Florida, the sunshine state, is renowned for more than its pristine beaches and theme parks, and here are some of the best festivals in Florida. We have a myriad of captivating festivals that unite the locals and attract the tourists. The festivals are mini celebrations all year long; we have the perfect festival weather here. From music and food to art and culture, there’s an event that caters to every taste.
Here are some of the best festivals in Florida
SunFest: Florida’s Largest Waterfront Music and Art Festival
Held in West Palm Beach every year in the first week of May, SunFest attracts a crowd of over 175,000 music and art lovers. SunFest presents a five-day marathon of live performances by internationally acclaimed artists spanning different music genres. The festival’s floating stages create a unique waterfront ambiance, enhanced by the art district offering a vast range of visual treats.
Key West Fantasy Fest: A Ten-Day Costume Extravaganza
Key West Fantasy Fest in late October, is a blend of Halloween, Mardi Gras, and Carnival, all rolled into one. This festival attracts visitors worldwide with its themed parades, costume contests, street fairs, and parties. The highlight is the grand parade, featuring lavishly decorated floats that make their way down Duval Street.
Miami Film Festival: A Haven for Cinephiles
Running since 1984, the Miami Film Festival takes place annually in March. The festival celebrates the finest in world cinema, offering a platform to both established and emerging filmmakers. Over 400 movies from 60 countries have been screened here, reflecting the diverse international culture Miami boasts.
The Strawberry Festival in Plant City: A Family-Friendly Affair
Every spring, Plant City hosts the Florida Strawberry Festival. This 11-day event, celebrated since 1930, honors the local strawberry harvest. The festival features live music, agricultural exhibits, rides, and of course, a vast variety of strawberry-themed food items. Don’t miss the traditional strawberry shortcake!
Gasparilla Pirate Festival: Tampa’s Historic Celebration
The Gasparilla Pirate Festival is Tampa’s unique tribute to the legendary pirate José Gaspar. Held in late January, this festival commences with a staged pirate invasion, where hundreds of boats invade the city, led by the fully-rigged pirate ship, ‘José Gasparilla’. The day culminates in a large parade, making it an unforgettable spectacle.
Winterfest Boat Parade: The Greatest Show on H2O
The Winterfest Boat Parade in Fort Lauderdale is a December delight. Ranked as one of the top ten parades by the International Festival and Events Association, the event showcases lavishly decorated boats traversing the 12-mile route on New River and Intracoastal Waterway. The grandeur of shimmering boats against the night sky is truly enchanting.
Caladium Festival: Lake Placid’s Floral Spectacle
Every July, Lake Placid organizes the Caladium Festival to celebrate its title as the “Caladium Capital of the World”. This festival features bus tours to caladium fields, arts and crafts exhibitions, wine tasting, and classic car shows. It’s a perfect event for flower enthusiasts and photographers.
Florida Seafood Festival: A Seafood Lover’s Paradise
Apalachicola’s Florida Seafood Festival, held annually in November, is the state’s oldest maritime event. It offers visitors a taste of fresh local seafood, along with oyster eating and shucking contests, parades, and live music. This two-day festival attracts visitors from all corners of the world, eager to sample Florida’s finest seafood offerings.
Local to me and ones we try to go to every year:
The newspaper I worked for sponsors this every year, and as part of that sponsorship, we set up and manned a booth where we gave away our newspapers. We were not there in 2020 due to COVID-19, but that didn’t stop the show from happening!
We’ve gone to this fair for several years now, and my fav is always the amazing music! Even though they joust – that’s always fun-, I’m there for the music.
The best festivals in Florida conclusion
Each festival in Florida brings its own unique flair, highlighting the state’s diverse culture, community, and landscape. From the buoyant beats of SunFest to the cinematic magic of the Miami Film Festival, there’s something for everyone in Florida’s dynamic festival calendar.
Come join us in the sunshine and feel the music, eat the fantastic seafood, and enjoy a shortcake dessert.
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