October Events in Florida  

    Whatever your passion, Florida has something for you. Here are just some of the major events scheduled in the Sunshine State. Please check individual websites for more details.
     

    South Florida | Central Florida | North Florida
     

    Fantasy Fest parade with dragon

    Leave the youngsters at home and head for Fantasy Fest, a non-stop, adult-themed mega-party, featuring lavish floats, parades, costume competitions, street fairs, island bands and great food, all in Key West.

    - Fantasy Fest

     

    SOUTH FLORIDA 

    WALK THE WALK – Put on some comfortable clothes and shoes and a hat, bring some water or a sports drink and you’ll be ready for some walking tours of these picturesque and interesting famous Miami-Dade County neighborhoods:

    ·        Little Haiti Walking Tour & Tasting – Come explore the culture and heritage – not to mention the yummy food – of this historic neighborhood. The tour showcases local historic sites such as the Little Haiti Cultural Center & Caribbean Marketplace and highlights new developments such as the Little River Business District and Miami Ironside as well as future developments. Throughout the walk, you’ll come across galleries, museums, bookstores and family-owned restaurants. Speaking of food, after the tour, you’ll be served a tasting of Haitian Cuisine such as Griot (fried pork) and Banann Peze (fried plantain).
    When:
    Recurring weekly Wednesdays through Saturdays, through Oct. 18
    Web:
    miamiandbeaches.com

    ·        Overtown Walking Tour & Tasting -- Formerly known as the “Harlem of the South, Overtown was an area for black workers who built and serviced the railroad, hotels and streets. This tour will immerse you in the rich culture and heritage of this historic neighborhood. The tour explores the many historic sites, such as D.A. Dorsey House, Ward Rooming House, Greater Historic Bethel AME Church and also highlights new developments currently underway or being planned for Overtown. A delicious tasting of southern cuisine typically found in the neighborhood is included following the tour.
    When:
    Wednesdays through Saturdays, through Oct. 18
    Web:
    miamiandbeaches.com/overtown-walking-tour-tasting

    HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD – That’s Hollywood, Florida, not Tinsel Town. This friendly city nestled about halfway between Fort Lauderdale and Miami has two monthly events that are worthy of your attention: the Downtown Artwalk and the Dream Car Classic. The former presents a mural tour and the Hollywood Artisan Market, which features pop-up shops, artist showcases and vintage shopping. The latter features dozens – up to 85 – of hot rods, custom cars and trucks, modern beauties and classics.
    When:
    Respectively, third Saturday and first Sunday of each month.
    Where:
    downtown Hollywood
    Web:
    hollywoodfl.org

    ART AFTER STONEWALL, 1969-89 – This amazing exhibit is being presented as the 50th anniversary of Stonewall Riots is being celebrated all this year. It includes more than 200 works of art and related materials (photographs, sculpture, film clips, video, music, performance pieces and historical documents and images from magazines, newspapers and television) that explore the profound impact the LGBTQ liberation movement on visual culture. Some of the artists to be featured are Andy Warhol, Diane Arbus, Alice Neel, David Hockney, Marlon T. Riggs, Judy Chicago, David Wojnarowicz and Luis Cruz Azaceta.
    When:
    through Jan. 5
    Where:
    Entire second floor of the Frost Art Museum at FIU, Miami
    Web:
     frost.fiu.edu

    COMING SOON: FILM POSTERS FROM THE DWIGHT CLEVELAND COLLECTION – Come on, admit it. Movie posters are cool, right? Here’s your chance to see an exhibit of some of the best, 215 of the 3,000 owned by Chicago-based collector Dwight Cleveland. Some of the featured posters are for “Singin’ in the Rain,” “The Godfather,” “North by Northwest,” “Casablanca,” “King Kong,” “Jailhouse Rock” and “Barbarella.” One section of the exhibit is called “Known Artists” and includes posters by people who went on to have bigger art careers. An example: Renowned illustrator Al Hirschfeld, who did posters for Charlie Chaplain’s “The Great Dictator,” The Marx Brothers’ “A Day at the Races” and “The Wizard of Oz.”
    When:
    Now through Oct. 29
    Where:
    Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach
    Web:
    norton.org                                    

