Florida Events for June and July 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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
NICKELODEON’S TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: SECRETS OF THE SEWER – If you have youngsters who haven’t yet been to the excellent Miami Children’s Museum, this would be the perfect time to go. Families will be transported to the underground home of the crime-fighting heroes to see what really happens in their secret hideaway. Turtles brothers Leonardo (the tactical, courageous leader in blue), Michelangelo (the free-spirited jokester in orange), Raphael (the aggressive tough guy in red), and Donatello (the scientist and technological genius in purple) invite families to their New York City sewer lair to train together and learn about the Turtles’ comedic, skillful strategies. Through team-building challenges, collaborative games and mind-teasing puzzles, attendees will learn skills to help them successfully work together. Here are a few examples: Build a “bridge” together and think creatively as a team to overcome challenges, assemble two electrical circuit puzzles by taking one apart to build another, plan ahead and use patience to navigate the rope maze, practice ninja speed and slicing skills while playing a dexterity-based computer game. Practice your balance on skateboards and create a sewer pipe together and see where it goes.
When: Now through Sept. 11
Where: Miami Children’s Museum, MacArthur Causeway on Watson Island, Miami
ROLLING LOUD MUSIC FESTIVAL – Loud will definitely be the operative word for this three-day rap-a-thon, now in its seventh year. The headliner is Ye, formerly known as Kanye West. He may have shortened his name, but not the entertainment chops. Kendrick Lamar and Future are also headliners and other performers include Lil Uzi Vert, 2 Chainz, Gucci Mane, Three Six Mafia, Saweetie, City Girls, Lil Baby, Gunna, Kodack Black and Da Baby. In all, close to 120 acts will perform.
When: July 22-24
Where: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens
SOUTH FLORIDA ADVENTURE PASS – This will enable you to have unlimited admissions to four amazing and popular attractions in Broward County – Butterfly World, Flamingo Gardens, the Museum of Discovery and Science and the Sawgrass Recreation Center. The pass for people 13 and over is $50 and for people under 13 the cost is $40.
When: Now through Sept. 30
Where: The four attractions mentioned above.
SPACE ADVENTURE – This exhibit covers 30,000 square feet and brings together more than 300 original NASA items that were part of a series of space missions in the 1960s. You’ll see a huge gallery of high-quality photos and videos, rockets, computers and space suits. Some of the objects made the trip to the moon. There is a Lunar area with a life-sized Lunar Module and Lunar Rover, an Apollo mission control center and an immersive room a simulating a departure to the moon.
When: July 7-Sept. 15
Where: Mana Wynwood Convention Center, Miami
SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE EXHIBITION – This free-with-museum special exhibit features original manuscripts and period artifacts, investigative tools used by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s intrepid late-1890s London detective and interactive crime-solving opportunities. You’ll learn how Holmes, a scientist ahead of his time, used seemingly trivial observations to solve mysterious crimes. Pop culture enthusiasts will enjoy the exhibit’s final gallery, featuring all things “Sherlockian,” including card games, comics, magazines, radio scripts and movie and television show props.
When: Now through Sept.5
Where: Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, Miami
HANK WILLIAMS: LOST HIGHWAY – The New York Post called this musical “…the best example of a musician’s bio ever put on stage.” It follows Williams’ rise from his beginnings on the Louisiana hayride to his triumphs at the Grand Ole Opry to his eventual self-destruction and death at the age of 29. It includes classics like “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Move It on Over,” “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “Jambalaya,” “Mind Your Own Business,” “Lovesick Blues,” “I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love with You” and “Hey, Good Lookin’.”
When: July 13-31, Wednesdays through Sundays
Where: Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, Coral Gables
ART IN THE GARDEN – Stroll around a beautiful garden’s boardwalks and pathways and in addition to colorful native plants, birds and butterflies you will find sculptures by local artists. They are earth-friendly, created out of recycled, repurposed and natural materials.
When: Now through July 31.
