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)
Nov. 27, 2015 - Jan. 3, 2016: Poinsetta Display, Lake Wales. The River of Stone at the Visitor Center courtyard features hand-made displays while unique white poinsettias steal the show in hanging arrangements outside of Pinewood Estate. Included with admission. Enjoy a spectacular show of unique poinsettias on display during the Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens season. Visitors can learn the story behind this traditional Christmas plant and get ideas for making your own poinsettia displays at home. Included with admission to Bok Tower Gardens. www.boktowergardens.org
Nov. 27, 2015 - Jan. 3, 2016: Winter Walking Tours, Lake Wales. Volunteer garden guides lead visitors on an hour-long walking tour sharing information about the winter flora and fauna, with tours leading from Pinewood Estate to the Singing Tower. Monday through Saturday, noon and 2 p.m. Sunday at 2 p.m. Meet one of our volunteer garden guides at Pinewood Estate as you start on an hour-long tour of the Gardens. Your tour will take you through the Gardens and end at the Tower lawn viewing area overlooking the moat and the Great Brass Door. Inquire about tours upon your arrival to the Gardens. No reservations are required. Included with admission. www.boktowergardens.org
Jan. 2: First Saturday Jam, Barberville. On the first Saturday each month visit the Pioneer Settlement for entertainment and fun for the entire family. Includes informal music jams, free workshops, a chili cook-off, yard sale. 386-749-2959. www.pioneersettlement.org
Jan. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30: Old Eau Gallie Farmer's Market, Melbourne. Held every Saturday from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Eau Gallie Square Park in Melbourne. You can expect to find vendors selling items to include: fresh produce, honey, hot food and drinks, homemade pasta sauce and bread, baked goods, handmade jewelry, arts & crafts items, and much more. For more information, visit the market's website or call 321-917-0721. Corner of Eau Gallie Blvd. and Highland Avenue 32935. www.brevardfarmersmarkets.com
Jan. 2-3: 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. Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 2-3 (with battles at 2 p.m.). Dade Battlefield Historic State Park, 7200 County Road 603, Bushnell $5 adults, free ages 6 and younger. 352-793-4781. dadebattlefield.com
Jan. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30: Winter Music Series at the Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards, Clermont. Each January, 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. 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Free admission. 800-768-WINE. www.lakeridgewinery.com
Jan. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30: Guided Nature Hikes, Titusville. Every Saturday, Enchanted Forest Sanctuary hosts 45-minute interpretive nature hikes beginning at 10 am. Bring a hat, water and walking shoes. No reservations needed. Groups of 5 or more, please RSVP. 444 Columbia Avenue, Titusville, 32780. www.brevardcounty.us
Through Jan. 3: Light Up UCF!, Orlando. Check out UCF's annual winter event offering 50 nights of music, lights and ice, where you can skate at an outdoor ice rink outside of the UCF arena, along with carnival rides and special holiday events. Prices vary. lightupucf.com
Jan. 6, 13, 20, 27: Cocoa Village Farmer’s Market, Cocoa. The City of Cocoa's Farmers Market is held every Wednesday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. in Mryt Tharpe Gazebo Square in downtown historic Cocoa Village. Vendors will have fresh produce, jams, sauces, fruits, honey, flowers and more for sale. cocoamainstreet.com
Jan. 7, 14, 21, 28: Rockledge Farmer’s Market, Rockledge. Rockledge. Every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the City of Rockledge hosts a farmers market at Levitt Park on the corner of Fiske Boulevard and Levitt Parkway Drive. Items sold include: fresh produce, honey, jellies, jams, baked goods, flowers and plants, handmade soap and bodycare, and arts and crafts. Levitt Park and Fiske Blvd. 32955. brevardfarmersmarkets.com/rockledge_farmers_market
Jan. 6-10: 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. www.rundisney.com
Jan. 7-9: World Quilt Florida, Orlando. Handmade treasures are on display during the World Quilt Florida on Jan. 7-9. The event, at the Orange County Convention Center, features the World Quilt Competition. The Orange County Convention Center is at 9800 International Drive. For information, visit www.quiltfest.com.