    SURROUNDINGS: WATERCOLORS BY MARTHA WATSON SAUER – This exhibit honors Works Progress Administration artist Martha Watson Sauer’s work spanning over 50 years and includes her personal effects and sketchbooks. Highlights include Key West architecture, people and landscapes as well as her watercolors from her extensive travels around the United States, the Caribbean, Europe and Mexico.
    When:
    through Nov. 10
    Where:
    Custom House Museum, Key West
    Web:
    kwahs.org

    GRIDIRON GLORY: THE BEST OF THE PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME – This 6,000-square-foot exhibition presents a panoramic view of the story of professional football, from its humble beginnings in the early 20th century to the phenomenon it is today. It features more than 200 awe-inspiring artifacts, rare photos and documents, spectacular footage from NFL Films and interactive displays. Visitors are invited to try on vintage pads and jerseys and today’s equipment, and also step inside the Instant Replay Booth to see if they can make the right call.
    When:
    through Feb. 9, when the 2020 Super Bowl is played in Miami.
    Where:
    HistoryMiami Museum, Miami
    Web:
    historymiami.org

    FANTASY FEST – Leave the youngsters at home and head for this non-stop, adult-themed mega-party, featuring lavish floats, parades, costume competitions (one for pets, too!), street fairs, island bands and great food. The theme for this year’s 40th celebration is “In Tune But Off Key.” Book early for the extravagant and outrageous HEADDRESS BALL, Fantasy Fest’s premier gay and lesbian event, which has a first-place prize of $3,000 for best headdress.
    When:
    Oct. 18-27 for the entire festival and Oct. 24 for the Headdress Ball
    Where:
    Where else but Key West (various locations) for all Fantasy Fest Events and Key West Amphitheater for the Headdress Ball
    Web:
    fantasyfest.com and headdressballkeywest.com

    FORT LAUDERDALE INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW – More than $4 billion worth of merchandise will be on display, including extraordinary super yachts, runabouts, sportfishers, high performance boats, center consoles, cabin cruisers, skiffs, express cruisers, sailing yachts, motor yachts, bowriders, catamarans, ski boats, trawlers, inflatables, canoes, kayaks and an amazing array of marine accessories. The Bluewild Ocean Adventure Expo includes seminars and art exhibits. Pamper yourself and book space in the air-conditioned Windward VIP lounge in the heart of the super yacht section. Also included: kids’ fishing clinics, fishing and diving seminars, live water sports demonstrations and floating cocktail lounges.
    When:
    Oct. 30-Nov. 3
    Where:
    Various locations in Fort Lauderdale
    Web:
    www.flibs.com

    WET & WILD IN NAPLES -- Naples is the place from to be from Oct. 25-Nov. 3 for these five splashy events, all under the Pro Watercross umbrella:

    ·        Hydroflight athletes will perform timed free style routines, showing off their best flips, dives and spins as they attempt to rack up points in a quest to advance to the World Championships. Oct. 25-27
    ·        SUPXCross changes up the pace, as stand-up paddle boarders (hence SUP) compete in closed course racing. Oct. 26-27

    ·        Hydro Expo is the newest addition to the Pro Watercross World Championship and brings together all things watersport and beach-related. Oct. 30

    ·        The Pro Watercross World Championship features the world’s best athletes in the explosive and exciting sport of personal watercraft racing. Oct. 31-Nov 3

    ·        The MotoSurf event attracts the best motor-powered surfboard riders from around the world in a thrilling contest of nerves, fitness and skill. Nov. 1-3

    Where: All events are at Lake Avalon at Sugden Regional Park in Naples
    Web:
    prowatercross.com

    THE ROAR OFFSHORE – The Offshore Powerboat Racing Association series returns to Fort Myers Beach and this is not just another race. It’s the National Championship Race, the culmination of the entire season and a champion will be crowned. There are lots of close-up viewing opportunities, so you will be able to feel the roar of these powerful machines as they whizz by at speeds up to 180 miles per hour.
    When:
    Oct. 10-12
    Where:
    Fort Myers Beach
    Web:
    fortmyersbeach.org/roar-offshore

    BOYNTON BEACH HAUNTED PIRATE FEST & MERMAID SPLASH –The featured events are a costume contest, pirate invasion and a mermaid pageant. Lots of live music, good food and activities for the kids, too.
    When:
    Oct. 26-27
    Where:
    Along E. Ocean Avenue between Third Street and Federal Highway, Boynton Beach
    Web:
    bbpiratefest.com

