Florida Events & Festival Roundup

May 3-7, Panama City Beach

19th annual Thunder Beach
Spring Motorcycle Rally
Bikers, vendors and exhibitors from around the country share stories, enjoy live entertainment, shop for accessories and experience a scenic ride.
www.thunderbeachproductions.com; (850) 249-7627



May 5-6, Orlando

National Pie Championships
Amateur pie makers, professional bakers/chefs and commercial pie companies from around the country and Canada compete in the American Pie Council event at the Rosen Centre Hotel.



May 6, Siesta Key

Sand Sculpture Contest
Bring your pail, shovel, sunglasses and creativity to the pavilion at Siesta Key Public Beach and compete for cash prizes.
www.escape-to-sarasota.com; (941) 861-5000



May 7, Panama City Beach

Cornhole Tournament
Nivol Brewery hosts the first of four 32-team tournaments at 2 p.m. Each team is guaranteed three games. Winners of pool play advance. The entry fee is $20.
www.visitpanamacitybeach.com; (850) 338-4578



May 10-14, Key West

22nd annual Songwriters’ Festival
More than 200 artists perform in more than 50 concerts staged in intimate island settings.
www.keywestsongwritersfestival.com; (305) 304-0814



May 13, Lake Placid

Highlands County Audubon Society
Leave Lake Placid Tower at 8 a.m. for a 182-mile roundtrip birding expedition by car along the western coast. Bring lunch.
Julie, (863) 304-8385



May 13, Panama City Beach

Ironman 70.3 Gulf Coast
The ultimate test of endurance starts with a 1.2-mile open water swim, followed by a 56-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run.



May 13, Pensacola

Fiesta Children’s Treasure Hunt
Join Fiesta of Five Flags for a free day of treasure hunting, toys, games and fun adventures for kids and families.



May 13, Windsor

33rd annual Zucchini Festival
Help support the local volunteer fire department while having fun and being entertained.
www.windsor-z-news.org; (352) 372-4875



May 13, Marathon

Marathon Games Pentathlon
Swimming, kayaking, standup paddling, driving frozen “golf” balls and a footrace comprise the event hosted by the Florida Keys Country Club. Up to five-person team athletes can register. Competition starts at 8 a.m. Proceeds support local nonprofits.
www.themarathongames.com; (305) 587-9830



May 13, Panama City Beach

4th annual Bike and Boil Charity Ride
Pay $15 for a ride to benefit Crimestoppers, then enjoy free live music and a $10 low country boil. The event is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Harley Davidson of Panama City Beach.
www.pcbharley.com; (850) 334-0055



May 13-14, Sandestin

29th annual ArtsQuest Fine Arts and Music Festival
View and buy original art from more than 200 artists, listen to live music, peruse student art and a juried show, and enjoy a kids’ area.



May 14, Lake Wales

Mother’s Day Carillon Concert
Bok Tower Gardens offers free admission to all moms, who can enjoy meandering garden paths and special concerts at 1 and 3 p.m.
www.boktowergardens.org; (863) 676-1408



May 17-21, Panama City Beach

2nd annual Jeep Beach Jam
Thousands of Jeep owners and enthusiasts descend on Frank Brown Park for excursions, seminars, vendor offerings, a kids’ zone, outdoor movie night, extreme obstacle course, a 5K run and concerts Friday and Saturday night. The latter features country star Craig Morgan.



May 18-21, Key Largo

Original Music Festival
Enjoy food, entertainment and ambiance as multiple on-the-water venues feature Nashville’s hit songwriters and musicians, as well as local entertainers. Presented by the Key Largo Merchants Association.
www.keylargooriginalmusicfest.com; (305) 394-3736



May 18-21, Brooksville

Orange Blossom Jamboree
Sertoma Ranch hosts more than 50 bands. Tickets start at $95 for a four-day pass.



May 20, Wewahitchka

27th Annual Tupelo Honey Festival

Taste and take home this delicacy from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 20, at Lake Alice Park in Wewahitchka. Enjoy food, arts and crafts and live music. For more information, visit www.tupelohoneyfestival.com or email info@tupelohoneyfestival.com.


