Florida Events Calendar
Whatever your passion, Florida has something for you. Here are just some of the major events scheduled this month in the Sunshine State. Please check individual websites for more details.
DIVERS’ DOUBLE DIP – Both are run by an ecologically-conscience outfit called REEF and are sure to please diving enthusiasts:
- REEF Fest activities include seminars, evening social gatherings, silent and live auctions and, of course, diving events along some of the best coral reef sites in the country. For non-Scuba folks, there will be snorkeling, kayaking and paddle boarding. All seminars are free, but pre-registration is recommended.
When: Sept. 20-23
Where: Various locations in and near Key Largo
- The REEF Lionfish Derby offers divers the chance to help fish and other ocean critters by killing as many of this extremely invasive non-native species as they can. Cash prizes will be awarded for the most, largest and smallest.
When: Sept. 14-16
Where: Key Largo
NAUTICAL EXTRAVAGANZA – It’s actually three events, all going on at the same time at the same location:
- At the South Florida Fall Boat Show, hundreds of new model and closed out boats are available to buy on site.
- At the Florida Marine Flea Market & Seafood Festival, more than 300 vendors will exhibit and sell their merchandise. Any accessory you need for nautical activities can be found. And, don’t forget the variety of delicious sea food that will be available.
- The Marine & Wildlife Art Festival and Craft Show will offer beautiful art work and craft creations.
DAVID I. MUIR’S REGGAE REEL – It’s a dynamic exhibit that celebrates the music, message and masters of reggae through the lens of critically-acclaimed photographer David I. Muir. Featured are images of current reggae royalty, such as Marcia Griffiths, Buju Banton, Tarrus Riley, Mavado and Chronixx, as well as rising stars Koffee and Sevana.
When: Now through Sept. 30
Where: Pompano Beach Cultural Center, Pompano Beach
YUM, YUM AND YUM!!! – That’s one big “yum!” for each of three dine-on-the-cheap options in So Fla. Watch the calories now and then let the pigging-out begin:
- Miami Spice -- In the Miami area, some 200 restaurants and bistros will be offering three-course menus for lunch ($23) and dinner ($39) in August and September. See iLoveMiamiSpice.com
- Flavor Palm Beach -- More than 50 eateries from throughout Palm Beach County will also offer three-course menus for lunch ($20) and dinner ($30 to $45) in September. See flavorpb.com
- Boca Raton Restaurant Month – Three-course meals will be between $21-$25 for lunches and $36-$40 for dinners at top restaurants in Boca. See bocarestaurantmonth.com
7th ANNUAL BOCA BRAZILIAN BEAT -- Celebrate Brazilian Independence Day with live bands, a Zumba showcase, a Capoeira circle, carnival dancers, samba drummers, and of course, authentic Brazilian food and cocktails. The musical headliner this year is Latin Grammy award-winning samba singer Diogo Nogueira.
When: Sept. 8
Where: Mizner Park Amphitheater, Boca Raton
BALL & CHAIN MUSIC FESTIVAL – This historic Little Havana landmark opened in 1935, closed in the late 1950s and reopened again in 2014, with an emphasis on promoting local music. Attendees will hear a variety of genres, from jazz to Latin pop to Afro-Cuban funk.
When: Aug. 31-Sept. 2
Where: The Ball & Chain, Miami
BOFFO BEER BASH NO. 1: 9th Annual Key West BrewFest – About 200 varieties of beers and ales, including unique microbrews, can be sampled during this five-day suds-a-thon. The schedule also features brew-focused dinners, beer and cigar gatherings, seminars, a light-hearted “beer run,” happy-hour parties and a lavish tasting festival on the beach.
Where: Various locations in in Key West
When: Aug. 30-Sept. 3
BOFFO BEER BASH NO. 2: Brew 2 at the Zoo – Cool critters and cold brewskis are on tap at this affair. More than 25 Florida craft beers, with a special emphasis on Palm Beach County brews, will be available at tasting stations spread throughout a great zoo. Also: live music, food trucks and a VIP lounge.
