Our small-town festivals are some of the most fun and authentic Old Florida events you can experience. You’ve probably never heard of at least a few of these, and we’re excited to tell you about them. Get out your calendars and start writing down these dates, because these are events you won’t want to miss.
1. 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: Begins February 24, 2018.
2. Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival, Niceville
This festival is indeed about enjoying lots of fried and smoked mullet, but also much more. Celebrating its 40th year, this festival in Niceville has become one of the best-known events in country music. The festival also features a pageant, singing contest, and a huge arts and crafts show. When: August 20 - 22, 2017.
3. 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 18 - 21, 2018.
4. 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: May 5 - 7, 2017.
5. 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. When: April 22 - 23, 2017.
6. Florida Manatee Festival, Crystal River
This festival celebrating our favorite sea mammals takes place in the best place to get close to these gentle giants, Crystal River. When: January 13, 2018.
7. Florida Seafood Festival, Apalachicola
The Florida Seafood Festival in Apalachicola is the most fun you'll have this fall, with oyster eating contests, blue crab racing, music, a carnival, and lots of delicious seafood. It's a fall festival, but dates for 2017 have yet to be announced.
8. 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 27, 2018.
9. Crescent City 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: March 31 - April 1, 2017.
10. St. Marks Stone Crab Fest
This festival celebrates one of our favorite Florida delicacies, the delicious stone crab. You'll love this little fishing town and the music and art that accompany all of the tasty food. Plus, the proceeds from the festival are given to charitable causes, so it's a win-win. When: October 28, 2017.
Have you been to any of these awesome small-town festivals? Do you have any favorites that we might have missed?