January and February Events in Florida  

    Whatever your passion, Florida has something for you. Here are just some of the major events scheduled in the Sunshine State. Please check individual websites for more details.
     

    South Florida | Central Florida | North Florida
     

    The Edison Festival of Light, dog in stroller in the Mutt Strut

    The Edison Festival of Light in Fort Myers includes fun events like the Mutt Strutt.

    - The Edison Festival of Light

     

    SOUTH FLORIDA 
       

    PRE-SUPER BOWL HAPPENING HAPPENINGS – Number LIV (that’s 54 for you non-Latin reading folks) is Sunday, Feb. 2 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens (west of downtown Miami) , but there is a lot going on leading up to it:

    ·       Super Bowl LIVE – It’s a free-to-the-public celebration that includes concerts (Fitz and the Tantrums are the headliners), dance teams, visual artists, a massive tailgate party with live cooking events and celebrity chef demos, a spectacular display of water stunts, an environmental village, parades and a huge fireworks show.
    When: Jan. 25-Feb. 1
    Where: Bayfront Park in downtown Miami
    Web: nfl.com/super-bowl/event-info

    ·       Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- This 6,000-square-foot exhibition presents a panoramic view of the story of professional football, from its humble beginnings in the early 20th century to the phenomenon it is today. It features more than 200 awe-inspiring artifacts, rare photos and documents, spectacular footage from NFL Films and interactive displays. Visitors are invited to try on vintage pads and jerseys and today’s equipment, and also step inside the Instant Replay Booth to see if they can make the right call.
    When: now through Feb. 2.
    Where: HistoryMiami Museum, Miami
    Web: historymiami.org

    ·       Super Bowl EXPERIENCE – This one is a giant interactive theme park offering participatory games, youth football clinics, merchandise from NFL Shop, autograph sessions with NFL players, personalized digital photos, a 40-yard dash and vertical jump against NFL players shown on giant LED screens, a Super Bowl rings display and photos with the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
    When:  Jan 25-26 and Jan. 29-Feb. 2
    Where: Miami Beach Convention Center
    Web: miamibeachconvention.com/super-bowl-experience

    ·       SuperFest Miami LIVE – This free-to-the-public fan village will highlight Miami’s vibrant culture, food and music scene. There will be concerts, a family carnival, mouthwatering culinary creations, interactive activities, giveaways, art exhibits, VIP parties, kid zones, sports forums, virtual game experiences and immersive entertainment.
    When: Jan. 24-Feb. 3
    Where: Various locations in Miami Gardens
    Web: superfestmiami.com

    ·       Concerts and Private Parties galore! – Here are some of the A-listers who will be in concert or at one or more of the private parties: DJ Khaled, Meek Mill,  Guns ‘n’ Roses, Shaquille O’Neal, Pitbull, Diddy, Diplo, The Chainsmokers, Rick Ross, Maroon 5, FloRida, Trina, celebrity chef Guy Fieri and footballers Chris Carter and Rob Gronkowski, just to name a few.
    When & Where: Various dates and locations in the week leading up to the big game.
    Web: Google the following:  
    2020 Super Bowl Events and Party Guide

    CIRQUE DU SOLEIL ALEGRIA -- In light of its 25th anniversary, Cirque's most iconic production returns with a reinterpretation through today's lens, featuring new costumes, an updated set design, renewed acrobatics and new musical arrangements. Carried by an intangible wind of change, an emerging movement strives to shake the established order, instilling hope and renewal to bring light and harmony to their kingdom in decay.
    When:
    til Jan. 26
    Where:
    Under the big top next to Hard Rock Stadium, Miami
    Web:
    cirquedusoleil.com/alegria

    ART DECO WEEKEND – What started out as a small grassroots festival some 40 years ago has turned into one of the largest celebrations of Art Deco architecture and culture in the country.  This year’s version will be even bigger and better with new happenings among the eclectic schedule of events. This year’s theme is “Sheroes (as in female heroes!): Women Who Made a Difference” in honor of the 100th anniversary of the suffragette movement and also some outstanding women in Florida history. New events this year are swing dancing, UrbanSketch walking tours and The Women’s Suffrage Centennial Parade. Other events include art exhibits, concerts, lectures, films, street theater, vendors, antique autos, a variety of culinary offerings and a health & wellbeing program. The Art Deco Museum will host the exhibit Unfinished Business: The Fight for Suffrage and Beyond. An outdoor exhibit titled Women Who Made a Difference highlights the accomplishments of 10 exceptional women from Florida who changed the course of history.
    When:
    Jan.17-19
    Where:
    Along Ocean Drive in Miami Beach
    Web:
    artdecoweekend.com

    71st ANNUAL HOMESTEAD CHAMPIONSHIP RODEO – Grab your cowboy hat, put on your chaps and head over to one of the oldest annual professional sporting events in South Florida. All the exciting competitions are included: bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping and barrel racing. There’s a plethora of family-fun activities, too, including a Little Miss & Mister contest, rodeo bingo, rodeo parade and an after-rodeo dinner dance.
    When:
    Jan. 24-26
    Where:
    Rodeo Arena and other locations in Homestead
    Web:
    homesteadrodeo.com

    SOUTH FLORIDA FAIR – Get ready for 17 days of midway rides, exhibits, amazing livestock shows, auctions, competitions, tons of kids activities, concerts (headliners are Starship featuring Mickey Thomas and The Lettermen) and other unique entertainment. You'll also find, of course, lots of corn dogs, cotton candy, funnel cake and other tasty fair food.
    When: 
    Jan. 17-Feb. 2
    Where: 
    South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach.
    Web: southfloridafair.com

    DELRAY BEACH FASHION WEEK –It’s not quite a week long, but who’s counting? It still is an amazing event that showcases local, national and international designs found in the downtown boutiques. It features high energy fashion design events, beauty experiences, in-store designer trunk shows, makeovers and art expositions. The grand finale is the Fabulous Fashion Show, which showcases more than 150 looks from 50 different stores. This year, many of the events are related to Super Bowl LIV, which will be held in Miami on Feb. 2
    When:
    Jan. 29-Feb. 2
    Where:
    Various locations in downtown Delray Beach
    Web:
    downtowndelraybeach.com/fashion-week

    GAINBRIDGE LPGA AT BOCA RIO – The LPGA is returning to the Palm Beaches as the world’s best women golfers will play in this inaugural tournament. It features a 108-player field competing for a $2 million purse. The course has rolling fairways, undulating greens and white-sand bunkers and is surrounded by native Florida wilderness. It looks great, but at 7,100 yards it will challenge the ladies to play their best golf.
    When:
    Jan. 20-26
    Where:
    Boca Rio Golf Club, Boca Raton
    Web:
    gainbridgelpga.com

    CLYDE BUTCHER PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION – Clyde Butcher once said, “Wilderness, to me, is a spiritual necessity.” It shows in his photos, for sure. His American Everglades Collection is part of part of the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge 75th anniversary celebration. There are 35 photos in the collection, all in Butcher’s signature black and white. Butcher is often been called the Ansel Adams of Florida and you will see when you see these photos.
    When:
    Now through Feb. 5
    Where:
    “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center, Sanibel Island
    Web:
    dingdarlingsociety.org/clyde-butcher-photography

    FORT LAUDERDEALE ART FAIRS – There are two overlapping events that will give attendees a look at two distinct areas that contribute to the city’s culture and atmosphere:

    ·        During Sistrunk-A-Fair, there will be a number of art events within the North West section of the city. Included will be exhibits, performances and films displaying the history of black communities of Broward County.
                When:
    Jan. 22-26
                Where:
    Various locations in North West Fort Lauderdale.
                Web:
    sistrunkafair.com

         ·        Art Fort Lauderdale is a four-day curated art fair that transports attendees on a journey along the city’s famed Intracoastal waterways. Take the Water Taxi or private yachts and make stops at multimillion dollar waterfront properties featuring artists and galleries exhibiting various styles that reflect the past, present and the future.
                When:
    Jan. 23-26
                Where:
    Intracoastal Waterway, Fort Lauderdale
                Web:
    artftlauderdale.com

    SOUTH FLORIDA MUSIC MIX -- There is an eclectic quintet of music fests in SoFla this month:

    ·        BAYGRASS BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL – It will feature a blend of Oldgrass, Newgrass and the next generation of the genre’s stars. It’s actually three events in one: Kick-off Square Dance, Pickin’ Party & Craft Beer Tap Take Over and the BayGrass Blue Grass & Craft Beer Festival. Some of the performers are Grass Is Dead, the Walker Brothers, the Sons of Otis Malone and the Jason Mason Band.
    When:
    Jan. 17-19
    Where:
    Morada Way Arts District and Founders Park, Islamorada
    Web:
    baygrassbluegrass.com

