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Los Angeles Times

Florida travel calendar for April

Check out festivals and events in April 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)

April 3: Jazz Friday at Foosaner Museum of Art, Melbourne. Every first Friday of the month the Foosaner Museum of Art hosts Jazz Friday in their galleries. Expect great music from local favorites. 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 1463 Highland Avenue, Melbourne FL 32901. 321-433-4470.

April 2: Florida Wiener Dog Derby, Sanford. Cash prizes, giveaways and more. Free admission, but registration fee. 440 Hickman Dr. Sanford, Florida.

April 2: Florida Wildflower & Garden Festival, DeLand. A celebration and a forum to encourage environmentally friendly and sustainable gardening practices, while keeping a fun atmosphere.  Speakers, demonstrations, children's activities & entertainment. The festival also features vendors who provide information, products, and arts and crafts related to general gardening, native plant gardening, gardening for birds, butterflies and wildlife, habitat creation, environmental conservation, recycling and "Green" living. West Indiana Avenue, Downtown DeLand. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. 386-738-0649.

April 2: Central Florida Dragon Boat Festival, Tavares. Dragon boat racing was born out of myth and legend more than 2,000 years ago in southern China, commemorating the life and death of a great patriot who threw himself into the Mi Lo River. When news of his death spread, local fishermen raced out onto the water and splashed their paddles to prevent fish from eating his body. Today, worldwide, some two million people participate in dragon races. Activities kick off with the Awakening of the Dragon Ceremony, traditional Dragon/Lion dance and banquet. Action-packed contests begin with a crew of 20 paddlers led by the loud, steady beat of the drummer. As the long and colorful boats compete, an ancient rite is revisited, all in the spirit of charity and fun. At Wooten Park. 352-504-8158.

April 2-3: DeLand Outdoor Art Festival, DeLand. Art, Crafts, Food & Live Entertainment at Earl Brown Park.  Free shuttle to and from Florida Wildflower & Garden Festival. Earl Brown Park. 750 S. Alabama Ave. DeLand, FL 32724. Free. 386-717-1888.

April 2-3: Melbourne Air and Space Show, Melboourne. Headlined by the civilian U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, this will be the last beachside air show in Florida for the year. The show will feature a full weekend of activities including a Take Off Party on Friday, and a Performer Party the following night. Saturday and Sunday air shows begin at 12 p.m. At Melbourne International Airport. General admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children in advance. More VIP packages available.

April 3-4: The Ultimate International Cheerleading Championship, Kissimmee. Cheerleaders compete for the Ultimate National Championship. At Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center. Admission required.

April 3-5: 51st Annual Ron Jon Surf Shop Easter Surfing Festival, Cocoa Beach. Championship surfers of all ages come from around the world to Cocoa Beach to compete in the 50th Annual Ron Jon Surf Shop Easter Surfing Festival on April 3-5. An Easter egg hunt and food court, as well as surf clinics and demonstrations, are part of the fun. Admission is free.

April 4: First Saturday Jam, Barberville. On the first Saturday each month visit the Pioneer Settlement for entertainment and fun for the entire family. 9 a.m to 4 p.m. Includes informal music jams, free workshops, a chili cook-off, yard sale.

April 4: Climb to the Moon, Ponce Inlet. Climb to the Moon at Ponce Inlet Lighthouse offers views of the sunset and moonrise from atop the lighthouse. The lighthouse keeper relates the story of this National Historic Landmark. Sparkling cider and hors d'oeuvres are provided by Inlet Harbor Restaurant. The lighthouse is at 4931 South Peninsula Drive. Participation is limited to 25 people and tickets ($25) must be purchased in advance by calling (386) 761-1821 ext. 10.