Jan. 9: Fly-in Breakfast, Titusville. Every second Saturday of the Month, the Valiant Air Command and Warbird Museum hosts a FLY-IN BREAKFAST from 8 a.m. -10:30 a.m. To participate is only $8 per person and includes a full, hot breakfast. To attend, please RSVP two days in advance by either calling (321) 268-1941 or by email. www.vacwarbirds.net
Jan. 13-16: Florida Flywheelers 27th Annual Antique Engine & Tractor "Swamp Meet," Fort Meade. http://www.floridaflywheelers.org
Jan. 15-18: 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. www.otronicon.org
Jan. 15-24: DeSoto County Fair, Arcadia. Annual edition of the DeSoto County Fair. All funds raised go into maintaining our fairgrounds, producing the yearly fair, and the awarding of ten $1,000 scholarships to deserving DeSoto County High School graduates. The fair consists of pageants for the young ladies and talent shows for the youth and adults. In the barn, beef, swine, rabbit, poultry and goats are exhibited and judged. Beef and swine aresold at auction to benefit our exhibiting youth. 863-494-5678. www.desotocountyfair.org
Jan. 16: Art Walk, Sanford. Central Florida's only monthly juried art show. With exhibits and music at participating venues. 6-9 p.m. Downtown Sanford, First Street, Sanford, FL, 32771. Free. 407-323-2774. www.sanfordartwalk.com
Jan. 16: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade and Unity Celebration, Kissimmee. The city of Kissimmee will be hosting a parade and music festival to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The parade begins at 10 a.m. with the festival beginning immediately after and running until 4 p.m. At the Kissimmee Lakefront, 201 Lakeview Drive. www.kissimmee.org
Jan. 16: 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. 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. Free. 386-624-5027. www.MainStreetDeLand.org
Jan. 16: Florida Key Lime Pie Festival, Port Canaveral. The Florida Key Lime Pie Company is presenting the annual Florida Key Lime Pie Festival held at the Exploration Tower in Port Canaveral. 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Top chefs, food vendors and restaurants will showcase dishes to the theme of "Fresh from Florida." There will be a Miss Florida Key Lime Pie contest, Florida Key Lime Pie Eating Contest, Key Lime Chili head's Hot Sauce Competition, Best of Florida's Bartenders Key Lime Pie Martini and Key Lime Pie Margarita Challenge. $10 Adults $5 For Children age 5-12. Children 4 and under free. www.floridakeylimepiefestival.com
Jan 16: MLK Holiday Parade, Orlando. Commemorate the life, legacy and values of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the annual MLK Holiday Parade downtown. Free admission. 407-246-2121. www.cityoforlando.net
Jan. 16-17: 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. At Central Winds Park. Admission adults $20 on Saturday and $15 on Sunday, students $10 with ID, children $5 for advance tickets. www.flascot.com
Jan. 16-17: Brooksville Raid Re-enactment, Brooksville. Annual Civil War re-enactment. Camps open at 9 am. 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, Brooksville FL 34613. 352-799-0129. www.brooksvilleraidreenactment.com
Jan. 16-25: Mecum Auction and Collector Car Show, Kissimmee. 10 days of auction and 3,000 vehicles. Gates open daily at 8 a.m. Osceola Heritage Park, 1875 Silver Spur Lane, Kissimmee; $20, children 12 and under are free; 321-697-3333. www.mecum.com
Jan. 20-25: Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, Titusville. The 2016 Festival is located at: Eastern Florida State College - Titusville Campus (Brevard Community College) 1311 North US1 Titusville, Florida 32796. We will be offering new classroom presentations and field trips as well as having five great Keynotes. www.spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org
Jan. 21-24: Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival, Fellsmere. This festival has been serving up frog leg dinners to hungry festival goers for years. In addition to frog legs and gator tail, the festival features a lineup of activities including live entertainment, a midway, crafters, pony rides and helicopter rides. At Mesa Park. 772-571-0250. www.froglegfestival.com
Jan. 23: Art Walk on Flagler, New Smyrna Beach. Held on the fourth Saturday each month, Flagler Avenue livens up with entertainment and wine tastings at participating venues.. Flagler Avenue, 100 Flagler Ave., New Smyrna Beach, FL, 32169. www.flaglerartwalk.com
Jan. 23-24: Blue Spring Manatee Festival, Orange City. Two-day festival featuring manatee viewing from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Valentine Park on W. French Ave. off Hwy 17-92 in Orange City. 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.
