Florida travel calendar for January

Check out festivals and events in January 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)

Through Jan. 1: Space Coast Light Fest, Melbourne. The Space Coast Lightfest is a holiday themed drive-through event featuring shimmering lights and dazzling animated displays drawing more than 15,000 vehicles annually. 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Cars $15, Walkers $5 per person or $20 per family. Special pricing on hayrides. 2500 Parkway Drive. 321-576-7556 spacecoastlightfest.com

January 1: Citrus Bowl, Orlando. The seventh-oldest collegiate bowl game in the country, the Citrus Bowl began as the Tangerine Bowl in 1947. 407-423-2476. floridacitrussports.com

January 3-13: Mecum Auction and Collector Car Show, Kissimmee. Gates open daily at 7:30 a.m. Osceola Heritage Park, 1875 Silver Spur Lane, Kissimmee; $20, children 12 and under are free; mecum.com

January 5: Oviedo Farmers Market, Oviedo. The Oviedo Historical Society, will celebrate its 6th Anniversary this year with the monthly farmer’s market at The Lawton House. Browse among vendors selling fresh eggs, breads, honey, beef, jams, jellies, soaps, pickles, baked goods, spices. Held each first Saturday of every month (except July). 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free. Oviedo Farmers Market at The Lawton House, 200 West Broadway Street. oviedohistoricalsociety.com

January 5-6: Dade's Battle Re-enactment & Trade Fair, Bushnell. Often called a massacre, the battle that sparked the Second Seminole War definitively gave first blood to the Seminoles. This annual re-enactment takes history buffs back in time to the Indian ambush of U.S. Major Francis Langhorne Dade and his troops in 1835, a battle that only three of his 107 men survived. Florida may be a vacation destination for many now, but for a weekend, the Dade Battlefield Society provides a glimpse into the hard road that led us here with its Civil War-era encampment and demonstrations. From 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (with battles at 2 p.m.). Dade Battlefield Historic State Park, 7200 County Road 603. $5 adults, free ages 6 and younger. 352-793-4781. dadebattlefield.com

January 5, 12, 19 & 26: Winter Music Series at the Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards, Clermont. Each Jan., Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards is the hot spot for live music, winery tours and wine tastings. The winery is located west of downtown Orlando, on a 127-acre estate in gently rolling countryside. Noon to 4 p.m. Free admission. 800-768-9463.lakeridgewinery.com

Through January 6: Universal Orlando Holiday Events, Orlando. Universal expanded its holiday celebrations last year to more days than ever before. Experience Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which will feature themed decorations and lighting, holiday-themed food and performances by the Frog Choir and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees. At night, projection mapping and lighting will wrap Hogwarts castle. Back for 2018 is the Holiday Parade featuring Macy's 15 new floats that include lighting displays featuring the likes of the Minions, Shrek, Madagascar‘s cast, as well as Santa Claus. Also returning is Grinchmas at SeussLanding with the “Grinchmas Who-liday Spectacular” and extra-close breakfast with the Grinch and friends. On-site hotels will each have holiday-themed activities as well. Check website for park times and prices. 407-363-800. UniversalOrlando.com/holidays

Through January 6: ICE! at Gaylord Palms Resort, Kissimmee. With more than two million pounds of carved ice, a “Christmas Story” show Cirque performances and special events for children. Kept at 9 degrees Fahrenheit, visitors can view hand-carved ice sculptures, ice slides, live ice carving and a celebration of holidays from various cultures. Check website for prices. Gaylord Palms, 6000 W. Osceola Parkway. 407-586-4423. ChristmasAtGaylordPalms.com

Through January 6: The Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens Holiday Home Tour, Lake Wales. Bok Tower Gardens is ready for the holidays! The Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens Holiday Home Tour showcases the 20-room Mediterranean-style mansion at Pinewood Estate. Central Florida designers transform the 1930s winter retreat into a glittering holiday showcase for the event. Holiday Home Tour hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Events include a family holiday hunt, symphony performances, food and talks with authors Heather McPherson, Pam Brandon and Katie Farmand. Advance tickets are $24/adults; $12/children ages 5-12. Children under 5 free. 1151 Tower Boulevard. boktowergardens.org/christmas