April 5: Easter Sunrise Service, Lake Wales. Bok Tower Gardens sets the scene for an Easter Sunrise Service on April 5. The Gardens offers Easter morning worshippers free admission from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. to experience the sun rising over the horizon on this special day while listening to a live carillon performance. The Lake Wales Chorale, an adult vocal group of community residents is slated to perform. An Easter buffet in the Blue Palmetto Café at the Gardens will be available at $10.95 for adults and $7.95 per child. Bok Tower Gardens is located at 1151 Tower Boulevard.

April 9-12: Celebration Exotic Car Festival, Celebration, Orlando and Daytona Beach. Check out some sweet rides at the Celebration Exotic Car Festival on April 9-12. This four-day event showcases North America's largest collection of exotic cars, race cars and iconic Hollywood movie cars. The event also lets registered participants take to the track at Daytona International Speedway, while regular folk can view the rides for free while listening to music along the waterfront of Celebration. The four-day event benefits Make-a-Wish Foundation, Special Olympics and Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital.  VIP package available for $595. For more information visit

April 8-10: Grant BBQ Fest, Grant. The Grand BBQ Fest serves up live entertainment, a car show, crafts and contests – barbecued pork ribs, chicken or brisket, anyone? Additional competitions include People’s Choice and Sauce. Admission and parking are free. The festival is at 4580 1st Street.

April 10: Friday Fest, Melbourne Held the second Friday of the month in Historic Downtown, it's a family-oriented event that includes art craft and business vendors, lots of great food, beer and wine, a children's activity. Highland Avenue, Melbourne FL 32922. Free. 321-724-1741.

April 10-11: 2015 APC National Pie Championships, Celebration. The 2015 APC National Pie Championships will take place at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, FL. Amateur pie makers, professional bakers/chefs and commercial pie companies from around the country and Canada have been competing at the NPC since 1995.

April 10-12: Megacon, Orlando. The annual comic book, sci-fi and general geek fest at the Orange County Convention Center with vendors, costume contests, autograph sessions and more. Neal Adams headlines the slate of comic book legends at the show, while Patrick Stewart, Captain Picard of Star Trek: TNG, headlines to TV and movie enclave that also includes Star Trek actors Levar Burton, Wil Wheaton, and Michael Dorn, actor Dean Cain from Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, James and Oliver Phelps of the Harry Potter film series, voice actors Billy West and Tara Stong and more. Advance tickets are available. Onsite tickets are $25 for one day, $60 for all three. 10 & under are free per paid adult.

April 11-12: Blues at the Winery, Clermont. For those who enjoy sipping a glass of Lakeridge wine and listening to the blues, this event is a must see. The event attracts the area's most talented blues musicians such as "Beautiful" Bobby Blackmon, who will perform on the outdoor stage the entire weekend. Lakeridge wine, beer, soft drinks and a variety of food will be available for purchase, along with complimentary Winery tours and wine tasting. At Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards on U.S. 27 in North Clermont. Event is from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission: $2 donation. 800-768-WINE.

April 12: Art of the Automobile, Daytona Beach. Auto show with music and entertainment. Events include a motorsport tour and Saturday Night Cruisin'. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; 250 South Beach Street; 386-255-5922.

April 17-18: Blueberry Jerry Jamboree, Spring Hill. Small, blue and tart is the order of the festival featuring live music, food, arts and crafts, and, of course, blueberries. This family-friendly event returns for the fifth year in a row from April 17-18. For more information, visit

April 18: Cruisin' Downtown DeLand Classic Car Show. DeLand. Every 3rd Saturday of the month. East Indiana Avenue in downtown DeLand. Classic cars & rods line East Indiana Avenue in Downtown DeLand. Live DJ, giveaways, shopping & dining. 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. Free.

