AUGUST And September 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
     

    man in tropical shirt holding craft beer

    About 200 varieties of beers and ales, including unique microbrews, can be sampled during the Key West Brewfest, a five-day suds-a-thon.

    - Key West Brewfest

     

    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

    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

    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

    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:

            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:
    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

    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

    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

    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 of each month.
    Where:
    downtown Hollywood
    Web:
    hollywoodfl.org

    ART AFTER STONEWALL, 1969-89 – This amazing exhibit is being presented as the 50th anniversary of Stonewall Riots is being celebrated all this year. It includes more than 200 works of art and related materials (photographs, sculpture, film clips, video, music, performance pieces and historical documents and images from magazines, newspapers and television) that explore the profound impact the LGBTQ liberation movement on visual culture. Some of the artists to be featured are Andy Warhol, Diane Arbus, Alice Neel, David Hockney, Marlon T. Riggs, Judy Chicago, David Wojnarowicz and Luis Cruz Azaceta.
    When:
    Sept. 14-Jan. 5
    Where:
    Entire second floor of the Frost Art Museum at FIU, Miami
    Web:
     frost.fiu.edu

    ENGLEWOOD PIONEER DAYS & FESTIVAL – This is the 63rd version of this fun-for-the-entire family gathering. In addition to the parade, activities include two entertainment stages, watermelon and pie eating contests, an all-Corvette show, Diaper Derby, vendors selling food and merchandise, lots of kid-centered happenings and the Shipwreck Dance.
    When:
    Aug. 17-Sept. 2, but most of the events are between Aug. 31-Sept. 2
    Where:
    Dearborn Street & Plaza, Englewood
    Web:
    englewoodpioneerdays.com

    COMING SOON: FILM POSTERS FROM THE DWIGHT CLEVELAND COLLECTION – Come on, admit it. Movie posters are cool, right? Here’s your chance to see an exhibit of some of the best, 215 of the 3,000 owned by Chicago-based collector Dwight Cleveland. Some of the featured posters are for “Singin’ in the Rain,” “The Godfather,” “North by Northwest,” “Casablanca,” “King Kong,” “Jailhouse Rock” and “Barbarella.” One section of the exhibit is called “Known Artists” and includes posters by people who went on to have bigger art careers. An example: Renowned illustrator Al Hirschfeld, who did posters for Charlie Chaplain’s “The Great Dictator,” The Marx Brothers’ “A Day at the Races” and “The Wizard of Oz.”
    When:
    Now through Oct. 29
    Where:
    Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach
    Web:
    norton.org

    ANNUAL KEY WEST BREWFEST – About 200 varieties of beers and ales, including unique microbrews, can be sampled during this five-day suds-a-thon. The schedule also features brew-focused dinners, beer and cigar gatherings, seminars, a light-hearted “beer run,” happy-hour parties and a lavish tasting festival on the beach.
    Where:
    Various locations in in Key West
    When:
    Aug. 29-Sept. 2
    Web:
    keywestbrewfest.com

    WYNWOOD’S OCTOBERFEST—Let’s not quibble with the fact that this event actually happens in September. Just go and have a great time. Beer aficionados will experience great seasonal brews, live music, beer games, an artisan market and yummy food. Don’t miss the dog-friendly activities.
    When:
    Sept. 27-29
    Where:
    Wynwood Marketplace, Miami
    Web:
    WynwoodOctoberfest.com

    LOTOS MUSIC FESTIVAL –  This eclectic gathering features Method Man & Redman (hip hop), DMX (rap), Puddle of Mudd (alternative rock), The Expendables (California surf rock, blending reggae, punk rock and ’80s style dueling guitar solos), Uncle Luke (rap, formerly with 2 Live Crew), Black Sheep (hip hop), the Resolvers (big band reggae, combining classic Jamaican roots and lively New Orleans stylings) and Artikal Sound System (mostly reggae, with a blend of roots and modern sounds with smooth female vocals). Note: outside food and beverages, coolers, chairs and pets not permitted.         
    When:
    Sept. 1
    Where:
    Mizner Park Amphitheater, Boca Raton
    Web:
    lotosmusicfest.com                                                                            

    UPPER KEYS LIONFISH DERBY & FESTIVAL -- Divers can help fish and other ocean critters by killing as many of this extremely invasive non-native species as they can. Cash prizes will be awarded for the most, largest and smallest. Other events: free lionfish tastings and fillet and dissection demonstrations.
    When:
    Sept. 13-15
    Where:
    Postcard Inn Beach Resort & Marina, Islamorada
    Web:
    reef.org/events

    PALM BEACH COUNTY NAUTICAL EXTRAVAGANZA – It’s actually three events, all going on at the same time at the same location:

    ·        At the South Florida Fall Boat Show, hundreds of new models and closed-out boats are available to buy on site.