January 9-13: Walt Disney World Marathon and Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Lake Buena Vista. Thousands of participants are expected for the annual event that charts a course through Magic Kingdom, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Epcot. The two races are the climax of a whole weekend of fitness fun that also features Disney's Health and Fitness Expo in The Milk House at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. Registration prices vary. 407-939-4786. rundisney.com

January 12: Dirt Day #2-Four Seasons of Family Fun 2019 Series, Lakeland. Polk County Master Gardeners will present four fun, activity-filled workshops for kids in K-5th grade. The workshops will highlight Central Florida's native plants and the conservation of Central Florida pristine habitats. Free. 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Circle B Bar Reserve, 4399 Winter Lake Road. polknature.com

January 15-20: Yeehaw Music Festival, Yeehaw Junction. This festival presents pickin' and foot-stompin' music at Yeehaw Junction. The music fest also features arts, crafts and carnival fare. Guest artists include Don Rigsby, Dave Adkins Band and so many more. On-site camping is available.  At the Agri-Civic Center. 4601 FL-710. bluegrassfestivalguide.com/yeehaw.htm

January 18-February 25: Epcot International Festival of the Arts, Lake Buena Vista. The second-ever festival has expanded in many aspects of last year’s event, from food options to those walk-in masterpieces sprinkled around the theme park. Event features a Broadway concert series. At Walt Disney World. disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/epcot/epcot-international-festival-of-the-arts/

January 18-21: Otronicon, Orlando. Otronicon is the premiere technology event that you can’t afford to miss. Discover how we will live, learn, work and play in the years to come through video games, simulation and other technology — most of which is made here in Orlando. Features larger-than-life video game experiences, state-of-the-art medical and military simulators, workshops taught by industry pros and so much more. $20.95 daily for adults, $18.95 daily for students/seniors, $14.95 ages 3-11, free 2 and under. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. At Orlando Science Center, 777 East Princeton Street. 407-514-2000. otronicon.org

January 16-19: Florida Flywheelers 32nd Annual Antique Engine & Tractor "Swamp Meet." Fort Meade. 7000 Avon Park Cutoff Road. 863-285-9121. floridaflywheelers.org

January 17-20: Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival, Fellsmere. This festival has been serving up frog leg dinners to hungry festival goers for 28 years. In addition to frog legs and gator tail, the festival features a lineup of activities including live entertainment, a midway, crafters, and pony rides. $20 armbands for unlimited ride access. 22 South Orange St. 772-571-0250. froglegfestival.com

January 19: Florida Key Lime Pie Festival, Merritt Island. This 8th annual event features live music, food trucks, street performances, a key lime pie eating contest and The Florida Key Lime Pie Company will be making "The World’s Largest Key Lime Pie." 10 a.m.-6 p.m. At Brevard Veterans Memorial Center, 400 S Sykes Creek Pkwy. $10 Adults, $5 Children 12 & under, Children under 4 free. 321-385-9600. www.facebook.com/FloridaKeyLimePieFestival/

January 19: 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. 4-7 p.m. Free. 386-738-0649. mainstreetdeland.org

January 19-20: Central Florida Scottish Highland Games, Winter Springs. Traditional Scottish sporting events take the field for a day of history, culture and excitement. Also included are drum and bagpipe competitions, highland dancing, sheepdog demonstrations, archery competitions and Scottish singers. Pats are now welcome to attend. At Central Winds Park. 1000 Central Winds Dr.  flascot.com

January 19-20: Brooksville Raid Re-enactment, Brooksville. Annual Civil War re-enactment. Camps open at 9 a.m. Battle re-enactments, artillery demonstrations, entertainment, food, vendors. Tour the “authentic” Confederate and Union camps and enjoy the Grand Review on Sunday. Bring your chair and your camera. Sand Hill Scout Reservation. 352-799-0129. brooksvilleraidreenactment.com