April 18: Florida Lighthouse Day, Ponce Inlet. Come to the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse & Museum  for Family Fun activities and workshops designed for children and families. Come visit the lighthouse museums and climb the largest lighthouse in Florida. Meet the lighthouse keeper as he describes his duties at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse. All activities are included with regular admission, no advance reservations required. For details, visit

April 21-26: Sun 'n Fun International Fly-in and Expo, Lakeland. Educational forums, seminars and "hands-on" workshops; plus commercial exhibitors who offer aviation products and services for everyone. Enjoy a daily air show that showcases both new and old airplanes. The daily airshow will begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and at 3 p.m. on Sunday.  At Lakeland Linder Regional Aiport. Starts at 8 a.m. Adults $37, children $15.

April 24: Fourth Fridays Art Walk, Sanford. Central Florida's only monthly juried art show. With exhibits and music at participating venues. 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Downtown Sanford, First Street, Sanford, FL, 32771. Free. 407-323-2774.

April 24-26: 19th Annual Leesburg Bike Fest, Leesburg. The 19th Annual Leesburg Bike Fest is a motorcycle and music event on April 24-26. On the agenda are concerts, demonstrations, contests, 250 vendors and more at various outdoor and indoor venues in downtown Leesburg. For information, log on to

April 25: 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. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (wine walk 1-7 p.m.). Free ($25 for wine walk). Flagler Avenue, 100 Flagler Ave., New Smyrna Beach, FL, 32169.

April 25: Earth Day, Orlando. Take the time to find out how to help the planet while having fun during the 9th Annual Central Florida Earth Day on April 25. This event at Lake Eola Park (east side) features music, guest speakers and activities for the family. Admission is free. Event hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For information, visit

April 25: Concert Under the Stars at Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales. Join the Bok Tower Gardens for an evening of fun and inspiring performances with their annual springtime Concert Under The Stars. Admission is $20 for adults, $8 for children if you buy tickets in advance.

April 25 - May 16: Sea World presents Viva La Musica, Orlando. SeaWorld Orlando hosts Viva La Musica, a celebration of Hispanic music, food and culture on April 25-May 16. The event features the sights, sounds and tastes of various Latin cultures through music, dance, crafts, food and concerts. It is included in regular park admission. For details, visit

April 26-27: Halifax Oyster & Music Festival, Daytona Beach. Oysters will be available raw or steamed by the dozen as guests enjoy music, activities and drinks at Manatee Island Park all in the name of charity. Admission is $10 and children under 6 are free. 

Through May 17: Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, Lake Buena Vista. Spring special event filled with flowers, gardens, topiaries, live music and educational events. See millions of blooming flowers and a vibrant collection of specially themed topiaries. At Walt Disney World's EPCOT with admission. 407-939-5277. At Walt Disney World's EPCOT with admission.

Through April 18: Universal Studios Mardi Gras, Orlando.This year's Mardi Gras concert line-up includes Heart, The All-American Rejects, Trey Songz and more. Concerts begin at 8 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. Included with Universal Studios ticket. 407-363-8000.

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

April 10-19: Sarasota Film Festival, Sarasota. The festival screens more than 180 films including features, shorts, documentaries and kid-friendly picks. During the event films run  daily at Regal Cinemas Hollywood 20 on Main Street in Downtown Sarasota. Various tickets and packages are available.  For information, visit

April 10-12: Tampa Bay Blues Festival, St. Petersburg. The festival established itself as one of the world's preeminent blues music events, having presented more than 195 of the world's greatest blues performers. This year's line-up includes Tower of Power, Southern Hospitality and Boz Scaggs. In addition to world class music, you can enjoy arts and crafts, taste treats from seafood and barbecue to Cuban cuisine, plus premium beer and wine. $35 on Friday and Saturday, $25 on Sunday or $90 for three days. 727-502-5000. Vinoy Waterfront Park.

April 11-12: Florida Blueberry Festival, Brooksville. This year’s blueberry festival will feature 85 artisans selling their creations alongside 20 food vendors that promise to offer a variety of blueberry treats and more. There will also be a blueberry kids zone, a tricky dogs show and a monster transmission car show. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for anyone ages 6 to 17 and free for children 5 and younger.