Where: Palm Beach Zoo, West Palm Beach
When: Sept. 22
HEROES SALUTE TRIBUTE WEEKEND – This Labor Day Weekend bash honors military, fire and rescue, law enforcement and medical personnel and offers a whole lot of fun for all attendees, including moving tributes to the heroes, fireworks, live music, great food, a 5K run/walk and more.
When: Aug. 31-Sept. 2
Where: Hawks Key Resort on Duck Key in the Florida Keys
A CRAFTY TRIO – There are three craft festivals in SoFla this month worthy of your time. Each one will offer a variety of crafting products, all set in pretty and vibrant outdoor settings.
- 10th Annual Downtown Venice Craft Festival (Sept. 1-2)
- 21st Annual Punta Gorda Sullivan Street Craft Festival (Sept. 15-16)
- 24th Annual Downtown Delray Beach Craft Festival (Sept.22-23)
MIAMI HOME DESIGN & REMODELING SHOW – You can pick up a houseful of decorating and remodeling tips at this five-day event, which is one of the Southeast’s largest home improvement and design shows.
When: Aug. 30-Sept.3
Where: Mana Wynwood Convention Center, Miami
ISLAND HOPPER SONGWRITER FEST – Behind every great country music hit, there is usually another outstanding singer/songwriter who wrote the tune. Get to know the back stories behind country’s biggest hits and see them performed by the writers.
When & Where: Sept. 21-23 on Captiva Island, Sept. 24-27 in downtown Fort Myers and Sept. 28-30 on Fort Myers Beach
RIVERWALK FALL FESTIVAL – It might not feel like it yet in SoFla, but summer is coming to an end. This free festival features fall-themed carnival games, activities, train rides, face-painting and competitions. Also: great live music and an assortment of vendors and food trucks.
Where: Esplanade Park, Fort Lauderdale
When: Sept. 22
ATTENTION BIKERS AND PADDLERS – Do what you love to do, while enjoying the Florida Keys and raising money for charities at the same time at these two annual events, one long-timer and one relative new comer:
- Motorcyclists from around the country will travel one of America’s most scenic highways (U.S. Highway 1, a.k.a. the Overseas Highway, the 113-mile roadway from the mainland to the lower Florida Keys) during the 46th Annual Phil Petersen’s Florida Keys Poker Run. Stops include Gilbert’s Resort (Mile Marker 108), The Big Chill (MM 104), Robbie’s Marina (M77), Island Fish Co. (MM 54) and Boondock’s Grille & Ale House (MM27).
When: Sept. 14-16
Where: Throughout the Keys
- The 3rd Annual Florida Keys Poker Paddle is open to all kayakers and paddle boarders. The approximately 4-mile route will consist of five stops in mostly shallow water, including two sandbars.
When: Sept. 7-9
AMERICAN INDIAN DAY FESTIVAL – Step into a world of tradition and heritage at this annual free event. Happenings include Native American music and dance and food, a Miccosukee fashion show, airboat rides, tribal arts and crafts and alligator wrestling.
When: Sept. 24
Where: Miccosukee Resort & Gaming, Miami
LIGHTS! CAMERAS! ACTION! – There are four film festivals of note in the Miami area in September:
- Brazilian Film Festival of Miami – 25 full-length films and shorts will be presented from Sept. 14-23 at various locations in Miami and Miami Beach. The Annual Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented and the Crystal Lens Awards for best feature and short films will be given, based on voting by festival attendees. See brazilianfilmfestival.com
- Miami Fashion Film Festival -- – A variety of films and filmmakers will showcase and creatively examine the art and culture of fashion, both locally and nationally. You’ll get a close and colorful look at the creative, fast-paced world of the fashion industry. It’s from Sept. 20-22 at the Miami Beach Cinematheque. See miafff.org
- Urban Film Festival – From Aug. 31-Sept. 2 at various locations in Overtown and Little Haiti in Miami, this festival focuses on providing first-rate education for new filmmakers by bringing industry leaders to teach workshops and classes on topics such as producing, directing, cinematography, acting, writing and distribution. See urbanfilmfestivals.com
- Third Horizon Caribbean Film Festival – Its aims are to celebrate and empower the filmmakers that showcase one of the most multicultural areas on earth and films that tell the stories of this region. One of the featured films is Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, which weaves together the many layers of her public and private life. It all happens at the O Cinema Wynwood in Miami, from Sept. 27-30. See thirdhorizonfilmfestival.com
KEY WEST WOMANFEST – Thousands of singles, couples and groups of women are expected to attend for activities ranging from concerts, comedy acts, pool parties, sailing and snorkeling to late-night dance parties and a drag king pageant.
