Florida Events for May and June 2022
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.
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
AVRON B. FOGELMAN SPORTS HISTORY MUSEUM – After being closed more than a year due to Covid-19, it is open again. The 3,500 square-foot exhibit holds 1,200 pieces of sports memorabilia valued at about $10,000,000. It is widely recognized as one of the largest private sports collections owned by a private individual. Highlights include: The 13 original rules of basketball by James Naismith, Babe Ruth’s uniform pants worn on his first day as a New York Yankee in 1921, Joe DiMaggio’s 1936 uniform, Roger Maris’s uniform worn in 1961 when he broke the single-season home run record, Hank Aaron’s uniform from 1974 when he broke the career home run record, the final cleats worn by football legend Jim Thorpe, a football signed by the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins, the 1969 Ryder Cup Trophy and the 1985 Kansas City Royals World Series Trophy (Fogelman once owned the Royals).
When: Now and ongoing
Where: Florida Atlantic University campus, Boca Raton
HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD – That’s Hollywood, Florida, not Tinsel Town. This friendly city nestled about halfway between Fort Lauderdale and Miami has two monthly events that are worthy of your attention: the Downtown Artwalk and the Dream Car Classic. The former presents a mural tour and the Hollywood Artisan Market, which features pop-up shops, artist showcases and vintage shopping. The latter features dozens – up to 85 – of hot rods, custom cars and trucks, modern beauties and classics.
When: Respectively, third Saturday and first Sunday of each month.
Where: downtown Hollywood
ART OF THE HOLLYWOOD BACKDROP: CINEMA’S CREATIVE LEGACY – This exhibition of original, historic backdrops from the MGM studio - long guarded as special effect secrets - transports viewers into cinematic history and reveals the technical painting and drawing virtuosity of artists created specifically for the camera's eye. Featuring original backdrops from iconic films such as "The Sound of Music," "Singin' in The Rain," "Ben-Hur," and "North by Northwest," take a step behind the curtain for an American art experience.
When: through Jan. 22
Where: Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton
OUT IN THE TROPICS – Once again, a program of innovative and daring performances and projects that address gender politics, sexuality and LGBTQ identity will be presented. Among the highlights: Latin standards by Marga Gomez, a literary reading and art exhibit by Ena Columbie, Tropico de Cavadonga by Rodrigo Cuevas, Andares by the Makuyeika Theatre Collective and Sadonna, a musical performance by Miguel Gutierrez.
When: through May 31
Where: Various locations in Miami Beach
MOSAIC IN THE PALM BEACHES – Enjoy a month-long celebration of shows, art, ideas and culture at some of Palm Beach County’s best attractions and museums at discounted prices. At press time, here is a list of participants: Armory Art Center, Benzaiten Center for Creative Arts, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Cox Science Center & Aquarium, Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum, Lighthouse Art Center Gallery & School of Art, Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Mounts Botanical Garden, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Resource Depot,Taras Oceanographic Foundation and Yesteryear Village Living History Village. Check closer to the event for additional groups.
When: Most are May 1-31, but some may last through the end of August
Where: Various locations in Palm Beach County
VROOOOOM! VROOOOOM! The Hyundai Air & Sea Show is part of the National Salute to America’s Heroes weekend and will showcase the men, women, technology and equipment from all five branches of the United States Military and police, firefighters and their first responder agencies. After the show is over the stage will be transformed for the Music Explosion, featuring 3 Doors Down. The show will end with a night-pyro parachute demonstration by the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team kicking off a fireworks extravaganza. Also included: offshore powerboat racing, extreme water sports, an action zone, a kids fun zone and a four-block long military display village. There are several VIP packages to consider.
When: May 28-29
Where: Miami Beach
WILD OBSERVATIONS IN EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK – This exhibition consists of 42 images by conservation artist Deborah Mitchell. They are on 24” X 24” decals placed on the ground and a building in seven different locations. The images are of photo-based and mixed media works and include descriptive text telling how the work relates to the habitat. Subject matter related to theme of how everything is connected includes mammals, birds, botany, landscapes and humans. Visitors can continue the exhibition experience on their mobile phones or at home by scanning the QR code on each location description.
When: Now through June 1
Where: Various locations in Everglades national Park
PUNTA GORDA SEAFOOD & MUSIC FESTIVAL – Of course, the seafood is the main attraction with entrees cooked fresh on site, but there also meat and vegetarian dishes, sides and desserts, along with lots of great music. Check the website below closer to the date for information on the bands and performers. Pets are allowed.
When: May 13-15
Where: Laishley Park, Punta Gorda
OCEAN BREWS & BLUES BEER FEST – Spend a day at the beach and sample an assortment of more than 100 beers form some of America’s finest craft breweries while listening to a variety of blues performers and bands. Lots of good food will be on hand, as will arts and crafts vendors.
When: May 21
Where: Deerfield Beach
THE ART HEIST EXPERIENCE – It’s an outdoor walking show based on a true story about an art caper. You will move through five locations to pick up clues about who did the dastardly deed, interacting with performers portraying criminals, con men, art experts and detectives. The plot borrows a lot from a ripped-from-the-headlines scandal in 1990, when two thieves dressed up as police and went into the Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and stole $500 million worth of works by such biggies as Rembrandt, Manet and Vermeer.