April 11-12: The 37th Annual Siesta Fiesta, Sarasota. The Siesta Fiesta displays arts and crafts along Ocean Boulevard and Beach Road in Siesta Key Village on April 11-12. Some 250 artists and crafters will feature their creations at the fair. Admission is free. Fair hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, log on to

April 25-26: Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks Art and Craft Festival, Tarpon Springs. Dodecanese Boulevard sets the scene for the Sponge Docks Arts & Crafts Festival on April 25-26. More than 90 artists and crafters will be displaying their creations including jewelry, homemade soap, ceramics, paintings and photography. Admission is free.

April 25-26: Ninth Annual Pepper Fest, Pinellas Park. Hot and spicy foods and sauces to sample and purchase. Also pepper plants, barbecue, crafts. At The England Brothers Bandshell Park, Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. $3 admission, children 12 and under free, free parking. 727-423-8433.

April 24-26: The Cotee River Seafood & Blues Festival, New Port Richey. This fest serves up music and food plus arts and crafts and other family-friendly activities along the river in Sims Park Friday-Sunday. Bands include national, local and student bands. Dig into fresh seafood, made-to-order sushi, and more. Other highlights include a boat show, car show, kayaking and fly fishing demonstrations. For more information, call 727-842-8066 or visit

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

April 1-2: Upcycle Art Fest, Sanibel. This quaint Southwest Florida isle sets the scene for the annual Upcycle Art Fest on April 1-2. The festival, at the free “Ding” Darling Visitor and Education Center at the J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. It showcases art made from 60 to 75 percent recycled and re-purposedmaterials. For details, visit

April 10-12: Sharks Tooth Festival, Venice. Go hunting for shark tooth fossils at the shark tooth's capital of the world. This annual event, which also includes food, entertainment, arts and crafts, and children's activities. At Airport Festival Grounds. Adults $3, children 12 and under free. (941)-412-0402.

April 11: Sharks Tooth 10K run, Venice.  Runners will run through neighborhoods, along the beach-front road, into Caspersen Beach Park and return along the Venetian Waterway Trail to finish at the Venice Airport Festival Grounds. Starts at 7:15 a.m. Participants will receive complimentary entry into the Shark's Tooth Festival on race day with bib. Also included, door prizes and a post-race party. Pre-registration encouraged but not required. 941-312-4955.

April 11-12: The Seminole Casino Balloons Over Paradise, Immokalee. Balloons Over Paradise is a hot air balloon festival just outside of Naples on April 11-12. More than 50 custom hot air balloons will be featured as well as tethered balloon rides, live music, acrobatic kite demonstrations, carnival games, and children’s activities. Admission is free. Food will be available for purchase.

April 12: BBQ, Bands & Brew, Fort Myers. This Southwest Florida city sets the scene for the BBQ, Bands & Brew on April 12. On the agenda are a barbecue competition, live music, games and vendors. Admission is $10. Children 12 and under are free. The event, which raises funds for local charities, is from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Lee County Alliance for the Arts, 10091 McGregor Boulevard.

April 16: Downtown Gallery Walk, Punta Gorda. Held monthly on the third Thursday, 5 p.m. - 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.

April 17-18: Cardboard Boat Regatta, Cape Coral. Pre-event party kicks off April 17. Event begin April 18 at 11 a.m. and include food, beer, live music and children's playground. At Four Freedoms Park. 239-699-7942.

April 18-19: Island Earth Days, Honeymoon Island State Park. This event features great live outdoor music and entertainment on the big stage and environmental vendors. Highlights include fresh seafood, plus a variety of other food & beverages including beer and wine, fine artists, quality craft vendors and more. There will also be guided walks in the woods and on the beach, plus nature talks, presentations, and lots of activities and crafts for kids. At Honeymoon Island State Park. Donation of $8 per vehicle. 727-738-2903.