January 19-20 & 26-27: 4th Annual Brevard Renaissance Fair, Melbourne.  Medieval times will be in full swing for three weekends with artisans selling a variety of goods from blacksmithing, pewter jewelry, stone carvings, wood-working, weaving, hand-blown glassware and leather crafts. This year’s theme is “The Knight’s Tale.” Live events include jousting knights, musicians and other performers, pony rides, archery and battle-axe challenges, food court with meade and more. Daily tickets for adults are $19 and Children under 12 are $9. Leashed pets are also welcome at $11 each. At Wickham Park, 2500 Parkway Dr. 321-458-3515. brevardrenaissancefair.com

January 23-28: Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, Titusville. This 22nd Annual Festival is located at: Eastern Florida State College-Titusville Campus (Brevard Community College) 1311 North US1 Titusville, Florida 32796. Featuring classroom presentations, keynote speakers Denver Holt, spotlight speakers such as Clay Taylor, Gina Kent and others, field trips and more. 321-268-5224. spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org

January 25-27: Images, a Festival of the Arts, New Smyrna Beach. This 43rd annual event is an outdoor art show honoring artistic excellence, offering more than $70,000 in prize and patrons' monies. Free. Friday, 1-5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 386-423-4733. Downtown New Smyrna. imagesartfestival.org

January 26-27: Blue Spring Manatee Festival, Orange City. Two-day festival featuring manatee viewing, Central Florida Zoo presentations and animal ambassadors, arts and crafts, dancing, walk-on-water balls, food, face painting, shows and rides, sand sculpting and entertainment. Cost: $8 per person, children 4-10 $2, children 3 and under free. Leashed dogs are welcome at $10 each. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Jeff Howell Band From “Monsters in the Morning” will perform on Sunday. At Valentine Park on W. French Avenue off U.S. Highway 17-92. themanateefestival.com

January 26-27: Rolex 24 at Daytona, Daytona Beach. The annual 24-hour race featuring sportscars liked Ferraris, Porsches and more endurance racers. It’s also a festival event including carnival rides in the infield, all to kick off the racing year at Daytona International Speedway. $40-$100. daytonainternationalspeedway.com

 

January 26-February 3: Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities, Orlando/Eatonville. This festival highlights the life and works of one of America's most celebrated collectors and interpreters of Southern rural African-American culture through theatrical performances, educational programs and a juried art show. The annual event takes place in various locations throughout Orlando and Eatonville, the nation's oldest incorporated African-American municipality. Prices vary by activity. 407-647-3307. zorafestival.org

January 27: NFL Pro Bowl, Orlando. The NFL will celebrate its brightest stars of today and tomorrow with Pro Bowl week festivities in 2018 in Orlando. 3 p.m. Tickets start at $45. 407-423-2476. FloridaCitrusSports.com

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

January 5-6: The Venice FL Antiques Show, Venice. This nationally recognized show features nearly 100 exhibitors of antique furniture, art, pottery, jewelry, silver, toys and glass. The event also features a two-day Antiques Appraisal Fair. Free. 10 a.m.to 5p.m. 

sunshinecityantiqueshow.com

January 6: Annual Epiphany Celebration, Tarpon Springs. The event features services at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral and such highlights as a procession including bands, choir, school children dressed in traditional Greek costumes as well as a dove bearer bearing a white dove; blessing of the waters and dive for the Epiphany cross in the bayou, and an Epiphany Glendi with Greek food, music and dances. Free. St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral is at 36 North Pinellas Ave. St. Nicholas Community Center where the Epiphany Glendi takes place is at 348 North Pinellas Ave. epiphanycity.org

January 6: Elvis Ultimate Birthday Bash, Clearwater.  Scot Bruce as the young Elvis and Mike Albert as the Las Vegas Elvis along with the Big "E" Band offer a rockin' birthday party celebration of America's first rock 'n' roll icon. This performance sells out every year. Tickets range from $18 to $35 (limited number of VIP seats are $35 each) $195 for all 13 performances. The Ruth Eckerd Hall is at 1111 McMullen Booth Road. rutheckerdhall.com