    ·        At the Florida Marine Flea Market & BBQ Festival, more than 300 vendors will exhibit and sell their merchandise. Any accessory you need for nautical activities can be found. And, don’t forget the variety of delicious food that will be available.

    ·        The Marine & Tropical Art Festival and Craft Show will offer beautiful art work and craft creations.

    When: Sept. 14-15
    Where:
    South Florida Fairgrounds, West Palm Beach
    Web:
    Respectively, floridafallboatshow.comflnauticalfleamarket.com and MarineWildlifeArtFestivalCraftShow.com

    SURROUNDINGS: WATERCOLORS BY MARTHA WATSON SAUER – This exhibit honors Works Progress Administration artist Martha Watson Sauer’s work spanning over 50 years and includes her personal effects and sketchbooks. Highlights include Key West architecture, people and landscapes as well as her watercolors from her extensive travels around the United States, the Caribbean, Europe and Mexico.
    When:
    Aug. 23-Nov. 10
    Where:
    Custom House Museum, Key West
    Web:
    kwahs.org

    YUM, YUM AND YUM!!! – That’s one big “yum!” for each of three dine-on-the-cheap options in SoFla:

    ·        Miami Spice -- In the Miami area, some 200 restaurants and bistros will be offering three-course menus for lunch and brunch ($23) and dinner ($39) in August and September. iLoveMiamiSpice.com

    ·        Flavor Palm Beach -- More than 50 eateries from throughout Palm Beach County will offer three-course menus for lunch ($20 to $25) and dinner ($25 to $45) in September. flavorpb.com

    ·        Boca Raton Restaurant Month – Three-course meals will be between $21-$25 for lunches and $36-$40 for dinners at top Boca restaurants in September. bocarestaurantmonth.com

    HEROES SALUTE TRIBUTE WEEKEND – This Labor Day Weekend bash honors military, fire and rescue, law enforcement and medical personnel and offers a whole lot of fun for all attendees, including moving tributes to the heroes, fireworks, live music, great food and a 5K run/walk.
    When:
    Aug. 30-Sept. 1
    Where:
    Hawks Key Resort on Duck Key in the Florida Keys
    Web:
    floridakeysheroes.com

    A CRAFTY TRIO – There are three craft festivals in SoFla worthy of your time. Each will offer a variety of crafting products, all set in pretty and vibrant outdoor settings.

    ·        Annual Downtown Venice Labor Day Weekend Craft Festival (Aug. 31-Sept. 1)

    ·        Annual Punta Gorda Sullivan Street Craft  Festival (Sept. 14-15)

    ·        Annual Downtown Delray Beach Craft Festival (Sept.21-22)

    Web: artfestival.com

    MIAMI HOME DESIGN & REMODELING SHOW – You can pick up a houseful of decorating and remodeling tips at this four-day event, which is one of the Southeast’s largest home improvement and design shows.
    When:
    Aug. 30-Sept. 2
    Where:
    Mana Wynwood Convention Center, Miami
    Web:
    homeshows.net

    ISLAND HOPPER SONGWRITER FEST – Behind every great country music hit, there is usually another outstanding singer/songwriter who wrote the tune.  Get to know the back stories behind country’s biggest hits and see them performed by the writers.
    When & Where:
    Sept. 20-22 on Captiva Island, Sept. 23-26 in downtown Fort Myers and Sept. 27-29 on Fort Myers Beach
    Web:
    fortmyers-sanibel.com/island-hopper

    ANNUAL FLORIDA KEYS POKER PADDLE – Actually, it’s open to kayakers and paddle boarders. The approximately 4-mile route will consist of five stops in mostly shallow water, including two sandbars.
    When: Sept. 6-8
    Where: Islamorada
    Web: fla-keys.com/calendar

