Prime festival season in Florida runs from fall to spring, with January, February and March being the peak.
FloridaRambler.com started its festival coverage with a popular list of seafood festivals. But those left out some of our favorite festivals that celebrate Florida’s culture, like Hemingway Days in Key West, or the arts, like Cedar Key’s Old Florida Celebration of the Arts, or the water, like the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show.
Here’s our 2022-23 Florida festival calendar, which includes all sorts of festivals, from a funky LaBelle Swamp Cabbage Festival to the spectacular Pensacola Beach Air Show. It’s not comprehensive. I don’t think it’s actually possible to list every last festival, and if you did, the list would be too long to be useful. So we’ve hand-picked about 75 festivals known for their popularity and unique qualities.
December 2022 festivals in Florida
Complete schedule of 48 boat parades around Florida from FloridaRambler.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Orchid Show, Sarasota, Oct. 15-Dec. 4, 2022
The gorgeous 15-acre garden in downtown Sarasota is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to epiphytic orchids, bromeliads, ferns and other tropical plants, so when it puts on an orchid show, it’s spectacular.
Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami Beach, Dec. 1-3, 2022
Art Basel, an international art fair, draws top tier galleries from around the world plus the rich and glamorous to South Florida. A far cry from the street art festivals that dot Florida, this is an event that is not cheap. (Tickets start at $55.) Over the years, however, a variety of satellite events have developed, creating art-related events for regular folks, including Miami Art Week. Learn more about Art Basel.
Winterfest Boat Parade, Fort Lauderdale, Dec. 10, 2022
Many cities have lighted boat parades, but Fort Lauderdale’s is the biggest and, at 51, the oldest. The 12-mile route down the New River and Intracoastal Waterway is lined with people and parties and the parade is said to draw a crowd of a million spectators.
Best holiday light displays in Old Florida, throughout December, Mount Dora, St. Augustine and Stephen Foster Cultural Center State Park.
January 2023 festivals in Florida
Crystal River Manatee Festival, Crystal River, Jan. 14-15, 2023
Orange City Blue Spring Manatee Festival, Orange City, Jan. 28-29, 2023
These manatee festivals are each located near a site where hundreds of manatees gather each winter. Both locations offer a variety of activities, including opportunities to view manatees. Florida Rambler story on two January manatee festivals
Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival, Fellsmere, Jan. 19-22, 2023
This funky festival has been happening for 20 years. Food choices start with one frog leg (a frog “pop” on a stick for $3) up to a gator-tail and frog leg dinner for $14. Music, games, down-home goods.
Children’s Gasparilla Extravaganza, Tampa, Jan. 21, 2023
Kickoff of Gasparilla Days, featuring a children’s parade along Bayshore Boulevard and “piratechnic” sea battle commemorating the imaginary invasion of Tampa, which is re-enacted next weekend. Family-friendly and alcohol-free.
Jensen Beach Fine Arts and Crafts Show, Jensen Beach, Jan. 28-29, 2023
This free event kicks off the festival season in January with a show that features 125 artists selected by a jury out of hundreds of applicants. The setting is the charming historic streets of Jensen Beach.
Images – A Festival of the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, Jan. 27-29, 2023
Images presents more than 200 artists from across North America in a waterfront setting. It’s a free festival that attracts 45,000.
Homestead Rodeo, Homestead, Jan. 27-29, 2023
Florida has a rich history of rodeos in its small towns. One of the longest lasting traditional rodeos (70+ years) and the southernmost rodeo in the United States is in Homestead.
Gasparilla Pirate Fest, Tampa, Jan. 28, 2023
Colorful, fully-rigged pirate ship Jose Gasparilla magically appears at the south end of Hillsborough Bay, where the invading Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla are met by a flotilla of pleasure craft. The mock sea battle is followed by a Mardi Gra-like parade.