    MIAMI BROWARD CARNIVAL – Two great counties have joined forces to throw a great multi-event party that showcases steel bands, parades, concerts, beauty pageants, colorful and elaborate costumes, scrumptious food and arts and crafts. The biggie events are: Carnival Sunday Parade and Concert, Junior Carnival, Steel Band competition and the King/Queen competition.
    When:
    Oct. 5-13
    Where:
     Central Broward Regional Park, Lauderhill, and Miami-Dade Fair & Expo, Miami
    Web:
    miamibrowardcarnival.com

    BEER! BRATWURST! LIVE MUSIC! BAVARIAN BEAUTIES! MORE BEER! -- It being October, we could only be talking about Oktoberfest. Here are some of the celebrations:

    ·        Oct. 11-13 and Oct. 18-20 at the American German Club of the Palm Beaches in Lake Worth. americangermanclub.org/oktoberfest

    ·        Oct. 18-20 and Oct. 25-27 at the German American Social Club in Cape Coral.  capecoraloktoberfest.com

    ·        Oct. 4-6 at Jaco Pastorius Park in Oakland Park. oaklandparkfl.gov/Oktoberfest

    ·        Oct. 11-13 and Oct. 18-20 at the German American Social Club of Greater Miami. gascmiami.org/oktoberfestmiami

    GROVETOBERFEST – Speaking of beer – there’ll be more than 500 of the craft variety available and a lot more, too: food and beer pairing demonstrations, live music and games galore.
    When:
    Oct. 12
    Where:
    Regatta Park, Miami
    Web:
    Grovetoberfest.com

    SOUTH FLORIDA SEAFOOD FESTIVAL – It features the Kitchen Lab, where some of Miami’s top chefs will give demos and share secrets. Great live music and lots of activities for the young ’uns, too: bounce house, slides and interactive games.
    When:
    Oct. 19-20
    Where:
    Miami Marine Stadium, Key Biscayne
    Web:
    coconutgroveseafoodfestival.com

    SOUTH BEACH SEAFOOD WEEK & FESTIVAL – Just after the event above ends, head over to this one. You’ll help kick off the annual Stone Crab season and enjoy a myriad of other seafood yummies prepared by Miami’s top chefs and restaurants. Also: live bands, culinary and mixology demonstrations, a kids zone, health village and VIP hospitality benefits.
    When:
    Oct. 22-26
    Where:
    Various locations in Miami Beach
    Web:
    sobeseafoodfest.com

    GOOD EATS IN NAPLES – The Naples Foodie Camp and the Naples Stone Crab Festival coincide. Foodie Camp is a 10-day event that features chef-led 90-minute cooking classes at top area restaurants. Besides great stone crab claws, the Stone Crab Festival also has live music, art and fun activities for the whole family.
    When:
    Respectively, Oct. 21-30 and Oct. 25-27
    Where:
    Various locations in Naples
    Web:
    Respectively, FoodieCampNaples.com and stonecrabfestival.org

    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:
    Oct. 17-20
    Where:
    Various locations in and near Key Largo
    Web:
    reef.org/REEFFest

    CELEBRATE ORGULLO – This 15-day multi-genre extravaganza showcases Hispanic LGBTQ Pride (Orgullo means Pride in Spanish) during Hispanic Heritage & LGBTQ Pride Month. You can see fashion art work displays, take an Art Deco walking tour, go on an Art Diva bus tour and attend writer workshops. The fashion movie nights feature The Gaythering, starring McQueen, and Mahogany, starring Diana Ross.
    When:
    Oct. 1-15
    Where:
    Various locations in Miami Beach and Miami.
    Web:
    celebrateorgullo.com

    ANNUAL PHIL PETERSENT’S FLORIDA KEYS POKER RUN --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). 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: Oct. 11-13
    Where: Throughout the Keys
    Web: fla-keys.com

    HARVEST FESTIVAL AT FLAMINGO GARDENS – The calendar says fall, even if the temperature gauge may not. Celebrate fall on all four October weekends with free hayrides, a pumpkin patch, a decorating station, music, games, crafts and contests, including one for scarecrows.
    When:
    Oct. 5-6, 12-13, 19-20 and 26-27
    Where:
    Flamingo Gardens, Davie
    Web:
    flamingogardens.org