    AMERICAN INDIAN DAY FESTIVAL – Step into a world of tradition and heritage at this annual free event. Happenings include Native American music and dance and food, a Miccosukee fashion show, airboat rides, tribal arts and crafts and alligator wrestling.
    When:
    Sept. 27
    Where:
    Miccosukee Indian Village, Miami
    Web:
    Miccosukee.com

    LIGHTS! CAMERAS! ACTION! – There are two film festivals of note in the Miami area in September:

    ·        Brazilian Film Festival of Miami – 25 full-length films and shorts will be presented from Sept. 14-21 at various locations in Miami and Miami Beach. The Annual Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented and the Crystal Lens Awards for best feature and short films will be given, based on voting by festival attendees. inffinito.com

    ·        Urban Film Festival – From Aug. 30-Sept. 1 at various locations in Overtown and Little Haiti in Miami, this festival focuses on providing first-rate education for new filmmakers by bringing in industry leaders to teach workshops and classes on topics such as producing, directing, cinematography, acting, writing and distribution. urbanfilmfestivals.com

    WOMENFEST KEY WEST – Thousands of singles, couples and groups of women are expected to attend for activities ranging from concerts, comedy acts, pool parties, sailing and snorkeling to late-night dance parties and a drag king pageant.
    When:
    Sept. 4-8
    Where:
    Various locations in Key West
    Web:
    gaykeywestfl.com

    ANNUAL TAPA HOP – This pub crawl features trolley transportation to six restaurants that will provide appetizer items, a.k.a. tapas. Also included will be raffle prizes, grand prizes and a poker run.
    When:
    Sept. 19
    Where:
    Fort Myers Beach
    Web:
    fortmyersbeach.org/tapa-hop

    boats racing under a bridge

    In its 11th year, the Hooters Clearwater Offshore Nationals, a three-day contest, parade and showcase, features some of the fastest and largest offshore power boats competing along the shores of beautiful Clearwater Beach.

    - Hooters Clearwater Offshore Nationals


    CENTRAL FLORIDA

    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:
    Through 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

    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                                                  

    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. 24 and 31
    Where:
    Downtown Gulfport and its historic waterfront
    Web:
    geckofest.com/geckofest

    BRICKS-N-BLOCKS – Check out some stunning, artistic displays of LEGO “brick builds” such as the nationally touring “Jurassic Park” LEGO rollercoaster with 88 feet of track, as well as an entire miniature town and other sculptures made from the chunky, colorful pieces. Get inspired to make your own creation and even enter it into a contest for a prize. This year’s event is bigger and better, taking up double the space at the fairgrounds than last year and offering STEM games and other activities for kids.
    When:
    Sept. 28-29
    Where:
    Hernando County Fairgrounds, Brooksville
    Web:
    thebrickuniversity.com

    BREVARD CARIBBEAN FEST – Break out your most colorful garb, headwear and dancing shoes for this festive, fun day of reggae, steel drums, dance lines, limbo contests, parades and deliciously spiced foods. This celebration of Caribbean culture draws thousands of people from all backgrounds and generations, and there’s plenty for kids to enjoy, including face painting, and bounce houses. This year guests can even enter a raffle to win a car or a Bahamas cruise.
    When:
    Sept. 1
    Where:
    Wickham Park, Melbourne
    Web:
    brevardcaribbeanfest.com

    PLANT THIS NOT THAT! – As a celebration of National Public Lands Day, “Plant This Not That!” is a new free event to promote the connection between people and the environment, inviting everyone to get outside and learn more about our Florida surroundings. Plant lovers and families will get to participate in tree giveaways, marsh restoration kayak tours, kids’ activities and lots of opportunities to learn about the harms of invasive plants and the benefits of native ones.
    When:
    Sept. 28
    Where:
    Gamble Rogers State Park, Flagler Beach
    Web:
    business.flaglerchamber.org

    I LIKE IT HOT! FESTIVAL – This fiery annual fest is dedicated to spicy cuisine, flavors and seasonings, billed as the “largest hot sauce show in Florida.” Enter your secret family recipe into the amateur hot sauce, BBQ or salsa competitions, test your stamina in the pepper eating contest or shop for delicious marinades, rubs, spices and condiments. Not into heat? There are milder dishes available, as well as whip competitions, live bands and other fun activities.
    When:
    Sept. 14-15
    Where:
    Minnreg Hall, Largo
    Web:
    ilikeithotfestival.com

