Check out festivals and events in September across the state.
This list is organized by region.
Central FloridaIncluding Orlando, Kissimmee, Daytona Beach, Sanford, the Space Coast, Lakeland/Polk and Lake County
Sept. 1-30: Orlando Magical Dining Month, Orlando. Thrill-seeking travelers from around the globe know Orlando for its world-class attractions and sunny resorts, but local foodies experience a different kind of thrill when they indulge their senses at Orlando's extensive dining facilities. This September, visitors have an opportunity to try some of the area's finest restaurants. Participating restaurants will offer three-course dinner menus for $33. 407-363-5872. www.visitorlando.com/magicaldining
Sept. 2-4: Central Florida Film Festival, Ocoee. It would take plenty to get us to stay indoors this Labor Day weekend, but a slew of films from across the globe sounds like just the ticket. The Central Florida Film Festival returns to Ocoee this summer and features a full roundup of indie hopefuls, from locally created student shorts to international documentaries. Screenings daily at the West Orange Cinema, 1575 Maguire Road, Ocoee. $25 daily pass. 407-370-3703. centralfloridafilmfestival.com
Sept. 2 - Oct. 31 (Select Nights): Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Lake Buena Vista. Each fall, guests are invited to dress in costumes and trick-or-treat throughout the Magic Kingdom from 7 p.m. to midnight (after regular park closing). The boo-free bash includes a parade and bewitching fireworks spectacular. 407-939-5277. www.disneyworld.com
Sept. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17: Bandshell Concert Series, Daytona Beach. The Bandshell Concert Series runs every Friday and Saturday through Sept. 17. Program hours are from 7:15 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. and admission is free. Saturday shows put on by Friends of the Bandshell feature fireworks that begin at 9:45 p.m. The Bandshell is at 70 Boardwalk. For information, visit www.daytonabandshell.com
Sept. 3: Art Walk on Flagler, New Smyrna Beach. Held on the first Saturday each month, Flagler Avenue livens up with entertainment and wine tastings at participating venues. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (wine walk 1 p.m. - 7 p.m.). Free ($25 for wine walk or $20 with previous month's glass). Flagler Avenue, 100 Flagler Ave., New Smyrna Beach, FL, 32169. 386-428-1770. nsbfla.com
Sept. 3: 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 and a chili cook-off. 386-749-2959. www.pioneersettlement.org
Sept. 3-5: Cold-Blooded Weekend, Melbourne. The Brevard Zoo celebrates its cold-blooded friends. As part of the three-day event, the zoo will display a variety of cold-blooded animals in the Nyami Nyami River Lodge. The zoo will also serve delicious treats featuring insects as the main dish. Cold-Blooded Weekend also includes zookeeper talks, animal encounters, a bake sale with proceeds benefiting the zoo's conservation projects, a daily alligator-feeding demo, tortoise races and special enrichments for the zoo animals. Cold-Blooded Weekend is free with paid zoo admission. Zoo daily admission is $17.95 for adults; $13.95 for children ages 2-12 (children under two years of age are free). The zoo is at 8225 N. Wickham Road in Melbourne. www.brevardzoo.org
Sept. 4: Brevard Caribbean Fest, Cocoa. The annual festival will take over Riverfront Park in Downtown Cocoa Village. The festival will have something for everyone from live entertainment, great food, activities and bounce houses for kids. 401 Riveredge Blvd. Noon. 321-600-1234. brevardcaribbeanfest.com
Sept. 4- 7: NKF Surf Festival, Cocoa Beach. The NKF Surf Festival takes place at the Cocoa Beach Pier. It features surfing, food, music and the Taste of Brevard banquet and silent auction at the Radisson Resort to benefit the National Kidney Foundation of Florida. 321-784-5661. www.nkfsurf.com
Sept. 9-10: Night of Joy, Disney's Magic Kingdom (Lake Buena Vista). Night of Joy includes a collection of some of today's most powerful voices in contemporary Christian music. 407-939-5277. www.nightofjoy.com
Sept. 9-10: Rock the Universe at Universal Studios, Orlando. Chart-topping Christian music stars from across the nation perform at the annual two-day concert at Universal Studios. The event is designed to highlight the diversity within today's Christian music scene. 407-363-8000. www.rocktheuniverse.com