April 18-19: 40th Annual Mainsail Arts Festival, St. Petersburg. The waterfront of downtown St. Petersburg provides a picturesque setting for the 40th Annual Mainsail Arts festival at Vinoy Park just north of the pier. Named by Sunshine Artist Magazine as one of the "100 Best" fine art events in the U.S., organizers expect more than 100,000 visitors to attend the exhibitors competing for $64,000 in prize money. The two-day event combines visual and performing arts along with opportunities for children to actively engage in art activities. Also on hand will be an assortment of culinary arts and souvenirs. From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free. At Vinoy Park.

April 22-26: Fort Myers Beach Film Festival. Fort Myers Beach. This fest provides movie-goers the opportunity to see independent films and be a part of events designed to cultivate the spirit of visual creativity and harbor the talents of local and upcoming film makers on April 22-26.  For details, visit

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

April 4: Sixth Annual Florida Keys Ocean Festival & Waterfront Craft Show, Key West. The Last Key sets the scene for the Sixth Annual Florida Keys Ocean Festival & Waterfront Craft Show on April 4. The event, which celebrates the marine environment of the Florida Keys, is presented by Mote Marine Laboratory and is family-friendly and free. Festival hours are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and scheduled attractions include live music, arts and crafts, displays and children’s activities including a free fishing seminar (must register online). The event is at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center on the Truman Waterfront past the end of Southard Street.

April 2-3: Las Olas Art Fair Part II, Fort Lauderdale. The Las Olas Art Fair Part II displays original artwork on quaint Las Olas Boulevard in the heart of Fort Lauderdale. Admission is free. Event hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. For information, visit

April 4: The 4th Annual Fort Pierce Oyster Festival, Fort Pierce. The 4th Annual Fort Pierce Oyster Festival celebrates the bounty of the sea along the waterfront in downtown Fort Pierce on April 4. On the agenda are arts and crafts and live music and entertainment. Seafood is available. Event hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For information, visit

April 4: 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.

April 10-22: The 53rd Annual Delray Affair, Delray Beach. The Annual Delray Affair showcases the work of more than 750 local, regional, national and international artists on April 10-12. The event is along the palm-tree-lined streets of downtown Delray Beach 12 blocks from the Intracoastal to Northwest Second Avenue, grounds of the Delray Beach Center for the Arts and Old School Square Park. Entertainment and street performances are also on the agenda. Admission is free. For information, visit

April 13: Taste of Key West, Key West. Scores of area restaurants present mouthwatering samples of their cuisine to benefit AIDS Help Inc. The culinary celebration takes place at the Truman Waterfront overlooking Key West Harbor. 305-296-6196

April 15-18: Miami Wine and Food Festival, Miami. Ranked as one of the top wine events in the nation, the festival features an array of culinary and wine events including wine tasting and interactive dinner with a top chef, live and silent auctions offering exotic travel packages, and some of the highest quality wine lots in South Florida. Admission. 305-646-7011.

April 9-10: Florida Keys Island Fest, Islamorada. One hundred artists and crafters from around the state will display their work and food will be available for purchase. At Founder’s Park, Mile Marker 87, bayside.  For information, visit

April 16: Third Thursday Art Walk, Islamorada The Morada Way Third Thursday Art Walk presents local fine arts, music and culinary specialties on April 16. The galleries of Morada Way are between Mile Markers 81 and 82. For details, visit

April 17-26: Conch Republic Independence Celebration, Key West. Commemorates the founding of the Conch Republic in 1982, when the Keys seceded in response to a U.S. Border Patrol roadblock that halted traffic in and out of the Florida Keys. Begins with the raising of the colors at Fort Taylor and includes a drag race, cruiser car show, Reef Relief party, bed race, "World's Longest Parade" down Duval Street from the Atlantic to the Gulf at the Schooner Wharf Bar, craft show, and the Naval Parade and Great Battle for the Conch Republic.