    ·        MILE 0 FEST -- First a definition: Red Dirt music is loosely classified as Americana, folk, or alt- country, or a combination of some or all of them. Some of the country’s best Red Dirters will be appearing. Headliners are Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Randy Rogers Band, Robert Earl Keen, Whiskey Myers Lucero, Wade Bowen, American Aquarium, Reckless Kelly, Jack Ingram, Jason Roland & The Stragglers, Hayes Carll and William Clark Green.
    When:
    Jan. 28-Feb. 1
    Where:
    Various locations in Key West
    Web: mile0Fest.com

    ·        JAMMIN’ IN CULTURAL PARK – Formerly known as the Bluegrass Jamboree, it still has the same great music. Headliners are Signal III, Soulixer and Sheena Brook.
    When:
    Jan. 25
    Where:
    Cultural Park, Cape Coral
    Web:
    capecoralhistoricalmuseum.org/JammininCulturalPark

    HORSING AROUND IN WELLINGTON – Head west of West Palm Beach to Wellington for two outstanding horse and rider-centered multi-month happenings: the Winter Equestrian Festival and the Palm Beach International Polo Season. The former brings together the partnership of horse and rider during the thrills and grace of show jumping and the elegance of dressage. The latter features the best polo players in the world. And, both are as much about the horsey-set lifestyle with many options and side shows to keep you entertained and well-fed.
    When & Where:
    Jan. 8-March 29 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center and Dec. 29-April 19 at the International Polo Club Palm Beach.
    Web:
    thepalmbeaches.com/winter-equestrian-festival and thepalmbeaches.com/polo-season

    UNCORKED: THE KEY LARGO AND ISLAMORADA FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL – This 11-day smorgasbord features more than 30 savory events to please just about every palate, with fresh, locally-sourced seafood and international style dishes. It includes wine tastings and dinners, cooking demonstrations, celebrity chef appearances, progressive dinners, food and wine pairing classes and live music. It all culminates with the Grand Tasting on the final day.
    When:
    Jan. 9-19
    Where:
    Various locations in Key Largo and Islamorada
    Web:
    floridakeysuncorked.com

    SPEAKING OF FOOD AND WINE… -- The holidays may be over, but here are some more eat, drink and continue-to-be-merry happenings throughout SoFla in January:

    ·        ENGLEWOOD SEAFOOD & MUSIC FESTIVAL - Feast on fresh seafood and other fare and groove to live music by some of the region’s top talents. Also, explore a marketplace offering arts, crafts, gourmet food items and specialty products.
          When:
    Jan. 24-26
          Where: 
    Pioneer Park, Englewood
          Web: 
    seafoodfestivals.com

    ·        ·     MULLET FESTIVAL – The quaint, quiet fishing village of Goodland gets crazy for a weekend at a Mullet Festival hosted around Stan’s Idle Hour Restaurant, one of only a few eateries in town. Try different variations of mullet – perhaps smoked or in a dip – while being entertained by the strange Buzzard Lope Queen Contest, which draws thousands every year.
          When: 
    Jan 24-26
          Where: Stan’s Idle Hour Seafood Restaurant in Goodland on Marco Island
          Webstansidlehour.net/TheBuzzardLope

            NAPLES WINTER WINE FESTIVAL – Learn about wine bouquets, finishes and feels from Master Sommeliers (there are only about 200 in the world) in this three-day lineup of a luncheon, an auction, a dinner prepared by some of the world’s greatest chefs and a brunch finale.
          When:
    Jan. 24-26
          Where: Various locations in Naples
          Webnapleswinefestival.com

    ·        CLAMJAM OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA – Seminars, entertainment, arts & crafts, contests and, of course, fresh clams -- top neck, middle neck, little neck, steamers and Venus (if you know your clams). Other seafood, right off the boats of local fishermen, also will be served. Lots of non-seafood fare will be available, too, including BBQ chicken, ribs and goat, pulled pork, hamburgers and hot dogs. Also included: live music, kids games and rides and contests for all age groups.
          When:
    Jan. 25-26
          Where: German American Social Club, Cape Coral
          Webclamjamswfl.com

    ·        PORT SALERNO FOOD SEAFOOD FESTIVAL – The Treasure Coast’s fishermen (and women) and their families, friends and volunteers get together to host an old-fashioned fish fry with fresh catches from the East Coast waters, plus plenty of beer and soft drinks. Kids can enjoy finger foods, as well as games and interactive play zones.
          When:
    Jan. 25
          Where: Port Salerno
          Webportsalernoseafoodfestival.org

    ·        KEY WEST FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL – Those who have an appreciation for the finer culinary things in life will find plenty to enjoy in this week-long series of events all over town, such as a sunset wine tasting, a trolley tour of Key West’s most beautiful kitchens, a whiskey primer, a shrimp boil, a poolside happy hour with appetizers, a salt and honey tasting and other creative food and drink parties.
          When:
    Jan. 26-Feb. 2
          Where: Various locations in Key West
          Web: keywestfoodandwinefestival.com

    ·        FLORIDA KEYS SEAFOOD FESTIVAL – This fest celebrates the Key West community by bringing families and friends together in a joyful and fun environment to sample the local catch.  This family-friendly event was created to showcase local seafood and the Keys’ commercial fishing industry by providing the freshest seafood available. Fishermen and women are proud to offer the community and visitors a variety of seafood at reasonable prices.
          When:
    Jan. 18-19
          Where:
    Key West
          Web:
    floridakeysseafoodfestival.com

    ·        INTERNATIONAL CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL -- Indulge in chocolate delicacies and enjoy fine chocolate samples from artisan chocolatiers, lectures on chocolate making and demonstrations from the Miami area’s master chefs and chocolatiers. Take the Chocowalk to learn about the life cycle of a cacao plant, with stops in a rainforest. Find out everything you ever needed to know about chocolate from the experts. 
          When:
    Jan. 24-26
          Where:
    Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables
          Web:
    fairchildgarden.org/Chocolate-Weekend

    ·        SUNSHINE STATE STEAK COOK-OFF: Grill teams will be vying for the top prize in this professionally-judged event. Tickets include live music, kids fun zone, a 16-ounce rib eye steak, salad, roll, baked potato and water. Enjoy the tantalizing aroma of more than 2,000 steaks being grilled.
          When:
    Jan. 25
          Where:
    On the Piazza, Ave Maria
          Web:
    sunshinestatesteakcookoff.com

    ·        KISS COUNTRY CHILI COOK-OFF – Hot chili and hot country music -- who could ask for anything more? Chili cookers from far and wide come to compete to win the top prize. And, who wins, beside the best chili cooker? You do, if you attend! The cook-off always attracts some of the top names in country music. This year’s headliners are Old Dominion and Kane Brown.
          When:
    Jan. 18
          Where:
    C.B. Smith Park, Pembroke Pines
          Web:
    wkis.com

    ARTS & CRAFTS GALORE -- You can’t swing an easel in SoFla in January without running into an outstanding arts or arts & crafts fair. You’ll be able to see (and of course, purchase) works in a variety of media: painting, photography, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, clay, glass, wood and more. Many of the fairs also feature yummy food and/or live music. Here’s the lineup:

    ·        ArtPalmBeach: Jan. 30-Feb. 2 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach; 10times.com/artpalmbeach

    ·        Art Under the Oaks: Jan. 18 at San Pedro Catholic Church on Plantation Key in Tavernier; artundertheoaks.com

    ·        ArtFest Naples: Jan. 18-19 at Fleischmann Park in Naples; artfestnaples.com

    ·        Beaux Arts Festival of Art: Jan. 18-19 on the University of Miami campus in Coral Gables; beauxartsmiami.org

    ·        Boca Raton Fine Art Show: Jan. 25-26 at Sanborn Square Park in downtown Boca Raton; HotWorks.org/boca-raton-fine-art-show

    ·        Downtown Delray Beach Festival of the Arts: Jan. 18-19 in downtown Delray Beach; artfestival.com/festival-arts

    ·        Downtown Venice Craft Festival: Jan. 25-26 in downtown Venice; artfestival.com/festivals/venice-fest

    ·        Punta Gorda Sullivan Street Craft Festival: Jan. 18-19 along Sullivan Street in Punta Gorda; artfestival.com/street-craft-festival

    ·        SCA Art Festival: Jan. 17-18 on Sanibel and Captiva Islands; fortmyers-sanibel.com/sanibel-community-association-art

    ·        South Motors Fine Arts Festival: Jan. 25-26 at Pinecrest Gardens in Pine Crest; pinecrestgardens.org/fine-arts

    ·        Venice-Nokomis Rotary Club Fine Art & Craft Fair: Jan. 18-19 at Venice Airport Festival Fairgrounds; venicenokomisrotary.org/art-fest

    THE MIAMI JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL – This 15-day gathering always gets rave reviews and this year will be no exception as some 40 films will be offered. It’s one of the country’s preeminent festivals of its kind.
    When:
    Jan. 9-23
    Where:
    Various theaters in Greater Miami and the Beaches
    Web:
    miamijewishfilmfestival.org

