July AND AUGUST 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
     

    Downtown Delray Restaurant Week, fish tacos on a plate

    Discover the diverse dining scene in downtown Delray Beach in Dine Out Downtown Delray Restaurant Week, a week-long foodie fest.

    - Downtown Delray Restaurant Week

     

    SOUTH FLORIDA 

    HALL OF HEROES – This comic book superhero exhibit immerses you in the action as soon as you enter, with full-scale statues of biggies such as Superman, Iron Man, Batman (and his Batmobile) and The Hulk. The displays represent the four ages of comics: The Golden Age (1930s-1950s), Silver Age (1950s-1970s), Bronze Age (1970s-1985) and the Modern Age (1985 to the present). At interactive stations, visitors can see how they match up against the superheroes.
    When:
    Now through Sept. 2
    Where:
    Museum of Discovery and Science, Fort Lauderdale
    Web:
    mods.org

    HEMINGWAY DAYS – The annual Papa-fest turns 39 this year and features readings, a museum exhibit of rare Ernest Hemingway memorabilia, a zany “Running of the Bulls,” a three-day marlin tournament, a short story competition, street fair, a party commemorating his July 21 birthday and, of course, the famous Look-Alike Contest.
    When:
    July 16-21
    Where:
    Various locations in Key West
    Web:
    fla-keys.com/hemingway-days

    ANNUAL UNDERWATER MUSIC FESTIVAL – Be among the hundreds of divers and snorkelers who go deep each year at this quirky concert (in its 35th year) that emphasizes reef preservation and also is a whole lot of fun. Classic rock is piped in underwater via speakers suspended from boats hovering above the third largest reef in the world. Contact any of the local dive shops to reserve a spot on their vessels and enjoy their costume parties.
    When:
    July 13
    Where:
    Looe Key Reef (about six miles south of Big Pine Key)
    Web:
    lowerkeyschamber.com

    BUGFEST BY-THE-SEA – Win big bucks by catching big “bugs” – as in lobsters. It’s timed to coincide with Florida’s two-day lobster mini-season. The limit is a fabulous 12 bugs per day and night-diving is permitted. Also included: bug-hunting seminars, underwater photo and video contests, and a lobster cook-off.
    When:
    July 25-30
    Where:
    Lauderdale-By-The-Sea
    Web:
    lbtsevents.com/bugfest-by-the-sea

    THE LOST WORLD OF DINOSAURS – Travel back millions of years to when these beasts ruled the roost. There are 27 realistic dinosaur replicas, some of them the largest creatures that ever lived, nestled among beautiful botanical gardens. Explore modern-day plant and animal descendants, unearth bones in the Dino Dig, touch real fossils and see real mounted dinosaur skeletons.
    Where:
    Flamingo Gardens, Davie
    When:
    Now through Sept. 2
    Web:
    www.flamingogardens.org

    OVERTOWN MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL – It’s a full day of non-stop fun, featuring great live music, ethnic cuisine and artists, crafters and jewelers showcasing their work. There’s also a gigantic Youth Zone for the youngsters that includes more live music, arts and crafts, face painting, bounce houses, karaoke and fun fitness activities.
    When:
    July 13
    Where:
    Overtown Business District, Miami
    Web:
    overtownmusicartsfestival.com

    MEL FISHER DAYS – Celebrate the 17th anniversary of Mel Fisher’s 16-year search for the Spanish galleon Atocha and the discovery of the Atocha motherlode. Events include the annual dock party at Schooner Wharf Bar, tours of salvaging vessels, raffles, silent and live auctions and live entertainment.
    When:
    July 11-13
    Where:
    Various locations in Key West
    Web:
    melfisherdays.com

    SHAKESPEARE BY THE SEA – The Bard’s “Romeo & Juliet” gets the royal treatment at the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival. Enjoy the play under the stars at a unique beach-side setting. Bring your beach chair, blanket and picnic basket, or enjoy fare from numerous food trucks. Note: It’s officially free, but a donation of $5 per person is suggested.
    When:
    July 11-21, but only on Thursday through Sunday.
    Where:
    Seabreeze Amphitheatre in Jupiter’s Carlin Park.
    Web:
    pbshakespeare.org

    MIAMI SALSA CONGRESS – This five-day festival features a gathering of the world’s top Salsa talent, including local and international touring artists, award-winning dancers, world-class dance instructors, top industry DJs, and great Latin bands. In its 18th year, MSC is recognized as one of the largest festivals of its kind. Also: pool parties, pre-event parties, nightly dance parties, evening galas, dance workshops and showcases, and activities for kids.
    When:
    July 24-28
    Where:
    Eden Roc Nobu Hotel, Miami Beach
    Web:
    miamisalsacongress.com

    EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY IN PALM BEACH COUNTY – These two are sure to make for a happy tummy and a quenched thirst:

    ·        7th Annual Boca Burger Battle -- You’ll not only find great burgers, but an array of tasting stations featuring other gourmet goodies. There also will be a variety of craft beers and outstanding wines.
    When:
    July 13
    Where:
    Sanborn Square Park in downtown Boca Raton
    Web:
    bocaburgerbattle.com

    ·        Palm Beach Summer Beer Fest – Sample some of the more than 150 available craft beers and choose from an array of outstanding food trucks serving delicious fare that will go great with your cold brewskis.
    When:
    July 20
    Where:
    South Florida Fair Grounds in West Palm Beach
    Web:
    palmbeachsummerbeerfest.com

    SUMMERTIME MOONLIGHT SEA TURTLE WALKS – Hopefully, you will observe a loggerhead sea turtle lay her eggs and head out to sea. At the least, you’ll learn a lot about sea-turtle nesting.
    When:
    Various dates in June and July
    Where:
    Museum of Discovery & Science and then the beach, Fort Lauderdale.
    Web:
    mods.org