May 20, Marathon

Battle in the Bay
The waters off Sombrero Beach are transformed into a swift racecourse for dragon boat racing that involves 20 paddlers moving in unison. The festival—which supports local charities—is free to the public. Racing begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends about 2 p.m. Food, beverages, merchandise and entertainment are available shoreside.
www.battleinthebaydragonboat.com; (813) 426-3544



May 20-21, Pensacola

3rd annual Lionfish Removal & Awareness Day
Help remove invasive lionfish from Florida waters beginning at 10 a.m. Headquartered at Plaza de Luna Park, the free event includes lionfish tastings, fillet demonstrations, family activities and celebrity chef cook-offs.
www.reefrangers.com; (850) 529-2475



May 20-21, Gulf Breeze

42nd annual Family Fishing Rodeo
Weigh-ins are from 2 to 5 p.m. at Shoreline Park South for a variety of species, with prizes awarded for the top three places and a $1,000 grand prize. The entry fee is $25. Kids 9 and younger are free with an adult entry.
www.facebook.com/gboptimistclub; (850) 261-3731



May 26, Pensacola

Movies in the Park
Bring blankets, chairs and picnic baskets and spread out on the lawn at Hunter Amphitheater at Community Maritime Park to watch a free, family-friendly movie at 8 p.m. Concessions are available. No pets or glass containers.
(850) 436-5670



May 26-28, White Springs

Florida Folk Festival
Experience the traditions and savor the flavors, sights and sounds of some of the state’s oldest and newest cultural communities. Enjoy music, dance, stories, crafts and food at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park.



May 26-29, Palatka

Blue Crab Festival
Live music, arts and crafts, carnival rides and commercial vendors are featured, with fireworks Saturday night and a parade on Monday. Admission and parking are free.



May 27, Lake Placid

Highlands County Audubon Society
Leave Lake Placid at 8 a.m. to head to South Lake Howard Nature Park in Winter Haven. Lunch will be at a local restaurant.
Roberta, (863) 599-0124



May 27, Ovieda

5th annual Central Florida BBQ Blowout
Ten professional barbecue teams prepare a variety of dishes for sale, while backyard and professional grillers compete for prizes, and local kids sponsored by area businesses team with professional pit masters in epic cooking competitions. The event at Ovieda Mall is from
2 to 10 p.m.


May 28, Lakewood Ranch

Tribute to Heroes Parade
The party begins at 5 p.m. and the parade begins at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 28, at Lakewood Ranch. Thousands line up to see veterans, residents and businesses parade along Main Street honoring local heroes. All children who decorate bikes can be part of the procession as a group. Prizes are awarded for cutest, most patriotic and most creative. Judging is at 6:15 p.m. Parents or group leaders are responsible for children at all times. For more information, visit www.lwrcac.com or call (941) 757-1530.


June 2-3, Kissimmee

139th Silver Spurs Rodeo
The dirt flies at 7:30 p.m. with seven traditional rodeo events: bull riding, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing, steer wrestling and team roping. Come early for bounce houses, music, games and mutton bustin’.
(321) 697-3495


June 2-4, The Keys

2nd annual Guitar Festival
Enjoy virtuoso guitarists Larry Baeder, David Feder, Mike Emerson and Mateo playing blues, jazz. flamenco and classical at three concerts throughout the Keys: June 2 in Islamorada at Coral Isles Church; June 3 in Marathon at the Florida Keys Country Club; and June 4 in Key West at the Key West Theater. Festival also includes arts and crafts, street fairs and the John Bartus Songwriters Festival.



June 2-3 and 5, Fort Walton Beach

Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival and Parade
Treasure hunts, a pirate landing and fireworks highlight the merriment, music and fun. The torchlight parade is Monday, June 5, at 7 p.m.
(850) 244-8191


June 3, Wellborn

24th annual Blueberry Festival
Blueberry treats highlight a day of fun at Andrews Square.


June 8-10, Tallahassee

20th annual African Dance Festival
The African Caribbean Dance Theater presents internationally renowned artists in dance and drum workshops, and a performance at Tallahassee Community College. Highlights include dance workshops for children, wheelchair African dance class and a vendor marketplace.
www.fadf.org; (850) 539-4087


June 9-10, Orlando

Polka Dot Flea
The best in vintage, funky, shabby, refurbished, antique, rusty, repurposed, quirky, industrial and well-loved home and garden goods are available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the air-conditioned Central Florida Fairgrounds. Admission is $5.