January 10-20: 19th Annual Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival, Tampa. The days of cultural events provide educational philanthropic and community-based diversity to the Tampa Bay Community. TBBHF features local and nationally known speakers musicians artists poets and craftspeople. The Festival always encompasses the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. The highlight of the Festival is the free 2-day Heritage Street Festival at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa. tampablackheritage.org

January 12: Celebrity Auto Festival, Tampa. See all kinds vehicles from classic to modern muscle cars, TV & Movie tribute cars, Hot Rods and Custom vehicles. Open to all makes and models, motorcycles, trucks, exotics and especially TV & Movie vehicles of all types. Free for spectators includes shopping and refreshments. Guests can vote on their favorites. 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Show Car Judging, 9 a.m.-noon and Trophy Award Ceremony at 2 p.m. Big Top Flea Market, 9250 E Fowler Ave. 813-352-0039. celebrityautofest.com

January 12: Gasparilla Ball, Tampa. This is a pirate-themed fundraiser aboard The American Victory Ship. Hosted by the Rotary Club of Tampa, this event benefits numerous local nonprofits. VIP’s board at 6 p.m. and “stowaways” board at 7 p.m. Music by The Black Honkeys and cash bar until 11 p.m. Tickets are $75 for stowaways and $125 for VIP’s. 813-223-3394. rotarycluboftampa.org

January 12-13: Sarasota Winter Fine Arts Festival, Sarasota. Artists showcase their creations during this 7th Annual event. Browse artwork such as painting, photography, metalwork, jewelry and more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. 801 Gulf Stream. 941-487-8061. paragonartevents.com

January 17-27: Manatee County Fair, Palmetto. Showcase for the best of Manatee County. Includes exhibits and vendors, livestock shows and auctions, competitions, a midway, a variety of entertainment and great fair food. At Manatee County Fairgrounds. Ticket prices vary. 941-722-8951. manateecountyfair.com

January 18-20: Sarasota Seafood & Music Festival, Sarasota. This 4th Annual event features food, drink and live music including on-site fresh ingredient preparation including grouper, mahi-mahi, stone crabs, oysters, shrimp, soft-shell crabs and more. Admission and parking are free. Musical acts will include R&B, rock, soul, jazz and Caribbean. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. VIP tent admission is $50. 8258 Midnight Pass Rd. paragonartevents.com

January 19: Children’s Gasparilla Extravaganza, Tampa. This alcohol-free, family-friendly event ushers in and celebrates the return of Gasparilla Season in Tampa Bay with parade, beads and a “piratechnic” pirate ship battle. It is followed by the Gasparilla Pirate Parade with the Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla. gasparillapiratefest.com

January 19: East-West Shrine Game, St. Petersburg. The 94th East-West Shrine Game is the oldest college all-star game in the country and features the finest athletes in the U.S. and Canada. $15. At Tropicana Field. 813-281-8686. shrinegame.com

January 26: Gasparilla pirate parade and street festival, Tampa. The festival reminiscent of Mardi Gras has been going on in Tampa since 1904. The event pays homage to a Spanish pirate named Jose Gaspar, who sailed off the west coast of Florida in the 18th and 19th centuries. City leaders back in 1904 decided to adopt Gaspar for their own street festival to be on the scale of New Orleans' Fat Tuesday. The crux of the early festival that continues today is pirates, namely high society members in pirate outfits, capturing the city. While they initially invaded on horseback, the yearly invasion soon came by sea, and now each year Ye Mystic Krewe invades aboard the Jose Gasparilla pirate ship, flanked by hundreds of more modern boats, sailing into Hillsborough Bay to downtown Tampa where they ceremoniously seize the key to the city from the mayor. The invasion then gives way to the Invasion Brunch at the Tampa Convention Center, a parade with nearly 100 floats down Bayshore Boulevard rife with bead throwing as well as the daylong Pirate Fest Street Festival on Ashley Street in downtown Tampa. The invasion, parade and festival are all free. Festivities begin at 10 a.m. with the sailing invasion running from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The parade runs from 2-5:30 p.m. and the street festival into the night. Parking will be difficult to navigate. Expect to pay at least $20 or more to park in the sundry downtown garages. In years past, many people have taken advantage of park and ride services from Raymond James Stadium or parking in Ybor City and taking public transportation to the festivities. gasparillapiratefest.com