    THE MONTH OF THE MANGO – Three fests celebrate the King of Tropical Fruit in July: the 27th Annual International Mango & Tropical Fruit Festival, the 23rd Annual MangoMania Tropical Fruit Fair and a relative newcomer, the 2nd Annual South Beach Mango Festival. A variety of mango-centric activities will be offered at all three: yummy tastings, recipes, food demonstrations, refreshing mango smoothies, mango trees for sale, pie-eating contests, island-flavored music, vendors and children’s activities.
    When & Where:
    Respectively, July 13-14 at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables; July 13-14 at the German-American Social Club in Cape Coral, and July 26-28 at Lummus Park in Miami Beach.
    Web:
    Respectively, fairchildgarden.org, mangomaniafl.net and sobemangofest.com

    MIAMI SPA MONTH – Why they call it Miami Spa Month when it lasts two months, we do not know. What we do know is that summer is here and what better way to chill than being pampered at some of Miami’s world-famous luxury spas at discount prices?
    When:
    July and August
    Where:
    Various luxury spas throughout Miami-Dade County.
    Web:
    miamispamonth.com

    DAYS OF SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL – Here’s your chance to hit the high seas for a cruise, along with Miami producer/rapper DJ Kahled and fellow artists Cardi B and Post Malone. The cruise and fest will be aboard the Carnival Victory. The ship can hold 2,764 passengers, but you have to be at least 18 years old.
    When & Where:
    Departing for the Bahamas on June 28 and returning to Miami on July 1.
    Web:
    daysofsummercruise.com

    SIZZLING SUMMER SAVINGS – Everyone knows that SoFla is hot in the summer, but there are also hot deals to be found. You’ll find discounts and BOGOS galore. Check out these:

    ·        S.I.P. IN W.P.B. (SUMMER IN PARADISE IN WEST PALM BEACH) offers free things to do in downtown West Palm Beach throughout the summer. Attendees will be treated to dynamic interactive art, exciting community events, waterfront activities and eclectic shopping and dining. S.I.P. festivities.
    When: through July 26
    Where: West Palm Beach
    Web:   wpb.org/summer-in-paradise

    ·        The SUMMER SAVINGS PASS offers unlimited admission to four great SoFla venues: Lion Country in West Palm Beach, Miami Seaquarium, the Museum of Science and Discovery in Fort Lauderdale and Zoo Miami. You can purchase a pass at any of the four attractions or online.
    When: through Sept. 30
    Where: West Palm Beach, Miami, Fort Lauderdale.
    Web:
    summersavingspass.com

    ·        The 2-FOR-1 SUMMER SAVINGS in Broward County is already underway and offers buy-one-get-one-free offers for museums, restaurants and bars, shopping and all kinds of indoor and outdoor activities. Some 60 businesses and attractions are participating.
    When: through Sept. 30
    Where:
    Broward County
    Web:
    Sunny.org/Summer

    ·        With the SOUTH FLORIDA ADVENTURE PASS you will be able to have unlimited admissions for one set price from May 15 until Sept. 30 at these five Broward County attractions: the historic Bonnet House, Flamingo Gardens, Sawgrass Recreation Park, Xtreme Action Park and Young at Art Museum. At the Xtreme Action Park, roller skating is free, including skate rentals.
    When: through Sept. 30
    Where: Broward County
    Web:
    southfloridaadventurepass.com

    SUMMER JAZZ ON THE GULF -- An appealing and diverse selection of Jazz acts will be presented in a series of four concerts amid a hotel setting that has beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico, stunning sunsets and cool breezes. The Alter Eagles are the headliner for the first show. Note: Events are free and open to the general public, not just hotel guests.
    When:
    June 29, July 20, Aug. 17 and Sept. 14
    Where:
    Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club
    Web:
     naplesbeachhotel.com/summerjazz

    INTERNATIONAL KINETIC ART EXHIBIT & SYMPOSIUM -- Visitors will see 12 large-scale kinetic sculptures that actually move, powered by solar, water, wind, gravity and human interaction.  Six of the sculptures were created for this exhibition, which occurs every two years. The installations are accessed by an easy-to-walk self-guided tour or scheduled group tours with trained docents.
    When:
    through September
    Where:
    Downtown Boynton Beach
    Web:
    www.IntlKineticArtEvent.org

    WALK THE WALK – Put on some comfortable clothes and shoes and a hat, bring some water or a sports drink and you’ll be ready for some walking tours of these picturesque and interesting famous Miami-Dade County neighborhoods:

    ·        Little Haiti Walking Tour & Tasting – Come explore the culture and heritage – not to mention the yummy food – of this historic neighborhood. The tour showcases local historic sites such as the Little Haiti Cultural Center & Caribbean Marketplace and highlights new developments such as the Little River Business District and Miami Ironside as well as future developments. Throughout the walk, you’ll come across galleries, museums, bookstores and family-owned restaurants. Speaking of food, after the tour, you’ll be served a tasting of Haitian Cuisine such as Griot (fried pork) and Banann Peze (fried plantain).
    When:
    Recurring weekly Wednesdays through Saturdays, through Oct. 18
    Web:
    miamiandbeaches.com

    ·        Little Havana Food & Cultural Tour – You will appreciate why Little Havana was recently listed as an official “national treasure” of the United States by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The reasons will become clear as you experience the area’s many historic landmarks and artistic offerings. You’ll taste authentic Cuban cuisine and listen to the stories of those who know it best, learn about the spiritual beliefs and community practices (such as Santeria), visit a cigar factory, explore Domino Park and take in the Cuba Ocho Art Museum.
    When:
    Weekdays, through Sept. 4
    Web:
    miamiandbeaches.com