April 18: Seven-Mile Bridge Run, Marathon. The 34th annual Seven Mile Bridge Run is expected to draw 1,500 runners to a foot race across the longest segmental bridge in the world on April 18. The action kicks off at 7:30 a.m. For information, visit

April 24-26: Pompano Beach Seafood Festival, Pompano Beach. In its 31st year, this beachside food festival promises to serve up great seafood and entertainment for guests of all ages.  Admission required.

April 25: Earth Day Celebration at Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key. Features live music, sand sculpture contest, puppet shows, face painting, environmental exhibits and booths, marine life touch tanks, telescopes with special viewing lenses, and food from hot dogs to sloppy joes. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free with regular park admission. 305-872-9807.

April 26: 15th Annual Sweet Corn Fiesta, West Palm Beach. The 15th Annual Sweet Corn Fiesta offers lots of sweet corn, music, rides, corn shucking and cooking competitions and more on April 26. The event, at Yesteryear Village at the South Florida Fair, is from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-11, (children’s unlimited ride wristband is $5). For details, visit

April 29-May 3: Sunfest, West Palm Beach. Sunfest presents a lineup of headliners in downtown West Palm Beach on April 29-May 3. A variety of tickets is available including a regular admission one-day pass for $40 for ages 13 and up. For information, visit

April 30-May 3: Key West Paddleboard Classic, Key West. The Last Key sets the scene for the Key West Paddleboard Classic on April 30-May 3. Presented by Lazy Dog Adventure Tours, the challenge includes a 12-mile Elite Race around the island and a four-mile open race. Other events include a kick-off registration party, paddleboard clinics and races for kids. For details, visit

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

April 2-4: Antique Tractor and Engine Show, White Springs. Farm machinery representing 200 years of American history. Vintage farm equipment, tractor pulls and races for adults. Children's games and races. Demonstrations of wheat threshing and shingle milling. Food concessions. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. At Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park. Park admission $5 per vehicle.

April 3: First Friday Art Walk, St. Augustine. The Art Galleries of Saint Augustine founded and sponsors the award-winning First Friday Art Walk event on the first Friday of every month. Galleries open their doors from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m., offering new art exhibits and lively receptions to the public.

April 5: Old City’s Easter Parade, St. Augustine. The Easter Bunny, St. Augustine’s Royal Family, marching bands, drill teams, clowns, the city’s carriage horses and floats make appearances during the Old City’s Easter Parade on April 5. The parade kicks off at the Mission of Nombre de Dios at 3 p.m. and winds its way through downtown St. Augustine. For information, visit

April 10-12: 20th Annual St. Augustine Rhythm & Ribs Festival, St. Augustine. If you are looking for a treat for your taste buds and ear candy too you may wish to check out this one: The 20th Annual St. Augustine Rhythm & Ribs Festival will be serving up scrumptious barbecue and music all weekend long on April 10-12. Admission is $5 (children 13 and under are free).

April 10-12: Jacksonville International Boat Show, Jacksonville. Largest in-water boat show in the region. The hottest boats and boating accessories will be on display along with live entertainment, fresh seafood and a riverfront tiki bar. You will also enjoy an antique boat display, Nautical Signal Flag decoding hunt and a Maritime History display. At Metropolitan Park and Marina. Adults $12 and children are free. 904-673-0093.

April 17-19: George's Music Springing the Blues, Jacksonville Beach. Bring the entire family to celebrate blues music and the arts at this three-day oceanfront event. Named one of the top 50 Music Festivals in the World by Downbeat Magazine. It features a number of renowned blues performers as well as numerous displays and activities geared for the entire family. At SeaWalk Pavilion.