When: Sept. 5-9
Where: Various locations in Key West
TAPA HOP 2018– The annual pub crawl features trolley transportation to six great restaurants that will provide appetizer items, a.k.a. tapas. Also included will be raffle prizes, grand prizes and a poker run.
When: Sept. 20
Where: Fort Myers Beach
BRICKS-N-BLOCKS – Check out some stunning, artistic displays of LEGO “brick builds” such as a LEGO rollercoaster with 88 feet of track, more than 225,000 pieces and over 1,000 mini-figures, as well as an entire miniature town made from the chunky, colorful pieces. Get inspired to make your own creation and even enter it into a contest for a prize.
When: Sept. 15-16
Where: Hernando County Fairgrounds, Brooksville
SPACE COAST COMIC CON – Comic, video game, sci-fi and cosplay fans of all ages enjoy this three-day convention filled with artist and celebrity meet-and-greets, video game tournaments and free-play sessions, tabletop gaming, music, performances and some of the most elaborate costumes worn by both actors and fans.
When: Sept. 7-9
Where: Space Coast Convention Center, Cocoa
HOOTERS CLEARWATER SUPER BOAT NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP – Celebrating its 10th year, this contest, parade and showcase features some of the fastest and largest offshore power boats competing along the shores of beautiful Clearwater Beach. Meet the race teams and drivers, enjoy regional cuisine, hit the block party and watch a fireworks display at Pier 60.
When: Sept. 28-30
Where: Clearwater Beach
I LIKE IT HOT! FESTIVAL – Those with palates of steel look forward to this annual fest dedicated to spicy cuisine, flavors and seasonings, billed as the “largest hot sauce show in Florida.” Enter your secret family recipe into the amateur hot sauce, BBQ or salsa competitions, test your stamina in the pepper-eating contest or shop for delicious marinades, rubs, spices and other fiery goods.
When: Sept. 8-9
EARTHDANCE FLORIDA – Bring your camping gear and take part in a world peace-promoting dance party that includes round-the-clock art demonstrations, music and crafting workshops, prayer and drum circles, fire performance shows and other rituals aimed at increasing humanitarian and environmental harmony. This year’s artists, musicians and vendors all have Florida roots, and the all-ages fest is held at the 420-acre Triple Canopy Ranch, custom built for outdoor festivals.
When: Sept. 21-23
Where: Triple Canopy Ranch, Lake Wales
VINTAGE MARKET DAYS – Crafters, decorators, thrift shoppers and gardeners get treated to this upscale vintage-inspired indoor/outdoor market featuring original art, antiques, clothing, jewelry, handmade treasures, home décor, outdoor furnishings, delectable baked goods, seasonal plantings and other items worthy of magazine displays and Pinterest boards.
When: Sept. 14-16
Where: Osceola Heritage Park, Kissimmee
FALL FAMILY FEST – Bring the kids to this free event to meet superheroes and princesses, sample goodies, pick up swag and learn about camps, classes and services aimed at Florida families. This fest is dog-friendly and features a splash pad and a mini food truck rally, as well as free books for children and fun games and activities.
When: Sept. 23
Where: Water Works Park, Tampa
SUMMER OF RUM FESTIVAL – Sample fruity coladas and other rum-laced concoctions at this Labor Day weekend party held in the beautiful Curtis Hixon Park. This year’s headlining musical acts include Sugar Ray and The Wailers, and there’s plenty of local seafood, BBQ and vegetarian dishes at the food market. The two-day event starts early and closes with a nighttime fireworks show.