    ·        Overtown Walking Tour & Tasting -- Formerly known as the “Harlem of the South, Overtown was an area for black workers who built and serviced the railroad, hotels and streets. This tour will immerse you in the rich culture and heritage of this historic neighborhood. The tour explores the many historic sites, such as D.A. Dorsey House, Ward Rooming House, Greater Historic Bethel AME Church and also highlights new developments currently underway or being planned for Overtown. A delicious tasting of southern cuisine typically found in the neighborhood is included following the tour.
    When:
    Wednesdays through Saturdays, through Oct. 18
    Web:
    miamiandbeaches.com/overtown-walking-tour-tasting

    KEY WEST LOBSTERFEST – It’s the 23rd celebration of all things crustacean that signals the start of the Florida Keys lobster season. Highlights: Thursday night lobster boils, Friday night Duval Crawl, lots of live music, Saturday street fair with lobster-inspired culinary creations and a luscious lobster brunch Sunday.
    When:
    August 8-11
    Where:
    Various locations in Key West
    Web:
    keywestlobsterfest.com

    DINE OUT DOWNTOWN DELRAY RESTAURANT WEEK – Discover the diverse dining scene in downtown Delray Beach in this week-long foodie fest. Enjoy prix fixe lunches ($20 and under) and dinners ($40 and under), along with special Dine Out deals at $10 and under. Also included will be a series of creative culinary events and classes throughout the week. And, new this year: brunch and happy hour specials.
    When:
    Aug. 1-7
    Where:
    Various locations in downtown Delray Beach
    Web:
    downtowndelraybeach.com/restaurantweek

    EXPERIENCING NIRVANA – This photo exhibit provides an inside look into the early touring life of Nirvana, the famous and best known Seattle grunge band. The photos of Sub Pop Records founder Bruce Pavitt capture intimate moments of Kurt Cobain and his new band as they traveled through Europe 1n 1989. Within two years, Nirvana would become the biggest rock band of its generation. This is the photographic story of the breakthrough that almost never happened.
    When:
    Mondays through Fridays, through Sept. 21, with Pavitt giving a talk on the final day.
    Where:
    Pompano Beach Cultural Center, Pompano Beach
    Web:
    ccpompano.org

    MONSTER JAM – Are you shorter than five-foot six? If so, the tires on the 12-foot high trucks participating in the Monster Jam are taller than you! Some of the most recognizable trucks in the world, such as Grave Digger, Max-DTM and El Toro Loco will perform in freestyle, racing and 2-wheel events. In freestyle events, drivers and their trucks will do obstacle jumps over dirt mounds, backflips, wheelies and doughnuts.
    When:
    Aug. 10-11
    Where:
    BB&T Center, Sunrise
    Web:
    sunny.org/event/monster-jam

    MIAMI HOME DESIGN & REMODELING SHOW – The latest trends will be on display for home improvements, décor, kitchen and bath renovations, flooring, closets, furniture, garden and patio, hurricane protection, home automation and security. Meet Josh Flagg of Bravo TV’s Million Dollar Listing and learn what it takes to sell your home for top dollar. Visit the featured interior designers at their stylish vignettes. Also included: lifestyle seminars, family day art activities and food and wine pairing demonstrations.
    When:
    Aug 30-Sept. 2
    Where:
    Mana Wynwood Convention Center
    Web:
    homeshows.net

    KEY WEST BREWFEST – Nearly 200 beers and micro-brews are the big draw, but there’s a lot more on tap: beer dinners, beer brunches, happy hour parties, pool parties, late-night parties, seminars and the Signature Tasting event.
    When:
    Aug. 29-Sept. 2
    Where:
    Various locations in Key West
    Web:
    keywestbrewfest.com

    COCONUT GROVE FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL – Local eateries will offer samples of their most popular fare: steaks, burgers, Italian, seafood and Latin food. There will also be craft beer, and fine wine and spirits tastings, live music, culinary demonstrations, a kids zone, a waiters race, pet contest and a collection of Harley Davidsons on display.
    When:
    Aug. 17
    Where:
    Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove
    Web:
    coconutgrovefoodandwine.com

    ANNUAL DOWNTOWN VENICE LABOR DAY WEEKEND CRAFT FESTIVAL – Northern Italian architecture and beautifully landscaped boulevards create a scenic backdrop for this popular craft show, featuring a wide variety of ceramics, jewelry, stained glass and metal works. Some 80 vendors will display their creations.
    When:
    Aug. 31-Sept. 1
    Where:
    Along West Venice Avenue, Venice
    Web:
    artfestival.com

    A DOUBLE DIP OF AFRICAN-CENTRIC DANCE FESTIVALS – You’ll have a lot of fun and learn a lot, too, at these Miami-Dade County events:

    ·        At Dance Africa Miami participants will enjoy African and Caribbean dance, drum and music workshops, African fashions, yoga, a Better Living Health Fair & Symposium, a Global Bazaar and the Children’s Village. Seeds of the Diaspora will be presented, featuring renowned native artists form Guinea, Senegal, Mali, the Ivory Coast, Haiti and Cuba.
    When:
    Aug. 2-4
    Web:
    adddff.delouafrica.org

    ·        Miami Beach Kizomba Festival aims to bridge the gap between Africa and African diaspora by sharing the music, dance and culture of various African countries. Included will be pool parties with famed DJs, dance workshops and rousing concerts.
    When:
    Aug. 22-26
    Where:
    Eden Roc Hotel, Miami Beach
    Web:
    thembkf.com