June 9-11, Palmetto

Bradenton Boat Show
Browse boats, shop for fishing gear and attend the Captain Joe Fishing School for hands-on tips beginning at 10 a.m. daily at the Bradenton Area Convention Center. Admission is $5. Children 12 and younger are admitted free. Parking is free.

June 10, Key West

Swim Around Key West
The officially sanctioned event is a 12.5-mile swim clockwise around the island of Key West that is open to all age groups. Individual swimmers and relay teams can compete. The route takes swimmers through the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, ending where they began at Higgs Beach.
www.fkccswimaroundkeywest.com; (305) 809-3562


June 10, Pensacola Beach

2nd annual Tri The Island Triathlon
The nationally sanctioned event welcomes first-timers and seasoned triathletes for a 300-yard swim, 10-mile bike and 2-mile run. A sold-out field of 500 athletes is expected.
www.santarosaislandtriathlon.com; (850) 434-2800


June 10, Marathon

Ta Dance!
Marathon Community Theater presents its ninth annual dance showcase at 8 p.m.
www.marathontheater.org; (305) 743-0994


June 10-11, Tampa

See reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, spiders and other exotics at the Florida State Fairgrounds beginning at 10 a.m. Talk to educators, breeders and vendors. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 5 to 12.


June 13-15, Islamorada

40th Ladies Tarpon Fly Tournament
Heidi Nute earned honors last year for “Best Other Fish” with this 25-pound permit caught on a tarpon fly in Islamorada. It attracts premier women fly anglers and guides.
For details, visit www.facebook.com/keystarpon or call (917) 607-8779.

June 16-18, Key West

4th annual Mystery Fest
Two dozen award-winning mystery and crime fiction authors and true-crime experts headline the event, with presentation of the 2017 Whodunit Mystery Writing Competition and Award, a ghost tour and a panel on “How to Commit a Perfect Murder.”
www.mysteryfestkeywest.com; (305) 587-9392



June 17, Lynn Haven

4th annual Cardboard Boat Regatta
The Shaddai Shriners of Bay County invite teams of up to six to design and build a cardboard boat capable of rounding a 200-yard course three times. Each boat is manned by two people with paddles. The regatta is Saturday, June 17, at Leslie Porter Wayside Park in Lynn Haven, just at the foot of the Bailey Bridge. It is part of the 2nd annual Hermit Crab Festival. The event—open to people of all ages—is all about “phun” with physics, with the most coveted honor being the “Titanic Award” for most spectacular sinking. For more information and official rules, visit www.shaddaishriners.org or call (850) 769-8303.

June 17, Lynn Haven

2nd annual Hermit Crab Festival
Leslie Porter Wayside Park is the hub for a 5K run, fishing tournament, sand sculpture, hermit crab races and more. An annual cardboard boat regatta sponsored by the Shaddai Shriners of Bay County joins the lineup.
www.cityoflynnhaven.com; (850) 271-5547


June 17, Fort Walton Beach

10th annual Latin Salsa Festival
Exotic food from the Caribbean, folkloric dancing, a dance contest, and dominoes and billiards tournaments are part of the fun from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Fort Walton Landing.
www.boricuasaucentes.org; (850) 240-4417


June 17-18, Sebring

Heartland Triathlon
Swim, bike and run in the nationally sanctioned event. Kids compete in two divisions Saturday. Adults have sprint and Olympic races Sunday.


June 23, Pensacola

Movies in the Park
Bring blankets, chairs and picnic baskets to the Hunter Amphitheater at Community Maritime Park to watch “The Boss Baby,” a free, family-friendly movie, at 8 p.m. Concessions are available. No pets or glass containers, please.
www.pensacolacommunitymaritimepark.com; (850) 436-5670


June 23-24, Chipley

61st annual Panhandle Watermelon Festival
A free country music concert and activities for the children kick off festivities at 5 p.m. Friday night at the Ag Center. The fun continues Saturday with a pancake breakfast, 5K, a parade at 10 a.m., free watermelon slices, arts and crafts vendors, an antique car show, a watermelon auction, and live gospel and bluegrass music.


June 29, Ona

Prospective Student Workshop and Expo
The University of Florida College of Agricultural and Life Sciences hosts lunch and informational sessions from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the UF/IFAS Range Cattle Research and Education Center. The cost is $15 in advance or $25 at the door.
http://bit.ly/2mPkwG9; (863) 735-1314 ext. 204