 

 

January 26: Kumquat Festival, Dade City. Ready for some old fashioned Florida fun? Dade City features the annual Kumquat Festival in its historic downtown. The fest offers family-friendly entertainment, arts and crafts and all manner of kumquat treats. Admission is free. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. dadecitychamber.org

January 31-February 2: World Quilt Florida, Tampa. This is the 10th Annual event and is now at a new location featuring the World Quilt Competition, workshops and lectures and more. Free. West Hall, 333 S Franklin St. quiltfest.com

 

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

January 5-6: Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair, Naples. The 23rd Annual event takes place along historic Fifth Avenue South, cordoned off so visitors may browse in booths showcasing original art in a wide variety of media. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. artswfl.com

January 11-12: Florida's Creative Coast Weekend, Pine Island. On the second weekend each month November-April, Pine Island businesses offer themed artistic events. Galleries and shops are open extended hours on Friday, many offering special openings. Take a cooking class, or listen to live music. Other special events and workshops are planned at individual shops on Saturday and Sunday. pineislandchamber.org

January 12-13: Cape Coral Festival of the Arts, Cape Coral. This is the 34th Annual street festival, attracting 85,000 people each year with 300 juried artisan booths and entertainment. Artists and craftspeople will be located on both sides of the median down the center of Cape Coral Parkway from Cape Coral Street to Vincennes. There will be plenty of food, activities for the kids, and fun for people of all ages. Live music is continuous from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. both days, but the party continues up and down the street at local businesses on Saturday night. Free. 239-699-7942. capecoralfestival.com

January 12-13: Bonita Springs National Art Festival, Bonita Springs. This is the 41st annual outdoor exhibition featuring more than 200 nationally and internationally acclaimed artists working in a variety of media including paintings, glass, jewelry, clay works, photography, sculpture and more. Food and beverages will be available. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. 10450 Reynolds St. 239-495-8989. artinusa.com/bonita

Jan. 13-14: 22nd Annual Sullivan Street Craft Festival, Punta Gorda. Outdoor show featuring some 150 crafters, who offer affordable original works. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 331 Sullivan St. Free. artfestival.com/Festivals

January 26-27: ClamJam of Southwest Florida Seafood & Music Festival, Cape Coral.  This is a family event that offers Kids Games and Rides, 2 full days of Live Music, Fishing Seminars with Captain Terry Fisher from Fish Face Charters and other seminars. Fresh local seafood, right-off-the-boats. Fresh squeezed lemonade, boiled peanuts, coffee and hot chocolate, CW Fudge Factory’s flavored popcorn, candies and homemade fudge, homemade ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt, root beer or orange ice cream floats, as well as art and craft vendors. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free onsite parking. 2101 Pine Island Road. ClamJamSWFL.com

January 27: Florida Challenge Half-Marathon & 5K Trail Runs, Lithia. 16th Annual running event takes place at Alafia River State Park in southeast Hillsborough County. On race day the park will open at 7 a.m. (there is a $4 fee to enter the park). This race features t-shirts, custom awards, DJ music, post-race feast and water stops. $29-$46 14326 South County Road 39. TampaRaces.com

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

January 5-6: Las Olas Art Fair, Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale celebrates the 31st Annual Las Olas Art Fair Part II.  Considered one of the top art festivals in the nation, it features the work of some 150 artists on Las Olas Boulevard in the heart of the city. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. artfestival.com