    TROPICAL HEAT –
    More than a dozen intriguingly decadent all-male events, ranging from drag shows to themed pool parties and gatherings at island clubs, have made this a world-renowned gay vacation destination.
    When:
    Aug. 14-18
    Where:
    Various locations in Key West
    Web:
    gaykeywestfl.com

    HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD – That’s Hollywood, Florida, not Tinsel Town. This friendly city nestled about halfway between Fort Lauderdale and Miami has two monthly events that are worthy of your attention: the Downtown Artwalk and the Dream Car Classic. The former presents a mural tour and the Hollywood Artisan Market, which features pop-up shops, artist showcases and vintage shopping. The latter features dozens – up to 85 – of hot rods, custom cars and trucks, modern beauties and classics.
    When:
    Respectively, third Saturday (the 17th in August) and first Sunday (the 4th in August) of each month.
    Where:
    downtown Hollywood
    Web:
    hollywoodfl.org

     

    Sarasota Slam, men with fish

    Thousands of anglers have participated in the Sarasota Slam since it began 16 years ago, and it’s easy to see why it’s now one of the most popular fishing tournaments in Florida.

    - Sarasota Slam


    CENTRAL FLORIDA

    STITCHER PARADISE Now in its third year, Stitcher Paradise is a sewing lover’s dream event, created to inspire and connect all sewing and quilting enthusiasts, novices, and anyone who wants to explore the world of color, fabric, fiber art. and more. Participate in workshops by nationally known educators dispensing invaluable tips to stitchers and quilters, fiber artists, hand embroiderers and longarm quilters of all skill levels and interests. Groups and buses are welcome and the hosting Hilton offers special room rates for Stitcher Paradise participants.
    When:
    July 18-20
    Where:
    Hilton Carillon Park, St. Petersburg
    Web:
    happyapplequilts.com/stitcher-paradise

    SHARK CON – Never have sharks seemed more loveable, fascinating and critical to sea life sustainability than at Shark Con, a fun, interactive and educational two-day event dedicated to ocean life conservation, marine research and advocacy. Dip your hands in touch tanks, try scuba diving, plunge down a 22-foot shark slide, dig for sharks’ teeth, and take your photo with mermaids. And new this year, listen to celebrity and expert speakers from “Shark Week,” “National Geographic,” and “Animal Planet,” and meet members of the “SpongeBob SquarePants” cast.
    When:
    July 13-14
    Where:
    Florida State Fairgrounds, Tampa
    Web:
    shark-con.com

    SARASOTA MYSTIC FAIRE – People come from all over to find healing, enlightenment and natural health products and techniques at this fascinating fair. Visit with psychics, tarot card readers, mediums, and alternative health practitioners or shop for various hard-to-find items and gifts such as crystals, crystal bowls, jewelry, clothing, books, sacred art, angel art, mandalas and more.
    When: July 27-28
    Where: Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, Sarasota
    Web: mysticfaires.com/sarasota-mystic-faire

    CLEARWATER THRESHERS PRIDE NIGHT – Spend a fun, family-friendly evening with Clearwater’s own minor league baseball team and sponsor of St. Pete Pride as the Threshers honor equality and diversity and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community along with families, friends and allies. Enjoy a great American pastime, refreshments, and a warm crowd, then stay after for an exciting fireworks show.
    When:
    July 27
    Where:
    Spectrum Field, Clearwater
    Web:
    milb.com/clearwater/pride-night

    CALADIUM FESTIVAL & PLANT EXTRAVAGANZA – Celebrate Florida’s rich soil and natural beauty and support local farming at this three-day fest honoring the vibrant and hearty caladium plant. This year’s event includes bus tours, plant and bulb markets, samples of wine from local harvests, an art competition, a floral arrangement contest, a car show, arts and crafts vendors, and food trucks.
    When:
    July 26-28
    Where:
    Stuart Park, Lake Placid
    Web:
    lpfla.com/caladium-festival

    CRYSTAL RIVER SCALLOP FESTIVAL – Citrus County’s official scallop season kicks off in July, and what better way to ring in the scalloping than with live Florida-style music, cold beer, water balloons, and a scallop cook-off? Try your hand at the 32-foot rock wall, sing your heart out at karaoke, and sample local flavors from the various food vendors. Also: a special dance performance and the Miss and Mr. Kings Bay Pageant.
    When:
    July 27-28
    Where:
    Kings Bay Park, Crystal River
    Web:
    bestfloridafest.com/scallop-festival

    METROCON – This eye-popping event for anime lovers brings cosplay entertainment to another level with roving mascots, actors, and other creative acts mingling with guests dressed as their favorite anime, comic book, video game, and sci-fi characters. Meet the voice actors behind your favorite animated icons, hear from screenwriters and illustrators, and take part in the various human chess matches, parties, video game battles, and fire shows.
    When:
    July 11-14
    Where:
    Tampa Convention Center, downtown Tampa
    Web:
    metroconventions.com

    ST. PETE SUMMER MARKET SERIES – It doesn’t get much more St. Pete than an indie market, sunshine, and shuffleboard. Hosted by the Indie Flea, this summer pop-up series features a number of independent vendors selling hip clothing and accessories, homemade bath and body products, plants, artwork, and gifts. Come hungry and enjoy brunch and craft cocktails while you play and shop.
    When:
    July 28
    Where:
    St. Pete Shuffleboard Club, St. Petersburg
    Web:
    facebook.com/shuffleboard