    SPACE COAST COMIC CON – Comic, video game, sci-fi and cosplay fans of all ages enjoy this three-day convention filled with artist and celebrity meet-and-greets, video game tournaments and free-play sessions, tabletop gaming, music, performances and some of the most elaborate costumes worn by both actors and fans. This year’s guests include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles artist Frank Fosco and Star Wars film sculptor Brian Muir.
    When:
    Sept. 7-8
    Where:
    Space Coast Convention Center, Cocoa
    Web:
    spacecoastcomiccon.com

    HOOTERS CLEARWATER OFFSHORE NATIONALS – In its 11th year, this three-day contest, parade and showcase features some of the fastest and largest offshore power boats competing along the shores of beautiful Clearwater Beach. Meet the race teams, throttlemen and drivers, enjoy regional cuisine, hit the block party and watch a fireworks display at Pier 60.
    When:
    Sept. 27-29
    Where:
    Coachman Park & Clearwater Beach, Clearwater
    Web:
    clearwaternationals.com

    NEW SMYRNA BEACH JAZZ FESTIVAL – Enjoy an all-jazz weekend by dropping into on some of New Smyrna Beach’s best music, restaurant and bar venues. Designed to draw visitors during one of the slower travel months of the year, guests can wine and dine while enjoying the sounds of bands and artists from around the country such as the Navy Band Southeast VIP Combo and John DePaola Quintet.
    When:
    Sept. 26-29
    Where:
    New Smyrna Beach
    Web:
    nsbjazzfest.com                                                            

    SWANTOBERFEST – Lakeland’s answer to the fall-inspired Oktoberfest returns for a second year, bringing even more German-style games and competitions, bratwurst and other German food, beer and live music by The Europa Band. Don some lederhosen and bring your own stein for the full effect, and by there at 5 p.m. sharp to tap the ceremonial keg.
    When:
    Sept. 21
    Where:
    Munn Park, Downtown Lakeland
    Web:
    swantoberfest.com

    CENTRAL FLORIDA FILM FESTIVAL – Indulge in a weekend of fascinating and never-screened-before indie movies, interact with the filmmakers in workshops and meet-and-greets, network with other cinema enthusiasts and celebrate the craft of independent film at this festival, returning for its 14th year to Epic Theatres. This event is a great way to learn more about filmmaking techniques or simply engage with the creative minds behind this complex and captivating genre.
    When:
    Sept. 6-8
    Where:
    Epic Theatres Mount Dora, Mount Dora
    Web:
    centralfloridafilmfestival.com

    LAKERIDGE WINERY’S WINE & CHEESE FESTIVAL – One of Central Florida’s top vineyards serves up wine of all varieties, from dry to sweet, and pairs them with gourmet cheeses and other accoutrements. Enjoy two days of live bands, outdoor cornhole games and a food court with beer, seafood, BBQ, ice cream, kettle corn and more. The winery also offers complimentary tours throughout the weekend.
    When:
    Sept. 14-15
    Where:
    Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, Clermont
    Web:
    lakeridgewinery.com

    8TH ANNUAL PANOKEE POW-WOW – Join the Pan-O-Kee Native American Tribe of Central Florida for the 8th Annual Panokee Powwow at the Dade Battlefield Historic State Park in Bushnell, Florida. This family-friendly event will feature Native crafts, demonstrations, singing & dancing, storytelling, native food and more. Bring blankets or chairs and spend the day immersed in a culture that embraces Florida wildlife and native living.
    When:
    Sept. 27-29
    Where:
    Dade Battlefield Historic State Park, Bushnell
    Web:
    panokeetribe.com

    FLORIDA SMASH BEER FESTIVAL – Sample more than 80 varieties of craft beer from brewers coming from all over the state, including newbies to the local brew scene as well as established, well-known favorites. As part of the tradition, each brewer will concoct a special recipe made from the same single malt and single hop – this year being Vienna malt and Amarillo hops – and attendees can rank their favorites.
    When:
    Sept. 7
    Where:
    Longwood
    Web: facebook.com/SmashBeerFestival

    cool quilt with a face on it

    To enhance Gadsden Arts Center & Museum’s exhibit, “From the Cedar Chest,” the area is creating a quilt trail throughout the area, known as the Big Bend Quilt Trail.