    TWO FOR THE BIRDERS – There are two overlapping “birding” events in SoFla in January and you can’t go wrong with either one:

    ·         At the Everglades Birding Festival, you’ll experience the “River of Grass” as you never have before. There are daily trips to the Glades from South Miami to Palm Beach, searching for beautiful and rare birds in ancient moss-covered cypress swamps and marshes. Also included are photo tours and workshops.
            When:
    Jan. 16-20
            Where:
    Trips start at the official festival site, The Holiday Inn Express in Davie
            Web:
    evergladesbirdingfestival.com

    ·        The Festival of Birds used to be known as the Southwest Florida Nature Festival and still invites you to explore the local environment through 40 guided field trips to 20 wildlife hot spots. The emphasis, however, has been shifted to our rare fine-feathered friends.
          When:
    Jan. 17-20
          Where:
    Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, Naples
          Web:
    www.rookerybay.org

    FOUR FOR THE BOATERS – Check out the latest and/or previously owned models and marine accessories at FOUR events throughout SoFla in January. On the east coast there are the Stuart Boat Show, the Island Boat Show & Festival and the Nautical Flea Market and on the west coast there is the Naples Boat Show.
    When & Where:
    Respectively, Jan. 10-12 along NW Dixie Highway in Stuart; Jan. 24-26 at Hawks Cay Resort in Islamorada, Jan. 18-19 at Community Park in Pompano Beach and Jan. 16-19 at the Naples Municipal Airport
    Web:
    Respectively, stuartboatshow.com, islandboatshow.com, nauticalfleamarket.net and paradisecoast.com/event/naples-boat-show-naples-municipal-airport/4305

    THE CELTS ARE COMING! THE CELTS ARE COMING! – At the Caloosahatchee Celtic Festival, grab your kilt (or buy one at the event) and enjoy Celtic bands, a children’s glen and Celtic and local food fare and beverages.
    When & Where:
    Jan. 24-25 at Centennial Park in Fort Myers
    Web:
    celticheritageproductions.com/events for both events

    FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS BOCA – The theme for this year’s version of this wildly eclectic fest is “A Season of Heroes.” Beethoven’s 250th birthday will be celebrated with performances of his Symphony No. 3 Eroica and the Triple Concerto (featuring the all-female chamber music super group Eroica Trio and The Symphonia, conducted by Constantine Kitsopoulous). The 40th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back will be honored with a live-orchestra showing on a huge screen. Other highlights: The festival opening Troupe Vertigo (presenting Cirque du Cinema, an edgy blend of circus, dance and theater combined with symphonic music from favorite hero movies, including the James Bond series, Batman and Mission Impossible; Milos (the young superstar classical guitarist who is being compared to Andres Segovia); Postmodern Jukebox (a YouTube phenom whose remixes of modern hits in vintage style has garnered more than 400 million views); The Moth StorySLAM (an open-mic storytelling completion open to all); novelist Jesmyn Ward (the first woman and first person of color to win two National Book Awards for fiction), Amy Walter (national editor of The Cook Political Report), Roz Chast (celebrated cartoonist for The New Yorker and an award-winning author) and Dr. Laurie Santos (psychologist and Yale University professor, who will present a set of scientifically-validated strategies for living a more satisfying life). Eclectic, indeed!
    When:
    Feb. 28-March 8
    Where:
    Mizner Park Amphitheater and Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center, Boca Raton.
    Web:
    festivalboca.org

    THE LOVE BURN – It’s an official regional version of the huge Burning Man arts festival held every year in Nevada. This year’s theme is “Femme Futuro – The Matriarchy Reloaded.” Inventive interactive sculptures will be erected to support that theme. The event adopts such Burning Man principles as self-reliance, gift-giving, self-expression and leaving no trace left behind. With the latter in mind, all the sculptures will be burned down at the end of the event! There’s a lot more, too, including themed camp grounds, circus-like tents, sun salutations, folks wearing great costumes, pop-up live music, performance art and parlor games. No official scheduled bands, no vendors – just people having a good time interacting with each other. Note: If you want to attend, book now because the 3,000 tickets sell out quickly.
    When:
     Feb. 6-9
    Where:
    Virginia Key Beach Park, Miami
    Web:
    TheLoveBurn.com

    EDISON FESTIVAL OF LIGHT – Thomas Edison wintered in Fort Myers from 1885 until his death in 1931 and this fest pays homage to the great inventor. Highlights include: the Thomas Alva Edison Science & Inventors Fair, Strolling Flower Show, Antique Car Show, Thomas Edison Birthday Party, Crafts on the River & Vintage Market, Grand Parade, parties and the don’t-miss-it Mutt Strutt.
    When:
    Feb. 8-16
    Where:
    Various locations in Fort Myers
    Web:
    edisonfestival.org

    WE GOT THE BEAT! – We sure do. In SoFla, the music never stops. See if any of these are up your musical alley:
    ·        Coral Head Music Festival – It’s being billed as a rock vs. country showdown. Headliners are Night Ranger and Confederate Railroad. Also appearing will be Southern Blood and Caffeine Carl and the Buzz. There’s limited seating in front of the stage. The rest is festival seating, so feel free to bring a lawn chair. Enhance your experience with a VIP package.
          When:
    Feb. 15
          Where: Marathon Community Park Amphitheater in Marathon.
          Web: allevents.in/marathon/coral-head-musicfest

    ·        GroundUP Music Festival – Once again, host band Snarky Puppy will play all three nights (with a different lineup each show) and only 1,500 tickets will be sold for each show, giving concert-goers a more intimate experience. Chris Potter will be the Artist at Large and other headliners include Michael McDonald, Lettuce, Lila Downs, Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band, Maro, Christian Scott, aTunde Adjuah and Camila Meza. There are various VIP packages, some including artist meet-and-greets and access to artist jams that won’t be heard elsewhere at the festival.
          When
    : Feb. 14-16
          Where:
    North Beach Bandshell and Palm Grove Park, Miami Beach.
          Web
    festival.groundupmusic.net

    ·        Miami International Jazz Fest – The performers are Joe Bataan and his Barrio Boys, Ramiro Aguirre and his Charanga, Danilo Perez, Yamit and The Vinyl Blvd.
    When:
    Feb. 14-15
    Where:
    Manuel Artime Theater
    Web:
    miamiinternationaljazzfest.org

    ·        Mile 0 Fest Key West – This one features the best in the burgeoning Red Dirt & Americana music scene. Take in the big shows at the state-of-the-art Truman Waterfront Park Amphitheatre or get into a stripped-down set at one of the smaller theaters or bars. Headliners include Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Whiskey Myers, the Randy Rogers Band, Robert Earl Keen, American Aquarium, Wade Bowen and Lucero.
          When:
    Jan. 28-Feb. 1
          Where:
    Various locations in Key West.
          Web:
    mile0fest.com

    ·        South Florida Folk Festival -- Belle and the Band, Jack Williams, The Rowan Brothers Band, Tom Prasada-Rao, Vince Gilbert and Veronika Jackson are the headliners. More than 40 acts will appear on two stages. Also included:  a jam area for attendees, workshops and a songwriting competition.
    When:
    Feb. 8-9
    Where:
    Bergeron Rodeo Grounds, Davie
    Web:
    southfloridafolkfest.net

    SIMULTANEOUS MIAMI BOAT SHOWS – They are Feb. 13-17 and you need to see both of them, because each one is outstanding in its own right:

    ·        The Miami Yacht Show – This one will showcase more than 500 new and used yachts and a wide array of the latest marine technology and accessories. It also features floating cocktail lounges, great food and live music. A VIP Experience ticket includes a personal concierge.
          Where:
    Biscayne Bay, downtown Miami
          Web:
    MiamiYachtShow.com

    ·        Progressive Miami International Boat Show – This one has its share of big yachts, too, but also includes powerboats, sailboats and fishing boats (more than 1,300 boats in all), as well as engines and-cutting edge marine electronics and accessories.
          Where:
    Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin, Miami
          Web:
    miamiboatshow.com

    LAKE WORTH STREET PAINTING FESTIVAL – It’s the chalk of the town, so to speak. See how the pavement becomes canvas and the street becomes a museum for fine works of traditional, contemporary and 3D art. Lasting only until the next rain drops, these masterpieces (made with environmentally-friendly chalk) are a true beauty to behold. It’s one of the largest street painting festivals in the country and also offers great food, live music and street performers.
    When:
    Feb. 22-23
    Where:
    Downtown Lake Worth
    Web:
    streetpaintingfestivalinc.org