    31st ANNUAL DING DARLING DAY – Enjoy a week of fun eco-activities in this amazing wildlife refuge. It features free tours (via tram, foot, kayaks and paddle boards), birding, archery clinics, a butterfly house and kids crafting.
    When:
    Oct. 20
    Where:
    J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island
    Web:
    dingdarlingsociety.org

    CORAL GABLES HISPANIC CULTURAL FESTIVAL – Enjoy a weekend filled with art, crafts, culture, folkloric dance performances, great food and lots of activities for the kids. Pets welcome.
    When:
    Oct. 26-27
    Where:
    Intersection of Biltmore Way and Lejeune Road, Coral Gables
    Web:
    miamiandbeaches.com

    SUN FIESTA, THE JEWEL OF VENICE – It moves to a new location this year, but they certainly have not cut back on the fun. Events and highlights include: Miss Sun Fiesta Pageant, live entertainment, the Arts & Crafts Alley, Kids Korner, bed races, a giant food court, two beer tents with seating, raffles, a silent auction and new this year, a 5K race.
    When:
    Oct. 18-20
    Where:
    Women’s Sertoma Club, Venice
    Web:
    womenssertoma.com/sun-fiesta

    SOUTH FLORIDA SEAFOOD FESTIVAL – It features the Kitchen Lab, where some of Miami’s top chefs will give demos and share secrets. Great live music and lots of activities for the young ’uns, too: bounce house, slides and interactive games.
    When:
    Oct. 19-20
    Where:
    Miami Marine Stadium, Key Biscayne
    Web:
    coconutgroveseafoodfestival.com

    LIGHTS! CAMERAS! ACTION! -- There are two noteworthy film fests this month in SoFla: Cinema Italy and the Naples International Film Festival. Both feature great flicks, opening and closing night parties, after-show parties, documentaries, tributes, documentaries, short films, and dinners and cocktail parties.
    When:
    Respectively, Oct.11-15 and Oct. 24-27
    Where:
    Respectively, Miami Regal Cinema, South Beach and various locations in Naples
    Web:
    Respectively, cinemaitaly.com and naplesfilmfest.com

    BRAZILIAN FESTIVAL OF POMPANO BEACH – Get your Brazilian boogie on at the seventh annual fest. Two stages will feature internationally-known Brazilian music acts. Much more, too: a kids zone, carnival rides, skate board competition, 200 business exhibitors and some 50 mouth-watering Brazilian food booths.
    When:
    Oct. 19-20
    Where:
    Pompano Beach Community Park in Pompano Beach
    Web:
    brazilianfestpompano.org

    KITETOBER FEST – Check out the amazing display of creative kites, windsocks and wind spinners. Bring your own kite or purchase one on site. There will be kite-flying competitions for children and adults, bounce houses, face painters, DJs and food trucks. Also featured: a 100-foot flying squid, the 30-foot flying scuba man, the 30-foot flying Nemo fish and the 150-foot flying rainbow.
    When:
    Oct. 19-20
    Where:
    Haulover Park, Miami
    Web:
    skywardkites.com

    BLUES AND BOOZE-GROOVE IN THE GLADES – This year’s headliners are Keith Jones, Robben Ford, Shemika Copeland and ZZ Ward. A wide variety of craft beers and cocktails and good food will be available.
    When:
    Oct. 5
    Where:
    Miccosukee Resort & Gaming, Miami
    Web:
    miccosukee.com

    Clearwater Beach Chalk Art Festival, overhead

    At the Clearwater Beach Chalk Art Festival, you can stroll along Gulfview Boulevard and watch fun, whimsical artwork take shape before your eyes as local and regional artists transform the beach's sidewalks into spectacular larger-than-life canvases.