April 18-19: Amelia Island Garden Show, Amelia Island. More than 50 vendors with flowers, plants, fruit trees, palms, orchids, herbs, container gardens, butterfly-friendly plants, accessories and more will be showcasing their wares during the Amelia Island Garden Show on April 18-19. Experts will offer advice about gardening challenges at the event in Central Park, 1200 Atlantic Avenue in Fernandina Beach. A highlight is the Raptor Show. Guests can also enjoy gourmet foods at the Picnic Bench Dining Court. Admission is $5 for Saturday and Sunday; $4 for Sunday only. Children ages 12 and under are free. For details, visit

April 22-26: Florida’s Birding and Photo Fest, Ponte Vedra Beach. This annual event shines the spotlight on Northeast Florida’s abundant bird life and natural beauty. More than 110 birding and photography events are featured during the festival. The fest is headquartered at the GTM Research Reserve, 505 Guana River Road. For details, visit

April 8-9: Ponte Vedra Beach Home And Art Tour, Ponte Vedra. In its sixth year, Ponte Vedra Beach Home And Art Tour offers an insider’s view of four unique homes on March 28. Artists and interior designers are special guests onsite to meet visitors and talk about their work. Tickets are $30 including admission to Fantasy Farms, an exotic animal farm and habitat for endangered species. For information, visit the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach’s website at

April 25: Taste of St. Augustine, St. Augustine. A Taste of St. Augustine has grown to be the city’s premiere outdoor food festival, conveniently located at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre on A1A South. This signature food festival serves up exciting “tastes” from over 20 of St. Augustine’s famous restaurants. Restaurants will compete for the prestigious TOStA (Taste of St. Augustine) awards, with categories including Best Family Dining, Best Ethnic, Best Upscale and Best Dessert, as well as the ever popular “People’s Choice”, for more information visit

April 26: Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, Amelia Island. Celebrating its 52nd year, the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival lures thousands of visitors to historic downtown Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island to celebrate all things shrimp on May 1-3. The event features free admission, nationally-recognized juried fine arts and crafts show, antiques, live entertainment, children’s activities, contests, pirates and more. Dozens of food vendors will be serving up the tastiest shrimp you can find, prepared every way possible by local non-profit organizations. For information, go to

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

April 2-11: Clay County Agricultural Fair, Green Cove Springs. Showcase for Clay County's agricultural, educational, civic and commercial interests. Also includes livestock, midway, stage entertainment, contests and Early Florida Pioneer Village. At fairgrounds. Admission.

April 1-2: Annual Springtime Tallahassee, Tallahassee. The Annual Springtime Tallahassee celebrates the season in our state capital beginning at 10 a.m. on March 28. On the festival’s agenda are a Grand Parade with floats and marching units, Jubilee in the Park, Children’s Park and multiple stages with live entertainment including the Rock/Jazz/Blues Stage at Jefferson Street and Adams Street featuring local and regional talent, and a Community Stage at McCarty Park featuring local performers. More than 200 arts and crafts and food booths are to be featured.Some of the festival’s activities are free; others have fees.

April 9-10: Cedar Key's Annual Fine Arts Festival, Cedar Key. A juried art show with more than $10,000 in prize money and purchase awards. Features paintings, sculptures, jewelry, crafts, ceramics, textiles, photography and more. Downtown area. Cedar Key Arts Center. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 352-543-5400.

April 2: O'Leno Ole' Chili Cook-Off & Springs Celebration, High Springs. Bring your bestchili recipe and compete or taste test the samples and vote for your favorite. Chili cook-off is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Springs Celebration is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission for this event is free with the donation of one can of food per person. 410 SE O'Leno Park Road, High Springs.

April 3-5: Suwanee River Paddling Festival, Suwanee County. Join the Paddle Florida event and spend the days exploring the spring-fed upper Wekiwa then paddle down to the St. John's and Blue Spring State Park on this long-weekend adventure. Register on the main website.

April 10: Jest Fest, Gainesville. Celebrate hilarity, and feel the thrill of this free, family friendly spring festival. Held at the Historic Thomas Center. 302 NE 6 Ave, Gainesville.

April TBA: 5th Ave Arts Festival, Gainesville. Annual festival celebrating Earth Day, music, food and culture. Hosted by the Cultural Arts Coalition. Free, family friendly.