    FLORIDA RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL – Come all ye wenches and knaves and journey back to the 16th century as you step through castle gates and into the days of yore. There are seven themed weekends of fun. Explore the artisans’ village and view live demonstrations of glassblowing, magic, jousting, Irish dancing and archery. Feast on hearty food fit for a king and enjoy live performances on stage and in the lanes. The shows feature more than 100 costumed performers, 12 stages and acts from around the world.
    When:
    Saturdays and Sundays from Feb. 8-March 22
    Where:
    Quiet Waters Park, Deerfield Beach
    Web:
    ren-fest.com

    LOVE IS IN THE AIR! – It’s always in the air at Lovers Key State Park, but it’s especially true at the Annual Vow Renewal on Valentine’s Day. Couples can renew their vows near the gazebo on the beach, while the ocean and seagulls add to the ambience. Reservations are required and the cost is $100 per couple. The ceremony includes a champagne toast, dancing, brunch or lunch, coffee and cake, a photo, door prizes and parting gifts.
    When:
    Feb. 14
    Where:
    Lovers Key State Park, Fort Myers Beach
    Web:
    friendsofloverskey.org

    FOOD NETWORK & COOKING CHANNEL SOUTH BEACH WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL – It’s a mouthful of a title, but the mouthfuls you get if you attend are amazing. Known as the “Super Bowl of Foodies, it’s a two-county (Miami-Dade and Broward) extravaganza and also includes the CRAVE Greater Fort Lauderdale Series.  This star-studded affair showcases the talents of famous chefs, culinary personalities and wine and spirit producers. Events include brunches and lunches, grand tastings and demos, seminars, intimate dinners, walk-around tastings and late-night parties. It’s great for people-watching, too, as celebrities abound. Suggestion: Book early for all events!
    When:
    Feb. 19-23
    Where:
    Various locations in Miami-Dade County and Broward County
    Web:
    SoBeWFF.org

    VERITAGEMIAMI – Two of this festival’s three events take place in February:

    ·        The Craft Beer Tasting features top-notch local, regional and national breweries, complemented by yummy bites from dozens of SoFla restaurants.
    When: Feb. 13
    Where: Wynwood Walls and Wynwood Gardens, Miami
    Web: veritagemiami.com

    ·        At the Interactive Dinner, celebrity chef Giorgio Rapicavoli guides guests as they prepare a gourmet a la carte dinner, right at their table. This one will cost you big bucks, though: $7,500 for a table of eight.
    When: Feb. 28
    Where: Intercontinental Hotel, Miami
    Web: veritagemiami.com

    SWAMP CABBAGE FESTIVAL – This will be the 54th year that the authentic Florida town of La Belle just east of Fort Myers has been celebrating swamp cabbage in this down-home festival. You can sample dishes made with swamp cabbage (also known as hearts of palm). The many activities include armadillo races, a rodeo, beauty pageants, a parade (“The Roaring ’20s” is this year’s theme), live music, a fishing tournament, motorcycle and car shows and a lawn mower race.
    When:
    Feb 22-23
    Where:
    Various locations in La Belle
    Web:
    labelleswampcabbagefestival.org

    MORE FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD – Besides the three mentioned directly above, here are some other food-centric happenings in February:

    ·        Ave Maria Blues, Brews & Barbeque – Some of the best food trucks and restaurants in town provide the eats and drinks. Music will be provided by Little Eddie & The Fat Fingers and Deb & The Dynamics. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the afternoon. With lots of children’s activities and a car show, everyone in the family is sure to have a good time.
    When:
    Feb. 1
    Where:
    Ave Maria Town Center
    Web:
    facebook.com/blues-brews-bbq

    ·        Boca Raton Seafood & Music Festival – You’ll enjoy seafood dishes prepared by local restaurants, and variety of fine products in the Village Marketplace. Live music will be provided by local and regional performers in such genres as R&B, jazz, classical, calypso, reggae, Latin and Caribbean.
          When:
    Feb. 7-9
          Where: Mizner Park, Boca Raton
          Web:
    paragonfestivals.com

    ·        Everglades City Seafood Festival – More than 100 vendors will offer up fresh gulf shrimp, stone crab claws, fried gator and lots more seafood. Also included: live country music, arts & crafts vendors and carnival rides.
          When:
    Feb. 7-9
          Where:
    City Hall on the Circle in Everglades City.
          Web:
    evergladesseafoodfestival.org

    ·        Homestead Stone Crab & Seafood Festival – In addition to stone crabs and all kinds of seafood, there will be a full bar, live music, a kids area, fishing workshops and arts & crafts vendors.
    When:
    Feb. 29-March 1
    Where:
    Homestead Sports Complex, Homestead
    Web:
    HomesteadSeafoodFestival.com

    ·        Italian Feast & Carnival – On the menu will be all kinds of great Italian food and wine, along with midway rides, games and live music.
          When:
    Feb. 19-22
          Where:
    Venice Airport & Convention grounds
          Web:
    italianamericanclubofvenice.com

    ·        Jupiter Seafood Festival – There will be two days of local fresh seafood, live music (The Original Wailers and Waterloo Revival are the headliners), nautical vendors, a cornhole tournament and family-oriented rides.
    When:
    Feb. 22-23
    Where:
    Carlin Park, Jupiter
    Web:
    jupiterseafoodfestival.net

    ·        Punta Gorda Seafood & Music Festival –Seafood dishes are prepared using indigenous and sustainable seafood from Florida’s west coast waters. Plenty of meat and vegetarian dishes also will be served. You’ll enjoy a host of fine musicians in the genres of rock, jazz, reggae, R&B and Caribbean.
    When:
    Feb. 21-23
    Where:
    City Marketplace, Punta Gorda
    Web:
    seafoodfestivals.com

    ·        SoLa Rum, Food & Wine Festival – A wide variety of multicultural tapas-style food, rum and wine will be served, along with live music and seminars led by mixologists. The VIP package includes exclusive chef presentations and a three-course meal with food and beverage pairings.
          When:
    Feb. 16
          Where:
    Lauderhill Mall grounds in Lauderhill
          Web:
    solarumfoodwinefest.com

    ·        South Florida Garlic Fest – Folks come from near and far to feast on delights ranging from Argentinean garlic BBQ to garlic ice cream and listen to toe-tapping tunes. Musical headliners are The Fabulous Fleetwoods, The Wailers, Glove & Special Sauce, Tasty Vibrations and The Expendables.
    When: Feb. 8-9
    Where: John Prince Park in Lake Worth.
    Web: garlicfestfl.com

    FOTOFUSION – 70 of the best-known photographers and instructors from around the country will hold entertaining and informative workshops, seminars and panel discussions, all with the goal of helping attendees take better pictures. There are also portfolio reviews and a student portfolio exhibit. These folks can party, too, so don’t miss the Opening Reception and the Farewell Bash.
    When:
    Feb. 11-15
    Where:
    Palm Beach Photographic Centre, West Palm Beach
    Web:
    fotofusion.org

    ORANGE BLOSSOM FESTIVAL RODEO – It’s the 83rd edition of this 10-gallon hat-a-thon and you’ll see top professional cowboys and cowgirls compete in all the usual thrill-a-minute events, such as bronc riding, steer wrestling barrel racing and bull riding.
    When: Feb. 29-March 1
    Where: Pro Rodeo Arena, Davie
    Web: davieprorodeo.com

    CANADAFEST – If you aren’t familiar with the city of Hollywood and its eclectic and wonderful beach-side Broadwalk and all that both have to offer, now would be the time. Canadians (mostly from the Quebec area) have been coming to Hollywood in the winter for a long time, so it was only natural that such a festival would be born. Now in its 37th year, it features 100 kiosks providing the sights, sounds and eats. A diverse musical lineup will be presented and a video wall will add to the ambience.
    When:
    Feb. 7-9
    Where:
    ArtsPark at Young Circle, Hollywood
    Web:
    canadafest.com

    BOCA CONCOURS D’ ELEGANCE – Here’s your chance to gawk at some of the most elegant classic cars and motorcycles in the world. There’s an opening night airport hangar party, a gala dinner featuring an auction and the finale on Sunday with all the cars and bikes that have been entered into the show on display. Gourmet food and wine will be in abundance at all the events. This year, TV sitcom star Billy Gardell doubles up as both the headline entertainer for the Saturday gala party and the celebrity judge.
    When:
    Feb. 7-9
    Where:
    Atlantic Aviation hanger at the Boca Raton Airport on Friday and the Boca Raton Resort & Club for the other events.
    Web:
    BocaCDE.com

    SOUTHWEST FLORIDA BURROWING OWL FESTIVAL – A whole lot of folks give a hoot about this well-attended gathering in Cape Coral, which is home to the largest known population of this threatened species. It’s a family-fun filled event with live owls, educational exhibits, bus tours to local owl burrows, live music, food vendors and arts & crafts activities for kids.
    When:
    Feb. 29
    Where:
    Rotary Park Environmental Center, Cape Coral
    Web:
    ccfriendsofwildlife.org

    THE PLACE TO BE FOR SPORTS – That would be Palm Beach County in February, for sure. Here’s why:

    ·        Tennis anyone? The Delray Beach Open is the only place you can see both former and current stars at two back-to-back tournaments: The ATP Champions tour and the ATP World Tour. U.S. teenage sensation Coco Gauff will appear in a special exhibition match.
          When:
    Feb. 14-23
          Where: Delray Beach Stadium & Tennis Center, downtown Delray Beach
          Web:
    yellowtennisball.com

    ·        Play Ball! You can check out spring training workouts and attend games of four major league teams in SoFla. The World Series-winning Washington Nationals and the American League pennant-winning Houston Astros will play at the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach from Feb. 22 to March 22. The Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals will play at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter from Feb. 22 to March 22. You can also attend practices at both locations after the teams start to report in early February. Respectively, fitteamballpark.com and rogerdeanstadium.com

    ·        The best golfers in the world will go for close to $7 million in prize money and try to rack up early points in the race for the Fed Ex Cup title at The Honda Classic. The field keeps getting better every year and this year will be no exception. At press time, the field was not announced, so check the website for updates.
         When:
    Feb. 24-March 1
         Where:
    Championship course at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens
         Web: thehondaclassic.com

    THE CHUBB CLASSIC -- Do you like the aging-gracefully golfing greats, too?  Check out this Champions Tour event, as many of the best over-50 golfers compete for the $1.6 million in purse money.
    When:
    Feb. 15-17
    Where:
    The Classics Country Club at Lely Resort, Naples
    Web:
    pgatour.com/champions/tournaments/schedule.html

    MORE SPRING TRAINING BASEBALL! – In addition to the previously mentioned action on the east coast, check out the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins on the west coast, both in Fort Myers.
    When:
    The Red Sox play games from Feb. 21 to March 24 and the Twins play games from Feb. 21 to March 23. You’ll also be able to watch both teams practice when they start reporting in early February.
    Where:
    JetBlue Park for the Red Sox and CenturyLink Sports Complex for the Twins
    Web: redsox.com and twinsbaseball.com

    GAY8 FESTIVAL – It’s one of the largest Hispanic LGBTQ festivals in the country and more than 60,000 people are expected to attend. It will include activism, art, dance a film festival and main event, a massive street party.
    When:
    Feb. 16
    Where:
    Calle Ocho and the surrounding area, Miami
    Web:
    gay8festival.com

    BIG DOINGS IN BONITA SPRINGS – Use either of these two events to get acquainted with this small but lovely southwest Florida city known for its beautiful beaches and parks:

    ·        The Bonita Springs International Film Festival will present about 70 carefully curated narrative, documentary, animation and short films from around the world, complemented by a wide variety of workshops, demonstrations and Q & A sessions with filmmakers, writers and actors, along with great opening and closing night parties.
          When:
    Feb. 27-March 1
          Where:
    Various locations in Bonita Springs
          Web:
    artcenterbonita.org/biff/

    ·        You can enjoy unlimited three-ounce samples of some of the best craft beers, hard ciders and meads at the Bonita Brew Fest. Also included will be a variety of food trucks and live music. Book early because only 1,500 general admission tickets and 150 VIP tickets will be sold.
          When:
    Feb. 22
          Where:
    Riverside Park, Bonita Springs
          Web:
    bonitabrewfest.com

    PALM BEACH MARINE FLEA MARKET & SEAFOOD FESTIVAL – This must be the place if you want rods, reels, lures, boating apparel, nautical décor and jewelry, taxidermy, diving equipment, marine artifacts and antique collectibles and maps. A steady supply of fresh sea food will be sure to please the palate.
    When:
    Feb. 29-March 1
    Where:
    South Florida Fairground, West Palm Beach
    Web:
    flnauticalfleamarket.com

    COCONUT GROVE ARTS FESTIVAL – It’s nearly one mile of great art, gourmet eats at the Global Food Village, fun and an eclectic mix of live music. About 360 of some of the finest artists and craftsmen in the world will display their work. Don’t miss the show within the show: The St. Stephen’s Art Show, featuring the work of more than 150 other artists. There is also a children’s area and an international food court.
    When:
    Feb. 15-17
    Where:
    Coconut Grove, Miami
    Web:
    cgaf.com

    CORAL GABLES FINE ARTS & MEGA FESTIVAL – It’s called The Big One, with good reason. It’s actually seven festivals on one weekend at the same location. Some are free and some have admission prices. Lots of live music is included. Here’s the lineup:
    ·        Fine Art More than 200 fine art & craft exhibitors present their work.
    ·        Miami Kid Fest – Face painting, games, kid art, kid products and services.
    ·        Coral Gables Home Show – The latest in-home décor.
    ·        Miami Fashion Fest – More than 100 exhibitors will offer apparel, jewelry, hats and accessories.
    ·        Bo’s Dog & Pet Fest – Bring your pet and enjoy. Featured will be: Dog training demos, a contest, pet sitting, pet transport, vets and many other products and services for your pet.
    ·        Coral Gables Food, Wine & Spirits Festival – Sample unlimited food, beer, wine and spirits.
    ·        Coral Gables Craft Beer Fest – There will be unlimited craft beer sampling of over 100 brands. Also included: music and food.
         When:
    Feb. 8-9
         Where:
    On Alhambra from Ponce De Leon to Lejeune, Coral Gables
         Web:
    coralgablesartfestival.com

    ARTS & CRAFTS GALORE – Can’t make it to the Coconut Grove Arts Festival or the Coral Gables Fine Arts & Mega Festival? Not to worry. There are many other art and craft festivals and art in SoFla in February, with some offering live music and/or food and drink. Here are some of them:
    ·        Artigras Fine Arts Festival, Feb. 15-17 at Abacoa in Jupiter. artigras.org
    ·        Art Wynwood, Feb. 13-17 on Biscayne Bay, Miami. artwynwood.com
    ·        ArtFest Fort Myers, Jan. 31-Feb. 1 along the water front, downtown. artfestfortmyers.com
    ·        Coconut Point Mall Art Festival, Feb. 15-16 in Estero. ArtFestival.com
    ·        Downtown Delray Beach Craft Festival, Feb. 29-March 1. ArtFestival.com
    ·        Downtown Stuart Art Festival, Feb. 22-23. ArtFestival.com
    ·        Hobe Sound Festival of the Arts, Feb. 1-2 on SE Dixie Highway, Hobe Sound. ArtFestival.com
    ·        Naples National Art Show, Feb. 22-23 at Cambier Park. naplesart.org
    ·        Old Island Days Art Festival, Feb. 22-23 in downtown Key West. keywestartcenter.com
    ·        Original Boca Art Show, Feb. 29-March 1 at Boca Center, Boca Raton. ArtFestival.com
    ·        Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Arts & Crafts Fair, Feb. 15-16 at the Sanibel Community House. sanibelartfair.com
    ·        South Miami Rotary Art Festival, Feb. 22-23 in downtown South Miami. southmiamiartfest.com

    PALM BEACH JEWELRY, ART & ANTIQUE SHOW – One of the largest shows of its kind in the United States, it includes a lecture series with industry experts offering their extensive knowledge. Specialists such as curators, skinners and conservators will provide an abundance of information and entertainment.
    When:
    Feb. 13-18
    Where:
    Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach.
    Web:
    palmbeachshow.com

    DEERFIELD BEACH PIONEER DAYS – It’s a three-day celebration of the city’s agricultural roots and features arts & crafts, live concerts, yummy food, a parade with 50 floats and a grand fireworks show finale.
    When:
    Feb. 14-16
    Where:
    Downtown Deerfield Beach
    Web:
    deerfield-beach.com/Pioneer-Days

    OPA! OPA! OPA! – That’s one big “Opa!” for each of three Greek festivals set for SoFla in February. Pick one and immerse yourself in all things Greek: food, drink, music, dance, clothing and so much more, including carnival rides and other activities for the kids. It’s the perfect time to come out and say “yassou” (hello) to people who are an important part of our communities.

    When & Where: Feb. 7-9 at St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Naples; Feb. 6-9 at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Fort Lauderdale, and Feb. 21-23 at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Fort Myers
    Web:
    Respectively – stkatherine.net, fortlauderdalegreekfestival.org and greekfestfortmyers.com

    SEMINOLE TRIBAL FAIR & POW WOW – It’s a family affair at this celebration of Native American arts and culture. Highlights include wildlife shows, alligator wrestling, Native American dancing (for fun and competition), arts & crafts, a drum circle and a Seminole clothing contest. Musical guests are Cowboy Troy and DJ Sinister.
    When:
    Feb. 8-9
    Where:
    Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hollywood
    Web:
    semtribefairandpowwow.com

    POLYNESIAN CULTURAL FESTIVAL – Itching to do the hula? Now’s your chance and you just might win the big contest. Also included: An authentic Polynesian show, fire & knife dancers, hula dancers and a hula contest, island music, ukulele exhibition, South Pacific arts and crafts, a kids corner and, of course, mouth-watering island food and a Tiki bar.
    When:
    Feb. 22-23
    Where:
    Jaco Pastorius Park, Oakland Park
    Web:
    oaklandparkfl.gov/Polynesian-Cultural-Festival

    The St. Pete Beach Seafood & Music Festival, plate of crawfish and corn on the cob

    The St. Pete Beach Seafood & Music Festival invites everyone (including the pet dog!) to get in for free to enjoy this a laid back, beach-y fest featuring some of Florida’s freshest and most delicious seafood dishes, as well as dishes for vegetarians and red meat-lovers.