January 10-20: Uncorked Key Largo and Islamorada Food and Wine Festival, Key Largo. Come on down to the Keys and enjoy all of the tasty temptations, and some of your favorite wines, as South Florida’s culinary experts step up to the plate to show you what Key Largo and Islamorada have to offer. Eleven days of wine tasting events, cooking demonstrations, wine dinners, live music, food and wine pairing classes, progressive wine dinners, art and wine shows. The Grand Tasting features area restaurants and wine experts present samples of their finest cuisine and world-class wines. Live music, celebrity chef appearances and cooking demos as well. keylargofoodandwinefestival.com

January 11: Shakespeare in the Park, Miami. Every January audience members from across south Florida pack picnics, gather friends and family, and head out to the park to watch the best regional actors perform works by William Shakespeare. This year’s show is “Romeo & Juliet” starring Jordon Armstrong and Susannah Eig. 9:45 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. Free. Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 Red Road, Pinecrest. shakespearemiami.com

January 12-13: Boca Fest, Boca Raton. Now in its 32nd year, this event draws more than 200 artists to South Florida's high-end shopping at Boca Raton's Town Center Mall. 6000 Glades Road. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. artfestival.com

January 12-13: Broward Shell Show, Pompano Beach. Thousands of beautiful and unusual shells from Florida, the Caribbean and around the world will be on display or for sale. Includes competitive displays by dozens of collectors and craftspeople, an International Shell Market featuring shells, shell craft, jewelry, educational shell books and more and a Shell ID Clinic. This year the show has added five educational programs on seashells and shell craft to be presented during the shell show. At Emma Lou Olson Civic Center 1801 NE 6th St. Hours 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. 954-786-4111. browardshellclub.org

January 16-20: Art Palm Beach 2018, West Palm Beach. ArtPalmBeach celebrates its 22nd Edition at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. ArtPalmBeach is considered one of the most influential contemporary art fairs on Florida’s Gold Coast by both critics and art enthusiasts. International galleries from around the world will be exhibiting contemporary and emerging artists. The fair also offers a full schedule of lectures, art film screenings, artists discussions, and curatorial tours. Restaurant, champagne bar, and espresso bar available. $8-$20, kids 10 and under are free. Noon-7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; Noon-6 p.m. Sunday. nextlevelfairs.com/artpalmbeach

January 18-19:  Historic House Tours, Key West. Presented by the Old Island Restoration Foundation, this house and garden tour offers a rare opportunity to see inside some of Key West's magnificent, charming and tropical residences. 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Admission $30 per person in advance. 305-294-9501. oirf.org

January 18-20: Art Deco Weekend, Miami Beach. Step back in time and celebrate Art Deco style on the Broadway stage with live music, art and antiques dealers, walking tours, films, lectures, classic cars, street theater and more. Kids can submit drawings for the Club Poster Contest. This event will be held along Ocean Drive, between 5th and 15th Streets. Friday noon-11 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., 305-672-2014. artdecoweekend.com

January 18-20: BayGrass Bluegrass Festival, Islamorada. The 7th annual Baygrass Bluegrass features Oldgrass, Newgrass, next generation Bluegrass and variations of the genre on Jan. 13-15. The event takes place at various venues. Friday and Saturday are both free, tickets for Sunday are $20 in advance. Money raised helps fund music, dance and art scholarships for local students. baygrassbluegrass.com

January 18 – February 3: South Florida Fair, West Palm Beach. Since 1912 each January, more than half a million visitors enjoy 17 fun-filled days at the South Florida Fair, one of Florida’s oldest and largest community events.  Fairgoers are entertained by stage shows, national concert performances, midway rides, shopping and fair food. Admission: Adults, $15; children, 6-11 $8; kids 5 and under are free. 561-793-0333. southfloridafair.com

January 19-20: Florida Keys Seafood Festival, Key West. This 14th Annual family-friendly event offers a menu of fried fish, grilled spiny lobster, stone crab claws and other delights from the bounty of the sea. Beverages and desserts will also be available for purchase. The event is at Bayview Park (corner of Truman Avenue & Jose Marti Drive). Also on the festival's agenda are children's activities, marine-related crafts and live music. Admission is $5, 12 and under are free. http://floridakeysseafoodfestival.com/

