To many, Florida is the land of sun, sand, surf, standing in line at theme parks, and swamps. To others, Florida is a collection of small towns, lazy seaside hideaways, and friendly neighbors who are always going out of their way to show how much they love where they live. That’s the Florida you can’t miss.

Towns all over this great state hold annual events to showcase what makes them special. We combed through all the annual events and festivals in Florida to curate our list of favorites. We highly recommend stopping in to any of our award-winners on your next trip to the Sunshine State. You won’t regret it!

Originally Published: April 30, 2018

Florida’s 11 Best Annual Events

Gasparilla Pirate Fest || Tampa

Photo courtesy of:

About the festival: The Parade of Pirates is known as the 3rd largest parade in the U.S. They have many pirate themed events along with food, entertainment and music. This is an event in Tampa you will not want to miss! This has been a Tampa tradition since 1904. 

Worm Gruntin’ Festival || Sopchoppy

Photo courtesy of:

About the festival:  This fun local event brings a big crowd every year. There is a 5k to start, live music, local artists to check out and of course worm competitions.

Flora-Bama Mullet Toss || Pensacola

About the festival: This legendary beach party is a great event that attracts crowds from all over. The Mullet Toss is of course the main event. Participants throw the mullet over the state line to see who can get it the farthest.

Florida Folk Festival || White Springs

Photo courtesy of:

About the festival: This three-day celebration has a wide variety of heritage themed music, food and crafts. The performances are amazing and each one is meaningful in their own special way. 

Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade || Fort Lauderdale

Photo courtesy of: Winterfest Boat Parade Facebook Page

About the festival: This awesome parade is a 12 mile event leaving downtown Fort Lauderdale going north to Pompano. It has an excess of 1,000,000 people lining the shores making it the largest one-day event in the entire state of Florida!

Jazz in the Gardens Music Fest || Miami Gardens

Photo courtesy of:

About the festival: Having 13 years of history under its belt, Jazz in the Gardens celebrates diversity, culture and art through various genres of music.

Wellington Bacon and Bourbon Festival || Wellington

Photo courtesy of:

About the festival: Bourbon and bacon I’m sure you can’t find a better combination! The extensive menu showcasing these ingredients pushes boundaries and is incredible. This is a family friendly event!

Island Hopper Songwriter Fest || Captiva/Fort Myers

Photo courtesy of:

About the festival: This songwriter festival is 10 days of music and fun. The well-known music is played on the beaches by songwriters. They feature some of country music’s best songwriters. 

Sugar Sand Festival || Clearwater Beach

Photo courtesy of:

About the festival: Create memories one sunset at a time is their slogan! This amazing 17-day beach celebration showcases the sand and sunsets with performers, fireworks, live entertainment, crafts and much more!

Florida Strawberry Festival || Plant City

Photo courtesy of:

About the festival: The Strawberry Festival is an 11-day celebration of the strawberry harvest. They have shows, entertainment, exhibits and of course strawberry desserts. Yum!

Frog Leg Festival || Fellsmere

Photo courtesy of: Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival Facebook Page

About the festival: This festival serves up frog legs and gators by the pounds. There are many dinners served and typically over 80,000 people in attendance. It’s a tradition that is now on its 33rd season! 


Hi, I'm Paul, I'm a travel writer and I love everything about the salt life. I grew up in the northeast, but we visited family in Florida often ... and I was hooked! I've been writing about the Sunshine State for two decades. I enjoy helping travelers find the best places to stay, to eat, and to play in Florida.