Florida travel calendar for May

Check out festivals and events in May across the state.

This list is organized by region.

Central Florida (including Orlando, Kissimmee, Daytona Beach, Sanford, the Space Coast, Lakeland/Polk and Lake County)

Feb. 11-May 13: SeaWorld Seven Seas Food Festival. Orlando. A hybrid of two of the theme park’s discontinued festivals — Bands, Brew & BBQ and Viva La Musica. The food is now the title character in the new event held only on Saturdays with concerts on each day. Eleven global marketplaces will take you on a culinary journey, with the ability to experience more than 60 dishes from around the world and 55 local and international craft brews. Items like Peking duck lo mein, Brazilian churrasco, cinnamon slow-roasted pork belly, and fried kataifi oranges wil be available for your choosing. In addition to the international markets, SeaWorld will present over a dozen headlining guests, including Styx, Bill Engvall, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Seven Seas is included with regular park admission. For more on the menu, concert lineups, and other details, go to seaworldorlando.com/sevenseas

May 5-7: Orchid Show and Sale, Merritt Island. Thousands of orchids will be on sale during the three-day event, plus there will be experts available to provide advice and demonstrations. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. $5 admission, with free parking included. Kiwanis Island Park Gymnasium and Annex, 951 Kiwanis Island Park Road, Merritt Island. 321-525-7540. www.PlatinumCoastOrchidSociety.org

May 5-6: APC National Pie Championships, Orlando. The American Pie Council National Pie Championships will take place at the Rosen Centre Hotel on International Drive. Amateur pie makers, professional bakers/chefs and commercial pie companies from around the country and Canada have been competing at the NPC since 1995. 9840 International Dr. www.piecouncil.org

May 6: First Saturday Jam, Barberville. On the first Saturday each month visit the Pioneer Settlement for entertainment and fun for the entire family. 9 a.m to 4 p.m. Includes informal music jams, free workshops, a chili cook-off, yard sale. $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and veterans, $4 for children aged 6-12, free for children under 5. 1776 Lightfoot Lane. 386-749-2959.www.pioneersettlement.org 

 May 6-7: St. Johns River Festival of the Arts, Sanford. Art festival in downtown Sanford featuring over 150 artists and touting live demonstrations and audience participation opportunities with a juried art show, food vendors, live acoustic music, and chalk artists. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. Downtown Historic Sanford. 407-416-1779. stjohnsriverartfest.com

May 6-7: Jazz on the Vineyard Green, Clermont. Live jazz music, free tours and wine tasting, and food and beverages available for purchase. At Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. $3 admission. 800-768-WINE. 19239 U.S. 27 N. www.lakeridgewinery.com

May 10: Climb to the Moon, Ponce Inlet. Climb to the Moon at Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is offered only once a lunar month when the moon is at its fullest. The lighthouse keeper relates the story of this National Historic Landmark. Sparkling cider and hors d'oeuvres are provided by Inlet Harbor Restaurant. The lighthouse is at 4931 South Peninsula Drive. Participation is limited to 25 people and tickets ($25) must be purchased in advance by calling 386-761-1821 ext. 10. www.ponceinlet.org/climb-to-the-moon-tour

May 11: Alive After 5, Sanford. Themed street party with vendors and entertainment held on the second Thursday of each month. 5-8 p.m. Thursday; Downtown Sanford, 230 East First Street, Sanford; free admission; 407-302-2586. www.sanfordwelcomecenter.com

May 12: Downtown Melbourne Friday Fest, Melbourne. Held the second Friday of the month in historic downtown, it's a family-oriented event that includes art craft and business vendors, food, beer and wine, children's activities, and DJs. Highland Avenue. 6-10 p.m. Free. 321-724-1741. www.downtownmelbourne.com

May 13: Art and Music in the Park, Casselberry. Food trucks and entertainment: 6-9 p.m. Lake Concord Park, 95 Triplet Lake Drive. Free admission. 407-262-7700. www.casselberry.org

May 13-14: Mayfaire-by-the-Lake, Lakeland. Begun as a crafts fair on the lawn of the Lakeland Public Library, this event has grown into one of Florida's premier outdoor art festivals. Held on Mother's Day weekend each year, Mayfaire is located on the shores of Lake Morton in the downtown area and is one of the largest and oldest outdoor art festivals in Central Florida with nearly 165 artists and food and beverage vendors. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Lake Morton Drive. Free. 863-688-7743 ext. 237. polkmuseumofart.org