Jan. 18: Unity Heritage Festival, Winter Park. With gospel artists and family events: 1-5 p.m. Jan. 18. Residents and local businesses will come together to celebrate the City of Winter Park’s annual Unity Heritage Festival on Sunday. The annual festival will promote family history and raise funds for the Educational Fulfillment Fund for local economically disadvantaged youth. Activities will include children’s games, food and retail vendors, entertainment by various gospel artists, and the presentation of the annual Heritage Award. Shady Park, 721 W. New England Ave., Winter Park; free; 407-599-3275. cityofwinterpark.org
Jan. 21-23: Yeehaw Junction Bluegrass Festival, Yeehaw Junction. This festival presents pickin' and foot-stompin' music at Yeehaw Junction. The music fest also features arts, crafts and carnival fare. Admission is $16 Thursday, $26.75 for Saturday or Sunday, and $58 for the weekend. Children ages 12 and younger are free with paid adult ticket. For details, visit http://evansmediasource.com/index_files/EvansMediaSourceYeeHaw.htm
Jan. 29-31: 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. www.zorafestival.org
Jan. 29-31: Images, a Festival of the Arts, New Smyrna Beach. An outdoor art show honoring artistic excellence, offering more than $70,000 in prize and patrons' monies. Free and open to the public. 386-423-4733. Friday, 1-5p.m., Saturday 9a.m.-5p.m., Sunday 10a.m.-4 p.m. www.imagesartfestival.org
Jan. 30-31: Rolex 24 at Daytona, Daytona Beach. The Rolex 24 isn’t just a race – it’s 24 hours to explore, experience and expect the unexpected. Live every second to the fullest and celebrate the power and prestige of North America’s premier sports car event. www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com
Tampa Bay-Sarasota (including Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Sarasota, Anna Maria Island, Bradenton, Palmetto, Tarpon Springs and Homosassa)
Jan. 2-3: Sunshine City Antiques and Collectibles 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, held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 727-892-5202. www.sunshinecityantiqueshow.com
Jan. 6: The annual Epiphany celebration, Tarpon Springs. The annual Epiphany celebration in Tarpon Springs 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 on Jan. 6. Admission is free. St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral is at 36 North Pinellas Avenue. St. Nicholas Community Center where the Epiphany Glendi takes place is at 348 North Pinellas Avenue. For information, visit www.epiphanycity.org.
Jan. 8-10: Gem, Jewelry and Bead Show, Sarasota. Dealers from across America will offer an outstanding variety of gems, jewelry, crystals, minerals, and beads for show and sale. Municipal Auditorium. 10 am to 5 pm. $4 801 N. Tamiami Trail (Hwy. 41). www.frankcoxproductions.com
Jan. 9-10: Coquina Beach Winterfest Arts & Crafts Show, Bradenton Beach. Right on Gulf Of Mexico Drive that runs from St. Armand’s Circle north to Anna Maria Island. High traffic area with lots of tourists from Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island that look forward to coming to this show. $185. http://sunsetboulevardpromotions.com/
Jan. 9, 30: Sue Blue’s Historic Trolley Tours, Sarasota. Saturday Downtown historic tour from 10 a.m. to noon. Departs from the Crocker Memorial Church. Reservations required. Visit www.hsosc.com
Jan. 10: Elvis Ultimate Birthday Bash, Clearwater. Back by popular demand, the top two "Elvises" return with one phenomenal show. 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). The Ruth Eckerd Hall is at 1111 McMullen Booth Road. For details, visit www.rutheckerdhall.com
Jan. 14-23: Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival, Tampa. The Annual Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival will be celebrating 500 years of Florida History. The 11 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
Jan. 14-24: 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. www.manateecountyfair.com
Jan. 16-17: Sarasota Fine Arts Festival, Sarasota. Main Street and Gulfstream Avenue in Downtown Sarasota set the scene for the Sarasota Fine Arts Festival showcasing the creations of more than 100 artists on Jan. 16-17. Event hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For information, log on to www.paragonartevents.com.
