than one locale from Plant City to Lake City, boasting that they serve the sweetest berries south of the state line. Lake City’s fourth annual fest features just-picked berries in shortcakes and more. Families will not be at a loss for entertainment options with two days of live music, axe throwing, Frisbee dog shows, Monster Truck rides, kids games and arts and crafts vendors.
When: Feb. 24-25
Where: Suwannee County Fairgrounds, Live Oak
THE AMELIA — Car enthusiasts can bask in four days of automotive excellence on northeast Florida’s scenic island paradise. On Saturday, guests will be able to check out 500 curated vehicles for Cars & Community which includes some autos from the ‘80s and ‘90s specifically selected for the RADwood. But for 29 years, Sunday’s Concours d’Elegance has always been the main draw. This year’s featured classes include the 250 Ferrari Touring models built between 1952-1964, the Bugatti Type 57 that had six different body designs between 1933-1939 and the Cars of Pikes Peak that triumphed in the 4,720-foot climb during “The Race to the Clouds”. But that’s not all … the event’s 2024 honoree is Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports and 14-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion. Hendrick has hand-picked some of his favorite racing machines for display on site, including the Garage 56 Chevy Camaro ZL1 built for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
When: Feb. 29 - March 3
Where: Amelia Island
PLOWING UP THE PAST — Our state parks offer more than just ranger-led hikes and nature walks. Dudley Farm Historic State Park is a one-of-a-kind authentic working farm that allows visitors to experience Florida farm life at the turn of the 20th century. The National Historic Registry site still has 18 buildings, including a general store, post office and the farmhouse originally built by Phillip Benjamin Harvey Dudley Senior. Plowing Up the Past allows guests to learn about how the land was prepared for the spring plantings. Volunteers in period clothing will work the land using different kinds of field plows and antique tractors, meanwhile others will interpret old-time crafts and other farm chores.
When: March 1-2
Where: Dudley Farm Historic State Park, Newberry
LAGUNA’S MUSIC FESTIVAL — Dip your toes in the sand, enjoy a frosty beverage and dance the day away to live music during this weekend fest that kicks off springtime in Pensacola Beach. The event features three stages, more than 40 performances, art, vendors and more. The event also includes activities like a zip rail, ropes course and bungee jump. Guests can buy afterparty passes for a silent disco featuring Maximo and Merger. The festival is only for adults ages 18 and up.
When: March 1-2
Where: Laguna Beach Bar and Grill, Pensacola Beach
PANAMA CITY BEACH SCOTTISH FESTIVAL — This annual Celtic fest features it all: Clans! Pipe and Drum bands! Celtic dancers! Highland games! Since its humble beginnings more than 30 years ago, the event has moved to a larger venue with space for more vendors, clans and a beer tent. The live music headliners include Celtic Nova and Celtic Conundrum. The event also includes axe throwing, kids games, Celtic merchandise vendors, a tea room and more.
When: March 2
Where: Frank Brown State Park, Panama City Beach
GULF COAST RENAISSANCE FAIR & PIRATE FESTIVAL — This annual gulf coast ren fest throws the whole kit and kaboodle at prospective guests. If you prefer dressing as a fair maiden, eating ginormous turkey legs and cheering for competitors in full-metal, horseback jousting contests — this fest is for you! But if your favorite non-holiday, holiday is “Talk Like a Pirate Day” and you love wearing an eye patch and watching things go “boom”, then this fest is also for you! But wait, we’re not done yet! The annual fete is switching things up and adding another stage for those who prefer cowboy boots, lassos and tales from the Wild, Wild West. And we’re still not done. There’s also a Roaring 20s stage featuring Irish step dancers, belly dancers and a swing band! Now, the only hard part will be choosing your costume.
When: March 2-3
Where: Santa Rosa Fairground, Milton
DON’T RAIN ON THEIR PARADES — No one celebrates St. Patty’s Day in the southeast like Savannah, but St. Augustine marked the holiday in the United States with the nation’s first parade for the Irish saint in 1601. And with Easter being in early April this year, there will be multiple opportunities in March to fill the city’s historic streets with good cheer.