May 14: Mother’s Day Carillon Concert, Lake Wales. Don’t just give Mom flowers on her day, give her a garden. Bok Tower Gardens marks Mother’s Day with free admission to all Moms May 14. Moms can enjoy walks along meandering garden paths and special Mother’s Day Carillon Concerts will be presented at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. 1151 Tower Boulevard. 863-676-1408. www.boktowergardens.org

May 20: DeSoto County Watermelon Festival, Arcadia. Held annually in May, which is the height of watermelon harvesting season. Features a variety of pageants, contests, vendors and activities. www.facebook.com/DesotoCountyWatermelonFestival2013/timeline

May 20: Cruisin' Downtown DeLand Classic Car Show, DeLand. Every 3rd Saturday of the month. Classic cars & rods line East Indiana Avenue downtown. Live DJ, giveaways, shopping & dining. 4-7 p.m. Free. 386-738-0649. www.MainStreetDeLand.org

May 20: Art Walk, Sanford. Central Florida's only monthly juried art show, held the third Saturday of each month. With exhibits and music at participating venues. 6-9 p.m. 230 E First Street. Free. 407-302-2586. facebook.com/Sanford-Art-Walk-146847842040361

May 25-28: Megacon, Orlando. The southeast's largest comics, sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming event, attracting over 100,000 fans each year across four days of comic book stars, cosplay, gaming and more. Guests include Stan Lee, Tim Curry, and Norman Reedus. At the Orange County Convention Center. 4-9 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $20. 9800 International Drive. megaconvention.com

May 26-28: Country 500, Daytona Beach. Country music stars take over Daytona International Speedway for this three-day event. Artists include Blake Shelton, Kid Rock, Miranda Lambert, and several other performers. Single-day tickets $85, three-day passes $200. VIP packages available. 1-800-PITSHOP. www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com

Through May 29: Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, Lake Buena Vista. Spring special event filled with flowers, gardens, topiaries, live music and educational events. See millions of blooming flowers and a vibrant collection of specially themed topiaries. At Walt Disney World's EPCOT with admission. 407-939-5277. www.disneyworld.com/flower

Tampa Bay-Sarasota (including Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Sarasota, Anna Maria Island, Bradenton, Tarpon Springs and Homosassa)

May 6: Siesta Key Sand Sculpture Contest, Siesta Key. Bring your pail, shovel, sunglasses and creativity to Siesta Key Public Beach on for the Annual Siesta Key Sand Sculpture Contest. The contest, traditionally held the first Saturday of May, is held near the Pavilion on at Siesta Public Beach. Free and open to all ages of participation, the Siesta Sand Sculpture Contest also awards five cash prizes. 941-861-5000. www.escape-to-sarasota.com

May 11-13: Harvey Milk Festival, Sarasota. The annual Harvey Milk Festival features a variety of music, art and film over three days. Downtown Sarasota at Five Points Park and various other venues. Admission is free to Five Points Park events. www.escape-to-sarasota.com

May 13: Temple Terrace Craft BrewFest, Temple Terrace. The Craft BrewFest will feature samples of 70 beers from 30 different breweries. $20-$32. Families welcome. Discount tickets available along with unlimited water and soda for designated drivers. Event is 4-8 p.m. at Woodmont Park, 415 Woodmont Ave. 813-230-3389. www.templeterracebrewfest.com

May 27-28: Sunset Music Festival, Tampa. The Sunset Music Festival is an electronic dance music fest at the Raymond James Stadium North Lot. Various tickets and packages are offered, starting at $139.95. 18+ only. 4201 N. Dale Mabry Hwy. www.smftampa.com.

Southwest Florida (including Naples, Fort Myers, Venice, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda)

May 7: Taste of the Beach, Fort Myers. More than 20 restaurants will participate along with live on-stage concerts. Restaurants will offer samples of their signature dishes available for purchase and compete for top Taste of the Beach Award honors in the categories of Best Appetizer, Best Desert, and four awards for Best Entrée. Gates open at 11 a.m. Food will be served until 4 p.m. Admission is $5. Children under 12 are free. Old San Carlos Blvd. chamber.fortmyersbeach.org

May 13: Turtle Trot 5K, Fort Myers. The Turtle Trot 5K Race invites runners, joggers and walkers alike to Lovers Key State Park to join in the fun on May 13. Participants will trek over a path along Black Island Trail, run up a 38-foot hill and cross two bridges as they race toward the finish line at the beach. Lovers Key State Park is at 8700 Estero Boulevard. Advance registration is required. www.friendsofloverskey.org

May 6: Great Dock Canoe Race, Naples. Wildly decorated canoes and costumed paddlers compete in this annual event in Naples Bay in front of The Dock restaurant at Naples City Dock. This year's event begins at 10:30 a.m. and the theme is "Back to the Great Dock Canoe Race."  www.greatdockcanoerace.com