January 19-20: Downtown Delray Beach Festival of the Arts, Delray Beach. Now int hier 30th year, this is a signature event for the city, and is consistently ranked as one of the best in the nation. Along a one-mile stretch of Atlantic Avenue, starting at U.S. 1 and continuing east over the Intracoastal Waterway all the way to A-1-A on the Atlantic Ocean. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. artfestival.com

January 20: 21st Annual Key West Half Marathon, Key West. The gun will sound at 7 a.m. for one of "Runners World" magazine's recognized 10 great winter half marathons. The run is a 13.1-mile course through Old Town Key West, historic landmarks and Key West's scenic waterfront. $95–$120 for the half marathon. keywesthalfmarathon.com

 

January 25-27 International Chocolate Festival, Coral Gables. Fairchild Gardens hosts this celebration of the tropical plant obroma cacao, the source of chocolate. For three days guests are immersed in the world of chocolate. From chocolate treats to tree sales, cooking demonstrations to chocolate sculpture competitions, chocolate reigns supreme. 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. At Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. 10901 Old Cutler Road Coral Gables. Free for Fairchild Members, Adults: $25, Seniors (age 65 and up): $18, Children (ages 6-17): $12, Free for children 5 and younger. 305-667-1651. fairchildgarden.org

January 26: Port Salerno Seafood Festival, Port Salerno. This marks the 13th year of this popular local event in Martin County featuring seafood specialties, live music, family fun area, maritime exhibitors, arts and crafts and more. Along the waterfront. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. with most food served from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Admission at the Gate: $10, children 12 and under free. Online Advance Tickets: General Admission $7, VIP $150. portsalernoseafoodfestival.org

January 26-27: Key West Craft Show, Key West. This 33rd annual event features juried artisans and crafters displaying their work at a show on lower Whitehead Street in historic Old Town Key West. The Key West Craft Show, which attracts buyers from locals, cruise boats and tourists, was rated by Sunshine Artists in the top 100 shows, most recently at #45. The 2018 show had attendance estimated over 25,000 visitors. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 

keywestartcenter.com/craft.html

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

January 4: First Friday Art Walk, St. Augustine. One of the city's most popular cultural events, held the first Friday of each month. Enjoy new exhibits, music, entertainment and refreshments at participating galleries, plus great food courtesy of the St. Augustine Independent Restaurant Assn. Tours begin at Rembrandtz American Craft Gallery. St. Augustine Sightseeing Trains and Old Town Trolleys offer complimentary shuttle service to most galleries. 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Shuttles run on a continuous loop every 30 minutes. floridashistoriccoast.com

Through January 31: Nights of Pints, St. Augustine. Participating local breweries will nightly host craft beer lovers with a free, seasonally brewed pint at each St. Augustine brewery with the purchase of a commemorative t-shirt. Participating breweries include Ancient City Brewing Taproom, 18 Cathedral Place, Bog Brewing Company, 218 W. King St., Dog Rose Brewing Company, 77 Bridge St., and Old Coast Ales, 300 Anastasia Blvd. Admission is free. All breweries are kid and family friendly. www.floridashistoriccoast.com/events/nights-pints

Through January 31: Art Association 95th Anniversary Parade of Art, St. Augustine.  Come out for this annual showing of pop-up exhibitions throughout the season in different parts of the gallery. The art featured will be from the association's permanent collection. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday noon-4 p.m. and Sunday 2-5 p.m. The exhibitions are free and open to the public. 22 Marine St. (904) 824-2310 www.floridashistoriccoast.com/events/st-augustine-art-association-95th-anniversary-parade-art

Through February 3: Nights of Lights Festival and Celebration, St. Augustine. This inspiring display of more than two million tiny white lights adorning the palm trees and buildings throughout the city's historic district is based on a custom by the town's original Spanish colonists, who placed a white candle in their windows to brighten the nights during the Christmas holidays. Among special events and activities awaiting visitors: nighttime tours of ancient buildings and inns led by storytellers in period clothing, rollicking train and trolley tours through the narrow brick streets, art walks featuring more than 30 galleries serving free holiday refreshments on the first Friday, special antique shopping events, a dazzling regatta, Florida ice skating, luminaries in the town plaza, and holiday concerts. NightsofLights.com