Where: Key West Tropical Forest
GO FOURTH, FLORIDA! – No matter where you are in Florida, you will be able to find a great fireworks show and other fabulous Independence Day festivities on July 4th, as we celebrate the 246th birthday of our great nation. Just use Google for any city and you’ll be all set. All of us at VisitFlorida.com wish all of you and yours a happy and safe Fourth of July.
HEMINGWAY DAYS – Hooray! It is back to its old self this year. The annual Papa-fest features readings, a museum exhibit of rare Ernest Hemingway memorabilia, a zany “Running of the Bulls,” a three-day marlin tournament, a short story competition, street fair, a party commemorating his July 21st birthday, a 5-K run, a museum exhibit of rare Hemingway memorabilia, a paddleboard race and, of course, the famous Look-Alike Contest.
When: July 19-24
Where: Various locations in Key West, but the Look-Alike contest and the “Running of the Bulls” will be at Sloppy Joe’s Bar
UNDERWATER MUSIC FESTIVAL – Be among the hundreds of divers and snorkelers who go deep each year at this quirky concert that emphasizes reef preservation and also is a whole lot of fun. Classic rock is piped in underwater via speakers suspended from boats hovering above the third largest reef in the world. Contact any of the local dive shops to reserve a spot on their vessels and enjoy their costume parties.
When: July 8-9
Where: Looe Key Reef (about six miles south of Big Pine Key)
BUGFEST BY-THE-SEA – Win big bucks by catching big bugs – as in lobsters. It’s timed to coincide with Florida’s lobster mini-season. The limit is a fabulous 12 bugs per day and night-diving is permitted. Also included: bug hunting seminars, underwater photo and video contests and a lobster cook-off.
When: July 26-30
KEY LIME FESTIVAL – This annual affair is a mega-celebration of Florida’s official state pie. If you think you can devour a 9-inch pie faster than anyone else, make sure to enter the always hilarious pie-eating contest. Other events include: The Key Lime Kick-Off (sip champagne on the veranda of the 1869 mansion where key lime pie was first created), the Key Lime Sip & Stroll (sample key-lime infused drinks from 10 bars and vote for your favorite), the Key Lime Pie Hop (sample five different variations of pie), a Key Lime Scavenger Hunt and the zany Key Lime Pie Drop. There is also a fireworks display on July 4th.
When: June 30-July 4
Where: Various locations in Key West
PALM BEACH SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL -- SHAKESPEARE BY THE SEA – The Bard’s Richard II gets the royal treatment this year as the festival will continue to use two outdoor locations. Bring your beach chair, blanket and picnic basket, or enjoy fare from numerous food trucks. Note: It’s officially free, but a donation of $5 per person is suggested.
When & Where: July 7-17 at Carlin Park in Jupiter and July 21-24 in Commons Park in Royal Palm Beach.
MIAMI SALSA CONGRESS – This five-day festival features a unique gathering of the world’s top Salsa talent including local and international touring artists, award-winning dancers, world-class dance instructors, top industry DJs and great Latin bands. It is recognized as one of the largest festivals of its kind. There will be pool parties, pre-event parties, nightly dance parties, evening galas, dance workshops, concerts, showcases and activities for kids.
When: July 20-25
Where: Eden Roc Nobu Hotel, Miami Beach
KEY WEST MERMAID FESTIVAL – Attend the Mermaid Festival Parade! Have breakfast with mermaids! Meet and greet mermaids! Swim with Mermaids! It’s an all-ages mermaid-a-thon, with the exception of the adults-only underwater Ocean Blue party.
When: July 1-5
Where: Various locations in Key West
OOLITE ARTS EXHIBITS – Art Center/South Florida was created in 1984 but has changed its name to Oolite Arts to reflect its roots and mission. Oolite is a sedimentary rock formed by shells, corals and other organic material coming together. It is the bedrock of Miami, a fundamental part of its ecosystem. And, Oolite arts wants to be the bedrock of the visual arts in Miami, composed of residents, alumnae, curators and visitors. Two summer exhibits have opened with all this in mind: At the Edge, which features all female artists who use abstraction as a means to investigate and challenge the boundaries of material, process and the environment, and Lean-to, which displays work by 2022 artists-in-residence. The art is inspired by the architectural form of a lean-to.