May 18: Alive After 5, Punta Gorda. Held monthly on the third Thursday, 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Visit any of the downtown merchants, restaurants and galleries for your game card. As always, there will be live entertainment, food and drink samplings, art, beauty and health demonstrations, a free trolley, and an evening of fun. Free; free parking. 941-505-0130. www.charlotteharbortravel.com/event/punta-gorda-gallery-walk/56/

May 27-29: Annual Watermelon Festival, Fort Myers. Watermelon eating and seed spitting contests are on the agenda during the Annual Watermelon Festival at Fleamasters Fleamarket. Highlights of the event include live entertainment on two stages and lots of fresh watermelon to sample. Admission is free. For details, visit www.fleamall.com/_pages/melon.html.

May 29: Myakka River Blues Festival, Venice. Ready for some blues? The Annual Myakka River Blues Festival is taking place on Memorial Day. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the gate. Children under 12 are free. Snook Haven, 5000 E. Venice Avenue. 941-485-7221. myakkablues.com

South Florida and the Keys (including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Key Largo, Key West and the Treasure Coast)

April 30: Greynolds Park Annual Love-In, North Miami Beach. Miami-Dade Parks' annual 1960s-themed outdoor festival and concert. It features live music, a '60s costume contest, vintage VW bugs and a great time for the whole family. Greynolds Park. Admission $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Children under 12 get in free. Begins at 11 a.m. 18500 NE 22nd Ave. www.greynoldslovein.org

May 3-7: Sunfest, West Palm Beach. Sunfest presents a lineup of headliners in downtown West Palm Beach. A variety of tickets are available including a regular admission one-day pass for $35 for ages 13 and up. For information, visit www.sunfest.com.

May 10-14: Key West Songwriters' Festival, Key West. The annual showcase of musical magic features America's foremost performing songwriters, with concerts staged in intimate, audience-friendly island settings. 305-304-0814. www.keywestsongwritersfestival.com

May 11-14: Discovery Series, Miami Beach. Witness the emergence of the Next Great Generation of keyboard giants and brilliant prodigies in an intimate, non-competitive setting. At the Art Deco Colony Theatre on Miami Beach. 1040 Lincoln Rd. Admission details online. www.miamipianofest.com

May 13-15: Sunshine State Games Spring Festival, Manatee County. Rugby and figure skating will take place at Saveology Iceplex in Coral Springs. Entry fee and registration date information can be found at www.flasports.com

 May 19-21: Redland International Orchid Show, Homestead. The largest annual orchid show in the U.S. featuring educational exhibits and orchid vendors. An American Orchid Society judged event that showcases various types of orchids, plant and supplies for sale. Hear lectures, try your look at one of the many raffles and taste an assortment of delectable treats from around the world. At Fruit and Spice Park. 24801 SW 187th Ave. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $10. 305-247-5727. redlandfruitandspice.com

May 14: Battle in the Bay Dragon Boat Festival, Marathon. Don't miss this high-action event as High Five Dragon Boat arrives in Marathon for the only beach-launch boat race of its kind. Bring a team or come and watch as boats race along a 400-meter course parallel to Sombrero Beach. www.battleinthebaydragonboat.com

May 18-19: Harry S. Truman Legacy Symposium, Key West. The Last Key sets the scene for the Harry S. Truman Legacy Symposium. Key West's political history is highlighted in panel discussions, a reception and tours of the Little White House where Truman spent many working vacations during his presidency. Tickets are $125 per person including a reception on Friday, the conference, a snack and lunch on Saturday. For details, visit www.trumansymposium.com.

May 18-21: Key Largo Original Music Festival, Key Largo. Multiple melodic happenings are to set the stage for music lovers during the annual festival, featuring live and original performances. Hit songwriters from Nashville and around the U.S. are expected to appear during the four-day festival on various intimate stages. Individual singers and bands, both locally and nationally acclaimed, participate in the musical celebration that includes pop, rock, blues, jazz and country. Sunday finale to feature crawfish boil and pig roast. 305-394-3736. 104450 Overseas Highway. www.keylargosongwritersfestival.com.

May 18: Third Thursday Art Walk, Islamorada. The Morada Way Third Thursday Art Walk presents local fine arts, music and culinary specialties. The galleries of Morada Way are between Mile Markers 81 and 82. Event hours are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. For details, visit moradaway.org.

