As 2016 kicks off and we’re writing our New Year’s resolutions, we’ve decided to see more of our beautiful state and take advantage of all it has to offer. These must-see events in Florida should pretty much take care of that. If you love music, fun and food, take out your brand new calendars and start planning your road trips now.
1. Art Deco Weekend, Miami Beach
This festival held on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach welcomes more than 150,000 people each year. The Miami Design Preservation League puts on the festival every year in an effort to preserve and promote the historic Art Deco District. // January 15 - 17
2. Florida Manatee Festival 2016, Crystal River
This festival celebrating our favorite sea mammals takes place in the best place to get close to these gentle giants, Crystal River. // January 16 & 17.
3. Delray Beach Garlic Fest
This festival promises to be the Best Stinkin' Party in Town, educating all on the wonders and benefits of garlic. // January 29 - 31.
4. Hoggetowne Medieval Faire, Gainesville
Hoggetowne is out of this world, with music, street performers, medieval fighting, food, and merchants // January 30 & 31 and February 5-7.
5. Lake Worth Street Painting Festival
This festival showcases the amazing talents of local artists with incredible 3-D chalk paintings that seem to pop right out of the sidewalk. // February 20 & 21.
6. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens 2016 Orchid Ball, Sarasota
This event kicks off the 40th annual orchid show held at these prestigious gardens. Guests will enjoy cocktails, dinner and dancing. // Orchid Ball: Saturday, February 13 // Orchid show: February 14 - March 27
7. Edison Festival of Light, Fort Myers
This festival, featuring parades, 5K runs and inventor fairs, celebrates the contributions of Thomas Alva Edison, who made Fort Myers his winter home. // February 13 -21.
8. Florida Strawberry Festival, Plant City
Plant City is the winter strawberry capital of the world and proud of it. This spring festival celebrating this city's favorite fruit began in 1930. // March 3 - 13.
9. Calle Ocho, Miami
This free street festival celebrating Pan-American culture is one of the largest in the world, with more than one million visitors. // March 13
10. Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, Amelia Island
A pirate parade, parade of boats, arts and crafts, antiques, and lots and lots of shrimp. // Shrimp festival: April 29 - May 1. // Pirate parade: April 28.
11. Florida Blueberry Festival, Brooksville
No one could be blue at this festival! The Blueberry Festival takes place in Brooksville in April and features blueberry-themed art, food, and even dancers. // April 16 & 17.
12. SunFest, West Palm Beach
Rock out at Florida’s largest waterfront music and art festival. This year's lineup will be announced February 25th. // April 27 - May 1.
13. Florida Folk Festival, Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park, White Springs
Florida Folk Festival showcases all sorts of folk music, art, food, and crafts of Old Florida. // May 27 - 29.
14. Northeast Exchange Club's Ribfest, St. Petersburg
Pig out at Ribfest in St. Petersburg in November. The best BBQ ribbers from all over the world, plus music and family fun? Yes, please! // 2016 dates not yet announced, but 2015 Ribfest was held in November.
15. Pensacola Seafood Festival
Lots of music, delicious seafood, and fun for the whole family. // September 30 - October 2.
Have you been to any of these Florida festivals and events? What others do you think deserve a spot on our list? Please leave your comments below!