Florida Guide > Miscellaneous
Florida’s Festivals - Part 2
Florida is more than just theme parks and beaches, attractive as both may be in different ways. In an earlier article I gave you some idea of the local and state festivals that abound throughout the year in west central Florida. And now I will give you a further taste of what other areas of Florida have to offer. Having said that, I will start where I left off, in West Central Florida; Ruskin to be precise.
May in Ruskin finds the Annual Tomato and Heritage Festival in full swing. The festival is held in EG Simmons Park, which covers some 260 cares of land in Tampa Bay, and provides a superb backdrop for the events that take place during the festival. The show celebrates Florida’s agricultural heritage and includes an antique tractor show plus classic cars, gardening seminars and plant shows with plenty of food vendors and FREE tomatoes!
July naturally features Independence Day celebrations throughout the state. From Tallahassee and Jacksonville in the north, to Palmetto in the west and Homeststead in the south you can be sure of finding plenty of entertainment and fireworks on this day.
July also features the Everglades Music and Crafts Festival. This is held at the Miccosukee Village, west of Miami, and celebrates the cultural heritage of this group of Native Americans. Activities include live music, authentic crafts and food, airboat rides and alligator wrestling.
In August Delray Beach, 50 miles north of Miami, holds its “Art and Jazz on the Avenue” festival which is an ‘open house’ event for art galleries and restaurants on Atlantic Avenue, and features live music as well. Further north the city of Tallahassee, Florida’s State Capital, holds its annual Caribbean Carnival in August, when the odours of salsa and jerk chicken fill the nostrils and calypso music fills the air.
September and October sees the start of the Christmas Fair season, with Deland, Orlando and Lakeland hosting craft fairs which feature handmade toys, dolls, furniture and household gifts presented by award winning crafters from around the country.
October also sees the Suncoast Oktoberfest taking place at Sarasota from 10th to 12th October. Events include a circus and of course live German music and Bavarian arts crafts and food plus activities for children. Melbourne and Cocoa on the Spacecoast also hold similar events.
Whilst not strictly a festival in the same way as the other events I have listed, nevertheless I am going to give the Holiday Lights cruise at Mount Dora a mention. Twice nightly throughout December you can take a narrated boat ride and view the lakeside festive lights, while singing Christmas carols and sipping hot cider. Real Christmas spirit if you will excuse the pun.
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