When: Sept. 1-2
Where: Curtis Hixon Park, downtown Tampa
NEW SMYRNA BEACH JAZZ FESTIVAL – Enjoy an all-jazz weekend by dropping into on some of New Smyrna Beach’s best music, restaurant and bar venues. Designed to draw visitors during one of the slower travel months of the year, guests can wine and dine while enjoying the sounds of bands and artists from around the country such as Tres Bien Trio, The Flying Flea Circus, Jaime Hollis and the Allan Vache Quartet.
When: Sept. 20-23
Where: New Smyrna Beach
SARASOTA MYSTICAL BAZAAR – Spiritual enthusiasts and curious newcomers alike enjoy encounters with psychics, healers, mediums and tarot card readers while shopping for gemstones, jewelry, books and other mystical merchandise. Get an aura photo printed and read, enjoy fire dance and cirque performances and attend informative seminars on healing and health.
When: Sept. 22-23
Where: Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, Sarasota
GECKOFEST – For 18 years, the waterfront village of Gulfport has paid homage to its unofficial reptilian mascot at Geckofest, a 12-hour revelry of live music, food, art and craft vendors, kids’ activities, and up close and personal street performances by a bevy of acrobats, magicians, daredevils, dancers, aerialists, escape artists, fire eaters, balloon artists and costumed characters. This year’s theme is “GeckoCon,” a nod to the popular comic con culture, so dig out the superhero capes, sci-fi character masks and other cosplay items.
When: Sept. 1
HORSEY YARD SALE – For a quintessential experience of Ocala, the horse capital of Florida, check out one of the largest displays of equine riding paraphernalia you’ve ever seen. The Horsey Yard Sale, hosted by the Tack Shack, draws riders and horse lovers from all over the state looking for gently used tack, stable equipment, riding clothing and more, plus breakfast sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs if you get hungry.
When: Sept. 29-30
Where: Tack Shack of Ocala, Marion County
SING OUT LOUD MUSIC FESTIVAL — More than 200 live music performances will take place in St. Augustine over four weekends during the city’s largest free music festival. The performers include local, regional and national stars in a genres as varied as Americana and punk folk, hip hop, indie rock and country punk rock. The headlining concert featuring Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, The Decemberists and Lucero is the only paid ticketed event of the fest and is a benefit for the Betty Griffin Center. Other hot acts include Rising Appalachia, The Weepies, Against Me, Amigo the Devil and Susto.
When: Sept. 1-23
Where: St. Augustine
BREW FESTS — Grab your favorite koozie and prepare yourself for a drinkable tour of Florida’s craft beer scene at these pre-Octoberfest fests.
- Emerald Coast Beer Festival (Sept. 6-7, Seville Square, Pensacola): The tasting, which is a street party throughout the entertainment complex, will include microbrews, specialty bottled beers and hot homebrews. Don’t forget to RSVP for Thursday night’s Beer Pairing Dinner featuring Idyll Hounds Brewing Company of Santa Rosa Beach. emeraldcoastbeerfest.com
- Bruval (Sept. 8, Jacksonville Beach): The annual fest pairs North Florida’s vibrant craft beer scene with an day of live entertainment headlined by LPT, a 10-piece Afro-Cuban-Salsa band. Plan your day by choosing from two ticket options: a 3-Hour or 4-Hour Craft Beer Sampling Ticket. www.bruvaljax.com
- CROCtoberfest (Sept. 28, Alligator Farm, St. Augustine ): Enjoy a sunset sampling from Florida craft breweries and distilleries among the zoo’s reptiles. Yes, this event gets props for most unusual setting. www.alligatorfarm.com
PAINT OUT — In landlocked Gainesville, Kapahaha’s lush landscape and tranquil water gardens with their large lily pads have long been a muse for local artists. Watch these creators work in their chosen media in real time during the three-day paint out at the gardens. It’s part of the Worldwide Artist Paint Out. See the finished works on Sept. 14 at the exhibit’s Opening Reception.
