What could be better than a day in Florida filled with tons of fun and fresh food? From strawberries to seafood, Florida has lots of great long-running festivals celebrating our local cuisine. Time to start marking your calendars with the tastiest events of the year:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, Fernandina Beach
There's still time to plan your trip to Fernandina Beach to watch the Pirate Parade, see some great entertainment and silly costumes, and try to eat your weight in shrimp. When: April 29th - May 1st, 2016 (Pirate parade takes place on April 28th)
2. Blue Crab Festival, Palatka
No one could be blue or crabby at this fantastic seafood feast in North Florida. When: Memorial Day Weekend, 2017.
3. Key West Lobsterfest
The only thing better than a plateful of lobster is getting to enjoy it in lovely Key West. When: August 11th - 14th, 2016.
4. Pensacola Seafood Festival
Bring your appetite to this long-running festival in the Panhandle. Expect lots of great food and entertainment, and even a 5K.
When: September 30th - October 2nd, 2016.
5. Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival, Niceville
The mullet isn't just an outdated hairstyle, it's also a tasty fish that will never go out of style. This festival is the perfect excuse to visit this charming town in Northwest Florida. When: October 21st - 23rd, 2016.
6. Northeast Exchange Club's Ribfest, St. Petersburg
Ribfest has been rocking St. Petersburg for 26 years. If you're a fan of barbecue, you have to come out and sample these award-winning ribs from all over the country. When: November 11th - 13th, 2016.
7. Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival
You'll jump for joy at this unique festival in Fellsmere. Frog legs, gator tail, games, rides, and music fill this festival that helps fund programs for local children. When: January 19th - 22nd, 2017.
8. Annual Kumquat Festival, Dade City
This little citrus fruit is made into everything from cookies and pies to jellies and salsa at this historic festival in Dade City. When: January 28th, 2017.
9. Delray Beach Garlic Fest
The Best Stinkin' Party in Town is held annually right here in Delray Beach, celebrating everyone's favorite smelly seasoning. When: February 10th - 12th, 2017.
10. Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival
For three days in February all of your favorite celebrity chefs take over South Beach. From Guy Fieri to Giada De Laurentiis, prepare to wine and dine with all of your favorite hosts. When: February 23 - 26th, 2017.
11. Swamp Cabbage Festival, Labelle
For over 50 years, this festival has been celebrating local food and culture in this small town east of Fort Myers. From the rodeo to armadillo racing, you'll love every minute of this Old Florida festival. When: Late February, 2017.
12. Florida Strawberry Festival, Plant City
The history of this fun festival goes all the way back to 1930 and has become one of the best agricultural festivals in the country. When: March 2nd - 12th, 2017.
13. Florida Blueberry Festival
Unfortunately, we just missed this spring festival celebrating all things blueberry. Don't be blue, though! This festival in Brooksville is sure to return for many years to come. When: April, 2017.
14. Rotary Club of Crescent City's Catfish Festival
This festival is a food lover's paradise, with all of Florida's favorite delicacies, including swamp cabbage, strawberry shortcake, and of course, lots of catfish. When: Early April, 2017.
Have you been to any of these events? What’s your favorite Florida food festival? Please let us know!