Kumquat Festival, Dade City, Jan 28, 2023
The historic downtown in Dade City fills with as many as 35,000 people for this free event celebrating the tangy little fruit grown locally. Along with dozens of booths and live entertainment, a highlight is tasting kumquat treats, from kumquat pie to kumquat cookies to kumquat salsa. Free shuttles run from two satellite parking areas –the Pasco County Fairgrounds on State Road 52 and next to Jarrett Ford on US Hwy 301 Truck Route. On the preceding Thursday and Friday, the kumquat growers open their groves and packing houses for tours.
February 2023 festivals in Florida
Artfest Fort Myers, Fort Myers, Feb. 3-5, 2023
The free festival takes place on the waterfront in historic downtown Fort Myers and features a juried exhibition of 290 fine artists from all over the country. Along with the art, the festival features interactive art exhibits, children’s activities, live music, and demonstrations.
Mount Dora Arts Festival, Mount Dora, Feb. 4-5, 2023
Charming Mount Dora is a city of festivals, and this free fest attracts 250,000 for top art, food and entertainment. Florida Rambler story on things to do in Mount Dora .
South Florida Garlic Fest, Wellington, Feb. 4-5, 2023
A big event with food and top musical performers, it started as a fundraiser for several non-profits. The festival outgrew Delray Beach and moved to Wellington Green.
Florida State Fair , Tampa, Feb. 9-20, 2023
It boasts “the largest midway in the USA,” but its core purpose, celebrated for more than 100 years, is to showcase Florida’s agriculture and its history. Florida Rambler story on Florida State Fair
Everglades Seafood Festival, Everglades City, Feb. 17-19, 2023
This free event in Florida’s Stone Crab Capitol packs ’em in for fresh seafood, country music, carnival rides, crafts booths. An estimated 50,000 people attend each year in this small town (population 500) for the three-day event.
Scottish Highland Festival, Mount Dora, Feb. 18-19, 2023
This gated event features Scottish bands and musicians all the weekend at Donnelly Park and an afternoon of Highland Games in Gilbert Park on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Battle of Olustee Civil War Re-Enactment, Sanderson, Feb. 17-19, 2023
Florida’s largest Civil War battle is re-enacted, with gun smoke, booming cannons and cavalry.
Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival, Cortez, Feb. 18-19, 2023
Cortez started as a fishing village, and it still has a working waterfront and fishing boats. The festival offers music, nautical arts and crafts, children’s activities, environmental exhibits and lots of fresh seafood.
Coconut Grove Arts Festival, Coconut Grove, Miami, Feb. 18-20, 2023
A huge fair (covering many blocks with 350+ exhibitors) and a beautiful waterfront setting make this one of the most popular art festivals in Florida. As a result, it attracts top entertainers, food vendors and artists. Held annually on Presidents Day Weekend.
ArtiGras Fine Arts Festival, Jupiter, Feb. 19-20, 2023
A top juried festival with 300 artists, Artigras is celebrating 39 years of family fun this year. This is a ticketed event ($11) that raises money for local charities.
Naples National Art Festival, Naples, Feb. 25-26, 2023
Ranked among the top art festivals in the state, the event takes place in scenic Cambier Park and along 8th Street South in downtown Naples. It features 194 artists who complete for inclusion and the fair does not admit mass-produced items.
Navarre Beach Mardi Gras Parade, Navarre Beach, Feb. 11, 2023
This free, family-friendly cajun celebration along the gulf coast of Northwest Florida is suitable for all ages. The Navarre Beach Mardi Gras parade is one of the largest celebrations in Northwest Florida, attracting more than 35,000 parade-goers each year.
Swamp Cabbage Festival, La Belle, Feb. 25-26, 2023
For 50+ years, this authentic Florida town east of Fort Myers has been celebrating swamp cabbage in a down-home festival and parade. A unique highlight: Armadillo races. Florida Rambler story on the Swamp Cabbage Festival.
March 2023 festivals in Florida
Florida Strawberry Festival, Plant City, March 2-12, 2023
Like a state fair, the Strawberry Festival has agricultural displays, livestock shows, arts and crafts, local food and a huge carnival midway. But its entertainment line-up is what’s extraordinary year after year. Florida Rambler story on Strawberry Festival
Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, Tampa, March 4-5, 2023
This large festival offers top prize money that attracts 320+ top fine artists.