    - The St. Pete Beach Seafood & Music Festival


    CENTRAL FLORIDA
             
      
                                                                             

    FLORIDA GULF COAST CLUSTER DOG SHOWS – Dogs and their owners from all over the world come to this multi-day show, one of the largest dog show events in the U.S. which includes American Kennel Club All-Breed shows, agility trials, junior showmanship, obedience trials, puppy competition and coursing ability tests. Visitors can go behind the scenes and learn how a dog is judged, meet dog handlers, shop for the latest in dog products and mingle with other dog lovers.
    When:
    Jan. 9-19
    Where:
    Florida Classic Park, Brooksville
    Web:
    floridaclassicpark.com/cluster-shows

    PIGS IN Z’HILLS BBQ & BLUES FEST – BBQ connoisseurs, competitors, musicians, car buffs and history and aviation enthusiasts return to feast on award-winning dishes while they enjoy live blues, kids’ activities, aircraft and military history displays, classic cars and a business expo. New this year for the foodies: A steak competition and a dessert competition, sure to bring some of the tastiest cuts of meat and most delicious treats to the table.
    When:
    Jan. 17-18
    Where:
    Zephyrhills Municipal Airport, Zephyrhills
    Web:
    zephyrhillschamber.org/bbq-blues

    BREVARD RENAISSANCE FAIR – History meets fantasy meets old Florida landscapes in this 16th century time-travel adventure, complete with live armored jousting, sheep tossing, dancing gypsies and fairy contests. Each weekend has a different theme – fantasy, Celtic, pirate or Highland – and there are 70 shows daily with various types of revelry, food and fun.
    When:
     Jan. 11-12, 18-20, 25-27 & Feb. 1 – 2
    Where:
    Wickham Park, Melbourne
    Web:
    brevardrenaissancefair.com

    ORLANDO FRINGE WINTER MINI-FEST – Orlando Fringe, which brings edgy, underground, creative and boundary-pushing “fringe” performances to Central Florida in late spring, hosts its fourth “mini-fest” with a more cultivated collection of comedy skits, dance performances, storytelling, puppetry, musicals and more.
    When:
    Jan. 9-12
    Where:
    Lowndes Shakespeare Center, Loch Haven Park, Orlando
    Web:
    ofwinterminifest.com

    ST. PETE BEER & BACON FESTIVAL – Two indulgent favorites – beer and bacon! – come together in sweet harmony at St. Petersburg’s beautiful waterfront park. Choose drink samples from more than 100 varieties of craft beer, wine and liquor from local breweries and distilleries while eating your way through more than 60 bacon-heavy dishes offered by national and local BBQ joints and food truck vendors.
    When:
    Jan. 18
    Where:
    Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg
    Web:
    stpetebeerandbacon.com

    TAMPA BAY BLACK HERITAGE FESTIVAL – Celebrate African-American history and culture with 10 days of music, dancing, cultural events, business seminars, food, health tutorials, and uplifting speakers. The event’s popular two-day music fest features the 90s hit group Tony! Toni! Toné! and R&B star Dwele, and the week-and-a-half fest includes events for everyone from business networkers to kids to fancy gala goers.
    When:
    Jan. 10-19
    Where:
    Multiple locations in Tampa
    Web:
    tampablackheritage.org                                                           

    GASPARILLA – Grab your eye patches and wench garb and get ready for another pirate invasion! Tampa’s historic and famous children’s parade and street fest returns once again, filling Tampa Bay with boats, the street with floats and several miles of revelry in the form of partyers, music, strewn beads and other fun. The adorable children’s parade is on the 20th followed by the elaborate and wild Pirate Fest the following Saturday.  
    When:
    Jan. 18 & 25-26
    Where:
    Tampa
    Web:
    gasparillapiratefest.com

    LAKELAND PIGFEST – A 24-year tradition, more than 150 competition barbecue teams from around the U.S. bring their best meats, grilling tools and secret recipes, filling the air with the rich, smoky scent of smoked ribs, grilled sausages, slow-cooked pulled pork and other delicious meat, poultry and side dishes. Along with the Kids-Q competition, there’s also a “backyard competition” made up of local teams pouring their hearts out into sauces, grilling technique and other special touches.
    When:
    Jan. 24-25
    Where:
    SUN 'n FUN Expo Campus, Lakeland
    Web:
    lakelandpigfest.org

    FLORIDA MANATEE FESTIVAL – Celebrate Florida’s beloved gentle giant with arts and crafts, live music, a beer garden and live manatee viewing at the nearby Three Sisters Spring. The event is a favorite among locals as it grows and adds attractions each year, including boat tours, face painting, a slime station, dance performances and more.
    When:
    Jan. 18-19
    Where:
    Downtown Crystal River
    Web:
    gomanateefest.com

    FLORIDA STORYTELLING FESTIVAL – Storytellers of all ages flock to this unique festival that celebrates the art of telling colorful, humorous, sad, scary and captivating tales. Attend “storytelling concerts” and attend workshops to learn how to hone your art, or simply listen to the main presentations, which include tips on how to use puppetry, audience interaction and other techniques when telling stories. Wrap up the weekend by hopping aboard the “StoryCruise” in Lake Dora.
    When:
    Jan. 23-26
    Where:
    Lakeside Inn, Mount Dora
    Web: flstory.com/storytelling-festival

    SPACE COAST BIRDING & WILDLIFE FESTIVAL – Scientists, biologists, photographers, ornithologists, naturalists, artists and authors – as well as folks who simply like birds and nature – come from all over the country to honor Florida’s natural habitat by participating in kayaking tours, photography classes, field trips and workshops honoring this fascinating segment of our state’s ecosystem.
    When: Jan. 22-27
    Where: Titusville
    Web: scbwf.org                        

    UP UP & AWAY FLORIDA HOT AIR BALLOON FESTIVAL – Come watch the Lakeland skyline fill with beautiful, bright colors and shapes at this whimsical fest devoted to the art of the hot air balloon. Take a scenic ride in a balloon or helicopter, watch a skydiving show, enjoy live music, indulge in some fried treats and celebrate the final weeks of Florida winter outdoors with RV or tent camping at the nearby campgrounds.
    When:
    Feb. 28-March 1
    Where:
    SUN n’ FUN Expo Campus, Lakeland
    Web:
    upupandawayflorida.com

    TAMPA THEATRE WINEFEST 2020 – Tampa Theatre is a beloved landmark for both cinema lovers and history enthusiasts alike and its annual WineFest is its biggest fundraising event of the year, raising money to help ongoing restoration and community programming for the 93-year-old theater. This year’s theme is “Cabbyshack” – a fun play on the 1980 classic comedy Caddyshack and Cabernet – and guests can come dressed as their favorite character, taste wines and enjoy the show.
    When:
    Feb. 7-8
    Where:
    Tampa Theatre, downtown Tampa
    Web:
    tampatheatre.org/winefest

    DESSERT WARS TAMPA – Hang out at one of Tampa’s coolest marketplace lounge of cafes, counter-service restaurants and bars and sample desserts from some of the best pastry chefs, cooks and bakers in town, all vying for the Dessert Champion title. The event will offer a wide array of sweets from cupcakes, cookies, ice cream, donuts and creative concoctions that don’t fit any of the categories but are tasty nonetheless.
    When:
    Feb. 9
    Where:
    Armature Works, Tampa
    Web:
    facebook.com/events

    FLORIDA FOOD & BREWS FESTIVAL – New to the food fest scene last year, the Florida Food & Brews Festival returns to bring the finest that the Tampa Bay region and other parts of Florida have to offer: delicious dishes and desserts – including vegan and gluten-free – from local restaurants and food trucks, craft beer, musicians, wiener dog races, unique handmade clothing and gifts and other fun goodies.
    When:
    Feb. 1
    Where:
    England Brothers Park, Pinellas Park
    Web:
    foodandbrewsfestival.com

    ST. PETE BEACH SEAFOOD & MUSIC FESTIVAL – Everyone (including the pet dog!) gets in free to enjoy this laid back, beach-y fest featuring some of Florida’s freshest and most delicious seafood dishes, as well as dishes for vegetarians and red meat-lovers. Enjoy live performances ranging from soul to flamenco to Tom Petty covers while you peruse the craft vendor tables and sip beer and wine mere steps away from one of Florida’s most gorgeous beaches.
    When:
    Jan. 31-Feb. 2
    Where:
    Corey Avenue, St. Pete Beach
    Web:
    facebook.com/seafood-music