    CENTRAL FLORIDA

    DAYTONA BEACH BANDSHELL CONCERTS – You know Florida summer is finally here when the Daytona Beach Bandshell fires up its fun and free concert series, which begins Memorial Day weekend and runs through the end of September. Check out a wide variety of genres and tribute bands right along Daytona’s beautiful coastline as dusk turns to night and stick around on Saturdays for a spectacular fireworks show at the Daytona Beach Boardwalk and Pier.
    When:
     every weekend through the end of September
    Where:
    Daytona Beach
    Web:
    daytonabeach.com/bandshell-concerts

    DALI MUSEUM’S VISUAL MAGIC EXHIBIT Be among the first to try out this special interactive exhibit featuring some of Salvador Dali’s most monumental works through the lens of augmented reality technology. Viewing the artwork through the Dali Museum app on a mobile device, visitors get to see the paintings come to life, highlighting and exploring their complexities in a completely different way. Don’t have a device? The museum can provide one of theirs.
    When:
    Through Nov. 3
    Where:
    The Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg
    Web:
    thedali.org

    CLEARWATER BEACH CHALK ART FESTIVAL – Stroll along Gulfview Boulevard and watch fun, whimsical artwork take shape before your eyes as local and regional artists transform the beach's sidewalks into spectacular larger-than-life canvases. Participate in the free fest by voting for your favorite artist in the "People's Choice Award" category, shopping for arts, crafts and gifts, getting a henna tattoo or enjoying live bands.
    When:
    Oct. 18-20
    Where:
    Clearwater Beach
    Web:
    visitstpeteclearwater.com/chalk-art-festival

    7th ANNUAL TOMOKA FEST – Take a step back in time and immerse yourself in old Florida though living history and crafter demonstrations, vendors, live animal exhibitors, guided nature hikes, children’s activities, food, live folk music and more. While you’re at Tomoka State Park, reconnect with nature and learn more about state wildlife.
    When:
    Oct. 5
    Where:
    Tomoka State Park, Ormond Beach
    Web:
    floridastateparks.org/tomoka-fest

    MOUNT DORA BICYCLE FESTIVAL – Cyclists from all over the world love this three-day weekend of multiple routes through gorgeous Mount Dora and surrounding counties, with fun challenges ranging from social rides to crushing hill climbs, as well as pre-ride breakfasts, a beer garden and other activities. This year offers new “Gran Fondo” timed challenge options for the chance to be named the Gran Fondo King and Queen.
    When:
    Oct. 3-6
    Where:
    Mount Dora
    Web:
    mountdorabicyclefestival.com

    CRYSTAL RIVER OKTOBERFEST – Known for its manatees and natural springs, Crystal River gets into the Oktoberfest spirit with some hearty German food, live German music, dancing and other revelry. Try your luck and test your skills with a beer stein holding contest, a pretzel-toss and other fun games with prizes, including awards for those who show up with the best beard and best mustache.
    When:
    Oct. 5
    Where:
    Rock Crusher Pavilion, Crystal River
    Web:
    bestfloridafest.com

    CORTEZ NAUTICAL FLEA MARKET – Located just west of Bradenton in the quaint fishing village of Cortez, the Florida Maritime Museum holds its free, annual flea market featuring all things fishing, boating, sailing and diving. Dig through piles of new, used and even antique sea-related treasures, available for sale or trade, and check out some cool historical and educational exhibits while you’re there.
    When:
    Oct. 26
    Where:
    Florida Maritime Museum, Cortez
    Web:
    floridamaritimemuseum.org/nautical-flea-market

    FRUITVILLE GROVE PUMPKIN FESTIVAL – The Fruitville Grove farm goes all out during the month of October, hosting a free, tot-friendly fall fest every weekend that includes a petting zoo, playground, bands and pumpkin-filled photo ops. Shop for decorative gourds, scarecrows and other home décor, then dine on caramel apples, pumpkin pie and other treats from the vendors.
    When:
    Weekends throughout October
    Where:
    Fruitville Grove, Sarasota
    Web:
    fruitvillegrove.com/festival

    OKTOBERFEST TAMPA – Join thousands of merrymaking, stein-hoisting attendees at Tampa’s largest Oktoberfest, held at downtown’s beautiful waterfront park. Enjoy cold beer, dancing, games, live music and bratwurst, or test your German mettle by entering the Carry the Wench, Tug-O-War or the Beard & Mustache Competition. Stick around for the crowning ceremony of Mr. and Mrs. Oktoberfest.
    When:
    Oct. 11-13
    Where:
    Curtis Hixon Park, downtown Tampa
    Web:
    oktoberfesttampa.com                                                           