May 20: Bunfest, Stuart. The Southeast Bunfest is all about bunnies and the people who love them. Sponsored by the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast, activities for all ages are planned and there will be a Critter Spa, Bunny Playground, bunny seminars and adoptable critters. Visitors are invited to bring their bunny if they have one. The event, at the Flagler Place, is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information, visit. southeastbunfest.org

May 20-21: KEYS100 Ultra-Marathon, Florida Keys. The race is a point-to-point event beginning in Key Largo to Marathon for the 50-mile race and Big Pine Key for the 50 KM race, ending in Key West on the Atlantic Ocean at Higgs Beach. Visit www.keys100.com.

May 29: Palm Beach Jerk & Caribbean Culture Festival, West Palm Beach. The Palm Beach Jerk & Caribbean Culture Festival presents Caribbean music, food, crafts and children’s activities. The event, at the South Florida Fairgrounds, 9067 Southern Boulevard, is from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Advance admission is $25 (children under 12 are free).  For details, visit www.visitwpb.com.

Northeast Florida (including Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Flagler County and Amelia Island)

April 28-May 1: Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, Fernandina Beach. The Pirate Parade is the kick-off event for the annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival. Includes stage performances, putt putt tournament, blessing of the fleet, best decorated boat contest and more. In downtown area. www.shrimpfestival.com

April 29-May 1: Gamble Rogers Folk Festival, St. Augustine. This annual event celebrates the best in folk and Americana for three days with music, stories and dance that made Gamble Rogers famous. A variety of tickets, packages and passes is available. 904-794-4163. www.gamblerogersfest.org

May 5-7: Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, Amelia Island. The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival lures thousands of visitors to historic downtown Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island to celebrate all things shrimp. The event features free admission, nationally-recognized juried fine arts and crafts show, antiques, live entertainment, children’s activities, contests, pirates and more. Dozens of food vendors will be serving up the tastiest shrimp you can find, prepared every way possible by local non-profit organizations. For information, go to www.shrimpfestival.com.

May 6-15: Romanza Festivale Week, St. Augustine. A celebration of art and music in the Old City featuring more than 60 productions and presentations by dozens of organizations. Daily events include music and dance performances, concerts, art shows, dramatic productions and more at locations throughout the city. Many of the events are free; admission is required for others and prices vary. www.Romanzafestivale.com

May 10-15: The Players Championship, Ponte Vedra Beach. One of golf's biggest events played annually at Northeast Florida's stunning Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Tournament begins on Tuesday with practice rounds. Thursday, Round 1 of tournament play begins leading up to the big finish on Sunday to see who will take home the crystal trophy. Events, including The Players Downtown Experience, are scheduled throughout the region. Admission, parking fees. 904-285-3700. http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/the-players-championship.html

May 20-22: Wild Amelia Nature Festival, Amelia Island. Educates residents and visitors about the bioregion, and encourages stewardship of the area's natural resources. Started by a group of residents who realized that Amelia Island's unique position of being almost surrounded by State and National Parks made it the perfect place for a nature festival. Includes kids activities, live music and more. Wide variety of tours and outings offered, ranging in price.  www.wildamelia.com

May 26-29: Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Jacksonville. Jazz performances in the heart of downtown Jacksonville. This year it is a street festival featuring a jazz club atmosphere with multiple stages of entertainment, Art in the Heart Downtown juried art show and sale, children's educational activities and more. In downtown Jacksonville on West Duval Street. Free admission; smaller ticketed events. 904-630-3690. www.makeascenedowntown.com

May 27-30: Blue Crab Festival, Palatka. Florida's largest Memorial Day celebration. Includes Memorial Day Parade, seafood cook-off, live entertainment, helicopter and airboat rides, arts and crafts, antiques, and more. Downtown. Free admission. 386-983-9772. www.bluecrabfestival.com


North-Central Florida (including Ocala, Gainesville and Tallahassee)

May 12-14: Southern Shakespeare Festival. Tallahassee. This three day festival entices theatre lovers and the like with interactive performances that pay tribute to The Bard and some of his most notable works. Performers offer unique renditions of sonnets and play scenes by incorporating new-age spins. Free admission. For more information visit  southernshakespearefestival.org

May 20: Emancipation Day Celebration. Tallahassee. Join the Knott House and John G. Riley Museum in commemorating the Emancipation Proclamation in Tallahassee with this annual event. The event features a reading of the document, period music and a picnic in Lewis Park. The event is open to the public. For more information visit www.visittallahassee.com

May 20: T.O.U.R. Guide - Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park. Tallahassee.  As part of the T.O.U.R. Guide program encouraging people to further explore the wonders of our area, spend a day strolling through Maclay Gardens. The beautiful venue is a picturesque site paying homage to floral architecture and serenity. Kids 12 and under free. For more information visit www.visittallahassee.com

May 3-6: Suwannee River Jam, Live Oak: The Suwannee River Jam at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park presents a lineup of headliners including Lynyrd Skynyrd and Big & Rich. A variety of tickets is offered with general admission for 4 days costing $90. The Suwannee Music Park is at 3076 95th Drive. For information, visit www.suwanneeriverjam.com.

