January 2019: Our Favorite Authentic Florida Festivals
The new year brings with it some of the finest and most fun festivals/events of the year. We’ve narrowed our list down to a few of our personal favorites that happen to be sprinkled throughout the Sunshine State. We recommend planning a weekend getaway and exploring the surrounding areas of these festivals. They are all chock full of authentic treasures. If you attend any of these festivals, please be sure to post photos on your social media pages and tag us: #AuthenticFlorida. We love seeing our Authentic Floridian family out and about enjoying our state.
25th Annual Nights of Lights Festival and Celebration, St. Augustine
Now through February 3
This inspiring display of more than two million tiny white lights adorning the palm trees and buildings throughout St. Augustine’s historic district is based on a custom by the town’s original Spanish colonists, who placed a white candle in their windows to brighten the nights during the Christmas holidays. Among special events and activities awaiting visitors: nighttime tours of ancient buildings and inns led by storytellers in period clothing, rollicking train and trolley tours through the narrow brick streets, art walks featuring more than 30 galleries serving free holiday refreshments on the first Friday, special antique shopping events, a dazzling regatta, Florida ice skating, luminaries in the town plaza, and holiday concerts. NightsofLights.com
22nd Annual Downtown Dunedin Art Festival, Dunedin
Situated along Dunedin’s Main Street, you will meet the nation’s most talented artists showcasing a broad spectrum of mediums including sculpture, photography, glass, paintings, ceramics, jewelry, mixed media and more! Howard Alan Events offers patrons the opportunity to personally meet with the artists, commission a work of art, and learn what inspires the artists’ work. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Free. http://www.artfestival.com/festivals/downtown-dunedin-art-festival
31st Annual Las Olas Art Fair, Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale celebrates the 31st Annual Las Olas Art Fair Part II. Considered one of the top art festivals in the nation, it features the work of some 150 artists on Las Olas Boulevard in the heart of the city. 10 a.m .- 5 p.m. Free. http://www.artfestival.com/festivals/las-olas-art-fair-part-i
15th Annual Yeehaw Music Festival, Yeehaw Junction/Okeechobee.
This pickin’ and foot-stompin’ music fest also features arts, crafts and carnival fare. The 2019 music line-up includes Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Summer Brooke & Mountain Faith,Balsam Range, Don Rigsby, Dave Adkins Band and so many more. On-site camping is available with a limited number of electric and water hookups. The fest takes place at the Okeechobee County Agri-Civic Center. bluegrassfestivalguide.com/yeehaw.htm
28th Annual Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival, Fellsmere.
This festival has been serving up frog leg dinners to hungry festival goers for 28 years. In addition to frog legs and gator tail, the festival features a lineup of activities including live entertainment, a midway, crafters, and pony rides. $20 armbands for available for unlimited ride access. 22 South Orange St. froglegfestival.com
NOTE: This Festival is a two-time Guinness Book of World Records holder for the Largest Frog Leg Festival in the WORLD and for the most frog legs served in one day.
9th Annual Apalachicola Oyster Cook-Off, Apalachicola.
This event is a fundraiser for the Apalachicola Volunteer Fire Department. They love for attendees to submit recipes and you will be amazed at the creative ways oysters are used. The event features a silent auction, an abundance of oysters, shrimp, smoked mullet, hot dogs, hamburgers, local beer, live music, kids’ activities, dancing performances and a 5K run. Well-mannered pets are welcomed on a leash. The Cook-Off takes place at 86 Water Street in Riverfront Park. oystercookoff.com
42nd Annual Art Deco Weekend, Miami Beach.
The 2019 festival will celebrate “Deco Dreams: Past, Present, Future.” Step back in time and celebrate Art Deco style on the Broadway stage with live music, art and antique dealers, walking tours, films, lectures, classic cars, street theater and more. Kids can submit drawings for the Club Poster Contest. This event will be held along Ocean Drive, between 5th and 15th Streets. Friday noon – 11 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. artdecoweekend.com
107th Annual South Florida Fair, West Palm Beach.