When: through May 16
Where: Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, West Palm Beach.
Web: www.kravis.org/pressreleases/artheist/ and kravis.org/healthsafety for Covid-19 protocols
INTERNATIONAL T20 NIGHT CRICKET TOURNAMENT – If you are a fan of this world-wide popular sport, there is still time to take in the final rounds of games. Competing teams at the start of the competition included Trinidad & Tobago, India, Team USA, Combined Islands, Jamaica Pakistan, Guyana and World XI.
When: May 14
Where: Lauderhill Sports Park, Lauderhill
NATIONAL SENIOR GAMES – The competitions for folks 50 years and older include archery, badminton, basketball, cornhole, cycling, golf, pickleball, power walk, race walking, racquetball, road racing, shuffleboard, soccer, softball, swimming, table tennis, tennis track & field, a mini triathlon and volley ball.
When: May 10-23
Where: Various locations in the Fort Lauderdale area and Broward County
DOWNTOWN DELRAY BEACH MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND CRAFT FESTIVAL – If you haven’t been to this bustling but pretty city in a while, this would be a good time to go. Paintings, jewelry, glass work and pottery are just few of the kinds of things you will be able to explore and purchase. It also includes a Green Market with gourmet sauces, handmade soaps and orchids.
When: May 28-29
Where: Delray Beach Tennis Center
AFRO ROOTS FESTIVAL – This used to be a strictly local event, but now it has gone regional, with concerts held throughout South Florida. Some of the featured performers will be Cortadito, Sinkane, the Everglades Songbook Suite Band, Jesus Hidalgo, Johnny Dread and Suenalo.
When: through May 29
Where: Venues in Doral, Miami Beach, Homestead, Key West, Hollywood and Islamorada
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 27-30
Where: Palm Beach County Convention Center, West Palm Beach
REDLAND INTERNATIONAL ORCHID FESTIVAL – Head to a lushly landscaped park to look at and purchase all kinds of orchid plants. You can also attend lectures on a variety of topics, including how to grow orchids or how to keep insects off them.
When: May 13-15
Where: Fruit & Spice Park, Miami
BLACK THEATRE FRINGE JUNETEENTH FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS – This four-day gathering gives people the chance to see main-stage works by playwrights in the local Broward County arts community. These are never-seen before works by writers at all levels of their careers. There are also master classes featuring playwrights, producers, directors, teaching artists and actors. There is also a parade, featuring food trucks and vendors.
When: June 16-19
Where: Liberia Sankofa Cultural Center, Hollywood, and Florida Children’s Theatre at Broward College, Davie
BRUCE MONROE: FOREST AND FIELD OF LIGHT – Monroe is best known for large scale, immersive outdoor light-based installations. This site-specific installation showcases his most acclaimed artwork, Field of Light, in two iterations across a tropical forest and the banks of a lake. It has more than 6,000 stemmed spheres lit by fiber-optics.
Monroe’s work has appeared in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Guggenheim in New York City and the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England.
When: Now through June 26 On Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
Where: Pinecrest Gardens, Pinecrest
CORALPALOOZA – Looking for an 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. Note: You must be dive-certified to participate.
When: June 4
Where: Throughout the Florida Keys
I LOVE STOCK ISLAND FESTIVAL – Right before you get to Key West, you have to go through Stock Island, a community that tends to be residential in character with a year-round population. It is home to a thriving artist community and lots of friendly folks. You might want to put this five-day festival on your to-see list. Here are some of the events: a food truck tour, “dive-in” movie (watch while soaking or floating in a pool), an art stroll open house, a taste of Stock Island food tour, a farmers market, lots of live music, a Stock Island history tour, an authentic Cuban pig roast and beach party, a family day (with archery, horse shoes face painting, animal feeding and a picnic lunch), a Father’s Day fish fry and beach party and a Father’s Day fishing derby.
When: June 15-19
Where: Various locations in Stock Island and some in Key West
FOUNDER’S DAY 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. Whitehall’s first and second floors will be open, as will Henry Flagler’s personal Railcar 91on the Flagler Kenan Pavilion.
When: June 5
Where: Flagler Museum at Whitehall, Palm Beach
THE DINNER DETECTIVE – Enjoy a yummy dinner and being a part of the show. Throughout the night, a “murder” will occur, hidden clues will be revealed and everyone present will try to crack the case. A prize package will be awarded to the Top Sleuth who gives the best answer before the killer is unmasked. But beware – the criminal is lurking somewhere in the room and you just might wind up being a prime suspect. Notes: Prop guns, loud simulated gunshots and short lighting blackouts are used as part of the performance. You must beat least 15 years old to attend.