    RATTLESNAKE FESTIVAL – The small town of San Antonio brings back the Rattlesnake Festival for the 53rd year, inviting all ages to this pet-friendly event filled with kids’ games, rides and arts and crafts booths, gopher tortoise races, BBQ and ice cream treats, a rodeo cowboy show, and of course, rattlesnakes on display.
    When:
    Oct. 18-20
    Where:
    Pasco County Fairgrounds, Dade City
    Web:
    rattlesnakefestival.com

    HUNSADER FARMS PUMPKIN FESTIVAL – Visit a real Central Florida working farm, which goes all out for its pumpkin festival as it opens its grounds to the public for all to enjoy. See live animals and a kids petting farm area, pony rides, a corn maze, chainsaw sculpting demonstrations, country bands, hayrides, a children’s train, homemade ice cream, pumpkin pie, roasted sweet corn, games, face painting and more.
    When:
    Oct. 12-13, 19-20, 26-27
    Where:
    Epic Theatres Mount Dora, Mount Dora
    Web:
    hunsaderfarms.com/pumpkin-festival

    GREAT AMERICAN COOTER FEST– Inverness’ most famous – or at least famously named – festival returns with eight bands, two water shows and a carnival. Check out the impressive costume contest, cheer on live turtles in the hourly races and take a fun Segway tour, all in the name of a mythical turtle named Cooter.
    When:
    Oct. 25-27
    Where:
    The Depot District at Liberty & Wallace Brooks Parks, Inverness
    Web:
    cooterfestival.com

    BIKETOBERFEST – Motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the country join the crowd of 100,000-plus guests who visit Daytona Beach for this fun, four-day party that fills the streets with a thunderous roar. Enjoy daily and nightly live bands, check out the latest gear at the swap meet and bike show, sample locally made craft beer and take part in countywide rides with fellow bikers.
    When:
    Oct. 17-20
    Where:
    Daytona Beach
    Web: daytonabeach.com/biketoberfest

    AUTUMN IN THE OAKS ART, MUSIC AND CRAFTS FESTIVAL – Enjoy live contemporary and bluegrass bands and shop for local honeys, jellies and soaps at this charming fest in beautiful DeLeon Springs. Cast your vote in the chili cook-off and bring your guitar, banjo or drums to join in one of the special jam sessions.
    When:
    Oct. 19
    Where:
    Historic Porter House Property, DeLeon Springs
    Web:
    deleonspringscommunityassociation.com

    cemetery, Apalachicola’s Ghostwalk

    Enjoy an introduction to Chestnut Street Cemetery’s more notable “residents,” in Apalachicola’s Ghostwalk.

    - Apalachicola’s Ghostwalk

     

    NORTH FLORIDA

    SOUTHERN LIVING IDEA HOUSE Discover more than 100 ideas to enhance and modernize your own home from paint colors to hot home tech at the annual Southern Living Idea Home. This modern home honors the architecture and design of the historic homes in old Fernandina with more than 1,400 square feet of porch space to celebrate the south. The home also includes sweeping riverfront views from allowing the exterior and interior design to coexist and celebrate each other. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Amelia Island Museum of History.
    When:
     until Dec. 8
    Where:
    Crane Island, Amelia Island
    Web:
    craneisland.com

    WHERE JELLY ROLLS, FAT QUARTERS AND STIPPLING RULES — Not all artists show their flair for creativity with a paintbrush and canvas. Some utilize delicate stitch work, rainbow-colored fabric and metallic thread. September’s event lineup will have North Florida quilt lovers on the go.

    • From the Cedar Chest: Generations of Southern Quilting, 1830s to Today (through Dec. 14, Gadsden): Art exhibit curated from private and public collections in North Florida. Features historic and contemporary quilts, some of which have been completed by different family members through the decades. (gadsdenarts.org/Cedar-Chest)
    • Big Bend Quilt Trail (through Dec. 14, Gadsden): To enhance Gadsden Arts Center & Museum’s exhibit, “From the Cedar Chest” (see listing above), the area is creating a quilt trail throughout the area. A Barn Quilt, or Quilt Trail, have typically consisted of large, painted plywood squares in which each features a single 8-by-8-foot quilt block celebrating the heritage of quilting in North America and is installed on outdoor exterior walls along a route. (gadsdenarts.org/Cedar-Chest)

    OKTOBERFESTS It’s that time of the year. Yes, some cities celebrated German-style beer in September to get ahead of the curve, but these notables waited for October. So, raise your stein and pick out your favorite pair of lederhosen. 