January 18 – February 3
Since 1912 each January, more than half a million visitors enjoy 17 fun-filled days at the South Florida Fair, one of Florida’s oldest and largest community events. Fairgoers are entertained by stage shows, national concert performances, midway rides, shopping and fair food. Admission: Adults, $15; children, 6-11 $8; kids 5 and under are free. southfloridafair.com
14th Annual Florida Keys Seafood Festival, Key West.
This 14th Annual family-friendly event offers a menu of fried fish, grilled spiny lobster, stone crab claws and other delights from the bounty of the sea. Beverages and desserts will also be available for purchase. The event is at Bayview Park (corner of Truman Avenue & Jose Marti Drive). Also on the festival’s agenda are children’s activities, marine-related crafts and live music. Admission is $5, 12 and under are free. http://floridakeysseafoodfestival.com/
32nd Annual Florida Manatee Festival, Crystal River.
In honor of its namesake, the endangered manatee, the Downtown Crystal River festival gives visitors the opportunity to view the gentle creature in its own environment. Boat tours are offered for a small charge into Kings Bay, which the manatee calls home. Festival also includes a Fine Art show featuring everything from watercolor artwork and photography to sculptures, stained glass and handmade jewelry. Live entertainment will be provided continuously Downtown on Citrus Ave. Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. $5 adults; kids 12 and under are free. gomanateefest.com
8th Annual Florida Key Lime Pie Festival, Merritt Island.
This 8th annual event features live music, food trucks, street performances, a key lime pie eating contest and The Florida Key Lime Pie Company will be making “The World’s Largest Key Lime Pie.” 10 a.m.-6 p.m. At Brevard Veterans Memorial Center, 400 S Sykes Creek Pkwy. $10 Adults, $5 Children 12 & under, Children under 4 free. www.facebook.com/FloridaKeyLimePieFestival/
22nd Annual Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, Titusville.
This 22nd Annual Festival is headquartered at Eastern Florida State College-Titusville Campus (Brevard Community College), 1311 North US1 Titusville, Florida 32796. The festival includes classroom presentations, keynote speakers Denver Holt, spotlight speakers such as Clay Taylor, Gina Kent and others, field trips and more. spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org
22nd Annual Kumquat Festival, Dade City.
If you’re looking for some good old-fashioned Florida fun, look no further than Dade City and the annual Kumquat Festival. The event takes place in Pasco County‘s historic downtown area. This authentic festival offers family-friendly entertainment, arts and crafts and a great variety of kumquat treats. Admission is free. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. dadecitychamber.org
To learn more about this festival: http://www.authenticflorida.com/articles/things-to-do/attend-dade-city-s-22nd-annual-kumquat-festival/
13th Annual Port Salerno Seafood Festival, Port Salerno.
This year marks the 13th year of this popular local event in Martin County featuring seafood specialties, live music, family fun area, maritime exhibitors, arts and crafts and more. Along the waterfront. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. with most food served from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Admission at the Gate: $10, children 12 and under free. Online Advance Tickets: General Admission $7, VIP $150. portsalernoseafoodfestival.org
34th Annual Blue Spring Manatee Festival, Orange City.
The two-day festival featuring manatee viewing, Central Florida Zoo presentations and animal ambassadors, arts and crafts, dancing, walk-on-water balls, food, face painting, shows and rides, sand sculpting and entertainment. Cost: $8 per person, children 4-10 $2, children 3 and under free. Leashed dogs are welcome at $10 each. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Jeff Howell Band From “Monsters in the Morning” will perform on Sunday. At Valentine Park on W. French Avenue off U.S. Highway 17-92. themanateefestival.com
30th Annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities, Orlando/Eatonville.
January 26-February 3
This festival highlights the life and works of one of America’s most celebrated collectors and interpreters of Southern rural African-American culture through theatrical performances, educational programs and a juried art show. This annual event takes place in various locations throughout Orlando and Eatonville, the nation’s oldest incorporated African-American municipality. Prices vary by activity. zorafestival.org
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