Sept. 9-11: UmiCon Daytona, Daytona Beach. UmiCon is an up-and-coming anime and gaming convention with deep roots in the local community, as well as other anime conventions. Visit umicon-daytona.com
Sept. 10: Turtle Krawl 5K Run/Walk, Indialantic. Test your endurance and help marine life during the 5K Run/Walk at 7:30 a.m. Proceeds benefit the Sea Turtle Preservation Society. The event begins and ends at Nance Park on the corner of A1A and Fifth Avenue (U.S. 192). Cost is $35 on race day; online registration discount available until Sept. 10. www.turtlekrawl.com
Sept. 10-11: Florida International Reptile Expo, Lakeland. Reptile event featuring vendors offering reptile pets, supplies, feeders, cages and merchandise. Participate in free raffles, as well as animal seminars and children's activities. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Price for one-day tickets: $12 adults, $5 ages 5-12, free ages 4 and younger. The Lakeland Center: 701 W. Lime St., Lakeland, FL 33815. 863-834-8100. www.repticon.com
Sept. 10-11: Corks for Cancer, Clermont. The Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards hosts the Robert Harris Group and others: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. Food and wine will be available for purchase. 19239 N. U.S. Highway 27, Clermont, FL 34715. 1-800-768-9463. www.lakeridgewinery.com
Sept. 10-11: Buckler’s Craft Fair, Melbourne. The Buckler’s Craft Fair showcases handmade treasures at the Melbourne Auditorium. Admission is $6 per person; children 12 and under are free. A $2 off admission coupon is available on line or bring a canned good to benefit a local food bank for the $2 discount. Event hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The Melbourne Auditorium is at 625 East Hibiscus. For information, visit www.bucklercraftfair.com
Sept. 14 -Nov. 14: Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, Walt Disney World. The annual food and wine lover's paradise offers beverages from close to 30 global marketplaces. Also on tap are celebrity chef demonstrations and rock star performances during the Eat to the Beat concert series. Festival comes with Epcot admission and plates range in price. 407-939-5277. disneyworld.com/foodandwine
Sept. 15-18: Southern Women's Show, Orlando. Lifestyle expo with that focuses on beauty, fashion, food and fun with celebrity guests and more. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Orange County Convention Center, 9400 Universal Blvd., Orlando; $12 adults, $6 children; 800-849-0248. www.southernshows.com/wor
Sept. 16 - Oct. 31 (select nights): Universal's Halloween Horror Nights, Orlando. The event is considered one of the world's largest, most elaborate Halloween celebrations. See if you can survive new haunted houses, spine-chilling street experiences, outrageous live shows and more. 407-363-8000. www.halloweenhorrornights.com
Sept. 16: Cocoa Beach Friday Fest. Cocoa Beach. Held the third Friday of each month, this family-oriented event has live music, food and a kids' zone. 6-10 p.m. Downtown Cocoa Beach, A1A. Free. www.facebook.com/cocoabeachfridayfest
Sept 17: Art Walk, Sanford. Central Florida's only monthly juried art show, every third Saturday with exhibits and music at participating venues. 6-9 p.m. Downtown Sanford, First Street. Free. 407-323-2774. www.sanfordartwalk.com
Sept. 17: Cruisin' Downtown DeLand Classic Car Show, DeLand. Every 3rd Saturday of the Month (Except November). East Indiana Avenue in Downtown DeLand. Classic cars & rods line East Indiana Avenue in Downtown DeLand. Live DJ, giveaways, shopping & dining. 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. Free. 386-738-0649. www.MainStreetDeLand.org
Sept. 19 -25: Global Peace Film Festival, Orlando. Guests can celebrate the art of film and its power to promote understanding. Held in conjunction with the U.N.'s International Day of Peace, the festival promotes the art of motion picture to further the goal of peace on earth. Events will take place at various locales across Orlando and will include film programs, panels, parties and a special concert. www.peacefilmfest.org
Sept. 23: New Smyrna Beach Jazz Festival, New Smyrna Beach. Music fills the air as bands play at several locations throughout the Flagler Avenue shopping district. 386-423-9760. nsbfla.com
Sept. 24 Wine Walk & Art Walk, New Smyrna Beach. Stroll Flagler Avenue and explore over 100 interesting wines inside local pubs, galleries and restaurants during this monthly progressive wine tasting event. $25 Tasting Passports on sale day of the event at 3 locations along Flagler Avenue. $20 for Tasting Passports with an official glass from a previous Wine Walk. 1-7 p.m. www.nsbfla.com/calendar.cfm