Jan. 16-18: Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks Art and Craft Festival, Tarpon Springs. Fine art, fine craft, food, music. Free admission. 352-344-0657. www.tnteventsinc.com
Jan 17: High Tea and Paintings Off Easel, Sarasota. Plein Air Artists will be painting outside while we sip tea inside. Artwork may be purchased off the walls or “off easel.” Reservations required, $20 per person, $15 for members. 2-5 p.m. www.hsosc.com
Jan. 23: East-West Shrine Game, St. Petersburg. The 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. Tickets are $15. 813-281-8686. www.shrinegame.com
Jan. 23: The Gasparilla Piratechnic Extravaganza & Children’s Gasparilla Parade, Tampa. Tampa is getting ready for some swashbuckling fun! The Gasparilla Piratechnic Extravaganza & Children’s Gasparilla Parade is an alcohol-free event that ushers in and celebrates the return of Gasparilla Season in Tampa Bay on Jan. 23. It is followed by the Gasparilla Pirate Parade with the Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla. For details, visit www.gasparillapiratefest.com.
Jan. 30: 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 Orelans' 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
Jan. 30: Pinellas Folk Festival, St. Petersburg. Listen to dozens of the Tampa Bay area's premier folk musicians on traditional folk, gospel, country and bluegrass music on stages throughout Heritage Village. Also historical demonstrations, food court, old-time games, storytelling, traditional craft demonstrations, traditional fiber arts show, Fleece to Shawl activities, antique cars and more. At Heritage Village from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission; suggested $5 donation. 727-582-2123. www.pinellascounty.org/Heritage/annual-events.htm
Jan. 30: Kumquat Festival, Dade City. Ready for some old fashioned Florida fun? Dade City features the annual Kumquat Festival in its historic downtown on Jan. 30. The fest offers family-friendly entertainment, arts and crafts and all manner of kumquat treats. Admission is free. Event hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, visit www.dadecitychamber.org.
Jan. 30: Highland Games & Celtic Festival, Sarasota. Athletics, piping and drumming, highland dancing and more are part of the 20th Annual Highland Games & Celtic Festival on Jan. 30. The event is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Boulevard. Tickets are $12 in advance (children 12 and under are free). www.sarasotahighlandgames.com
Jan. 30-31: Fort Foster Rendezvous, Hillsborough River State Park, Thonotosassa. This event is a living history reenactment featuring military, Seminole and civilian reenactors, sutlers, traders, and craft demonstrations. This weekend event will offer ongoing daily live firing demonstrations and a skirmish between the Seminoles and military after 1 p.m. both days. Admission is a $5 donation for adults and free for children 5 and younger. 813-987-6771. www.floridastateparks.org
Southwest Florida (including Naples, Fort Myers, Venice, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda)
Jan. 2-3: Bi-Annual Estero Fine Arts Show, Estero. The Bi-Annual Estero Fine Arts Show features the work of artists from 30 states and Canada on Jan. 2-3. Glass, clay, wood, fiber, jewelry, sculpture, painting, photography, and metal will be on display. A youth art competition also takes place throughout the weekend. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. The festival is at the Miromar Outlets, 10801 Corkscrew Road. For details, visit www.hotworks.org
Jan. 2-3: Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair, Naples. The Annual Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair greets 2015 in an artistic way on Jan. 2-3. Historic Fifth Avenue South is cordoned off so visitors may browse in booths showcasing original art in a wide variety of media. Event hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Admission is free. For details, visit