    FLORIDA VEGAN GOURMET FOOD FESTIVAL – Inside the beautiful USF Botanical Gardens, celebrate the plant-based lifestyle and taste gourmet dishes and unique recipes while meeting local chefs of vegan cuisine. Learn the art of preparing gourmet vegan dishes with live cooking and food preparation demos, participate in a one-with-nature meditation session, and shop at an organic farmers market. Kids 12 and under are free, and there are plenty of activities for all ages.
    When:
    July 27
    Where:
    USF Botanical Gardens, Tampa
    Web:
    facebook.com/USF-vegan

    DAYTONA BEACH BANDSHELL CONCERTS – You know Florida summer is finally here when the Daytona Beach Bandshell fires up its fun and free concert series, which begins Memorial Day weekend and runs through the end of September. Check out a wide variety of genres and tribute bands right along Daytona’s beautiful coastline as dusk turns to night and stick around on Saturdays for a spectacular fireworks show at the Daytona Beach Boardwalk and Pier.
    When:
     every weekend through the end of September
    Where:
    Daytona Beach
    Web:
    daytonabeach.com/bandshell-concerts

    DALI MUSEUM’S VISUAL MAGIC EXHIBIT Be among the first to try out this special interactive exhibit featuring some of Salvador Dali’s most monumental works through the lens of augmented reality technology. Viewing the artwork through the Dali Museum app on a mobile device, visitors get to see the paintings come to life, highlighting and exploring their complexities in a completely different way. Don’t have a device? The museum can provide one of theirs.
    When:
    June 15-Nov. 3
    Where:
    The Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg
    Web:
    thedali.org

    TAMPA THEATRE SUMMER CLASSICS MOVIE SERIES – If you’re looking for a cool, dark escape from the summer heat, head to the beautiful, historic (and air-conditioned!) Tampa Theatre, which begins its Summer Classics series the first weekend of June. Revisit old scenes you forgot, recite your favorite lines under your breath and reminisce with old favorites such as “Jaws,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “9-to-5” and a sing-along version of “Grease.”
    When:
    Sundays through August
    Where:
    Tampa Theatre, downtown Tampa
    Web:
    tampatheatre.org/summer-classics

    THE INFINITY TOY & COMIC CONVENTION – Superhero fans, cartoon aficionados, and video gamers flock to this two-day convention celebrating comic books, anime, cosplay, and pop culture. This year’s event features special guests and artists such as comic book colorist Paul Mounts (The “Ultimates,”” Power Girl”) and illustrator/designer Jonboy Meyers, as well cosplay contests and several vendors with collectibles and hard-to-find merchandise.
    When:
    Aug. 24-25
    Where:
    Osceola Heritage Park, Kissimmee
    Web:
    infinitytoyandcomicon.com

    SARASOTA SLAM – Thousands of anglers have participated in the Sarasota Slam since it began 16 years ago, and it’s easy to see why it’s now one of the most popular fishing tournaments in Florida. The competition includes billfish, fun fish and junior angler divisions, making everyone feel included as the week winds down to a Saturday afternoon dockside BBQ and party as well as the finishing awards ceremony.
    When:
    Aug. 9-10
    Where:
    Marina Jack, Sarasota
    Web:
    sarasotaslam.com

    FLORIDA KIDS & FAMILY EXPO – As the kids prepare to head back to school at the end of a long summer, take the whole family to this air-conditioned event children can play, bounce, create, discover, eat, explore and have fun while you gather new ideas and learn about enriching and exciting programs for all ages. It’s a great way to spend the day and you’ll walk away with a year full of prospects to get your family more involved in athletics, arts, music and more.
    When:
    Aug. 17-18
    Where:
    Orange County Convention Center, Orlando
    Web:
    mycentralfloridafamily.com/expo

    ARCADIA SUMMER ANTIQUE FAIR – Go treasure hunting at one of the most well-known antique markets in Florida, which features more than a hundred tables and tents offering everything from old stamps and postcards to war memorabilia to vintage clothing. Stay the weekend and visit some of quaint Arcadia’s cafes and shops, many of which feature unique gifts and antiques as well.
    When:
    Aug. 24
    Where:
    Downtown Arcadia
    Web:
    arcadiaflantiques.com

    CLEARWATER THRESHERS DOG DAYS OF SUMMER – Bring your pup to the ballpark and enjoy an evening of entertainment, treats and lots of barking while supporting Clearwater’s own minor-league baseball team. The stadium will have dog-centric vendors on the concourse, pre-game shenanigans by The Ohana Dog Show and plenty of fresh water and shade to keep Rover cool. Dog tickets are $6 and 100 percent of it goes to charity.
    When:
    Aug. 26
    Where:
    Spectrum Field, Clearwater
    Web:
    milb.com/clearwater/dog-days

    PLANT CITY STRAWBERRY CLASSIC CRUISE-IN – In its 22nd year, this classic car show is still going strong, with this month’s show highlighting older, classic and antique trucks, as well as other classic cars and motorcycles. Cruise the streets and pop into downtown’s shops and restaurants, which stay open for evening hours to accommodate patrons.
    When:
    Aug. 17
    Where:
    McCall Park, Plant City
    Web:
    facebook.com/Orlando-Vegan-Fest

    TAMPA BAY COMIC CON – The Tampa Bay area’s most well-known and long-running geek-fest returns with everything you’d expect at weekend devoted to comic book junkies: cosplay, celebrity guests, toys and graphic novels, an electronic gaming arena, a kids play zone and more. This year’s guest lineup includes Ron Perlman, Michael Rooker, Harry Potter’s Bonnie Wright and various voice actors and actresses from some of the today’s most popular cartoons and pop culture hit series.
    When:
    Aug. 2-4
    Where:
    Tampa Convention Center, downtown Tampa
    Web:
    flaglerave.com/nsb-shrimp-seafood-festival                                                         