April TBA: Spring Arts Festival, Gainesville. This free art festival, set in the Northeast Gainesville Historic District, features two stages of music and performers throughout the weekend of fun. NE 1st St, Gainesville.

April 17-19: Southern Shakespeare Festival, Tallahassee. Hosted at The Capital City Amphitheater at Cascades Park April 17 - 19, the Southern Shakespeare Festival promotes the arts and knowledge of the Elizabethan era with a mixture of Renaissance culture and 60s memories through entertainment, demonstrations, and live music every night prior to the show, A Midsummer Night’s Dream at 5:30 p.m. The final day of the festival is a full day celebration with vendors, music, children’s activities and appearances by Sonnet Man, a hip-hop version of Shakespeare’s sonnets.

April 17-18: Down Home Days Festival & PCA Rodeo, Madison County. Rodeo events  a parade, classic car show, frog hop, petting zoo and other kids activities plus arts, crafts and food vendors are planned for this festival. For more information, or visit

April 18-19: LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival, Tallahassee. Tallahassee’s downtown chain of parks hosts an art festival April 18 – 19 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. that features live entertainment, food from local restaurants, and original works of art by more than 150 local and regional artists.

April 25-26: Tallahassee Jazz and Blues Festival, Tallahassee. The Tallahassee Museum presents lively jazz, Dixieland, Zydeco, swing, and rhythm and blues under the trees April 25 - 26. Highlights also include fun family activities on the pioneer farm and at Bellevue Plantation.

April 23-24: Pioneer Days High Springs, Downtown High Springs. Saturday 10 am - 5 pm, Sunday 10-4. Held at James Paul Park. Hand made crafts, reenactments, Heritage village, period music and entertainment, large kids corral, parade, contests from the old days. Contact the chamber at 386-454-3120,  or visit the chamber website for more information

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

April 11-12: 32nd Annual Pensacola Jazz Fest, Pensacola. Smooth sounds from a variety of artists and bands are the order of the day during the 31st Annual Pensacola Jazz Fest at Seville Square on April 11-12. Admission is free. Seville Square is located at East Government Street and South Alcaniz Street.

April 18: Apalachicola Antique and Classic Boat Show, Apalachicola. Display of all types of antique boats, traditional vessels, work boats, fiberglass classics, antique outboard motors and antique cars. Free. 850-653-9419.

April 22-26: Seabreeze Jazz Festival, Panama City Beach. This annual fest features the smooth sounds of contemporary jazz at Pier Park on April 22-26. The event, which typically attracts more than 20,000 fans, offers three days of jazz and a themed dinner cruise. Varied tickets and passes are available. One-day general admission seating is $100 per person. For more information, visit

April 24-25: Carrabelle Riverfront Festival, Carrabelle. Riverfront festival showcasing seafood, music, and regional and award-winning artists showing original works and prints, custom designed pottery, stained glass, sculpture, metal art, wood carving and more. Also includes seafood, maritime exhibits, sand sculptor, kid's zone and live entertainment. On Marine Street. Free. 850-697-2585.

April 24-26: Interstate Mullet Toss and Gulf Coast's Greatest Beach Party, Pensacola. America's last great roadhouse can throw a party - and a fish - like nobody else. The is a silly event that raises serious money for local charities. Festivities take place at the Florabama Lounge & Oyster Bar. Participants can pay $15 to toss a 1-pound mullet across the state line from Alabama to Florida. Watching the event is free. For more information call 850-492-0611 or visit

April 29-May 3: Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally, Panama City Beach. The Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally, on April 29-May 3 (a fall rally will also be held on Oct. 21-25) has been called “the most biker friendly free rally in the U.S. Bikers from around the country enjoy scenic rides along the Emerald Coast, live entertainment and local cuisine. For information, visit

Correspondent Georgina Cruz contributed to this report.

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