When: Select Saturday nights from now through Dec. 17
Where: The Hilton Garden Inn, Fort Myers
LGBTQ PRIDE MONTH EVENTS – The Stonewall Riots, also called the Stonewall Uprising, began in the early hours of June 28, 1969, when New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village in New York City. The raid sparked a riot among bar patrons and neighborhood residents as police hauled employees and patrons out of the bar, leading to six days of protests and violent clashes with law enforcement. In recognitions of that, June has been designated LGBTQ Pride Month. Here are some of the events in South Florida:
- 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.
When: June 18
Where: Downtown Wilton Manors
- Key West Pride – After being scaled down to just one day last year due to Covid-19, it is back at full throttle this year. The festival typically includes pool parties at guest houses and emporiums, drag shows by Key Wests’ top performers, a street fair on Duval Street, nighttime soirees at local clubs, a burlesque show and a lively “Rainbow Roast.” One special event this year is A Fabulous Evening with Lillian Baxter, which will be held on all five nights.
When: June 1-5
Where: Various locations in Key West locations
- Naples Pride – It celebrates diversity and unity, educates the community on LGBTQ issues to promote equal rights for all. It’s an all-inclusive family-friendly event that is open to everybody and will feature entertainers, speakers, musicians, performers, vendors, exhibitors, activities for kids and food and drink.
When: June 4
Where: Cambier Park, Naples
- Captiva Pride Weekend – This is the new kid on the LGBTQ block. It’s Captiva’s first celebration of Pride and will feature DJs, drag queens, Pride cocktails, a pool party, a drag brunch with bottomless mimosas and exclusive Pride merchandise.
When: June 3-5
Where: ’Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa, Captiva Island
- Wynwood Pride – Organizers are calling this their largest gathering yet, promising international headlining drag performers, DJs, state of the art production, a unique vendors market, a non-profit Community Village and the return of Miss Toto’s Funhouse.
When: June 10-11
Where: A venue to be announced in the Wynwood area of Miami
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.
When: June 23-26
Where: Various locations in Key West.
CAPTIVAVILLE SONGWRITERS WEEKEND – It will be 72 hours of sun, fun, live music and one of the biggest pool parties of the year on Captiva Island. In the past, the music tended to be mostly country, but as of press time there were no details on the number of bands or what kind of music will be featured this year. Check the web site below closer to the event for more details.
When: June 17-19
Where: ’Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa, Captiva Island
FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY’S BIG SUMMER – Two plays and a big band concert will be presented at the Boca Raton College’s Festival Repertory Theatre this summer. The plays are Neil Simon’s classic “Brighton Beach Memoirs” (set in 1939 and centered on the angst of growing up, as it follows a 15-year-old boy as he navigates the waters of adolescence) and the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning musical “Rent” (a rock retelling of the opera “La Bohme). The big band concert will feature the Florida Symphony Jazz Orchestra, a professional ensemble-in-residence at FAU. The band will present an evening of hits from the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, including songs by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman.
When & Where: June 10-25 for “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and July 15-31 for “Rent,” both at the Marleen Forkas Studio One Theatre, and July 16-17 at the Kaye Auditorium of the Student Union for the concert.
SOUTH FLORIDA SMOOTH JAZZ FESTIVAL – Peabo Bryson, Kim Waters, Kayla Waters and Nester Torres are the headliners, but there will also be plenty of local bands performing. A diverse collection of food vendors and arts and crafts are also on the schedule.
When: June 4
Where: Miramar Regional Park, Miramar
COLLEGE OF THE FLORIDA KEYS SWIM AROUND KEY WEST – If you are up for an athletic-type vacation, you might want to try the 12.5-mile swim around Key West. The Atlantic Ocean water is pristine and you can see fish, coral and maybe even some turtles if you look close enough. Dolphins may even try to join in, too. If you don’t want to swim that many miles, there are smaller races – 6.1 miles, 2 miles, 1 mile and 800 yards.
When: June 18
Where: Starting and ending at Smathers Beach, Key West
THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP – The resurrection of an Egyptian princess, vampire attacks and werewolf sightings are a part of this parody of gothic romance and horror films. Two actors and lightning-fast costume changes are the stars of the show. You’ll leave thinking that camp has truly been elevated to an art form.
When: June 9-July 22
Where: Island City Stage, Wilton Manors
GATORPALOOZA - Gatorland hosts the third annual Gatorpalooza Fun Fest! A Celebration of Alligators, Food, and Fun! Included with park admission will be live music, specialty food and craft vendors, artisans, family fun, games, appearances by the Gatorland Vlog Team and, of course, all the alligators, animals, and awesomeness that a day at Gatorland has to offer. No other attraction says “Florida” like Gatorland, and the second Annual Gatorland Florida Man Challenge takes it over the top on May 14.
When: May 14, 15
Where: Orlando, Florida
DRIVE-IN MOVIES – Drive-in movie theaters are enjoying a renaissance, catering to those who like to enjoy the group film-watching experience while also keeping a car’s length distance. The Central Florida region has a number of old fashioned drive-ins showing movies old and new, and patrons wearing masks can buy popcorn, soda and Twizzlers at the snack bars. Load up the family – some venues even allow pets – and check out some of the classics under the stars.