    HIPPIEFEST – Dig out your bellbottoms and peace sign jewelry for an evening of 1970s revelry, complete with a band lineup that includes Vanilla Fudge and Henry Gross (formerly of Sha Na Na) and a “Hippie Marketplace” with local music, food, a ‘70s car show, a vinyl record sale, an authentic signed poster auction and other groovy vendors and activities.
    When:
    Aug. 16
    Where:
    Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater
    Web:
    rutheckerdhall.com/event/hippiefest

    FLORIDA WEDDING EXPO – Brides-to-be and wedding planners can shop at this expo for just about anything and everything to make the perfect day complete: gowns, tuxes, cakes, hair and makeup services, creative and unique decorations, flowers and more. Enter to win one of 100-plus giveaways, including honeymoon packages and other wedding services.
    When:
    Aug. 25
    Where:
    Orange County Convention Center West, Orlando
    Web:
    floridaweddingexpo.com

    THE INCREDIBLE DUCK RACE – Adopt one of more than 5,000 rubber ducks dumped into downtown Tampa’s Hillsborough River and watch them all “race” to the finish line. Proceeds from the adoptions benefit children’s programs and charities via the Tampa Kiwanis Foundation, and there will be lots of fun activities, food, games and other entertainment at the park leading up to the big race.
    When:
    Aug. 24
    Where:
    Curtis Hixon Park, downtown Tampa
    Web:
    duckrace.com/tampa

    25th ANNUAL GRAPE STOMP – Ring in the late summer vineyard harvest season in Florida with Lakeridge Winery’s annual stomping of the grapes. Stompers of all age can experience the squish between their toes as a fun, competitive tradition to honor this year’s bounty, plus families can enjoy live music and tasty treats as part of the weekend-long fest.
    When:
    Aug. 17-18
    Where:
    Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, Clermont
    Web:
    lakeridgewinery.com/grape-stomp

    GECKOFEST – You know summer is winding down when you start to hear about GeckoFest in Gulfport, and the Gecko Crawl kicks off the festivities with a fun gathering of party people, followed by the Gecko Ball and the street fair, GeckoFest. This year’s theme is “Geckos of the Roundtable,” so come dressed in armor, medieval dress or other Renaissance-era getups while celebrating this unique little Florida city and participating in fundraisers, street performances and other revelry.
    When:
    Aug. 10, 24, 31
    Where:
    Downtown Gulfport and its historic waterfront
    Web:
    geckofest.com/geckofest

     

    Paddle At The Porch, throng of paddleboarders entering the Gulf

    When it’s too hot to run, take to the emerald waters off Destin’s beachfront for the 8th annual stand up paddleboard competition known as Paddle At The Porch.

    - Paddle At The Porch

     

    NORTH FLORIDA

    SUMMER MOVIE CLASSICS Some movie buffs have argued that 1994 was one of the top years for Hollywood, and looking at the Florida Theatre’s lineup for their annual Sunday afternoon showings it’s easy to see why. Fans will have a chance to revisit “Forrest Gump,” an Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Director, Actor and Adapted Screenplay (showing on 8/25), “Pulp Fiction,” Academy Award winner for Best Original Screenplay (6/23), “Little Giants” (7/7), “The Shawshank Redemption” (7/21) and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” (8/18) all on their 25th anniversary. Also includes showings of films celebrating their golden anniversary: “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (6/30), “Easy Rider” (7/14), “The Italian Job” (8/4) and “Midnight Cowboy” (8/18). Although the theater is used primarily for live entertainment, it is one of the state’s original movie palaces. A chance to explore the Moorish interior architecture is as much a draw as an air-conditioned movie on a hot summer day.
    When:
    June 23 to Aug. 25
    Where:
    Florida Theatre, Jacksonville
    Web:
    floridatheatre.com

    PENSACOLA BEACH AIR SHOW The Blue Angels’ jaw-dropping aerial feats are even more breathtaking as they buzz beachgoers at their home base along Pensacola’s sugar-soft sandy beachfront. The air show also features other fan-favorite performers like Fat Albert (C-130 Hercules), Gary Ward, and Veterans Flight, but this is Blues country and their pilots are the stars of the show. Catch a glimpse of the Blues leading up to the main event at the Breakfast with the Blues meet and greet (Wednesday), or during practice (Thursday and Friday).
    When:
    July 10-13
    Where:
    Gulfside Pavilion at Casino Beach, Pensacola Beach
    Web:
    visitpensacolabeach.com/blue-angels

    SWAMP STOMP MUSIC FESTIVAL Spread your blanket under the Spanish moss dripping from the dense live oak canopy for a night of acoustic music by Southern singer/songwriters, including Dylan “Rag Picker” Allen, Bell & the Band, Mimi Hearn, Brian Bowen, Hot Tamale, and Del Suggs. Kids can explore the museum’s 52-acre park along Lake Bradford either at ground-level along the boardwalk and trails or from the treetops on the zipline adventure. The event is free for active-duty military personnel.
    When:
    July 13
    Where:
    Tallahassee Museum
    Web:
    tallahasseemuseum.org/swamp-stomp

    BEACHES FREEDOM FESTIVAL Enjoy an All-American, family-friendly day at the beach complete with a Corn Hole Tournament and Hot Dog Eating Contest. The free festival includes more than a dozen food trucks, live entertainment with The Band Be Easy and Let’s Ride Brass Band as headliners, beer garden, and a kid zone with crafts and games.
    When:
    July 13
    Where:
    Jacksonville Beach
    Web:
    beachesfreedomfest.com