    LOCALTOPIA – St. Petersburg treasures its local flavor and its Localtopia festival celebrates all things unique to this hip little city, including more than 250 businesses and artists, local restaurants and sweet shops, local painters and sculptors, local bands and local boutiques, bike shops and even local banks. The family-friendly event has activities for all ages, including fitness classes, crafts and visits with Pete the Pelican.
    When
    : Feb. 22
    Where
    : Williams Park, St. Petersburg
    Web
    : localtopia.keepsaintpetersburglocal.org

    DAYTONA 500 – While the big race on the 16th is the main event, visitors and NASCAR fans flock to Daytona Beach days before to take part in the meet-and-greet Fanzone experience, campgrounds with free Wi-Fi, pre-race concerts and other celebrations. In its 62nd year, this event has grown into one of the most memorable experiences in the world for auto racing fans.
    When:
    Feb. 16
    Where:
    Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach
    Web:
    daytonainternationalspeedway.com                                                       

    WINEFEST – One of Central Florida’s top vineyards serves up wine of all varieties, from dry to sweet, harvested from the previous year. For a $10 admission (kids 12 and under are free), guests can sample several different wines while shopping for artwork, jewelry, handbags and other crafts made by locals. The winery also offers tours and has live music on an outdoor stage.
    When:
    Feb. 7-9
    Where:
    Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, Clermont
    Web:
    lakeridgewinery.com/winefest

    PASCO COUNTY FAIR – Get a glimpse of Florida country living and circus-like oddities at the Pasco County Fair, which highlights pig races and a bull & heifer show, followed by days of quirky entertainment such as a high wire balancing act, a magic and comedy act, alligator displays, an ironworks demonstration, pageants and lots of spinning rides and sugary treats. Come with an open mind, leave with plenty of stories to share.
    When:
    Feb. 17-23
    Where:
    Dade City
    Web:
    pascocountyfair.com

    CELTIC FAMILY JAMBOREE – Get into the Celtic spirit at the rustic, woodsy Sertoma Youth Ranch, where families can camp, bring their dogs, participate in a potluck and enjoy bagpipe, drum and fiddle music, watch Highland athletics demonstrations, eat fish ‘n chips and haggis, shop for Celtic jewelry and crafts and take part in workshops.
    When:
    Feb. 7-8
    Where:
    Sertoma Youth Ranch, Brooksville
    Web:
    celticheritageproductions.com

    MOUNT DORA ARTS FESTIVAL – There may be no more lovely time to visit the cozy town of Mount Dora than in early February when the air is cooler than usual and the sun sets early. This outdoor arts festival takes full advantage of timing, drawing visitors from all over the country to its quaint streets and showcasing artists of all disciplines, including clay, digital, glass and photography.
    When:
    Feb. 1-2
    Where:
    Downtown Mount Dora
    Web:
    mountdoraartsfestival.org

    PINE CASTLE PIONEER DAYS – Local historians honor a piece of Central Florida history – the Pine Castle neighborhood between Orlando and Kissimmee – with a recreation of the area’s turn-of-the-century events. Actors play out old dueling scenes and give history lessons, folk bands play, horse carriages give tours and vendors sell handcrafted wares.
    When:
    Feb. 22-23
    Where:
    Cypress Grove Park, Orlando
    Web:
    pinecastlepioneerdays.org

    CHOCOLATE & CHEESE FESTIVAL — Sweet and salty? Yes, please. But hold the phone, because this fest isn’t just about eating, there’s also contests. How quickly can you lick liquid chocolate from a bowl without using your hands? Do you love cheese so much you can identify six different cheeses in a blind tasting? Other than chocolate and cheese vendors, there will be live music, arts and crafts vendors and a kids zone.
    When:
    Feb. 8-9
    Where:
    Kings Bay Park, Crystal River
    Web: bestfloridafest.com/chocolate-cheese-festival

    Twilight in The Garden, a special exhibition in Quincy highlighting Tallahassee-based artist Alexa Kleinbard’s work

    Twilight in The Garden is a special exhibition in Quincy highlighting Tallahassee-based artist Alexa Kleinbard’s work.

    - Twilight in The Garden

     

    NORTH FLORIDA
       

    ST. AUGUSTINE FILM FESTIVAL — Cinephiles will have much to celebrate at the 10th annual winter indie film festival. They’ll be able to pick and choose between film screenings during the day and party with the filmmakers at night. More than 25 films, ranging from documentaries to comedies from all over the world will be shown on five screens at three different venues within walking distance. Individual tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door. All passes, which allow entrance to multiple screenings and parties, require an advance purchase.
    When:
    Jan. 17-20
    Where:
    St. Augustine
    Web:
    staugfilmfest.com

    30A SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL — The headliners for the 11th annual festival read like a who’s who of top talent spanning four decades of musical history. It’s led by Brian Wilson, who will perform Beach Boys hits including Fun Fun Fun and Good Vibrations. Rounding out the fest’s top talent are John Prine, the Indigo Girls, Tanya Tucker, Don McLean and Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone. More than 200 singer/songwriters will perform in over 20 different venues including Peter Yarrow (from Peter, Paul and Mary), Semisonic’s Dan Wilson, Carlene Carter, Shawn Mullins and Birds of Chicago.
    When:
    Jan. 17-20
    Where:
    various venues along Hwy 30A near South Walton
    Web:
    30asongwritersfestival.com

    APALACHICOLA OYSTER COOK-OFF — For nine years, the panhandle city of Apalachicola has hosted this tribute to the bivavle that’s harvested off its coast. If you think you have a winning recipe, this is your chance to become “famous” by entering it in the Cook-Off (Deadline is Jan. 11). The festival committee also understands that oysters are not for all, so attendees will be able to fill up on other fresh catch like shrimp and mullet. Also includes an oyster-related silent auction, dance performances, kids activities, live music and the Half-Shell Hustle, a 5.5K fun run.
    When:
    Jan. 17-18
    Where:
    Apalachicola Riverfront Park
    Web:
    oystercookoff.com

    ARBOR DAY CELEBRATION This annual event features arts and crafts vendors, outdoor yard and lawn items for sale to dress up your greenspace and other nature-based business highlighting services.
    When:
    Jan. 18
    Where:
    Hudson Park, Crawfordville
    Web:
    visitwakulla.com/arbor-day

    STEPHEN FOSTER DAY — Stephen Foster penned about 200 songs during his career, but none are more important to Florida than The Swannee River, also known as Old Folks at Home. Only in Florida, would a man who had never visited the state and named the river in the song “Swanee” because of its two-syllable cadence, become the father of the state song and get a park named after him. The celebration’s highlight features performances by the winners of the 69th Jeanie and Stephen Auditions, a statewide vocal competition held on Jan. 17 and 18 at the park and named after Foster and his wife.
    When:
    Jan. 19
    Where:
    Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park, White Springs
    Web:
    floridastateparks.org/stephen-foster

    BUTTS & CLUCKS COOKOFF ON THE BAY — It’s a given that the ‘cue will be award-winning, as this event is sponsored by the Florida BBQ Association, but it also gets top style points for its clever name. Yep, expect to enjoy sauced, fall-off-the-bone tender pork and chicken at the Apalachicola event which has $15K in prize money to hand out to the best pitmasters. Prizes are handed out for the best BBQ sauce and Deviled Egg contests. And in an Iron Chef-style throwdown competitors in the Mystery Box Competition will have to two hours to create a dish from the contents of a sealed box.
    When:
    Jan. 24-25
    Where:
    Apalachicola
    Web:
    buttsandclucks.com

    IDIDARIDE New year, new goals, right? Cyclists who are up for the challenge will find themselves pedaling through trails and woods, navigating steam crossings and crossing through different terrain on this 50-mile off-road endurance ride along the Suwannee River. This is not a race and the ride has checkpoints, sag-stops and bail-out points along the route to provide riders with food, drinks and mechanical support.
    When:
    Jan. 25
    Where:
    White Springs
    Web:
    suwanneebike.org

    TALLAHASSEE BEER FESTIVAL — Following up on the success of the 2019’s inaugural event, even more brewmasters and home brewers will be serving samples of over 200 beers, ales, meads, ciders and sparkling sodas. Veteran beer fest attendees know pretzel necklaces are hot, so in addition to Dreamland BBQ and various food trucks, they will be able to build their own pretzel necklace. This 21 and older event will also include a cornhole tournament and Beer Mile race limited to the first 100 registrants.
    When:
    Jan. 25
    Where:
    The Pavilion at The Centre of Tallahassee
    Web:
    tlhbeerfestival.com  

