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.
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
· 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
· 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
· 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
· 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
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: through Feb. 2
Where: South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach.
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: through Feb. 2
Where: Various locations in downtown Delray Beach
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: through Feb. 5
Where: “Ding” Darling Visitor & Education Center, Sanibel Island
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: through March 29 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center and through April 19 at the International Polo Club Palm Beach.
Web: thepalmbeaches.com/winter-equestrian-festival and thepalmbeaches.com/polo-season
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: through Feb. 2
Where: Various locations in Key West
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
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: through March 8
Where: Mizner Park Amphitheater and Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center, Boca Raton.
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
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
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.
· 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.
· 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
· 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.
· 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
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
· 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
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
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
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
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
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
· 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
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
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
· 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
· 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.
· 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
· 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
· 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
· 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
· 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
· 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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
· 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
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
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
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
· 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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
CINEMA VERDE ENVIRONMENTAL FILM & ARTS FESTIVAL - Join this four-day film festival, in its 11th year, for 46 incredible films, eco art, food trucks, drinks, and a unique opportunity to speak with film directors about how to forge a sustainable future. Films set around the world and directed by film makers from 12 different countries capture special stories of the beauty and hardship of preserving our Earth.
When: Feb. 13-16
Where: Heartwood Soundstage, downtown Gainesville
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: Feb. 1 – 2
Where: Wickham Park, Melbourne
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: through March 1
Where: SUN n’ FUN Expo Campus, Lakeland
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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