Grant Seafood Festival, Grant-Sebastian, March 4-5, 2023
The Grant Seafood Festival is put on by volunteers and has been held every year since 1966 in this sprawling riverside community between Melbourne and Sebastian.
Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival, Fort Myers Beach, March 11-12, 2023
There are still working fishing boats in this town pulling in shrimp from the Gulf and that’s the reason Fort Myers Beach has held its shrimp festival for 50 years
Bike Week, Daytona Beach, March 3-12, 2023
For more than 75 years, motorcyclists have gathered in Daytona Beach for a spring fling and this year, they’re expecting a half million.
Marathon Seafood Festival, Marathon, March 11-12, 2023
The Key’s most popular seafood fest is the “original” in Marathon.
Calle Ocho Festival, Miami, March 12, 2023
This street festival is enormous: It attracts a million people to the largest Hispanic festival in the United States. The event stretches for 20 blocks with 10 stages and it has everything: food, music, art and a giant conga line. Calle Ocho is part of the larger Carnaval Miami.
Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, Winter Park, March 17-19, 2023
This large show annually earns top ranking among art festivals nationwide. In addition to the draw of high-quality art, it is located in a beautiful and historic community with big shade trees and activities to entertain various ages and interests.
Sunnyland Boat Festival, Tavares
This antique and classic boat festival is one of the largest classic wood boat shows in the country with as many as 250 to 300 restored boats on display in the water and along one third of a mile of Lake Dora shoreline at Wooton Park in Tavares.
St. Augustine Lions Spring Festival, St. Augustine, March 25-26, 2023
The St. Augustine Lions Club seafood festival has changed its name to the Lions Spring Festival after cancelling it in 2021 due to COVID. Hosted by St. Augustine Lions Club with the participation of neighboring Lions Clubs. Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Francis Field, 25 West Castillo Drive, downtown St. Augustine.
April 2023 festivals in Florida
Dunedin Highland Games and Festival, Dunedin, April 1, 2023
This charming town settled by Scottish immigrants celebrates its heritage with highland games that have been held here for more than 50 years. A parade is on Friday with games and festival Saturday
Old Florida Celebration of the Arts, Cedar Key, April 1-2, 2023
Cedar Key is an artsy Old Florida town that attracts top talent to its historic waterfront downtown. This juried fine arts and crafts event welcomes only 100 fine artists and craftsmen to allow for plenty of room for artists and art enthusiasts to interact. Local non-profit organizations sell homemade goodies and local seafood in beachfront City Park. Old Florida Celebration of the Arts from Florida Rambler.
Sebring Soda Festival, Sebring, April 7-8, 2023
Sebring, a small town along the lovely Lake Wales Ridge in Central Florida, is staking a claim for something new — Florida’s first (and only) craft soda festival. Local small-batch sodas made with real sugar are making a comeback, and at this festival, you’ll find 200 flavors from around the country to try.
Delray Affair of the Arts, Delray Beach, April 14-16, 2023
Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2022, Delray Affair will fill 12 blocks of beautiful downtown Delray Beach with an eclectic mix of up to 500 vendors offering arts, crafts and products. Here’s a Florida Rambler story on things to do in Delray Beach.
Pompano Beach Seafood Festival, Pompano Beach, April 21-23, 2023
This city has completed a beautiful makeover of its beachfront area, including the addition of an attactive parking garage. It creates a perfect beach setting for a festival with three stages of music.
Brooksville Blueberry Festival, Brooksville, April 29-30, 2023
Yes, Florida is a major producer of blueberries, and this celebration features a variety of blueberry foods and products. It has something for every demographic — from craft beer to live music to children’s entertainment. Here’s a Florida Rambler story the Brooksville Blueberry Festival.
Fort Lauderdale Air Show, Fort Lauderdale, April 29-30, 2023
Beachfront air show, scaled down from its heyday. To kayak nearby and avoid traffic: Florida Rambler story on the Fort Lauderdale Air Show.