    GREATER JACKSONVILLE KINGFISH TOURNAMENT AND FESTIVAL Grab your rod and enjoy one of the coolest outdoor locales in Northeast Florida in July as you cruise along the coast. More than 300 boats will participate in the 39th annual five-day tournament that also features an offshore contest for junior anglers. The weigh-in each day is the hotspot for photos, but festival goers can also enjoy the food festival, Liar’s Tent, live entertainment, boat display, and Boatique. This year, the tournament will pay out more than $186,000 with the grand prize winner taking home a Contender 24 Sport with 250HP Yamaha Outboard, Magic-Tilt Trailer, and Custom T-Top.
    When:
    July 15-20
    Where:
    Jim King Park & Boat Ramp at Sister Creek, Jacksonville
    Web:
    kingfishtournament.com

    C-QUARTERS YOUTH FISHING TOURNAMENT More than 200 future anglers cast their lines and crossed their fingers while waiting to hook a big one during last year’s tournament. C-Quarters Marina has been hosting this tournament for kids 16 years old or younger for 15 years. It kicks off with a mandatory Fishing Clinic offering instruction that offers overall safety while also teaching the kids how to tie knots or tie on hooks. After the clinic, each child gets a rod, reel, T-shirt, hat, and bait to use in the tournament that allows them to go out on a boat or to fish dockside.
    When:
    July 19-20
    Where:
    C-Quarters Marina, Carrabelle
    Web:
    www.c-quartersmarina.com/youthfishing

    CRAB CAKE COOK-OFF In other parts of the country, Maryland’s crab cakes may reign supreme. But Florida chefs will give them a run for the title. Come hungry and be prepared to sample your way through a variety of crab cakes during Carrabelle’s fourth annual cook-off. Also includes live music, activities, and a silent auction.
    When:
    July 27
    Where:
    Marine Street Grill, Carrabelle
    Web:
    floridasforgottencoast.com/crab-cake-cook-off

    JAX SUMMER FEST Even though the summer heat lingers long after the season technically ends in Florida, the organizers consider this an end-of-summer blowout bash for indie talent. Themed live entertainment events include Flaribbean Flava, Drip Fest (a cookout and beach party) and a Hip Hop/Reggae VIP After Party. Non-music events include a Performer Showcase and Game Night, Fashion and Hair Show, and live taping of the local tv series “LIVE from New Jax City.”
    When:
    July 25-28
    Where:
    Jacksonville
    Web:
    eventbrite.com/jax-summer-music

    SUMMER FRIDAYS Add a side of art and culture to your Friday night on the town with the Cummer Museum’s program featuring extended hours, live music, lawn games and interactive displays. Each week has a different theme to highlight specific cultural regions. Additional programming is available for purchase including the museum’s special exhibition “French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850-1950” featuring 65 works from the Brooklyn Museum’s European collection.
    When:
    July 19, 26; Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; Sept. 6
    Where:
    Cummer Museum, Jacksonville
    Web:
    cummermuseum.org

    JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS TRAINING CAMP — Football fans counting down the days until the start of the season will get a teaser of the action to come as NFL teams return to the field. The Jags camp will be a hot ticket as #sacksonville diehards hope to catch their first glimpse of new QB (and former Super Bowl MVP) Nick Foles as he dons the red jersey and takes over the offense from turnover machine Blake Bortles. With many of the pieces of the team’s stifling D returning it could be a fun fall in “DUUUVAL.” Fans, autograph seekers and curious onlookers need to sign up for free e-tickets online and this year’s joint practice will be with the Baltimore Ravens.
    When:
    Kicks off July 25
    Where:
    TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville
    Web:
    jaguars.com

    NIGHT UNDER THE STARS Identify constellations, learn the names of the brightest stars and get an up-close view of our moon and planets during this Astronomy 101 class led by the Ancient City Astronomy Club and St. Johns County Parks and Recreations. Participants will have access to telescopes and binoculars for this star gazing experience.
    When:
    Aug. 1, 2
    Where:
    St. Johns County Fairgrounds, Elkton
    Web:
    eventbrite.com/night-under-the-stars

    ANNUAL BEST IN BAKER BBQ COOK-OFF Savory and sweet is the theme for the Baker County Clerk of Court’s annual cook-off. Warm up the taste buds with BBQ as teams will be serving chicken, pork baby back ribs, St. Louis-style ribs and pork butt. Then, switch to dessert for the pound cake competition. Prizes handed out include Best in Baker, Grand Champion, People’s Choice and Pound Cakes. Also includes live music, mechanical bull rides, cake auction and more.
    When:
    Aug. 2-3
    Where:
    Heritage Park, Macclenny
    Web:
    chamberorganizer.com

    SOWAL CRAFT BEER AND SPIRITS FESTIVAL Shaded and fanned tents will provide added relief from the heat while participants indulge in more than 60 craft beers samples. If she doesn’t like her beer hoppy but he prefers his drinks shaken, not stirred, the second annual event will also be providing tastes from some of the state’s hot distilleries along with ciders, rose and mimosas. Test your industry knowledge by chatting up beer and spirit experts while enjoying a variety of eats from local restaurants.
    When:
    Aug. 2
    Where:
    Shades Bar & Grill, Inlet Beach
    Web:
    shades30a.com

    50TH ANNUAL WAUSAU FUN DAY AND POSSUM FESTIVAL Who doesn’t want to participate in the annual Hog Callin', Rooster Crowin’ and Cow Lowin’ contests? And, why is Wausau’s most famous annual event named after a marsupial? Turns out they thrive in the Central Panhandle. What else should you expect? A possum sighting or two, of course, pancake breakfast, parade, square dance, crosscut sawing contest, live entertainment, pageants and a sack race.
    When:
    Aug. 3
    Where:
    Wausau
    Web:
    wausaupossumfestival.com