Sept. 24-25: The Villages Craft Festival, The Villages. Fifth annual festival featuring arts and crafts all created in the U.S. Handmade jewelry, personalized wall hangings, art for your pets, ceramics and more. An expansive Green Market lends plants, exotic flora and homemade soaps. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. both days. Free. Colony Plaza: 327 Colony Blvd., The Villages, FL 32162. 561-746-6615. artfestival.com
Sept. 24-25: Craft & Quilt Show, DeLand. Artists, crafters and quilters from around the state will display and sell their handmade items along Woodland Boulevard in downtown DeLand. Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission. 386-738-0649. mainstreetdeland.org
Sept. 30: Cocoa Village Friday Fest. Cocoa. Held on the last Friday of each month in downtown Cocoa Village, visitors can enjoy food, vendors, kids' activities and live music. 6-9 p.m. Brevard Avenue. Free. www.cocoafl.org
Sept. 30 - Oct. 1: Ranch Rodeo Finals and Cowboy Heritage Festival, Kissimmee. Special year-end rodeo and tribute to Florida ranching and the unique Cracker Cowman way of life. Categories of competition include saddle bronc riding, colt riding, wild cow milking, branding, team doctoring, double mugging, cattle sorting, stampede race, and a boot scramble for the kids. The cowboy heritage festival features leather crafts, whip making, spur making, saddle making, cowboy artwork and crafts, cowboy poetry, storytelling, swamp cabbage cooking, Dutch oven cooking, working cow dog demonstrations. Also historical reenactments of Cracker cow camps and Native American Seminole tribe encampment, plus beef cook-off competition, whip-popping contest, story tellers and more. At Silver Spurs Arena. www.floridacattlemen.org
Sept. 30 - Oct. 2: Klingon Feast, Daytona Beach. No vendors or celebrity guests will be at this event, just fans celebrating Star Trek with a feast, games and more. Visit www.klingonfeast.com
Sept. 23-24: Pirates of the Saint Juans Festival, Sanford. A buccaneer bash with a pirate parade, music, entertainment and costume contests in downtown Sanford is among the highlights of the Pirates of the Saint Juans Festival. For information, visit www.facebook.com/Pirates-of-the-Saint-Juans-Festival
Tampa Bay-SarasotaIncluding Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Sarasota, Anna Maria Island, Bradenton, Tarpon Springs and Homosassa
Sept. 3: GeckoFest, Gulfport. Celebrating the town's unofficial mascot and favorite reptile, this annual family-friendly event presents music on two stages, a costume contest, arts and crafts and street performers. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Beach Boulevard. Free. www.sikpromotions.com
Sept. 3-5: Sponge Docks Art and Craft Festival, Tarpon Springs. The nation’s top artists and crafters showing off U.S.-made creations, including jewelry, ceramics, plants, photography, paintings and homemade soap. At The Sponge Docks. Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 pm. www.spongedocks.net
Sept. 10-11: I Like It Hot Festival, Largo. It's all about spicy food during the 16th annual I Like It Hot Festival. Among the highlights are spicy foods for sale, competitions and Jalapeno pepper eating contest. Minnreg Hall, 6340 N. 126th Ave. Admission $5, children under 12 are free. www.ilikeithotfestival.com
Sept. 17: Honey Tasting Event, Tampa. The annual tasting event features exotic and unusual honeys from around the globe, as well as the local honey produced at the USF Botanical Gardens at 12210 USF Pine Drive, Tampa, FL 33612. 813-974-2329. gardens.usf.edu
Sept. 30 - Oct. 2: Super Boat International racing, Clearwater Beach. The weekend features the races, as well as parties, fireworks, concerts, a beauty pageant and the chance to see the boats and drivers up close. 727-593-5536. www.clearwatersuperboat.com
TBA: Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival, Tampa. More than 40 suppliers and restaurants offer samples during the Tampa Bay Wine & Food Festival at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Events include a Gala and a Grand Tasting. Ticket prices vary with Grand Tasting admission costing $75. The festival benefits a variety of charities. The Straz Center for the Performing Arts is at 1010 N Wc Macinnes Place. For information, visit https://brandonfoundation.org/.