When: Sept. 7-9
Where: Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Gainesville
CLASSIC CHROME — Spit polished chrome is the star at both of these annual auto shows.
- Ponte Vedra Auto Show (Sept. 9, Nocatee Town Center): The annual show features more than 180 cars hoping to take home a trophy. Anniversary categories this year include a Best in Show for the 70th Anniversary of the Porsche 356, 50th Anniversary of the Suburu, 40th Anniversary of the Mazda RX-7 and 60th Anniversary of the Austin Healey. www.pvautoshow.com
- 26th Annual Emerald Coast Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show (Sept. 8, Niceville): Although the auto show is hosted by the Northwest Florida Model A and T Club, car enthusiasts will get to explore decades of American-made beauties. Check out antique models, roadsters, rat rods and motorcycles before voting on the People’s Choice awards and Best of Show. www.nwfmodelaandtclub.com
HISPANIC FEST — Celebrate the spicy cuisine, folk dance, arts and crafts and music at the largest indoor festival salute to the Hispanic culture from New Orleans to Tampa. Also includes live music, top DJs, folklore, a fashion show and kids’ zone.
When: Sept. 9
Where: Emerald Coast Convention Center, Fort Walton Beach
BAKER COUNTY FAIR — It’s not too late to enter Bessie or Charlotte or King in one of the livestock contests at the fair. Categories include market steer, goat, swine, rabbit and more. If you’re a proud “parent” of the four-legged, man’s-best-friend variety, there’s even a dog show. Other than animal attractions, the annual fair’s 2018 theme is “Freedom, Flag and Friends” has other traditional highlights like carnival rides, thrill shows, live entertainment, a beauty pageant and belly-busting eats.
When: Sept. 14-22
Where: Baker County Fair Grounds
QUILTFEST 2018: QUILTERS RULE — Not all artists show their flair for creativity with a paintbrush and canvas. Some utilize delicate stitch work, rainbow-colored fabric and metallic thread. Fabric art, through quiltmaking, has moved from the idea of homespun decorative bedding to high-tech, intricate art. With 400-500 entries in the annual show and more than $8,000 in cash prizes, it’s hard not to find inspiration. Also: 70 vendor booths, live demonstrations, silent auction and special displays.
When: Sept. 20-22
Where: Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center, Jacksonville
NATIONAL ESTUARIES DAY — The annual event focuses on the how the estuaries of Apalachicola Bay are vital to not only migratory species, but also the marine plants and animals that call it home. The event’s highlight includes tours of the Sea Turtles of the Forgotten Coast exhibit and the three aquariums in the 5,400-square-foot Nature Center. Also includes educational displays, games and a touch tanks for kids.
When: Sept. 28
Where: Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve
BLUEGRASS AT THE BEACH — This annual fest may have a new name, new logo and new location for 2018, but fans will still be treated to two days of downhome, live bluegrass music from a variety of national acts. Formerly held in Parker, the Gulf Coast Bluegrass and Folk Music Festival has rebranded itself for its new beach home. Also includes arts and craft vendors and a kids’ zone.
When: Sept. 28-29
Where: Aaron Bessant Park, Panama City Beach
PENSACOLA SEAFOOD FESTIVAL — Sample a variety of dishes featuring locally caught seafood while enjoying live entertainment. Also includes Gulf Coast arts and craft vendors, kids’ zone, cooking demos and a 5K walk/run.
When: Sept. 28-30
Where: Seville Square Park, Pensacola
If you have an event you’d like to be considered for inclusion in this monthly feature, please forward information of interest to visitors and residents at least six weeks in advance of the event’s date by clicking on and completing this form:
FLORIDA EVENTS CALENDAR SUBMISSIONS
Our mission is to support and promote Florida tourism throughout the state. Because of the heavy volume of requests for listings, not all submissions can be included in our calendar each month.
To see more Florida happenings, check out our Events page.