When: Five days a week to daily; check hours online
Where: Dade City, Ruskin, Lakeland, Ocala
Web: silvermoondrivein.com and ocaladrivein.info and joylandrivein.com and ruskinfamilydrivein.com
LAKE APOPKA WILDLIFE DRIVE AUDIO TOUR – Go on your own mini-safari through the restored former farm fields of Lake Apopka North Shore, where you’ll find lots of native birds, turtles, alligators, bobcats, snakes and other wildlife, as well as spotting rare Florida plant species. The St. Johns River Water Management District created a cool audio tour, which you can access with your mobile device, as you drive along the 11-mile stretch and soak in the scenery and solitude.
When: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from sunrise to sunset
Where: Lake Apopka North Shore farmlands, Orange County
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
PICASSO AND THE ALLURE OF THE SOUTH AT THE DALI – Included in the admission price at The Dalí, this special limited-time exhibit presents nearly 80 Pablo Picasso paintings, drawings and collages – approximately half of which have never been seen in this country. Organized in collaboration with the Musée national Picasso-Paris, the collection of works present a deep dive into the artist’s time in southern Europe and how it influenced some of his greatest masterpieces. Spend a whole day exploring, then grab a glass of wine to enjoy on the museum’s pretty outdoor terrace.
When: Jan. 29-May 22
Where: The Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg
SCOTT’S SPRING FLING – With a floral scent in the air and bees buzzing, the last few Florida springtime weeks are best among its natural, rural beauty. Visit Mount Dora’s Long & Scott Farms and gather some some u-pick sunflowers and wildflowers, buy some home décor or honey from the crafts vendors, sip beer and wine and enjoy a car show, live music and beautiful photo backdrops. Kids 3 and under get in free and will love the large playground area.
When: May 14
Where: Long & Scott Farms, Mount Dora
ORLANDO CARNIVAL DOWNTOWN – Continuing its run of more than three decades, the multicultural Orlando Carnival Downtown returns, celebrating Caribbean life and customs with an entire weekend of brilliantly colored, feather- and sequin-adorned costumes, dancing, rhythmic music, spicy dishes and cocktails. This family-friendly event includes a clothing and jewelry designer showcase, masquerade bands, DJs and vendors serving coconut water, jerk chicken and other Caribbean street food treats.
When: May 27-29
Where: Downtown Orlando
QFX EAST – Hosting its first ever LGBTQ+ event, QFX aims to create a weekend of diverse, inclusive and accessible programming that showcases creators, guests and fans of queer-related movies, TV shows, books, video games and other media. Attend interesting panels and educational workshops by day and hit the networking hours and parties by night. Attendees can also get selfies and autographs from their favorite actors, screenwriters and artists. This event has both in-person and virtual options.
When: May 13-15
Where: Downtown Tampa
TAMPA MARGARITA AND MUSIC FESTIVAL – Downtown Tampa’s Margarita Fest packs a lot in a day, not the least of which is every variation and flavor of one of America’s favorite cocktails. Sample some frozen, salt-rimmed concoctions, fill up on tacos and other gourmet snacks and sweets and enjoy performances by DJs and a soon-to-be named popular headlining band. The fest also features an arts and crafts area, a VIP area and other fun activities while you sip and stroll along the river in this pretty, 25-acre park.
When: May 28
Where: Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, downtown Tampa
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 and southern region folk, rock and funk bands such as The Applebutter Express, The Heavy Pets and Ajeva. This year’s jamboree has three nightly costume parties to kick off the first few nights: Time Traveler, Group Theme and Mardi Gras. Prepare your own meals at your campsite or buy food and beer from the many vendors on site while enjoying tunes, dancing and good times.
When: May 18-22
Where: Sertoma Ranch, Brooksville
WELCOME TO ROCKVILLE –All of rock ‘n roll’s hottest bands come together to blow some minds in this epic, four-day music concert, celebrating its 11th year in existence and its second year at the new Daytona International Speedway location. This year’s lineup includes Guns ‘N Roses, Kiss, Korn, Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins, Megadeth, Ministry, Breaking Benjamin, Bush and dozens more. The site offers surrounding campground rentals and various food and bar vendors throughout the property.
When: May 19-22
Where: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach
SARASOTA SEAFOOD & MUSIC FESTIVAL – Enjoy the breezy Gulf Coast while dining some of Florida’s tastiest grouper, shrimp, mahi, crab and other delectable dishes. This free festival also has a stage spotlighting regional rock, steel drum, soul, jazz and bluegrass bands, sure to please the hungry music lovers while setting a relaxing and fun backdrop. In between performances, check out the arts and crafts marketplace for handmade clothing and accessories, gourmet foods and gifts.
When: May 20-22
Where: JD Hamel Park, Sarasota
MEGACON ORLANDO – Cult film, comic book, horror, anime and gaming nerds converge in one spot, many donning stunning cosplay getups and bringing autograph books for their favorite actors, writers and artists to sign. Some of this year’s guests include The Karate Kid’s Ralph Macchio, The Mummy‘s Brendan Fraser, Gina Carano from The Mandalorian and Deadpool, John Cleese from Monty Python and Harry Potter, as well as several popular comic creators, voice actors, social media cosplay stars and other cult celebrities. Along with photo and autograph opportunities, the event will have several gaming centers, collectibles for sale and interactive displays to entertain guests of all ages.