Sept. 23- Oct. 30: Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens, Tampa. Howl-O-Scream transforms Busch Gardens into a nightmare of inescapable fear, overwhelming the senses with horror. Devious creatures infest several haunted houses, and scare zones and shows keep plenty of psychotic surprises in store. Bone-chilling roller coasters keep the screams coming all night. 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. www.howloscream.com
Sept. 10: Music and Motorcycles, Zephyrhills. A multiple-class ride-in bike show with trophies and cash prizes to be awarded. There will be a casino, live band, food, beer garden, event T-shirts and a variety of merchandise vendors. 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. www.mainstreetzephyrhills.org
Sept. 24: Mixon Fruit Farms Antiques, Arts and Crafts Fair, Bradenton. Mixon will be hosting an arts and crafts fair every fourth Saturday of the summer. www.mixon.com
Southwest FloridaIncluding Naples, Fort Myers, Venice, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda
Sept. 3-4: Labor Day Weekend Craft Festival, Venice. The annual festival takes place on Miami Avenue in downtown Venice. This community craft festival features ceramics, jewelry, stained glass, metal works and much more. The Green Market offers live flora, freshly popped kettle corn, gourmet spices, and sauces. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission. 220 Miami Ave W., Venice. www.artfestival.com
Sept. 10-11: Galloway Captiva Triathlon, Captiva Island. This triathlon offers adult and children's events at the South Seas Island Resort. Kid's individual entry fee is $30; adult's individual entry fee is $95. www.captivatri.com
Sept. 15: Downtown Gallery Walk, Punta Gorda. The Punta Gorda Downtown Merchants Assocation hosts an evening of music, art and tastings in historic downtown Punta Gorda. Held every third Thursday of the month in downtown Punta Gorda. 941-505-0130. www.charlotteharbortravel.com
Sept. 23 - Oct. 2: Island Hopper Songwriter Fest, Fort Myers area. Musicians will perform at a variety of venues in the Fort Myers area during the free 11-day festival. Headliners this year include Kristian Bush, Parmalee and Jana Kramer. www.fortmyers-sanibel.com/island-hopper
Sept. 19: POW/MIA Remembrance Ceremony at Fishermen's Village, Punta Gorda. Presented by the Military Heritage Museum and U.S. paratroopers. 1 p.m., 1200 West Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda. freedomisntfree.org
Sept. 17-18: Sullivan Street Craft Festival, Punta Gorda. This annual festival continues to grow and highlights the talents of many unique crafters, providing the area with one of its most enjoyable summer traditions. Meet and visit with some of the nation's best crafters while enjoying the charming streets of Punta Gorda. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission. 331 Sullivan St., Punta Gorda. www.artfestival.com
Sept. 24-24: Buckler’s Craft Fair, Punta Gorda. Handmade treasures are on display during the Buckler’s Craft Fair on Sept. 26-27. Admission is $6, good for both days with hand stamp (children 12 and under are free). Visitors who bring a canned good, get $2 off admission. The fair is at the Charlotte Harbor Event Center, 75 Taylor Street. Event hours are from to 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. For information, visit www.bucklercraftfair.com/punta-gorda.php.