Jan. 8-10: 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. 239-283-4842. www.floridascreativecoast.org
Jan. 9-10: Cape Coral Festival of the Arts, Cape Coral. This annual street festival attracts some 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. to 5 p.m. both days, but the party continues up and down the street at local businesses on Saturday night. Admission is free. 239-443-7666. www.capecoralfestival.com
Jan. 9-10, Jan. 30-31, March 5-6: Bonita Springs National Art Festival, Bonita Springs. This annual outdoor exhibition features more than 200 nationally and internationally acclaimed artists working in a variety of media. More than 200 national and international artists applied to exhibit and sell their works in paintings, glass, jewelry, clay works, photography, sculpture and more. Food and beverages will be available. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 239-495-8989 www.artinusa.com/bonita
Jan. 10: River, Roots and Ruts Trail Run, Alva. The annual event includes a 13.1-mile half marathon, relay races and a 5K run. At Caloosahatchee Regional Park, approximately 15 miles east of Fort Myers. 8 a.m. start time. 239-694-0398. www.rrrtrail.com
Jan. 10: Circus Ring of Fame Induction Ceremony, Sarasota. The St. Armands Circle Ring of Fame was first started in 1987 as a way to honor world famous circus performers and the rich circus heritage of the Sarasota area. Among the circus greats who have been inducted are the five Ringling Brothers, P.T. Barnum, John Ringling North, and Emmett Kelley, the famed clown. 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. At Harding Circle Park, St. Armands Circle. http://www.escape-to-sarasota.com/
Jan. 15-17: Southwest Florida Nature Festival, Naples. At the Rookery Bay Natural Estuarine Research Reserve. Onsite activities are as follows: Friday, Jan. 15: admission to the Environmental Learning Center is $5 Buy-One/Get-one free (includes daily programs at 11 am and 2 pm) Saturday, Jan. 16: admission is $10 and includes entry to all 5 daytime lectures. Advanced registration is not required, must pay at door. Admission to the keynote presentation is $15, registration is required. 300 Tower Rd., Naples, FL 34113. 239-471-6310. www.rookerybay.org
Jan. 16: Sunshine Blues Festival, St. Petersburg. Doors open at 11:30a.m. Shows start at noon. Two stages, all day music festival. Ticket prices vary. For details, visit www.sunshinebluesfestival.com
Jan. 16-17: Venice-Nokomis Rotary Art Festival, Venice. In addition to regular arts and crafts displays, this event also features an activities tent for children, free entertainment, and a car show. At Venice Airport Festival Grounds. 941-468-1254. www.venicenokomisrotary.org
Jan. 16-17, 23-24: Medieval Faire, Fort Myers. This annual event includes jousting, a human chess match, entertainment, live sword fighting, children's games and rides, medieval clothing, period food and beverages, artisans, jugglers, magicians, and other live entertainment on seven stages. At Lakes Regional Park, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily on dates shown. Admission $15 adults, $5 children, toddlers free. 239-369-6881. www.medieval-faire.com
Jan. 17-18: 18th Annual Sullivan Street Craft Fair, Punta Gorda. Outdoor show featuring some 150 crafters, who offer affordable original works. Downtown. Free. 941-639-3720. http://www.artfestival.com/Festivals
Jan. 18: Oh, What a Night! A Jersey Boys Evening, Fort Myers. You’ll be dancing in your seats as Gulf Coast Symphony celebrates the musical hits of the Jersey Boys (The Four Seasons), Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, Michael Jackson, Bobby Darin, Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder, and even the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Tickets start at $42. For information, visit on to www.gulfcoastsymphony.org