When: Now through Sept. 11 for both exhibits
Where: Oolite Arts, Miami Beach
MANGO FESTIVAL – The mango is known as “The King of Fruits” and this fest pays tribute to His Majesty with fun for the whole family. Included are: cooking demos and mango tastings, specialty mango smoothies and cocktails, the signature mango brunch, a wide variety of mangos for purchase, food vendors with mango-inspired menus, mango lectures, mango tree sales, lawn games and live music.
When: July 9-10
Where: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables
MIAMI SPA MONTHS – Summer is here and it is starting to get hot. So, chill out indoors and pamper yourself at some of Miami’s world-famous luxury spas at discount prices.
When: July and August
Where: Various luxury spas throughout Miami-Dade County.
FLORIDA KEYS BREW-BQ – Welcome the new kid on the block of July’s impressive Keys festival lineup, as this is the inaugural edition of this event. In addition to the yummy bbq, there will be lots of craft beers to wash it down. There will also be a bbq cooking contest (amateurs only) with prizes, vendors, live music and activities for kids.
When: July 16-17
Where: Marathon Community Park, Marathon
MIAMI SWIM WEEK – There will be four days of ultra-hip in-person runway shows featuring the latest in swim suit and resort fashions by both star designers and up-and-comers from all around the world. It’s great for celebrity-watching, too, as this event always attracts a lot of A-listers.
When: July 13-17
Where: Faena Forum in the Faena Hotel and other locations, Miami Beach
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
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
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 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
CALADIUM FESTIVAL – Celebrate Florida’s natural and colorful beauty and support local farming at this three-day fest honoring Lake Placid’s beloved caladium plant. Take a bus tour of the vibrant fields, learn about Florida’s grape industry and wineries, buy some unique plants and crafts and check out the floral arrangement and art competitions. This year’s fest also features a Saturday car and bike show filled with antique vehicles and classic motorcycles.
When: July 29-31
Where: Stuart Park, Lake Placid
EPCOT INTERNATIONAL FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL – One of EPCOT’s biggest draws, the Food & Wine Festival kicks off in July for a four-month celebration of gourmet dishes and desserts from around the worlds, as well as every type of libation from French wine to Belgian beer to hot Japanese sake. Visit the park for the rides and attractions, and linger for the around-the-world flavors and aromas that highlight various customs and cultures to suit each palate.
When: July 14-Nov. 19
Where: EPCOT, Lake Buena Vista
TAMPA BAY COMIC CONVENTION – Avid fans of comic books, video games, cult films and anime fans love this annual event, drawing hundreds in cosplay depicting various heroes and villains. Take photos with celebrities such as Dean Cain, William Shatner and Christopher Eccleston, meet your favorite comic book artists, join fan and cosplay meetups, enter a lip sync competition, watch some improv comedy troupes and shop for collectibles, toys, vintage video games and more.
When: July 29-31
Where: Tampa Bay Convention Center, downtown Tampa
BOOM BY THE BAY – Stretching miles along Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard and winding through several waterfront parks, Boom by the Bay is the city’s largest 4th of July fireworks celebration. Beginning mid-day, guests can enjoy a water ski show, food trucks, live music, kid zones, a hot dog eating competition, a boat parade, and of course, fireworks starting at dusk. Wear comfortable shoes and walk the whole route, or bring lawn chairs and blankets and claim your viewing spot early.
When: July 4
Where: Downtown Tampa
ANTIQUE FAIR OF ARCADIA – Over the years, Arcadia has earned a reputation as an antique hunter’s heaven, with its tiny downtown packed with shops carrying high-quality collectors’ items and memorabilia galore. Every fourth Saturday, folks from all over the state and beyond show up in droves to snag amazing finds and catch great deals at the various vendors who set up tables and tents along the streets. Pro tip: Get there bright and early, and don’t pass on some of the local cafes and gift shops along the way.