South Florida and the KeysIncluding Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Key Largo, Key West and the Treasure Coast
Aug. 27 - Sept. 11: XX Annual International Ballet Festival of Miami, Miami. This is an internationally recognized ballet festival featuring performances by world-renowned dance companies from Europe, Latin America, Asia, the Caribbean and North America. At various locations throughout Miami and Dade County. 305-549-7711. www.internationalballetfestival.com
Sept. 1-5: Key West Brewfest, Key West More than 100 different kinds of beers and micro-brews are on tap during the seventh annual Key West Brewfest . Includes beer tastings, beer dinners, pool parties and musical entertainment. At various locations. www.keywestbrewfest.com
Sept. 7-11: WomenFest, Key West. This Lesbian-oriented festival features art shows, sailing and snorkeling, comedy performances and other activities. https://www.facebook.com/womenfest/
Sept. 9-10: Key Largo Lionfish Derby, Key Largo. Teams of four compete for prizes collecting invasive lionfish during the Key Largo Lionfish Derby at John Pennekamp State Park. The event, open to the public, includes scoring, demonstrations, raffle, awards ceremony and lionfish tastings. Registration fee for teams of four is $120 and includes four drink tickets, and one pair of protective gloves for each team. For details, visit www.reef.org/2015keylargoderby.
Sept. 14-18: Key West Poker Run, Key West. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the U.S. are to travel the Keys' scenic Overseas Highway from mainland Florida to Key West to raise money for charity. Stops are arranged throughout the Keys with a final celebration in Key West. 305-235-4023. www.keywestpokerrun.com
Sept. 15 - 17: Swim for Alligator Lighthouse, Islamorada. Swimmers participate in an eight-mile race from Islamorada to the Alligator Lighthouse and back during the Islamorada Swim for Alligator Lighthouse. Proceeds benefit the "Friends of the Pool" in Islamorada to help provide scholarship opportunities to those in need and preserve treasured historic lighthouses on Florida's coastal waterways. Registration is $150. For information, visit www.swimalligatorlight.com.
Sept. 19: Plant Show & Sale, Coral Gables. The International Aroid Society will be at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden to show visitors how to add a touch of the tropics to any yard by mixing the striking look of aroids with stately palms. Admission is $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and up, $12 for children 6-17, and free for Fairchild members and children 5 and under. www.fairchildgarden.org
Sept. 24-27: Florida Keys Birding and Wildlife Festival, Marathon and Lower Keys. A celebration of the natural wonders of Florida wildlife takes place at the peak of the fall birding season. The event includes presentations and field trips including guided birding walks that focus both on education and conservation as they relate to the Keys' birds and wildlife. Festival is anchored at Curry Hammock State Park. 305-304-9625. www.keysbirdingfest.org
Sept. 24: Conch Life Scramble, Islamorada. A wacky on-the-water charity golf tournament that brings together four-person teams to enjoy a game of nine holes by boat. Proceeds benefit Keys charities. www.conchscramble.com
Sept. 24-25: PalmCon 2015, West Palm Beach. PalmCon's mission is to bring the best in comics, animation, and pop-culture to Palm Beach County while maintaining a safe and family friendly atmosphere. A variety of actors, artists and authors will be at the convention as well. Visit www.palmcon.net
Northeast FloridaIncluding Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Flagler County and Amelia Island
Sept. 2: First Friday Art Walk, St. Augustine. One of the city's most popular cultural events, held the first Friday of each month, 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. Enjoy new exhibits, music, entertainment and refreshments at several participating galleries. 832-779-2781. artgalleriesofstaugustine.com
Sept. 3-4: First Weekend Union Garrison, Fernandina Beach. Re-creation of daily life in a Civil War fort, at Amelia Island's Fort Clinch State Park on the first weekend of the month. Activities include artillery and medical demonstrations, soldier drills, and re-enactments of daily chores from laundry and kitchen duty to carpentry work, all reenacted by living historians dressed in period costume. Park entrance fee $6 per vehicle plus $2 per person for fort admission; under 6 free. 904-277-7274. www.floridastateparks.org/fortclinch
Sept. 4: Jerk Food Fest, Jacksonville. The festival, at 2 Independent Dr., invites jerk food lovers to enjoy a weekend with food, live entertainment, a cook-off, kid’s zone, and a variety of vendors. Proceeds will benefit the Alpha Boys School, USO and Youth Connection. For information, visit www.facebook.com/JaxJerkFoodFest.