Jan. 21: Downtown Gallery Walk, Punta Gorda. Held monthly on the third Thursday, 5-8 p.m. Visit any of the downtown merchants, restaurants and galleries for your game card. As always, there will be live entertainment, food and drink samplings, art, beauty and health demonstrations, a free trolley, and an evening of fun. Free; free parking. 941-505-1915. www.charlotteharbortravel.com
South Florida and the Keys (including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Key Largo, Key West and the Treasure Coast)
Jan. 3: Suntrust Sunday Jazz Brunch, Fort Lauderdale. Live outdoor concert series bringing the area's best local jazz artists to the city's scenic Riverwalk the first Sunday of each month. Listen to the soulful sounds on four different stages. Everyone is welcome to attend, including well-behaved, leashed pets, and there is ample room to set up chairs, blankets and picnic baskets. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Free admission. 954-828-5363. www.fortlauderdale.gov/departments/parks-recreation/special-events/jazz-brunch
Jan. 3: Orange Bowl Swimming Classic, Key Largo. The Orange Bowl Swimming Classic attracts some of the best college swimmers in the country -- perhaps future Olympians -- to Key Largo. The competition, each year at Jacobs Aquatic Center, Mile Marker 99.6 oceanside, is a free-to-attend event that is part of the celebration surrounding the annual Orange Bowl college football game in Miami. For information, visit www.jacobsaquaticcenter.org
Jan. 7-10: Key West Literary Seminar, Key West. The Annual Key West Literary Seminar, Jan. 7-10, is themed to “Shorts – Stories, Essays and other Briefs.” The event features readings, discussions, lectures and parties. Registation is required and slots usually fill up quickly several months in advance. For details, visit www.kwls.org.
Jan. 7-16: 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. Ten glorious days of wine tasting events, cooking demonstrations, wine dinners, live music, food and wine pairing classes, progressive wine dinners, art and wine shows, and of course, our fabulous sunsets, scuba diving, fishing, many tourist attractions, shopping, and a great time. Tickets for the Grand Tasting are $65 plus tax for general admission and $90 plus tax for VIP ticket. keylargofoodandwinefestival.com/
Jan. 9-10: Las Olas Art Fair, Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale sets the scene for the Annual Las Olas Art Fair Part I on Jan. 9-10. 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. Festival hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day and admission is free. For information, visit artfestival.com.
Jan. 15 - 31: South Florida Fair, West Palm Beach. In addition to traditional concessions and exhibits, the fair also includes Miss South Florida Fair Pageant. At South Florida Fairground. Admission at gate $15 adults, $8 seniors, children 6-11 $8; advance tickets priced less. 561-790-5246. www.southfloridafair.com
Jan. 9-10: Redland Heritage Festival, Homestead. A tradition at Fruit and Spice Park since 1976, this annual festival features local arts and crafts, a large selection of tropical plants and great food. Children's activities include a petting zoo, pony rides, an interactive puppet and magic show, and a wild and wonderful Everglades reptile show. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 305-247-5727. www.facebook.com/fruitandspicepark
Jan. 15-16: 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. Admission $30 per person in advance. 305-294-9501.
Jan. 15-17: 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. Along Ocean Drive, between 5th and 15th Streets. 305-672-2014. www.artdecoweekend.com
Jan. 15-17: BayGrass Bluegrass Festival, Islamorada. The annual Baygrass Bluegrass features Oldgrass, Newgrass, next generation Bluegrass and variations of the genre on Jan. 15-17. 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. For details, visit www.baygrassbluegrass.com.