May 2023 festivals in Florida
Sunfest, West Palm Beach, May 4-7, 2023
With a stunning waterfront view along Flagler Drive, this major music festival offers three stages, 50 bands and lots of activities beyond musical performances.
Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, Fernandina Beach, May 5-7, 2023
This will be the 56th annual shrimp festival in one of Florida’s most productive shrimp regions. Pirate Parade, exhibits, arts and crafts, antiques, games, contests, seafood and live music along the Amelia River in downtown Fernandina Beach.
Key West Singers and Songwriters Festival, Key West, May 3-7, 2023
Musical performances and conversations with major artists. Most shows are free and occur at beaches, boats, bars, resorts and theaters. Shows start early afternoon and play into the late night.
Tupelo Honey Festival, Wewahitchka
Where is Wewahitchka and what exactly is Tupelo honey (other than a Van Morrison song)? Wewahitchka is in the Big Bend region of Florida near Tallahassee. Tupelo honey is a seasonal delicacy because Tupelo trees only bloom from April to May and top-quality honey comes from only the trees in the Apalachicola River valley. It is so special that you won’t find it in stores. At this festival, farmers from the area offer honey in a variety of sizes and packages under the moss-draped oaks around Lake Alice. The small-town festival also offers food vendors, art and crafts, live music and, of course, there is a Miss Tupelo Honey queen.
Florida Folk Festival, Memorial Day Weekend, White Springs, May 26-28, 2023
In its 71st year in 2023, this is the oldest continuous folk festival in the United States. Florida Rambler story on Florida Folk Festival.
June 2023 festivals in Florida
Waterlily Celebration, Vero Beach, June 18, 2023
In June, the waterlilies are in full bloom and McKee Botanical Garden, an unusual historic garden in Vero Beach that was once a popular roadside attraction, celebrates the event. For the Water Lily Celebration, the gardens open at 8:30 a.m. so you can see night-blooming varieties before they close their petals. The gardens, a little-known gem worth discovering, recently opened an innovative children’s garden.
Truman’s Tropical Fruit Festival
This juicy free event offers a taste of many types of mangoes and other tropical fruits, a tasty cocktail (for purchase), cooking demos and fruit trees you can purchase to take home. Held on the grounds of the Harry S. Truman Little White House, 111 Front St., Key West. Hours are 9 a.m. to noon.
July 2023 festivals in Florida
Pensacola Beach Air Show, Pensacola Beach
The stars of the show are the locally-based Blue Angels aerobatic team, who perform with other military and civilian aeronautic teams before thousands of spectators on Pensacola Beach in a free show.
Hemingway Days, Key West
The festival, celebrating one of Key West’s favorite former residents, offers a Hemingway look-alike contest and a fanciful “running of the bull.”
Lake Placid Caladium Festival, Lake Placid
A rare small-town festival in the summer, offering arts and crafts, beer garden, food booths, entertainment and a car and bike show. Florida Rambler story: Lake Placid Caladium Festival
September 2023 festivals in Florida
Traditional autumn festivals with pumpkin patches, corn mazes and other autumn experiences are included in our guide to the best fall Florida harvest festivals.
We also offer a comprehensive calendar of Florida Oktoberfest celebations.
Sing Out Loud Music Festival, Weekends in September, St. Augustine.
The festival, now in its fifth year, takes place at various venues around St. Augustine between during the month of September with more than a dozen concerts and events. Details.
Pensacola Seafood Festival, Pensacola
The Pensacola Seafood Festival is held in downtown Pensacola’s historic Seville Square and features fresh local seafood from the Gulf of Mexico served tapas-style by participating local restaurants,
October 2023 festivals in Florida
Creekside Music & Arts Festival, Flagler Beach
Alongside Pellicer Creek, shaded by the oaks at Princess Place Preserve, you can hear bluegrass and folk music, browse arts and crafts booths and watch historic demonstrations, such as blacksmith and potters. The preserve offers hiking, a historic lodge to tour and you can bring your kayak for a beautiful place to paddle.
There are Oktoberfest celebrations all around Florida, but this one is celebrating its 48th year in 2022 and draws more than 35,000 visitors for live music, dancers, food, beer and entertainment.