When: May 19-22
Where: Orange County Convention Center, Orlando
THE ART OF HEALTH – Hosted by the City of Tarpon Springs' Cultural and Civic Services Department, this free event highlights the many ways the arts impact health and well-being for people of all ages. Visit the kid or adult art tents to make your own creations to take home, learn about the art of gardening, listen to live music including a special kids’ concert, participate in yoga or dance sessions and stop by the various tents and exhibitors aimed at educating the community about health and wellness resources. Bring your own picnic or check out the food trucks serving up both healthy and indulgent cuisine.
When: May 14
Where: Craig Park on Spring Bayou, Tarpon Springs
THUNDER ON COCOA BEACH – This exhilarating, five-day offshore boat racing event brings some of the world’s fastest speedboats and lots of adrenaline to the shores of the Space Coast, stirring up some excitement in the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy live entertainment, dancing, parties and chances to see the impressive speed boats and racing teams up close at Race Village in Port Canaveral. After each day’s races, unwind at the downtown Cocoa Beach block party or a concert in Lori Wilson Park.
When: May 19-22
Where: Cocoa Beach
HEROES HONOR FESTIVAL – Aimed to be a belated “welcome home” tribute honoring Vietnam veterans, this two-day fest will feature special guests, like Governor Ron DeSantis and country music star Toby Keith, pageantry and memorable moments. Guests of all ages – including Vietnam veterans and kids 12 and under who can attend for free – will enjoy a range of activities including military and bald eagle flyovers, a patriot parachute team, reunions, a resource expo, a Sunday demonstration ride, keynotes from Vietnam era heroes, lifetime legacy awards and a sacred remembrance vigil for those killed in action.
When: May 27-28
Where: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach
FUNK FEST – Celebrating two days of old school music, dancing, food and drinks and good times, the Funk Fest returns after a two-year hiatus, bringing its long-running memorable party to town for fans of R&B, hip-hop, soul and funk and comedy. Headliners include Mary J Blige, Jazmine Sullivan, No Limit Reunion, Jodeci, Raheem DeVaughn, Carl Thomas and other hot acts.
When: June 3-4
Where: Central Florida Fairgrounds, Orlando
SILVER SPURS RODEO – Drawing crowds to Central Florida from all over the world since 1944, the “largest rodeo east of the Mississippi” is a semi-annual Osceola County tradition not to be missed. Check out 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. Cowboy and cowgirl attire for attendees is optional but recommended!
When: June 3-4
Where: Osceola Heritage Park/Silver Springs Arena, Kissimmee
ST. PETE PRIDE – Over a 20-year-long span, St. Pete Pride has grown from a small street parade to one of Florida’s biggest month-long celebrations of the LGBTQ+ community. Beginning with a kick-off party on June 1, the month’s festivities include karaoke parties, an exclusive museum reception, musical acts, comedy shows, LGBTQ+ Youth & Family Day and a new Shades of Pride event honoring diversity and minorities within the community. On the final weekend of the month, enjoy a special Friday concert, a colorful Saturday parade that draws tens of thousands to the streets and a Sunday vendor “carnival” in St. Pete’s Grand Central District.
When: Throughout June
Where: Various locations, St. Petersburg
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, healing meditation, tarot readings, diet, herbal medicine, financial health and relationships. Guests can also shop for crystals, essential oils, books, clothing and other good-for-the-soul gifts.
When: June 18-19
Where: Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa
MID-FLORIDA JUNETEENTH MUSIC FESTIVAL – Honoring Juneteenth Independence Day, this fest brings the noise with R&B artist Jacquees, neo-soul musician Chico Debarge and others, as well as DJs and Caribbean performances. The afternoon and evening celebration also features delicious food trucks, arts and crafts vendors selling accessories, clothing, jewelry and décor, and a special kids “entrepreneur zone” for hands-on activities and other fun.
When: June 18
Where: Apopka Amphitheater, Apopka
SARASOTA MUSIC FESTIVAL – Bringing live performances back to the stage, 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 and rising stars 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 between June 6-June 25
Where: Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, Sarasota
ATHENS BY NIGHT – Florida tropics meet authentic Greek culture in this nighttime celebration of the state’s “Little Greece” and all of the restaurants and attractions that are a part of it. The Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks are among the state’s best hidden gems, filled with sponge shops and quirky cafes, tasty 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 11
Where: Tarpon Springs
CLIMB TO THE MOON TOUR – Climb to the top of Florida’s tallest lighthouse, a National Historic Landmark, and wait for the golden glow of the setting sun to fade before gazing at the full moon as it hovers above the Atlantic Ocean. Lighthouse keepers will treat guests to some interesting facts and storytelling while they enjoy panoramic views, a special tour only given when the moon is at its fullest. Capped at groups of 25, the event sells out quickly, but don’t worry. You’ll have other chances as the full moon happens every month.