May 12-14: Southern Shakespeare Festival, Tallahassee. Hosted at The Capital City Amphitheater at Cascades Park, the Southern Shakespeare Festival promotes the arts and knowledge of the Elizabethan era with a mixture of Renaissance culture and '60s memories through entertainment, demonstrations, and live music every. southernshakespearefestival.org

May 14: Windsor Zucchini Festival, Windsor. FFor the past several decades, the folks in this Alachua County city celebrate the zucchini with a zucchini contest, zucchini carving a Duke of Zuke & Zuqueenie Pageant and even zucchini ice cream. The event also features live music, kids activities, a raffle, arts and crafts and plant sale . Held at the Windsor Fire Station grounds east of Gainesville. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 352-378-8671. windsor-z-news.org/events.html

May 20: Emancipation Day Celebration, Tallahassee. The Knott House and John G. Riley House Museum annually commemorate the declaration of the Emancipation Proclamation during the Emancipation Day Celebration in Tallahassee. The anniversary of the event, on May 20, features a live reenactment of the reading at the Knott House, complimentary lunch on the lawn, period music, speeches and costumed entrepreneurs. Admission is free. The Knott House Museum is at 301 East Park Avenue. www.VisitTallahassee.com.

May 21: Newberry Watermelon Festival, Newberry. Some of the favorite festival activities started many years ago and still continue today, including contests for watermelon eating, seed spitting, hog calling, pie/cake baking, and of course the "Big Melon." Melons are from local growers and are provided free to festival goers. At the future site of Destiny Community Church. 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. www.newberrywatermelonfestival.com

May 21: Tupelo Honey Festival, Wewahitchka. Honey is a local delicacy in Wewahitchka, and one day a year people come from all over the world to sample the sweet nectar. Festival runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. www.tupelohoneyfestival.com

May 27: River Rhythms, Ocala. On the fourth Friday of each month, Silver Springs hosts an evening of live music featuring a drum circle.  To particpate in the drum circle, make sure to bring your own drum or percussion instrument. At Silver Springs State Park. 4 p.m. to sundown. Free with paid park admission. 1425 NE 58th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34470. (352) 236-7148. www.floridastateparks.org/silversprings

The Panhandle (including Pensacola, Panama City Beach, Apalachicola and Destin)

April 27 - May 1: Thunder Beach Spring Rally, Panama City Beach. One of the fastest growing motorcycle rallies in the Southeast. Held twice yearly, the first weekend in May and October, to share stories, see great bands and live entertainment, find the hottest custom motorcycles and motorcycle accessories available, and experience a scenic ride on "The World's Most Beautiful Beaches." All activities are free. www.thunderbeachproductions.com

April 29-May 1: Pensacola Crawfish Festival, Pensacola. The bayou meets the beach at this gigantic mud bugs boil featuring Cajun and Zydeco music, dancing, crafts and games, crawfish races, crawfish eating contest and a complete range of foods from boiled crawfish to crawfish pies and poboys. 850-433-6512. www.fiestaoffiveflags.org

May 3-7: Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally, Panama City Beach. The Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally, has been called “the most biker friendly free rally in the U.S." Bikers from around the country enjoy scenic rides along the Emerald Coast, live entertainment and local cuisine.  www.thunderbeachproductions.com.

May 6-7: Spring Tour of Historic Homes, Apalachicola. Many of Apalachicola's private homes and buildings can only be viewed from the exterior except on this day. For a $25 donation you can take a guided tour through architecturally and historically significant homes, churches and commercial buildings. Homes are open to visitors on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 850-653-9550. www.apalachicolahistorichometour.org

May 27-29: Florida Folk Festival, White Springs. On Memorial Day Weekend the Stephen Foster Folk Cultural Center State Park in the little hamlet of White Springs abounds with the sounds and sights of Florida's finest music, dance and stories. The Florida Folk Festival presents the roots of Florida's many cultures as performers gather from little towns and large cities. One of the oldest state folk festivals in America, the event now brings 30,000 concert-goers to the festival site each year to hear more than 300 performances on multiple stages. Admission. www.floridastateparks.org/folkfest

Correspondent Georgina Cruz contributed to this report.

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