When: July 23
Where: Downtown Arcadia
SARASOTA MYSTIC FAIRE – In its 11th year, the Sarasota Mystic Faire once again brings a fascinating array of healers, hard-to-find products, natural treatments and spiritual lecturers all under one roof for a weekend. Visit with psychics, tarot card and palm readers, mediums and alternative health practitioners or shop for a wide variety of gifts and home goods such as crystals, Tibetan bowls, jewelry, clothing, books, rugs, sacred art, angel art, mandalas and more.
When: July 23-24
Where: Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, Sarasota
THUNDER ON THE RIDGE – Central Florida’s largest and most longstanding Independence Day celebrations continues its tradition of bringing Polk and surrounding counties together for a fun-filled evening. Families from all over the area bring blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy an amazing fireworks show, live music, DJs, food trucks, a splash zone, yard games with cash prizes and a beer garden.
When: July 4
Where: Lake Eva Park, Haines City
THE FANCY FLEA – One of Florida’s coolest summertime vintage markets returns with lots of antique and shabby chic home furnishings, original artwork, retro signage and garden décor, collectibles, jewelry and more. Enjoy a leisurely shopping weekend in the comfort of an indoor, air-conditioned venue and come away with some one-of-a-kind pieces that make great gifts or special touches to your home or garden. This flea’s theme is “Summer in Paris,” bringing a delicate French flair to its goods and wares.
When: July 15-16
Where: RP Funding Center, Lakeland
SHARK CON – This fun, interactive and educational two-day event returns, promising an even bigger and better lineup of speakers and stations devoted to ocean life conservation, marine research and advocacy. Dip your hands in touch tanks and sand pits, try scuba diving or paddleboarding, plunge down a 27-foot shark slide, dig for sharks’ teeth and take your photo with mermaids and costumed sharks. Hear from Shark Week, National Geographic, and Animal Planet experts and speakers, or buy a souvenir from more than a hundred vendors selling shark and ocean related merchandise, jewelry, art, clothing, & collectibles.
When: July 16-17
Where: Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa
COOL ART SHOW – When the Florida summer heat slows down the outdoor festival circuit, the Cool Art Show brings artisans and art fans into the air-conditioned, historic St. Petersburg Coliseum, showcasing sculpture, woodwork, paintings, photography, glass art and other works in a relaxing space. Take your time gazing or shopping while chatting with the artists. New this year will be artist demonstrations by pastel artist, Lorraine Potocki and watercolor artist Debra Thomas Weible, as well as a kids' art activities area.
When: July 23-24
Where: The Coliseum, St. Petersburg
CITY OF INVERNESS PATRIOTIC EVENING – As a pre-July 4th celebration, this free city-sponsored fest features hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, cold drinks and live music by Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry and The Bearded Brothers, as well as kids’ games and activities under the pavilion. The main event is in Liberty Park, but visitors can also bring their blankets and chairs to Wallace Brooks Park or the Depot District to enjoy the nighttime fireworks.
When: July 3
Where: Festival Park, Orlando
ZEPHYRHILLS SUMMER FEST – Roll up to the beautiful Zephyr Lake early and stake out a spot to enjoy a day of fun followed by a dazzling, 30-minute fireworks show. The festivities begin at noon with local food trucks, frozen treats, lemonade, carnival food, and live DJ and band performances that’ll have you dancing well into the evening. There will also be a kids zone, bounce houses, waterslides, cooling activities and family games for all ages.
When: July 2
Where: Zephyr Park, Zephyrhills
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 revives the oldies each year during its Summer Classics series. Revisit old scenes you forgot, silently recite your favorite lines while you munch on popcorn and reminisce with old favorites such as “Stand By Me,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Wizard of Oz,” “Blazing Saddles” and a sing-along version of “West Side Story.”
When: Sundays in July through August
Where: Tampa Theatre, downtown Tampa
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
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
WATERMELON FESTS — Enjoy a slice of the sweet life at one of these seed-spitting celebrations.
- 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.