When: June 14
Where: Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse & Museum, Ponce Inlet
DOWNTOWN DUNEDIN CRAFT FESTIVAL – Set in one of Pinellas County’s most walkable towns, this outdoor fest has been an arts and crafts lover’s delight for nearly two decades. Peruse thousands of memorable, one-of-a-kind items such as eye-popping jewelry, functional pottery, funky clothing, fun hair accessories, ceramic planters, and other cool gifts and treats, plus a green market with fresh produce and plants. Downtown Dunedin is a favorite location for fairs and markets, with lots of sidewalk cafes, breweries, gift shops and restaurants on and around Main Street.
When: June 25-26
Where: Main Street, downtown Dunedin
CULTUREFEST ORLANDO – Bringing art, music, dance, food and community together as one big celebration of each other’s cultures and differences, CultureFest returns to Festival Park for its second year. Dozens of singers, rappers, dancers and bands bring their best stuff to the stages while food truck vendors serve BBQ, ethnic dishes, vegan food and sweet treats. Several local and regional artists have their paintings, photography and wearable works on display and for sale, and local vendors will have giveaways and free swag for those passing through the park.
When: June 18
Where: Festival Park, Orlando
TAMPA BAY SCREAMS CONVENTION – Located off the beaten path in a hotel near Tampa International Airport, this gathering of horror and slasher film fans is an unusual but memorable good time with lots of cult movie celebrities, tables selling memorabilia and collectibles, costume pieces and movie posters. Meet Brinke Stevens from “Teenage Exorcist” and “Haunting Fear,” Dave Sheridan from “Scary Movie,” former pro wrestler Fred Olen Ray from “Alienator” and Grady Styles III, son of the famous “Lobster Boy,” among many others.
When: June 11-12
TAMPA THEATRE SUMMER CLASSICS MOVIE SERIES – If you’re looking for a cool, dark escape from the summer heat, head to the beautiful and iconic Tampa Theatre, a historic landmark which begins its Summer Classics series the first weekend of June. Revisit old scenes you forgot, silently recite your favorite lines while you munch on popcorn and reminisce with old favorites such as “In the Heat of the Night,” “Stand By Me,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Blazing Saddles” and a sing-along version of “West Side Story.”
When: Sundays in June through August
Where: Tampa Theatre, downtown Tampa
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.
ART MONTH — In an effort to embrace the visual, performing and literary arts communities at the same time, the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County has been packaging a series of marquee events that has expanded from Art Week to Art Month. For a list of all the events, check out https://www.culturalartsalliance.com/art-month. Here are some local favorites:
- Digital Graffiti (May 13-14, Alys Beach): For 15 years, the reflective, all white architecture of Alys Beach has provided a blank canvas for some of the world’s top artists, designers and photographers to project their works and set the night aglow. The original works are chosen through a juried selection process and $10,000 in cash prizes will be awarded this year. Tickets for Friday night are for the 21 and up crowd and include an all-inclusive gourmet food and beverage experience lining the festival path. Saturday tickets are geared for families with food trucks and beverage stands along the path. https://alysbeach.com/events/digital-graffiti-2022
- Longleaf Writers Conference (May 14-21): Formerly known as The Seaside Writers Conference, join award-winning writers in fiction, poetry and screen writing for a week of intensive writing workshops, seminars and social events. Attendees can attend seminars hosted by editors and literary agents to receive one-on-one feedback. Visiting writers include poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil and author Maurice Carlos Ruffin. https://longleafwritersconference.com
WORLD EQUESTRIAN CENTER BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL — Most only connect Florida’s fruit harvest with its orange groves and strawberry fields, but blueberries also flourish in the Sunshine state. May is the harvest season for blueberries and there is no shortage of blueberry fests in small towns around north-central Florida. Ocala’s festival allows you to swap calories with a little pre-event exercise. Kick off the morning with the Blueberry Festival 5K before heading to the all-you-can-eat Blueberry Pancake Breakfast. The rest of the day’s events include live music, yard games, a farmer’s market and plenty of blueberry fare including pies and jams.
When: May 14
Where: World Equestrian Center, Ocala
TUPELO HONEY FESTIVAL — Enjoy a day trip to “real” Florida in the one stoplight town of Wewahitchka, known for a generation of beekeepers harvesting world-renowned liquid gold also known as Tupelo honey. Purchase locally-made products featuring the honey, visit with food and craft vendors and chill to live music.
When: May 21
Where: Lake Alice Park, Wewahitchka
JACKSONVILLE JAZZ FESTIVAL — Scatting, trombone solos and improv are all the rage during Jacksonville’s largest, annual free music festival which showcases three days of free, live music on two stages. Each day jazz lovers will be able to enjoy the juxtaposition that pits a lineup of legends with the new faces representing the genre’s future – think Herbie Hancock and Jazzmeia Horn on Friday, George Benson and the Emmet Cohen Trio on Saturday and Patti LaBelle and Robert Glasper on Sunday.