- St. Augustine St. Patrick Parade and Celtic Festival (March 9-10): The nation’s oldest city (seriously!) hosted not only the first celebration in America, but the first parade. The parade features pipe and drums bands from Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Coastal Florida, Daytona Beach and the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department. The annual parade serves as the kickoff to the two-day Celtic Music and Heritage Festival which includes two days of live entertainment on two stages. https://www.celticstaugustine.com
- 65th Annual St. Augustine Easter Parade (March 30): The family-friendly parade through the historic city center includes spring-themed floats, marching bands, dance troupes, horses and a guest appearance by the Easter Bunny. https://www.floridashistoriccoast.com/events/annual-easter-parade-st-augustine
- St. Augustine Easter Promenade (March 31): This annual Easter event is all about you! Locals and visitors turn out in their favorite Easter finery for this casual walk through town. Prize categories include: Best Dressed Family, Best Dressed Pet, Furthest Traveled, Easter Hat and more. https://www.floridashistoriccoast.com/events/easter-promenade-2
THE PLAYERS — Professional golf’s unofficial fifth major hits a major milestone when The Players Championship celebrates its 50th annual event. The tournament’s inaugural winner was a 34-year-old Ohioan named Jack Nicklaus who was already well on his way to becoming one of the sport’s greatest icons. Did you know that the first tournament was originally played in Atlanta before settling at its current home at TPC Sawgrass in 1982? As always, hole 17’s island green will make or break hearts, fans will get to sample some of Jax’s best eats at various locations and the stadium views planned into the course by architect Pete Dye provide fantastic locations to watch all the week’s action. Guests with disabilities have access to golf cart shuttles that run between seven locations on the course.
When: March 12-17
Where: TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra
SPRINGTIME ON THE CHIPOLA — Spend five days exploring North Florida’s varied ecosystems along the 51-mile Chipola River Paddling Trail on this guided excursion from Paddle Florida. The river flows through high limestone bluffs, swamps and hardwood forests and has over 60 connected freshwater springs. The water changes color moving from gold to a crystal clear aquamarine blue near the springs. The trip’s total paddling distance is 70 miles. It begins at Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna and ends at the Dead Lakes Recreation Area in Wewahitchka. The per person fee includes camping, meals and shuttle service. Register by Feb. 28.
When: March 13-19
Where: Marianna to Wewahitchka
FORGOTTEN COAST EN PLEIN AIR — Each year, the organizers of the largest plein air festival in Florida add new opportunities for the guest artists and the patrons. This year’s 10-day event will feature 17 acclaimed artists from Florida, Georgia, Maine, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Canada and England. The schedule includes daily artist demonstrations and receptions, artist-led workshops, Lunch and Learn events and more. Carrabelle will be the location for the 2024 Quickdraw and any artist age 14 and older can register as a Professional or in the Open Class. Participants must have their own supplies and easels and will only have two hours to start and finish their plein air-style paintings. After the closing horn sounds all artworks will be collected and transported to the judging and sale area. Each day, guests and collectors should make time to visit the Wetroom to view all the art completed from that day’s demos and workshops.
When: March 15-24
Where: Apalachicola, Mexico Beach, Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, Eastpoint, St. George Island, Carrabelle
SUWANNEE COUNTY FAIR — For more than 100 years, Suwannee County has come together to celebrate its community with the annual Fair and Youth Livestock Show and Sale. Like most fairs in the state, there are carnival rides, live music and lots of deep-fried foods. But at this fair, the livestock gets top billing on the event calendar and includes two nights for the Beef Heifer Show, plus Hog, Steer, Goat, Dairy Cattle and Sheep Shows. Midway through the fair is the annual Hog and Steer Sale. Those looking to get their motor running will enjoy the Figure 8 and Demolition Derbies.
When: March 15-23
Where: Live Oak
2ND ANNUAL NOWRUS AND INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL — The highlight of Gainesville’s two-day multicultural festival celebrating the Persian New Year is live performances featuring Persian, Indian, Turkish and Irish belly dancers. Also includes international food, crafts, music and art.
When: March 16-17
GULF BREEZE CELEBRATES THE ARTS FESTIVAL — If you’re looking for a break from beach days and catching rays, head over to Gulf Breeze for the 28th annual juried art festival. The community, conveniently located between Pensacola and Pensacola Beach, will host more than 100 local, regional and national artists. The festival also includes local food vendors, a local artists show, silent auction, children’s activities and live art demos.
When: March 22-23
Where: Gulf Breeze Community Center
JUBILEE MUSIC FESTIVAL — Florida’s state capital will salute the past, present and future during its bicentennial with events all year. This two-night gospel music fest features chart-topping and award-winning gospel greats like The Clark Sisters, Yolanda Adams, Jekalyn Carr, Todd Dulaney, Pastor Mike Jr. and Lisa Knowles & The Brown Sisters. The Jubilee Music Festival is one of the city’s signature bicentennial events. Local church choirs and praise and worship teams will round out the festival lineup.
When: March 22-23
Where: Cascade Park, Tallahassee
PANACEA BEER & OYSTER FESTIVAL — The coastal waters around Florida offer up plenty of fresh saltwater eats like stone crabs, grouper, shrimp, flounder, scallops and oysters. Yes, the tasty bivalves are prevalent primarily in the gulf waters along the Panhandle and Big Bend regions with 90% of the oysters sold in Florida harvested there. Guests will be able to dine on freshly harvested oysters from local farmers while enjoying live music and the coastal views of Dickerson Bay. The annual fest is free unless you want to partake in the beer tasting experience featuring local craft beer vendors.
When: March 30
Where: Woolley Park, Panacea