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

January 4: Frogs and Friends Friday, Gainesville.  Morningside Nature Center invites kids, with an adult, to chat with an animal caretaker and get to know the amphibians of the world.  This even is held on the first Friday of each month and is free. 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.  3540 E. University Ave. www.visitgainesville.com

 

January 6: Tours of the Historic Haile Homestead, Gainesville. Thomas Evans and Serena Chesnut Haile moved their family from Camden, South Carolina to Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida in 1854. Over 12,500 words written on the walls by the family has earned the home the nickname of “Talking Walls.” Newly added is a Visitors Center and Museum. Tours: $5, under 12 free. At 12:15 pm, 1:15 pm, 2:15 pm and 3:15 pm. Historic Haile Homestead, 8500 SW Archer Rd. (352) 336-9096 www.hailehomestead.org

January 19-20: Florida Manatee Festival, Crystal River. In honor of its namesake, the endangered manatee, the festival gives visitors the opportunity to view the gentle creature in its own environment. Boat tours are offered for a small charge into Kings Bay, which the manatee calls home. Festival also includes a Fine Art show featuring everything from watercolor artwork and photography to sculptures, stained glass and handmade jewelry. Live entertainment will be provided continuously Downtown on Citrus Ave. Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. $5 adults; kids 12 and under are free. gomanateefest.com

January 26-27: Hoggetowne Medieval Faire, Gainesville. Come be swept away by medieval magic on this 33rd annual Troupes of actors, street performers and musicians journey back to the days of yore. Alachua County Fairground is transformed into a bustling medieval marketplace where there is jousting on horseback, street performers and minstrels, living chess match, medieval games, Camel rides and eight stages of live entertainment. Admission: Adults $18; Youth (5-17) $8; Senior/Military $15; Children under 5 are free. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. hoggetownefaire.com

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

January 5: Mardi Gras Kick-Off, Pensacola. Join the fun in Downtown Pensacola with the Krewes; their King and Queens for the upcoming season, King Cake, and the town crier. Free. 5 p.m. www.visitpensacola.com/event/pensacolas-mardi-gras-kick-off/1076/

January 12: Pensacola Beach 1/2 Marathon, 5K and 10K Run, Pensacola Beach. All three courses are flat and fast. Pick the distance you want at the turns. If you feel good at the 5K turn, just keep going for the 10K, and the same is true for the 1/2 Marathon. Several exhibitors, and drink and food specials. 7:30 a.m. (Half Marathon Start), 8 a.m. (5K/10K Start) Casino Beach, Pensacola Beach. Fees $23-$60. pensacolarunners.com

January 18-19: Apalachicola Oyster Cook Off, Apalachicola. Fundraiser for the Apalachicola Volunteer Fire Department. Submit recipes. Oysters all sorts of ways. The event features a silent auction, oysters galore, shrimp, smoked mullet, hot dogs, hamburgers, local beer, live music, kids’ activities, dancing performances and a 5K run. Well-mannered pets are welcomed on a leash. 86 Water Street, Riverfront Park. 850-323-0385. oystercookoff.com

January 25 & 27: Pensacola Opera Presents Romeo & Juliet, Pensacola. Incredible re-telling of Shakespeare’s iconic star-crossed lovers through music. All seats reserved at $24 each. Friday 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Saenger Theatre, 118 South Palafox Place.  (850) 595-3880 https://pensacolaopera.com/

Through January 31: First City Lights Festival, Pensacola. Music, shopping, food, art and nightlife under a canopy of four hundred thousand white lights illuminating historic buildings, parks, shops, galleries and outdoor spaces. Visitors can navigate the eclectic downtown Pensacola district, voted “Florida’s Greatest Place”—on foot or by Segway, horse and carriage, pedi-cab or a Winterfest trolley. Free. Downtown Pensacola. www.visitpensacola.com/event/first-city-lights-festival/4129/

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