    ·         Panama City Beach Oktoberfest (Oct. 4-6, Aaron Bessant Park): Their motto is “Beer, Beach and Brats.” Sounds perfect, right? There will also be live music, the “Tapping of the Keg” on Friday night, plus other very “serious” contests like Tug of War, Best Beard and Stein Hoisting. (pcboktoberfest.com)
    ·         4th Annual Oktoberfest (Oct. 5, Tuscawilla Park): Ocala’s one-night-only event is presented by the Reilly Arts Center and features beer specifically brewed for the celebration by Infinite Ale Works. The family-friendly atmosphere will feature German music, plus traditional and nontraditional eats. (reillyartscenter.com)
    ·         Apalach Oktoberfest (Oct. 11-13, Apalachicola): Enjoy three days of live music, fill your commemorative mugs with Oyster City Brewing Company’s Lyin’ Fish Oktoberfest Lager and don’t miss festival eats from The Chowder House. (apalachoktoberfest.com)
    ·         Beaches Oktoberfest (Oct. 12-13, Jacksonville Beach): Includes two days of beachfront live music headlined by The Expendables and The Hip Abduction, beer and food trucks. Don’t worry, there will be family-friendly fun like a Cornhole Tournament with $500 in cash and prizes, a Bratwurst Eating Competition and a Dogtoberfest yappy hour and pet costume contest. (beachesoktoberfest.com)

    SO SPOOKTACULAR Halloween always blesses us with a lineup of scary and not-so-scary fall fun.

    ·         Lazy Acres Corn Maze (Oct. 4-Nov. 3, Marianna): Wind through six acres of head-high corn at Lazy Acres Family Farm, which is also home to pigs, chickens and cows. Other than the maze, there are family-friendly activities and food and drink. (thelazyacres.com)
    ·         Big Shoals Pumpkin Fest (Oct. 19, White Springs): Families will have a blast at this autumn-themed day at Big Shoals State Park that includes pumpkin bowling, face painting, pumpkin decorating, costume parade and hayride. (floridastateparks.org/pumpkin-fest)
    ·         Ghostwalk (Oct. 26, Apalachicola): Your tour guides, spinning spooky stories of Chestnut Street Cemetery’s more notable “residents,” will dress in period costumes for your journey to the 1800s when Apalachicola was a maritime hub. (floridasforgottencoast.com/ghostwalk)
    ·         15th Annual Florida Bat Festival (Oct. 26, Gainesville): Get to “meet” the world’s largest bats, enjoy beer samples from local Sunshine State breweries (adults 21 and over only) and learn why bat conservation is a necessity at the Lubee Bat Conservancy’s annual fest. The conservancy, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, will also have a Kids Zone, live music, games and educational exhibits at the event. (lubee.org)
    ·         Tales from the Clink: A Candlelit Tour Through Clay County’s History (Oct. 29 Green Cove Springs): Immerse yourself in a character-based tour through Green Cove Springs Historic Triangle, which includes Old County Jail and the 1890 Courthouse. For more information, call 904-371-0027. (claycountygov.com)

    3RD ANNUAL AQUA EAST GROM FEST Kid and teens can show off their boarding skills in either one of three competitions: Surf, Skate or Wake. Or, they can just go for the trifecta and compete in all three disciplines. The contest is geared for all skill and age levels with age categories cutting off at 17 years old. The Skate Jam (Oct. 11) will include a meet and greet, an opportunity to learn some new tricks, DJ and pizza along with the contest. In addition to the Surf Contest (Oct. 12), Stoked to Surf instructors will be host a free surfing lesson for first-timers. Rounding out the competition is the chance to wakeboard, wakesurf or wakeskate behind a Malibu boat (Oct. 13). The overall cash prize purse for the event is $2,500, plus participants in the surf and wake contest will get a swag bag.
    When:
    Oct. 11-13
    Where:
    Palm Valley
    Web:
    aquaeastgromfest.com