Sept. 8: Menendez Founder's Day, St. Augustine. The Old City continues its celebration of its 451 years with a Countdown Clock Ceremony, Menendez Landing Re-Enactment at the Mission of Nombre de Dios, Procession & Commemorative Mass on Sept. 8. Events take place at various locations in downtown St. Augustine and admission is free. For details, visit
Sept. 8-11: Spanish Wine Festival, St. Augustine. The Old City sets the scene for the St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival. The festival features Spanish foods and wines presented at a variety of special events and restaurants. Highlights include Vino Veritas, during which guests learn the secrets of authentic Spanish recipes and Spanish wine pairings from Spanish food and wine experts; the Grand Tasting for sampling more than 100 different types of wines made in Spain; and the Batalla de Vinos, during which participants spray one another with wine for charity, as well as other events. Ticket prices vary. Festival venues are in various locations in St. Augustine. For more information, visit www.SpanishWineFestival.com.
Sept. 10-11: Shriners Morocco Shrine Fall Arts & Crafts Show, Jacksonville. The annual Shriners Morocco Shrine Fall Arts & Crafts Show displays handmade creations on Sept. 12-13. Admission is $3; kids under 12 are free. The Morocco Shrine Auditorium is at 3800 St. Johns Bluff Road South. For information, visit http://neflshrinersshows.org/
Sept. 10: Artrageous Artwalk, Amelia Island. Held monthly on second Saturday, to open the doors of some of the island's incredible galleries, featuring photography, pottery, copper, stained glass, watercolor, acrylics and more. Participants can peruse more than a dozen galleries in downtown Fernandina Beach and at the Plantation Artists' Guild and Gallery located at Amelia Island Plantation. 904-261-7020. islandart.org/artrageous-artwalk
Sept. 17: Spanish American War Event, Fernandina Beach. Event to commemorate the Spanish American War. At Fort Clinch State Park. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. $6 park entrance fee plus $2 per person. 904-277-7274. www.floridastateparks.org/fortclinch/
Sept. 15-17: Florida Heritage Book Festival & Writers Conference, St. Augustine. Here's one for book lovers and aspiring authors. The Old City sets the scene for the annual fest/conference. It celebrates Florida's rich and colorful literary history during workshops, presentations and readings. Ticket prices vary. www.fhbookfest.com
Sept. 15-17: Quiltfest, Jacksonville. Open-judged show awarding prize money in various categories. This year's theme is "All that stash." At Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center, 1000 Water St., Jacksonville, FL 32204. 904-287-7752. www.quiltfestjax.com
North-Central FloridaIncluding Ocala, Gainesville and Tallahassee
Sept. 9-11: Old Time Music Weekend, White Springs. The Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park sets the scene for the Old Time Music Weekend, which event offers instruction for guitar, vocal, fiddle and banjo in beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. Fee is $199 including workshops, concerts, jams, seminars and discussion groups. Ticket for Friday and Saturday 7 p.m. concerts is $10. 386-397-7009. www.floridastateparks.org/stephenfoster
Sept. 23: 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 PanhandleIncluding Pensacola, Panama City Beach, Apalachicola and Destin
Sept. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29: Americana Under the Stars, Santa Rosa Beach. Every Thursday at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park you can find original Americana music, including folk, jazz, blues and more by musicians from Florida and other states at the upgraded amphitheater. Updated schedule of artists and dates can be found at www.luckymudmusic.com. $5 donation to the Friends of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park includes regular park admission. 7525 W. Scenic Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459. 850-267-8332. www.floridastateparks.org/park/Topsail-Hill
Sept. 4-6: Greek Festival, Fort Walton Beach. Visitors can “travel” to Greece without leaving Florida during Ft. Walton Beach’s Greek Festival at the Emerald Coast Convention Center on Sept. 4-6. Greek foods, dances, and music are on the agenda as well as a variety of vendors. The Emerald Coast Convention Center is at 1250 Miracle Strip Pkwy S.E. For details, visit http://www.greekfestivalfwb.com/.