Jan. 15-31: 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 first class stage shows, national concert performances, sensational midway rides, unique shopping and the best of fair food. Admission: adults, $15; children, 6-11 $8; kids 5 and under are free. 561-793-0333. www.southfloridafair.com
Jan. 16: Art Under the Oaks, Islamorada. This art show at the San Pedro Catholic Church features arts and crafts in many mediums, as well as food vendors and live music. 305-360-8556. sanpedroparish.org
Jan. 16-17: Florida Keys Seafood Festival, Key West. The Last Key sets the scene for the Annual Florida Keys Seafood Festival on Jan. 17-18. On the menu for this family-friendly fest, are 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 to the festival is $5. For information, visit www.keywest.com
Jan. 16-17: Big Pine Key Nautical Market, Big Pine & the Lower Keys. Nautical-themed crafts and merchandise will be displayed and sold during the annual Big Pine Key Nautical Market on Jan. 16-17. Other activities include live music, food and beverages. The event takes place on the grounds of the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce, Mile Marker 31 ocean-side. 305-872-2411. Visit www.lowerkeyschamber.com
Jan. 16-17: Boca Fest, Boca Raton. Ranked one of the top festivals in the country by Sunshine Artist, the nation's leading publication for art and craft shows. At The Town Center Mall. Hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; free admission. 954-472-3755. www.artfestival.com
Jan. 17: 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. www.keywesthalfmarathon.com
Jan. 17-18: 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. Hours 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. 954-786-4111. www.browardshellclub.org
Jan. 17-22: Key West Race Week 2015, Key West. Nearly 300 racing yachts compete for class championships in this international midwinter sailboat regatta presented by Quantum Sail Design Group. 650-704-9770 keywestraceweek.com
Jan. 21: Third Thursday Art Walk, Islamorada. The Morada Way Third Thursday Art Walk presents local fine arts, music and culinary specialties. The galleries of Morada Way are between Mile Markers 81 and 82. Event hours are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. For details, visit moradaway.org
Jan. 22-24: International Chocolate Festival, Coral Gables. Join us for the celebration of that divine tropical plant, the obroma cacao, the source of chocolate. For three days guests are immersed in the wonderful and diverse world of chocolate. From chocolate treats to tree sales, cooking demonstrations to chocolate sculpture competitions, chocolate will reign supreme. 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. At Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. 305-667-1651. www.fairchildgarden.org
Jan. 23-24: Islamorada Fine Art Festival, Islamorada. Ceramics, Digital Art, Fiber, Glass, Jewelry, Painting, Photography, Printmaking & Drawing, Wood, Mixed Media and Sculpture. Held at the Islander Resort. islamoradafineartexpo.org
Jan. 23-24: Downtown Delray Beach Festival of the Arts, Delray Beach. A signature event for the city, this annual show 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. Free. www.artfestival.com
Jan. 27-31: Key West Food & Wine Festival. The Last Key serves up the Key West Food & Wine Festival on Jan. 27-31. Top chefs and restaurateurs showcase their culinary creations during a variety of happenings including wine tastings, neighborhood strolls and wine dinners. Ticket prices vary. For information, visit
Jan. 29-31: Garlic Fest, Delray Beach. The Garlic Fest, known affectionately as “the best stinkin’ party in town” explores the numerous culinary and health aspects of garlic. Garlic Chef cooking competitions, music, a Gourmet Alley and children’s area are also on the festival’s agenda. Tickets pries vary. www.dbgarlicfest.com
Jan. 30: Port Salerno Seafood Festival, Port Salerno. Local seafood specialties, live music, family fun area, maritime exhibitors, arts and crafts and more. Along the waterfront. www.portsalernoseafoodfestival.org
Jan. 30: Mariners Hospital Bougainvillea Ball, Islamorada. To be held at Founders Park in Islamorada. The Ball begins at 6 pm with a large silent auction, and dinner and dancing from 8 pm until midnight. Proceeds from the Ball benefit Mariners Hospital Oncology Services. 305-434-1026 www.keylargochamber.org
Jan. 30-31: Key Largo Stone Crab & Seafood festival, Key Largo. The Key Largo Stone Crab & Seafood festival celebrates the bounty of the sea on Jan. 30-31. In addition to stone crabs, conch and local seafood, the family-friendly festival will feature music and live local entertainment. Admission is $5 for adults and children over 12 years old. The event is at Rowell’s Marina, 104550 Overseas Highway, Mile Marker 104.5 bayside. For information, visit www.keylargoseafoodfestival.com.