When: May 27-29
FLORIDA FOLK FESTIVAL — After two years, and a date change from late January to Memorial Day weekend, the annual folk festival is finally back on the schedule. This three-day celebration focuses on the music, dance, stories, crafts and food that are unique to the state’s cultural history. It includes more than 300 performances featuring previous festival favorites like country music’s Billy Dean, blues musician Ben Prestage, the psychedelic bluegrass band Firewater Tent Revival and comedian and singer Jim Stafford. But, the festival is more than a live music showcase and each year focuses on a themed Folklife Program as well as the opportunity to attend in-person workshops by craft masters like basket making. Also includes a kids zone, Banjo & Fiddle Contest, arts and crafts vendors and more.
When: May 27-29
Where: Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park, White Springs
35TH ANNUAL GATE TO GATE MEMORIAL DAY WALK/RUN — Lace up your favorite running shoes for a chance to explore a 4.4-mile section of Eglin Air Force Base during its annual Memorial Day run. The run/walk event awards both male and female participants in various age categories based on registration as either a runner or walker. There’s also a free Kids’ Run that’s only a half mile for ages 5-6 and 1 mile for ages 7-12. Advance registration is required, as is photo I.D. for race packet pickup. The race ends at Unity Park where flowers will be available for all participants to drop at the Veterans’ Memorial. Also includes a post-race party with free food and refreshments.
When: May 30
Where: Eglin Air Force Base
SUNSHINE STATE GAMES — The Olympic torch might be extinguished for another year, but see Sunshine State amateur athletes of all ages and skill levels compete in this multi-sport festival. Whether they’re just a weekend warrior or have bigger aspirations for the future, the Sunshine State games features 30 different sporting competitions and has been awarding winners for four decades. Most competitions happen in various venues throughout the state from late May through the end of June. Make a date to catch one of these hot tickets in North Florida: Swimming (June 3-5, Gainesville), Artistic Swimming (June 3-5, Lakeland), Pickleball (June 10-12, Green Cove Springs), Canoe/Kayak Marathon (June 12, Middleburg), Taekwondo (June 17-19, Winter Haven) and Fencing (June 25-26, Alachaua).
When: May 20 - June 25
Where: various venues
FIESTA PENSACOLA — Pensacola’s heritage celebration of the city’s founding by the Spanish Conquistador Don Tristan de Luna in 1559 kicks off with the Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon Fiesta Days Celebration when local dignitaries surrender the city and its citizens to DeLune and his Queen (June 1). Other events include the Grand Fiesta Parade (June 3), Fiesta Boat Parade (June 4) and Fiesta All Krewe Ball (June 9). Both parades will feature floats or boats, an appearance by the 2022 Fiesta King and Queen and their “royal” court, and the local Krewes.
When: June 1 - June 9
PEPSI GULF COAST JAM — The pandemic wreaked havoc with one of PCB’s biggest concert events of the year as it changed dates, then was postponed. But it’s officially back. And instead punctuating the end of summer beach season with a Labor Day country music celebration, it’s kicking off the gulf coast’s season of sun, sand and country music fun. The now, four day event – they added a Thursday night Kick-Off Party – has experienced a few changes from the planned 2021 lineup. Festival goers will get to celebrate the fest’s 10th anniversary with the headliners Florida Georgia Line, Brooks & Dunn, Old Dominion and Brett Young.
When: June 2-5
Where: Panama City Beach
INFINITY CON TALLAHASSEE — Yes, there will be Cosplay Contests, an opportunity to fangirl or fanboy over favorite comic book artists and creators, and a chance to meet celebs in the comic anime and videogame world. But it’s more than just a pop culture celebration as attendees have the opportunity to take home part of a $2,500 cash prize in either the robot combat tournament or the Smash Bros tournament. The robot combat tournament, also called the Build Fight Fun Bot Brouhaha, will feature 30 robots weighing from 250 grams to 3 pounds battling it out.
When: June 4-5
Where: Donald L. Tucker Center, Tallahassee
WELLBORN BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL — As the home to one of the largest blueberry fests in Florida, the blueberry love isn’t just a one-day affair. The people of Wellborn host a pancake breakfast on the first Saturday of each month. But in June that first Saturday pancake breakfast expands to a full day of indulgence: from cobblers and pies to ice cream and jellies to syrups and fudge. Also includes a parade, food trucks, arts and craft vendors and live entertainment. All things blueberry, including bushes, will be for sale.
When: June 4
WATERMELON FESTS — Enjoy a slice of the sweet life at one of these seed-spitting celebrations.