    - Big Bend Quilt Trail

     

    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:
    Through Aug. 25
    Where:
    Florida Theatre, Jacksonville
    Web:
    floridatheatre.com

    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:
    Aug. 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

    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

    SOUTHERN LIVING IDEA HOUSE Discover more than 100 ideas to enhance and modernize your own home from paint colors to hot home tech at the annual Southern Living Idea Home. This modern home honors the architecture and design of the historic homes in old Fernandina with more than 1,400 square feet of porch space to celebrate the south. The home also includes sweeping riverfront views from allowing the exterior and interior design to coexist and celebrate each other. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Amelia Island Museum of History.
    When:
    June 8 - Dec. 8
    Where:
    Crane Island, Amelia Island
    Web:
    craneisland.com

    SING OUT LOUD FESTIVAL More than 300 live music performances will take place in St. Augustine over four weekends during the state’s largest free music festival. The performers include local, regional and national stars in genres as varied as Americana and punk, folk, hip hop, indie rock and country. The headlining concert starring Kacey Musgraves with Weyes Blood as the opening act is the only paid ticketed event of the fest and is a benefit for the Horeseplay Therapy Center and Green Hands Community Outreach Initiatives. The Kacey Musgraves benefit concert sold out immediately. Other hot acts during the fest include St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Jenny Lewis, Kurt Vile and The Violators and Shovels & Rope.
    When:
    Sept. 6 - 29
    Where:
    St. Augustine, various venues
    Web:
    singoutloudfestival.com

    FLEA ACROSS FLORIDA — You know how it goes. You don’t know how much you want something until you spot it with a “For Sale” sticker for a ridiculous price. It’s all about the score, right? Trinkets, treasures and useful goods will be for sale by the carload during Florida’s largest yard sale. More than 50 shops and communities are signed up to participate in the event, which travels from coast to coast along Highway 90 from Macclenny to Pensacola. 
    When:
    Sept. 13-14
    Where:
    Check website for up-to-date locations
    Web:
    facebook.com/FleaAcrossFlorida

    2ND ANNUAL TALLAHASSEE CARIBBEAN CARNIVAL The featured event, which brings the flavors, sounds and swagger of the Caribbean islands to landlocked Tally, actually kicks off in August with three pageants leading up to the second annual event. The Prince and Princess Pageant is Aug. 18, the Miss Bold & Beautiful Pageant is Aug. 25 and the Tallahassee Carnival Queen Pageant is Sept. 7. The carnival includes a Caribbean parade and live entertainment, as well as food vendors.
    When:
    Sept. 13-15
    Where:
    The Pavilion at The Centre of Tallahassee
    Web:
    tallahasseearts.org/caribbean-carnival

    SURFIN’ USA Jacksonville Beach is one of the hot spots for surfing on Florida’s east coast. Check out of these competitions:

    • Sisters of the Sea Surf Classic (Sept. 14): Celebrate girl power at this all-female surfing event that awards the top finishers in age categories from 11 & Under (known as Kokua) to 45 and over (known as Sage). Those with a little extra skills and flair can compete in the Beaches Go Green Women’s Pro, which has a prize purse of $2,500. (sistersofthesea.org/surf-classic)
    • Loggerhead Classic Surf Contest (Sept. 22): Hot talent (think Virginia Beach to South Florida) with sweet skills on vintage longboards will entertain and hope to take home the grand prize. (jacksonvillebeach.org/loggerhead-classic-surf)
    • Surfers for Autism (Sept. 28): Surfing has a positive impact on young children who have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum and the annual event allows both participants and supporters to witness the transformation for these kids when they take to the water. (surfersforautism.org)

    ANCIENT CITY CON Want to see if your Mother of Dragons or Kylo Ren costume gets rave revues before Halloween? Yes, comic conventions need fans like you. St. Augustine’s event allows fans three days to geek out during the cosplay contest, enjoy multiple feature and short film screenings and chat with other fans. The highlight is always the celebrity meet and greet. This year’s lineup includes actor Matt Frewer (Max Headroom and Orphan Black), artist and actor Terrance Zdunich (The Devil’s Carnival) and voice actor Lauren Landa (Sailor Moon).
    When:
    Sept. 20-22
    Where:
    World Golf Village Renaissance Resort, St. Augustine
    Web:
    ancientcitycon.com

    WHERE JELLY ROLLS, FAT QUARTERS AND STIPPLING RULES — Not all artists show their flair for creativity with a paintbrush and canvas. Some utilize delicate stitch work, rainbow-colored fabric and metallic thread. September’s event lineup will have North Florida quilt lovers on the go.