- 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
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
MARINELAND DOLPHIN ADVENTURE SUMMER CAMPS — Be the coolest parent in the neighborhood when you book your youth in one of Marineland’s five-day summer camps. The oceanarium, which focuses on conservation and creating one-of-a-kind human and dolphin encounters, offers two different camps: Seaside Eco-Adventures or S.E.A. Camp (for ages 7-9 or 10-12) or Teaching Environmental Education in Nature or T.E.E.N Camp (ages 13-17). S.E.A. campers will experience a week of exploring the beaches and intracoastal hammock ecosystems, participating in conservation projects, science experiments and animal observations. T.E.E.N. campers will kayak the Intracoastal Waterway, conduct lab experiments and perform mock field work. All campers will participate in an in-water encounter with one of the center’s bottlenose dolphins.
When: through July 31
Where: Marineland Dolphin Adventure, St. Augustine
LET’S SHELL-EBRATE — Florida’s beaches and coastal habitats play a pivotal role in the life cycle of sea turtles starting at birth. Learn more about how you can protect and preserve our shoreline for the species at one of these events.
- Forgotten Coast Sea Turtle Festival (July 3, Port St. Joe): The sixth annual fest includes educational turtle talks, touch tanks, conservation booths, live music, food vendors and kids activities. https://www.visitgulf.com/event/6th-annual-forgotten-coast-sea-turtle-festival/443
- Trash Bash (July 30, Navarre Beach): Help protect the sea turtle’s nesting habitat by attending a one-day beach cleanup with members of the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center. Held on the last Saturday of the month, volunteers have annually removed more than 1,000 pounds of debris from a 4.5-mile stretch of beach. www.navarrebeachseaturtles.org
REAL.FUN.FOURTH — Celebrate Independence Day by oohing and ahhing at the magic of the largest beachfront fireworks display on the Gulf Coast. The celebration features three consecutive nights of boom and blast starting with the Light Up The Bay Fireworks on July 2 in downtown Panama City. The fun continues with Boardwalk Beach Resort’s fireworks extravaganza on July 3, as well as the Freedom Rocks’ fireworks show at Treasure Island Marina. It culminates with the Star Spangled Spectacular where fireworks are shot into the sky from both the Russell-Fields City Pier and the M.B. Miller County Pier. Local radio stations will offer a simulcast of music choreographed to match the Freedom Rocks and the Star Spangled Spectacular.
When: July 2-4
Where: Panama City and Panama City Beach
ALL FIRED UP! — Experience Independence Day with “Real Florida” hospitality in one of the state’s small northern communities. These family-friendly events usually take place in a community park, riverfront or historic downtown. Here’s a quick roundup to help you plan your day trip.
- Independence Eve Celebration (July 3, Apalachicola): Recognized as one of the top fireworks events in the Sunshine State, the daylong festivities include live music, food trucks, a veterans’ tribute and fireworks show along the Apalachicola River. While waiting for the main event, set up your lawn chairs, kick back and enjoy a show by the Apalachicola Blues Authority featuring Bernard Simmons. Also includes the 18th annual Red, White, and Blue Parade through downtown Apalachicola. https://www.floridasforgottencoast.com/event/apalachicola-main-streets-independence-eve-fireworks-celebration
- Sopchoppy Fourth of July Celebration (July 4, Sopchoppy): The celebration kicks off with the Bill Stephens Americana Parade through downtown before the festivities move to Myron B. Hodge City Park along the Sopchoppy River and concludes with fireworks. Guests will enjoy live entertainment and music, arts and crafts vendors and kids booths. https://www.facebook.com/Sopchoppy4thOfJuly
- Cedar Key Independence Day Fireworks (July 4, Cedar Key): Celebrate the fourth from Cedar Key’s quiet island locale. Cedar Key is an island paradise located three miles out in the Gulf of Mexico and only has one highway in and out of town that traverses salt marshes and channels. The community is planning to launch its annual celebration from a barge along the coast. https://www.facebook.com/CedarKeyWelcomeCenter
- Red, White and Deep Blue Celebration (July 4, Amelia Island): Head to northeast Florida for a slightly swanky, yet All-American Lawn Party at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. The party includes live music, family games, fantastic eats like fresh, local seafood and a dessert bar. All guests will have a beachfront, front row seat for the fireworks. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rcai-4th-of-july-red-white-and-deep-blue-celebration-tickets-313699432447
SYMPHONY, SPARKS & STARS — Pensacola’s annual celebration is a love letter to our country’s birth featuring a performance of patriotic songs by the Pensacola Symphony, the presentation of our colors by the U.S. Marine Corps, a flyover by Navy fighter jets and, of course, fireworks. Guests are welcome to bring chairs, blankets and coolers. There will also be food and drink vendors.