    16TH ANNUAL KINGFISH SHOOTOUT Looking for a reason to gas up your boat and put a new reel on your rod? We’ve got 5,000 reasons, because that’s how much money the winning angler will take home for catching the largest kingfish. The three-day tournament will give out $16,500 in prize money with categories for spanish mackerel, youth angler and lady angler. Love fishing, but find yourself confined to the shore? Don’t worry, you can still support the cause by purchasing tickets in the boat raffle. Winner takes home a 2018 NauticStar Flats Boat.
    When:
    Aug. 3-4
    Where:
    C-Quarters Marina, Carrabelle
    Web:
    c-quartersmarina.com

    EMERALD COAST POKER RUN — Feeling lucky? What better reason to spend a day cruising the beautiful shoreline of the Emerald Coast than for a charity poker run. The Poker Run, also called “The Big One”, is the culmination of a weeklong series of boat-themed events including a boat parade, bikini contest and Rockin’ The Docks Captains Party. The grand prize is a 2019 Harley-Davidson Street Bob and the poker run will be held rain or shine.
    When:
    Aug. 7-10
    Where:
    various venues, Okaloosa County
    Web:
    emeraldcoastpokerrun.com

    2019 SCALLOP SEASON The family that goes scalloping together, eats together. Harvesting bay scallops is more like a fun-filled Easter egg hunt. All you need is eagle eyes, a saltwater fishing license, snorkel, mask and dive flag — all readily available from local outfitters. Scallops love making their home amid the waving blades of seagrass in St. Joseph Bay. Just look glowing blue eyes along the shell’s edge, drop the dive flag and start collecting.
    When:
    Aug. 16 - Sept. 15
    Where:
    St. Joseph Bay
    Web:
    visitgulf.com/scalloping

    PADDLE AT THE PORCH When it’s too hot to run, take to the emerald waters off Destin’s beachfront for the 8th annual stand up paddleboard competition. SUP paddlers can compete in the 1-Mile Beginner Ride, 3-Mile Recreation Race and the 6-Mile Elite Race. Even kids can get in on the action with a Fun Paddle. Awards presented to both the top three men and women in each race.
    When:
    Aug. 17
    Where:
    Destin
    Web:
    /paddleguru.com/PaddleatthePorch

    HAMMERHEAD OCEAN MARATHON The word “marathon” might be part of the event name, but racers don’t need running shoes to go the distance. This annual event is actually an open water swim in the Atlantic Ocean with three distances for varying skill levels. This year, a 1k swim has been added for beginners. Longer distances include the 2k (1.25 miles) and 5k swims and all participants will receive a finisher medal.
    When:
    Aug. 17
    Where:
    Jacksonville Beach
    Web:
    jacksonvillebeach.org

    DOG DAYS OPEN HOUSE WEEKEND If northerners go stir crazy in the winter, the same can be said about southerners hibernating in their air-conditioned homes in the summer months. The Suwannee Bicycle Association has a weekend of activities worth braving the sweltering heat that include road and off-road rides, a relaxing float down the river and a guided paddle. New this year is the four-person Geo-Cache Team Events. To participate, each team must have one mountain biker, one road bicyclist, one tuber and one kayaker. The SBA provides tubes, but an RSVP is required.
    When:
    Aug. 23-25
    Where:
    Suwannee River State Park
    Web:
    suwanneebike.org/dogdays

    GRAPE HARVEST FESTIVAL 2019 Kick off your shoes. Let down your hair. Yes, the chance to squish some grapes between your toes doesn’t require a trip to California wine country. Instead, the grape stomp at Florida A&M University is just one component of their family-friendly wine festival, which opens up 45 acres of muscadine grape vines for tours. Other activities include a 2K and 5K vineyard run, grape and wine sampling, a mobile marine lab, water slides, a grape throwing competition, pick your own grapes and more.
    When:
    Aug. 24
    Where:
    FAMU Center for Viticulture and Small Fruit Research, Tallahassee
    Web:
    famunews.com/grape-harvest-festival

    NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA BLUES SOCIETY REGIONAL BLUES CHALLENGE North Florida has birthed iconic musicians -- Ray Charles from St. Augustine and Tom Petty from Gainesville -- in a variety of genres. Catch the state’s top Blues talent at the society’s annual competition. The winning band, solo/duo and self-produced CD will represent the region at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and try to become the next sunshine state star.
    When:
    Aug. 25
    Where:
    High Dive, Gainesville
    Web:
    visitgainesville.com/blues-challenge

    PEPSI GULF COAST JAM PCB, as it’s affectionately referred to by locals, knows how to bookend the summer with two beachfront fests for music lovers. It may still be too sultry out for jeans and cowboy boots, but Floridians love their country music and more than 15,000 fans will match their best honkytonk hat with swimwear and flip flops. Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean and Kid Rock will headline three days of live music. Other notable acts include Midland, Locash, Big and Rich, The Cadillac Three and Gretchen Wilson.
    When:
    Aug. 30 - Sept. 1
    Where:
    Frank Brown Park, Panama City Beach
    Web:
    gulfcoastjam.com

    If you have an event you’d like to be considered for inclusion in this monthly feature, please forward information of interest to visitors and residents at least six weeks in advance of the event’s date by clicking on and completing this form:

    FLORIDA EVENTS CALENDAR SUBMISSIONS

    Our mission is to support and promote Florida tourism throughout the state. Because of the heavy volume of requests for listings, not all submissions can be included in our calendar each month.

    To see more Florida happenings, check out our Events page.

    Places to Remember

    SPONSORS & PARTNERS