    2019 FLORIDA GUITAR FESTIVAL FSUs College of Music hosts the annual classical guitar festival and competition that has a goal of bringing high-quality masterclasses and concerts by renowned musicians to the public. Classical guest guitarists at the 2019 festival include Rene Izquierdo, the Kithara Duo, Elliot Frank and Dragos Illie, the 2018 competition winner.
    When:
    Oct. 11-13
    Where:
    Florida State University College of Music, Tallahassee
    Web:
    tallahasseearts.org/guitar-festival

    GULF COAST CPR KAYAK FISHING TOURNAMENT No, the “CPR” on the tournament’s name has nothing to do with the emergency breathing technique. Instead, it stands for Catch, Photo, Release. There’s something refreshing about a Florida fishing competition that doesn’t require fishermen to own a powerboat and have a crew. All hopeful anglers will receive a long-sleeve fishing shirt.
    When:
    Oct. 12
    Where:
    Taylor County
    Web:
    taylorflorida.com

    FIRST COAST HAM JAM — The Music Festival and BBQ Cookoff has four categories: Ribs, Shoulder/Butt, Brisket and Chicken as well as daily live music each day headlined country artists Mark Chestnutt, Brett Myers, Colt Ford and Katlyn Lowe. The cookoff is a Florida BBQ Sanctioned Event with pit masters competing for trophies and prize money. Also includes rides, kids’ activities and arts and crafts vendors.
    When:
    Oct. 17-20
    Where:
    Clay County Fairgrounds
    Web:
    firstcoasthamjam.com

    BUTTERFLY MIGRATION The 2,000-mile fall migration of monarch butterflies from North America to Central America includes an annual pitstop along the Florida Panhandle in October and November. These festivals celebrate their journey.

    ·         Flutterby Arts Festival (Oct. 19-20, Inlet Beach): The family-friendly event includes art activities, live music, dance performances, art exhibits and a butterfly parade at Watersound Origins. (culturalartsalliance.com/flutterby-arts-festival)
    ·         Monarch Butterfly Festival (Oct. 26, Wakulla): Imagine seeing the sky full of the beautiful, fluttering black and orange wings as they pass along Wakulla County’s coast. St. Mark’s Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center is a specific stopover and the annual event includes exhibits, tours and butterfly tagging. (visitwakulla.com/monarch-butterfly-festival)

    SUWANNEE HULAWEEN While fans of the trippy, magical music fest waited anxiously to hear if the seventh annual event was a go under a new organizer, the 2019 lineup was finally released to much fanfare. It includes four nights of performances by festival favorite The String Cheese Incident. Other headliners include Bassnectar, Anderson Paak & The Free Nationals, and Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit.
    When:
    Oct. 24-27
    Where:
    Suwannee Music Park, Live Oak
    Web:
    suwanneehulaween.com

    SUWANNEE FAT TIRE FESTIVAL Have mountain bike, will travel back country. Join other fat tire enthusiasts for a day (or weekend) of swapping stories, sharing the best off-road experiences and hitting the trails on group rides. Other than riding, there will be a beginner’s clinic, Halloween-themed activities and more.
    When:
    Oct. 24-27
    Where:
    Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park, White Springs
    Web:
    suwanneebike.org/fat-tire

    SEA AND SKY AIR SPECTACULAR — Lather on some sunscreen and choose your seat on the beach for the best show on the coast. Jacksonville’s air show splits its time (and changes names) in years when there’s a change in scenery, from the Naval Air Station Jacksonville location along the St. John’s River to the city’s beach communities. This year, the Blue Angels will be performing their sweeping air feats over the Atlantic Ocean along Jacksonville Beach. Along with the Blue Angels, the U.S. Army Golden Knights, Aeroshell Aerobatic Team, Commemorative Air Force Red Tail Squadron and F-35 Demo Team are just some of the high-flying crews scheduled to perform.
    When:
    Oct. 26-27
    Where:
    Jacksonville Beach
    Web:
    specialevents.coj.net/Sea-and-Sky-Airshow

    MATTIE KELLY FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS It’s never too early to start checking items off your holiday shopping lists and the 24th Annual Art Festival is a monster shopping opportunity. You’ll be able to explore the juried competition booths showcasing the work of more than 200 artists from 13 states whose work covers 22 different art mediums. It also concludes the fall season of arts-related events which include weekly live concerts on Thursdays from September 12 through October 10.
    When:
    Oct. 26-27
    Where:
    Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village, Destin
    Web:
    mattiekellyartsfoundation.org

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