When: July 4
Where: Community Maritime Park, Pensacola
RED, WHITE AND BLUES WEEK — The first week of July is a patriotic trifecta in Pensacola beach: fireworks, fun and flying as the Blue Angels close out the Fourth of July holiday week with three days of daredevil aerial acrobatics on their home turf. Although the annual Pensacola Beach Air Show features other high-flying acts, the Blues’ pilots are the stars of the lineup that includes Kevin Coleman, Patty Wagstaff and Gary Ward. Leading into the show are a series of practices and dress rehearsals leading up to the full show on Saturday, July 9.
When: July 6-9
Where: Pensacola Beach
BRIDGE OF LIONS 5K RUN — Enjoy a run through history in the nation’s oldest city. The 38th annual 5K begins at Castillo San Marcos, takes participants over the city’s historic Bridge of Lions before concluding at Oglethorpe Park on Anastasia Island. Yes, the idea of voluntarily choosing to run in Florida in July might be baffling to some, but the race route and race swag make up for the extra sweat. After the race, participants will enjoy snacks, refreshments and more.
When: July 9
Where: St. Augustine
GREATER JACKSONVILLE KINGFISH TOURNAMENT — Grab your rod and enjoy one of the coolest outdoor locales in Northeast Florida in July as you cruise along the coast. More than 300 boats will participate in the 42nd annual tournament that also features a payout structure for Lady Anglers and an offshore contest for junior anglers. The weigh-in each day is the hotspot after a day of fun on the water and includes a food festival, Liar’s Tent, boat display and Boatique. This year, the tournament will payout more than $250,000 with the grand prize winner taking home a Contender 25T with twin 150HP Yamaha Outboards, Ameritrail Trailer and Custom T-Top.
When: July 14-23
Where: Jim King Park & Boat Ramp, Jacksonville
WETLANDS NATURE HIKE — Learn the features that make Camp Chowenwaw’s ecosystem unique on a guided tour by one of the park’s naturalists. The park sits on 150 acres where the Black Creek meets the St. Johns River. Yes, it’s July. Yes, it will be “warm”. Come prepared. Participants should bring water and wear closed-toe shoes. And don’t forget the bug spray! The event is free, but reservations are required.
When: July 16
Where: Camp Chowenwaw Park, Green Cove Springs
BEER & MUSIC! — Country music and cold beer go together like fine wine and smooth jazz, making these County Music and Craft Beer fests a perfect pairing. Festival goers can purchase VIP, all-inclusive tickets for both the St. Augustine Country Music Festival and St. Augustine Craft Beer Festival. The music fest includes eight hours of live music featuring acts like Headin’ Home Bluegrass and the Hogtown Slayers. The beer fest will feature samples of 150 craft beers, 50 fine wines and 25 craft spirits. Also includes a Country Fashion Festival, Kids Fest and Dog & Pet Festival.
When: July 16
Where: Francis Field, St. Augustine
SUMMER BREEZE MUSIC FEST — Cross your fingers and hope there’s a breeze to pair with cool tunes during this old-fashioned block party. Each day’s lineup includes live music, DJ, vendor, food, outdoor activities and more. The music starts each day at 3:30 and ends after dark. The Jason Alexander Quartet, Bit Papa Fish, Caribe Groove and the Noel Freidline Quintet are July’s artists. August’s lineup features an emerging artists showcase, Infinite Key, Special Formula Band and Ritz Voices “Unplugged”.
When: July 16, Aug. 6
Where: Ritz Theatre & Museum, Jacksonville
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.
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