    • From the Cedar Chest: Generations of Southern Quilting, 1830s to Today (Sept. 14 - Dec. 14, Gadsden): Art exhibit curated from private and public collections in North Florida. Features historic and contemporary quilts, some of which have been completed by different family members through the decades. (gadsdenarts.org/Cedar-Chest)
    • Big Bend Quilt Trail (Sept. 14 - Dec. 14, Gadsden): To enhance Gadsden Arts Center & Museum’s exhibit, “From the Cedar Chest” (see listing above), the area is creating a quilt trail throughout the area. A Barn Quilt, or Quilt Trail, have typically consisted of large, painted plywood squares in which each features a single 8-by-8-foot quilt block celebrating the heritage of quilting in North America and is installed on outdoor exterior walls along a route. (gadsdenarts.org/Cedar-Chest)
      Bobbin’ on the Beach: Quiltfest 2019 (Sept. 19-21, Jacksonville): Seek and you shall find inspiration with 400-500 entries in the annual show and more than $8,000 in cash prizes. Also: 70 vendor booths, live demonstrations, silent auction and special displays. (quiltfestjax.com)
    • Quilt Show (Sept. 21, Havana): More than 100 quilts will be displayed in public locations throughout downtown. (dosomethingoriginal.com)

    SMOKIN’ IN THE PINES BBQ FESTIVAL — Southern rock and country music provide the background jams for BBQ teams competing for more than $15,000 in cash prizes. Visitors are welcome to samples at BBQ stations and should arrive with an empty stomach to have a go at trying more than 35 different types of pulled pork in the People’s Choice competition. Other than meat, another “hot” competition for the teams is the Sauces of Honor Competition sponsored by National BBQ News. Competitors can enter their secret sauces in categories like “Best Original BBQ Sauce” and “Hot Stuff BBQ Sauce”.
    When:
    Sept. 20-21
    Where:
    Forest Capital State Museum, Perry
    Web:
    smokininthepinesbbq.com

    4TH ANNUAL BIG KAHUNA PADDLE CHALLENGE Dragon boat team events have become oh-so-trendy in recent years, but they require 20 paddlers, a steerer and a drummer. Which brings us to Tallahassee’s canoe-driven paddle challenge featuring teams of 10-14 paddlers trying to beat the clock in 400-yard heats. Similar to dragon boat racing, no experience is necessary, just plan to bring strong arms and big smiles for this fundraiser.
    When:
    Sept. 22
    Where:
    Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park, Tallahassee
    Web:
    fdoa.org/big-kahuna

    PENSACOLA SEAFOOD FESTIVAL — Sample a variety of dishes featuring locally caught seafood while enjoying live entertainment. The Gulf to Table area of the fest features the city’s best chefs serving up fresh creations sourced directly from the Gulf. Also, learn how you can up your own game in the kitchen when some of these culinary masters work the Fiesta Seafood Grille, an outdoor demo kitchen. The 40th annual event also includes Gulf Coast arts and craft vendors, kids’ zone and a 5K walk/run.
    When:
    Sept. 27-29
    Where:
    Seville Square Park, Pensacola
    Web:
    fiestaoffiveflags.org

    WASHINGTON COUNTY HERITAGE FESTIVAL Ever wonder what it was like to be a flint knapper or blacksmith? Find out at the heritage festival, which also features Civil War reenactors firing cannons every 45 minutes, an agricultural display with 4-H show animals, pony rides, bounce houses and live entertainment.
    When:
    Sept. 27-28
    Where:
    Falling Waters State Park, Chipley
    Web:
    visitwcfla.com/heritage-festival

    FALL WILDFLOWER WALK Just in time for summer’s sweltering days to morph into pre-fall, enjoy a ranger-led walk behind the scenes of the wildlife refuge. Experts will identify native species and plot out the history of the region’s season wildflowers.
    When:
    Sept. 28
    Where:
    St. Mark’s Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla
    Web:
    visitwakulla.com/wildflower-walk

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