Jan. 30-31: Key West Craft Show, Key West. The Key West Craft Show features juried artisans and crafters displaying their work at a show on lower Whitehead Street in historic Old Town Key West. For details on the Key West Craft Show, visit www.keywestartcenter.com/craft.html
Northeast Florida (including Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Flagler County and Amelia Island)
Nov. 21-Jan. 31: 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 in December and January, special antique shopping events, a dazzling regatta, Florida ice skating, luminaries in the town plaza, holiday concerts, even a Christmas parade. www.NightsofLights.com
Jan. 1: 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. Shuttles run on a continuous loop every 30 minutes. 904-829-0065. www.floridashistoriccoast.com
Jan. 2-3: Old Town Craft Show, St. Augustine. The Old City sets the scene for Holiday Art Shows’ Old Town Craft Show. The juried event showcases original creations in a variety of media at Francis Field, 25 West Castillo Drive. Event hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free and parking is available at the Visitors Center parking deck. For information, visit www.holidayartshows.com
Jan. 22-31: Annual Amelia Island Restaurant Week, Amelia Island. Includes some of Amelia Island's most popular dining destinations. Residents and visitors enjoy pre-fix meals at great rates which includes three courses and a nonalcoholic beverage. For more information on Restaurant Week, visit restaurantweek.ameliaisland.com
Jan. 29-31: St. Augustine Film Festival, St. Augustine. The Old City presents its Annual St. Augustine Film Festival on Jan. 29-31. Screenings and parties take place at various venues. A VIP pass to all events is $125; a Film Only Fast Pass is $70. For information, visit www.staugfilmfest.com.
TBA: Spanish Garrison Colonial Muster, St. Augustine. The Old City’s Colonial Quarter sets the scene for the annual Spanish Garrison Grand Muster and torchlight parade. From 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., there is an encampment and demonstrations as well as a torchlight parade from the Castillo de San Marcos to the Governor’s House in Plaza de la Constitucion. The public is invited to follow the parade route. Admission is free. For details, visit www.historiccoastculture.com.
North-Central Florida (including Ocala, Gainesville and Tallahassee)
Jan. 9: Tour de Felasco, Gainesville. The Tour de Felasco is a 50 mile mountain bike ecotour that gives the participants, for one day, access to some of the most scenic views of nature that North Central Florida has to offer. 11101 Millhopper Road, Gainesville. www.sanfelasco.net/tour.shtml
Jan. 16-17: 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 and includes the Annual Jimmy Buffet Sound-Alike contest. Downtown on Citrus Ave. www.gomanateefest.com
Jan. 30-31, Feb. 5-7: Hoggetowne Medieval Faire, Gainesville. Come be swept away by medieval magic as 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, and eight stages of live entertainment. Admission $17 adults, $7 for children 5-17, under 5 free. 352-334-5064. www.gvlculturalaffairs.org
The Panhandle (including Pensacola, Panama City Beach, Apalachicola and Destin)
Jan. 16: 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 exhitors, and drink and food specials. 7:30 a.m. Casino Beach. Pensacola Beach, FL 32502. www.pensacolarunners.com
Jan. 23 - March 4: ADSO Juried Southeast Regional Art Exhibits, Destin. This annual juried art exhibition in the McIlroy Gallery at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center in Niceville showcases the best of works in all media by professional artists throughout the Southeastern United States as presented by the Arts & Design Society. 850-729-6044. www.mattiekellyartscenter.org
Jan. 16-17: Apalachicola Oyster Cook Off, Apalichicola. Fundraiser for the Apalachicola Volunteer Fire Department. Submit recipes. Oysters all sorts of ways. Children's activities and live band. 86 Water Street/ Riverfront Park, Apalachicola FL 32320. 855-272-5224. http://www.oystercookoff.com/
Sentinel staffers Angele Maraj, Emon Reiser and Special Correspondent Georgina Cruz contributed to this report