- Chiefland Watermelon Festival (June 4, Chiefland): The 68th annual festival held in the “Gem of the Suwannee Valley” features a parade, watermelon growing contest, 5K Melon Run, pageant, seed spitting contest, as well as, arts, crafts and food vendors. https://chieflandwomansclub.org
- 71st Annual Watermelon Festival (June 17-18, Monticello): The annual festival is a culmination of two weeks of events in Monticello including the Watermelon Pageant (June 4), Bed Race (June 10), Pickleball Tournament (June 11), Watermelon Crawl (June 11) and more. When the big day finally arrives, the party starts with a 5K run before the parade, live entertainment, antique car show and watermelon-themed games. https://www.monticellowatermelonfestival.com
- Panhandle Watermelon Festival (June 24-25, Chipley): Located between Tallahassee and Pensacola, Chipley’s rolls out the red carpet for guests each year for the city’s biggest event, which also is a free live music festival. This year’s performers include Shenandoah, Josh Turner, The Thompsons and Billy Dean. Also includes a pancake breakfast, Hot Trot, car show, parade, gospel hour and melon auction. https://www.panhandlewatermelon.com
- Clay County Watermelon Fest (June 25-26, Green Cove Springs): Kids will have a blast noshing on ice-cold watermelon, participating in wacky watermelon games like a watermelon roll and going on pony rides at this family-friendly party. Also includes food vendors, a petting zoo, live entertainment, seed spitting contest, whole watermelon for sale and live entertainment. https://www.claycountyfest.com/WATERMELON-FEST.php
FISHING TOURNAMENTS — With the sun in your face, wind in your hair and a little bit of hope that lady luck will be on your side, one of these fishing tournaments might be calling your name.
- Old School Kingfish Shootout (Vilano Beach, June 10-12): This old school tournament aims to level the playing field so anyone can compete regardless of boat or budget. Competitors are limited to fishing only three miles offshore near St. Augustine Beach. Also, any anglers hoping to fish with live bait will have to catch it themselves. Cash payouts include 25 places with the grand prize winner receiving a $100K Yellowfin 21’ Bay Boat. Also includes Lady Angler and Junior Angler Prizes. https://www.oldschoolkingfish.com
- 20th Annual Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic (Miramar Beach, June 22-26): The Blue Marlin Classic is considered one of the top ten big-money, off-shore fishing tournaments in the world by Marlin magazine. For the 20th annual event, the big-game fishing tournament is predicted to give about $2 million in cash awards. The daily weigh-ins at Baytowne Marina include live music, food and Friday night fireworks. Last year’s winning catch was a 681-pound Blue Marlin. www.fishecbc.com
- Bud Light Fishing Rodeo (Pensacola Beach, June 24-27): The prize purse is not rich like with the Blue Marlin Classic, but you’re on a boat cruising the gorgeous emerald gulf waters and there’s minor cash money available to the top three fish caught in each of the 21 species categories. Payouts increase for the King Mackerel Challenge and InShore Challenge based on the number of boats. There’s even a Junior Rodeo with prizes awarded to youths, ages 10 & under or ages 10-16, for the top three fish caught in each of the 14 species categories. https://pensacolasports.org/pensacolafishingrodeo
FERNANDINA BEACH PRIDE — After a two-year hiatus, Fernandina Beach is prepping for its second annual Pride Parade and Festival. The day will kick off with the parade before turning into a rainbow-filled party complete with live music, food trucks, arts and craft vendors and more.
When: June 11
Where: Central Park, Fernandina
MALIBU RIDER EXPERIENCE — Watch the best wakeboard riders in the southeast as they hope to bunny hop and cork spin their way to a spot in the national finals during the regional championships on Sunday, June 12, in Ocklawaha. On Saturday, wakeboarding and wakesurfing riders of all ages and ability levels will be able to learn tips and tricks from the Malibu Boats Pro athletes by registering for a demo session.
When: June 11-12
Where: Carney Island Recreation, Ocklawaha
JACKSONVILLE JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION — Jacksonville’s inaugural Juneteenth Celebration aims to bring the community together for a faith-based, family-first day of music and unification. National gospel artists Tasha Cobbs-Leonard, Maranda Curtis, Todd Dulaney and JJ Hairston will headline the event which also features a lineup of local Jacksonville performers like Henrietta Telfair, the city’s UNITY Choir, the MVP Band, and a local youth talent showcase.
When: June 18
Where: Daily’s Place, Jacksonville
ST. AUGUSTINE MUSIC FESTIVAL — Take a break from the seasonal deluge of jazz, funk, blues and country music fests to salute the world’s greatest classical composers — Ravel (Allegro for Harp, Flute Clarinet and String Quartet), Debussy (Dances for Harp and String Orchestra), Franz Liszt (Malediction for Piano and String Orchestra), Mozart (Quintet in C), Bach (Orchestral Suite No. 2), Beethoven (Ah! Perfido) and many more — at this free classical music festival. This year, the festival will hold a special Juneteenth Celebration the weekend before featuring pianist Terrence Wilson.
When: June 18-19, June 23-25, June 30 - July 2
Where: St. Augustine
JAWS OF THE SEA — If you’re lucky, you might score a shark tooth to take home as a memento of your day. If not, you’ll still finish the walk with enough shark facts and tidbits to fill a Jeopardy category. The hourlong interactive guided beach walk will include a discussion on shark biology, common sharks in the waters of Northeast Florida, local shark research and info on human and shark encounters. Although the event is free, advance registration is required.
When: June 30
Where: Mussallem Beachfront Park, St. Augustine
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