    TIMUCUAN SCIENCE AND HISTORY SYMPOSIUM The 8th annual symposium at Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve looks at the shared history on how the natural history of the land affects its humans and how humans use of the land has caused it to grow and change over thousands of years. The symposium connects natural and cultural researchers with community residents, identifies partners for conducting research and examings recent research success stories.
    When:
    Jan. 31
    Where:
    Ribault Club, Jacksonville
    Web:
    nps.gov/planyourvisit/timucuan

    VISIT HORSE COUNTRY Driving along Highway 301 in Marion county is like being transported to another world with its slightly rolling hillscape, elaborate gated properties named Gayle Woods or Journeyman and sleek Thoroughbred racehorses snacking on the lush grasses. Marion county, and more specifically it’s largest city Ocala, is known as the horse capital of the world and can boast that Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown winners have either been bred or trained here. If you love horses, want some insider knowledge or are just looking for something new; there are shows, clinics, tournaments and sales each weekend through March. 
    When:
    January - March
    Where:
    Ocala
    Web:
    ocalamarion.com

    TWILIGHT IN THE GARDEN Tallahassee-based artist Alexa Kleinbard uses her work, whether it be oil on birchwood or graphite on paper, as a commentary on the destruction of the natural environment. This special exhibition combines three series of her work to show the connection between good and evil or destruction and healing.
    When:
    Jan. 11 - March 14
    Where:
    Gadsden Arts Center & Museum, Quincy
    Web:
    gadsdenarts.org/Kleinbard

    WILDLIFE HERITAGE & OUTDOOR FESTIVAL Get in touch with your inner wild child and compete in the turkey call contest at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge’s annual salute to the great outdoors. The fest seeks to help connect attendees with nature by showcasing fly fishing and archery tutorials, dog-hunting demos, wildlife exhibits and more. Also includes local food vendors, natured-based businesses, live music and wildlife artwork.
    When:
    Feb. 1
    Where:
    St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
    Web:
    fws.gov/refuge/st-marks

    STADIUM BLITZ AT FSU If Crossfit, American Gladiator and the NFL joined forces to create a competitive event, Stadium Blitz would be the result. Contestants participate in three categories — Race, Hustle and Blitz — each of which has five obstacles with catchy names like QB1 (throwing a football through a target), Spin Class (completing the ring swing) and Scrambler (a bear crawl under nets up the stadium stairs) to earn points. Yes, we know you really, really want to do this.
    When:
    Feb. 8
    Where:
    Doak Campbell Stadium
    Web:
    raceroster.com/blitz-fsu

    TOUR OF (SOMEONE ELSE’S!) HOME There’s nothing like walking through the front door of someone’s else’s immaculate home to induce envy (why isn’t there mail strewn across the counter and random shoes left on the floor?) or inspiration (what paint color is that?). Thankfully, two Panhandle communities are rolling out the welcome mat in February.

    • St. George Island Tour of Homes (Feb. 8): Guests can tour seven private homes, as well as the Cape St. George Lighthouse and Keeper’s House and the St. George Plantation Clubhouse on the ninth annual tour. stgeorgelight.org/tour-of-homes
    • Valentine Tour of Homes (Feb. 15-16, South Walton): Ticket holders have two days to tour some of the community’s more architecturally interesting homes.  culturalartsalliance.com/valentine-tour-of-homes

    AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY FESTIVAL Celebrate Black History Month with three days of food, live entertainment, children’s activities, wellness and vendor exhibits in historic Apalachicola. The 17th annual festival, hosted by H’COLA a nonprofit composed of local African American leaders, will also celebrate African-American history, life and music.
    When:
    Feb. 14-16
    Where:
    Apalachicola
    Web:
    floridasforgottencoast.com/history-festival

    BATTLE OF OLUSTEE REENACTMENT AND 41ST ANNUAL OLUSTEE FESTIVAL — More than 25,000 visitors arrive in Lake City for two days of live music and the annual Civil War battle reenactment. The Olustee Festival is Friday and Saturday and features arts and crafts vendors, parade, memorial service and chance to work off some energy by participating in either the Running Reb 1-Mile Fun Run or the Olustee Blue Grey 5K. Then, head to the historic battlefield on Saturday and Sunday for the Reenactment of the Battle of Olustee, the site of Florida’s largest battle of the Civil War.
    When:
    Feb. 14-16
    Where:
    Olustee Battlefield State Park (reenactment), downtown Lake City (festival)
    Web:
    olusteefestival.com and battleofolustee.org

    LINCOLNVILLE PORCH FEST More than 40 of St. Augustine’s favorite local bands will play free concerts from porches and other sites in historic Lincolnville downtown neighborhood. Pull up a chair or go porch hopping to catch notable acts throughout the day. Plus, food and drink vendors.
    When:
    Feb. 15
    Where:
    St. Augustine
    Web:
    lincolnvilleporchfest.org

    3RD ANNUAL FOOD TRUCK & CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL For two days, attendees can sip and sample their way through a variety of local food truck specialties as well as a variety of craft beers. More than 20 craft breweries (most from Florida) will be pouring their favorites. Food truck offerings will be varied and international in flavor.
    When:
    Feb. 15-16
    Where:
    Aaron Bessant Park, Panama City Beach
    Web:
    foodtruckfestivalsofamerica.com/panama-city-beach

    QUILTS BY THE SEA Every three years, the Amelia Island Quilt Guild hosts a quilt show for their members to showcase all the projects they’ve been diligently working to complete. Although the competition is only open to Guild members, or youth relatives of members, the show usually features around 200 quilts in 15 different categories including the 2020 challenge quilt category, which is a celebration of the Guild’s 30th anniversary. Also includes a silent auction and raffle quilt.
    When:
    Feb. 21
    Where:
    Atlantic Recreation Center, Fernandina Beach
    Web:
    aiquilters.com/quilts

    MARDI GRAS PARADES — it’s a bead-lovers extravaganza with four days of Mardi Gras parties and parades for Emerald Coast area revelers. Elaborate floats and outlandish costumes will lead the Florida-style pageantry. It kicks off with the Krewe of Lafitte’s Illuminated Night Parade (Feb. 21), continues with Pensacola’s Grand Mardi Gras Parade (Feb. 22), the Krewe of Wrecks Mardi Gras Parade (Feb. 23) or head to Destin HarborWalk Village for their annual Mardi Gras Parade and Pawdi Gras Pet Costume Contest (Feb. 22). Round out your weekend by taking in Pensacola’s Fat Tuesday Priscus Celebration (Feb. 25) where the king and queen for next year’s Mardi Gras will be revealed.
    When:
    Feb. 21-25
    Where:
    Pensacola and Destin
    Web:
    kreweoflafitte.com, pensacolamardigras.com, pensacolabeachmardigras.com, and emeraldgrande.com

    ANCIENT CITY CAT SHOW The nation’s oldest city isn’t going to the dogs just yet. And the Fifth Annual Allbreed Cat and Household Pets Cat Show is proof that feline lovers also appreciate seeing their favorites strut their stuff in a competition ring. More than 150 cats will be judged each day in different pedigreed or household cat categories. Also includes vendors selling cat-related goods and a local animal rescue will be on site.
    When:
    Feb. 22-23
    Where:
    Solomon Calhoun Community Center, St. Augustine
    Web:
    visitstaugustine.com/cat-show

    ST. AUGUSTINE SPANISH WINE FESTIVAL The Sunshine State loves wine festivals, but none are quite like the bash that St. Augustine throws annually. Yes, the Grand Tasting “only” features about 100 wines, but what sets it apart is that each wine is an authentic Spanish varietal. So, say “salud” as you toast your neighbors – and the city’s Spanish heritage as you make your way around the room. Those seeking a more formal affair can attend the Cava Reception and Wine Pairing Dinner, which features a Spanish wine paired with each course of a Spanish-inspired dinner.
    When:
    Feb. 28-29
    Where:
    St. Augustine
    Web:
    spanishwinefestival.com

    WORLD OF NATIONS Jacksonville’s annual cultural celebration encourages attendees to show off their cultural heritage by dressing up in folk attire. International arts, cuisine and music from a diverse selection of countries will be on display.
    When:
    Feb. 28 - March 1
    Where:
    Jacksonville
    Web:
    specialevents.coj.net/World-of-Nations-Celebration

    NORTHEAST FLORIDA SCOTTISH HIGHLAND GAMES & FESTIVAL — Experience a “Wee bit o’ Scotland” in North Florida during the annual Highland Games. Throw your hat in the ring and compete in feats of strength (16-pound Sheaf Toss, Clahneart or “Stone of Strangth”), music (Band and Solo Bag Piping, Fiddle) or dance (Sword Dance, Highland Fling). The festival is all things Scottish and includes Gaelic demos, a Tartan Museum, a Kilted Golf Tournament plus traditional music and food.
    When:
    Feb. 29
    Where:
    Clay County Fairgrounds, Green Cove Springs
    Web:
    neflgames.com

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