Sept. 2-4: Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam Country Music Festival, Panama City Beach. Brad Paisley, Jake Owen, The Band Perry and Sara Evans are among the headliners for this annual country music event. General admission three-day pass starts at $149, depending on when you buy it; children ages 6 and under are free. The festival's Headline Stage is in Frank Brown Park, 16200 Panama City Beach Pkwy. www.gulfcoastjam.com
Sept. 3: Gulf Coast Summer Fest, Pensacola. This all-day music festival inside the Pensacola Bay Center celebrates R&B, jazz, and Southern soul blues with a variety of artists from all over the country. http://weartv.com/news/local/2016-gulf-coast-summer-fest-jazz-edition
Sept. 9-10: Emerald Coast Beer Festival, Pensacola. The Rosie O’Grady Good Time Emporium entertainment complex in Pensacola’s Seville Square sets the scene for the Emerald Coast Beer Festival. On the agenda are a beer-pairing dinner and a beer tasting. General admission advance tickets start at $25; on day of the event, tickets are $40. For information, visit www.emeraldcoastbeerfest.com.
Sept. 12-18: Lobster Festival and Tournament, Panama City Beach. Schooners sets the stage for the 26th Annual Lobster Festival and Tournament. Weigh-ins begin on Saturday and end Sunday with prizes and a Lobster Feast. Proceeds benefit charities. Another highlight is the popular Sand Sculpting Contest that takes place on the beach behind Schooners. For details, visit www.schooners.com/events/lobsterfestival.htm.
Sept. 9-11: Juana's Good Time Regatta, Navarre Beach. Multi-hulls race and compete for prizes during the Juana's Good Time Regatta. Pre-sailing parties and complimentary continental breakfast are featured. The event is at Juana's Pagodas/Sailors Grill, 1451 Navarre Beach Causeway. www.juanaspagodas.com
Sept. 23-24: Taste of the Beach, Pensacola Beach. Dozens of restaurants offer up their fare to live music at the Gulfside Pavillion. Chef presentations and live entertainment are just some things to look forward to. Friday is an opening VIP party priced at $65 per person, Saturday is free entry with dishes priced at $5 or less. 850-932-1500. www.tasteofpensacolabeach.com
Sept. 25-26: Florida Catfish Classic, Wewahitchka. Spend the weekend on Gulf County riverways and try to break the state flathead record! This fishing tournament and festival captures all the excitement of sport angling and family-friendly fun. At Gaskin Park Landing. www.floridacatfishclassic.com
Sept. 23-24: Oktoberfest, Niceville. Niceville keeps German traditions alive during Oktoberfest in Bluewater Bay. A family-friendly event, it features German food, music, dancing, beer, wine, and children’s rides. Admission is free. For information, visit http://www.midbayrotaryclub.org/Events.html.
Sept. 23-24: Annual Chasin’ the Sun Music Festival, Panama City Beach. The Annual Chasin’ the Sun Music Festival will feature rising country stars and tribute bands. The event is at Aaron Bessant Park, 600 Pier Park Drive. General admission is free, VIP tickets start at $30. www.visitpanamacitybeach.com
Sept. 30 - Oct. 2: Pensacola Seafood Festival, Pensacola. Treat your taste buds to a variety of dishes from carefully selected food vendors bordering the park. Enjoy foods such as grilled conch, seafood gumbo, oyster croquettes, soft shell crab, coconut shrimp, Caribbean crab cakes and more. 850-433-6512. www.fiestaoffiveflags.org/