Cedar Key Seafood Festival, Cedar Key
One of the oldest seafood festivals in Florida — celebrating 52 years in 2022 — offers local food, arts, crafts and music.
Key West Fantasy Fest, Key West,
This famous and wild festival celebrates its 43rd anniversary in 2023.
Mount Dora Craft Fair, Mount Dora
Holiday shoppers make this an annual stop. Shop an eclectic mix of 400 arts and crafts, sculptures, ceramics, paintings and woodworking booths in this charming town. The three-decade old festival is located at 510 N. Baker St., Mount Dora.
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Fort Lauderdale
From super-yachts to inflatables to exotic cars. Show is in six locations over 3 million square feet of space with shuttles, water taxis, and riverboats connecting it all. Tickets start at $34.
Micanopy Fall Festival, Micanopy
Charming Old Florida town near Gainesville attracts 200 arts and crafts vendors with music under a canopy of live oak trees on a historic main street. Florida Rambler story on Micanopy.
November 2023 festivals in Florida
McIntosh 1890s Festival, McIntosh
This small historic town near Gainesville has held a festival for 47 years to raise funds to “preserve the natural and historic beauty of McIntosh.” With 280 arts, crafts and antiques vendors, organizers expect 25,000 to the festival site at 5835 Avenue G, McIntosh Fl 32664. Live oaks line the streets and the festival extends into shady Van Ness park, where free musical entertainment is presented during festival hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Seminoles’ American Indian Arts Celebration, Clewiston
The festival offers tradition — fry bread, alligator wrestling and Seminole crafts — but also celebrates the diversity of native cultures with entertainers brought in from other tribes.
Florida Seafood Festival , Apalachicola
The popular festivals is held at the mouth of the Apalachicola river under the shady oaks of Apalachicola’s Battery Park. It features fresh seafood as well as arts and crafts exhibits, seafood related events and live music.
Halifax Art Festival, downtown Daytona Beach
Founded in 1962, this is the second oldest art festival in Florida and attracts hundreds of top artists and thousands of visitors. The festival has an especially attractive location as it spreads out along Beach Street, which fronts onto Riverfront Park and the Halifax River. Florida Rambler story on Things to do near Daytona Beach
Siesta Key Crystal Classic Sunsculpting Festival
Two dozen professional artists compete in creating sculptures on the gorgeous Siesta Key beach. Those who buy tickets can watch the sculptures take shape, view them under colored lights at night, see demonstrations and take lessons. The party atmosphere includes a tent with full bar (no ticket required) and a vendor village.
Miami Book Fair, Miami
The fair always attracts top authors. The weekend of Nov. 19-20 will include popular festival features, including Children’s Alley, live music and books for sale, artisanal goods and a farmers’ market.
Downtown Gainesville Festival & Art Show, Gainesville
The historic downtown streets are filled with live music, performing arts, the works of 240 artists and an array of food, attracting 100,000 attendees.
Inverness Festival of the Arts, Inverness
For more than 50 years, this annual event has brought Citrus county folks to the historic Courthouse Square. The festival, which has returned to its roots as a fine arts festival, is free and includes activities for kids and live music and entertainment.
Yankeetown Arts and Crafts and Seafood Festival, Yankeetown
If you’re looking for “Old Florida,” this could be your destination on the banks of the Lower Withlacoochee River, just three miles from the Gulf. The festival, which usually takes place on the weekend before Thanksgiving, features locally caught Gulf seafood, entertainment, arts and crafts. Free admission and free parking. Riverside Drive on the banks of the Lower Withlacooche
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The author, Bonnie Gross, travels with her husband David Blasco, discovering off-the-beaten path places to hike, kayak, bike, swim and explore. Florida Rambler was founded in 2010 by Bonnie and fellow journalist Bob Rountree, two long-time Florida residents who have spent decades exploring the Florida outdoors. Their articles have been published in the Sun Sentinel, the Miami Herald, the Orlando Sentinel, The Guardian and Visit Florida.