Florida Events & Festival Roundup

 Through early October, Islamorada

Never No More: Storter’s Southwest Florida
Thirty framed paintings and passages from Robert Lee Storter Jr.’s journals are on display at the Keys History and Discovery Center, MM 82, as part of an exhibit on the Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands. The center is open Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
www.keysdiscovery.com; (305) 922-2237


September 1-3, Duck Key

Annual Heroes Salute Tribute Weekend
Hawks Cay Resort honors military, fire and rescue, law enforcement and medical personnel with a barbecue, heroes tribute, country music concert and fireworks show.
www.hawkscay.com; (877) 484-9342


September 1-3, Panama City Beach

Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam
See some of the biggest names in country music at Frank Brown Park, including Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Little Big Town.


September 2, Islamorada

Spiegel Grove Dive
In celebration of the Spiegel’s 15th anniversary and in preparation of the closing of the exhibit on Labor Day, the History of Diving Museum will have a 10 a.m. presentation followed by an afternoon fish survey dive in honor of the ship. Registration proceeds support the Spiegel Grove Exhibit.
www.divingmuseum.org; (305) 664.9737


September 2, Englewood

Cruisin’ on Dearborn Street
Hundreds of cars and thousands of car lovers converge downtown from 5 to 8 p.m. for the monthly car show. Music is sponsored by the Olde Englewood Village Association. Admission is free.


September 5, Key West

Autism Society of the Keys
Learn about resources available to your child from other families dealing with autism at 6:30 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, 2713 Flagler Ave.
autismsocietyofthekeys@gmail.com; (305) 942-5172


September 9, Panama City Beach

9/11 Memorial Stair Climb
Firefighters and civilians alike gather at Edgewater Beach Resorts, 11212 Front Beach Road in Panama City Beach, to pay tribute to the lives lost during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. This annual tradition started in 2011 by Panama City Beach Fire Captain Terry Parris re-creates the heroic journey of New York firefighters. Participants climb the equivalent of the 110-story World Trade Center. Online registration closes on Labor Day, but on-site registration is available up to the morning of the climb. The blessing of the helmets and badges ceremony and prayer is at 10 a.m., with the climb beginning at 10:30 a.m. For more information, visit www.pcbstairclimb.com.


September 9, Pensacola

4th annual Dragon Boat Festival
More than 40 teams supported by thousands of spectators compete in Bayou Texar just off Bayview Park beginning at 8 a.m. Children’s activities at the event sponsored by Sertoma include a fishing game, bubbles, face painting, coloring, sack races, sprinklers (bring a bathing suit and towel), cornhole and sidewalk chalk. Admission is free.
www.pensacoladragonboatfestival.com; (251) 979-0553


September 9, Pensacola

11th annual Bon Fest
Enjoy authentic Japanese food, dancing, fun and activities for all ages, featuring the Matsuriza Taiko Drummers from noon to 4 p.m. at Booker T. Washington High School, 6000 College Parkway. Admission is free.
hatsuemiki@gmail.com; (850) 602-4385


September 11-17, Panama City Beach

28th annual Lobster Festival and Tournament
Divers compete in a variety of categories and attendees enjoy dozens of lobster dishes at the event that also includes a sand-sculpting contest on the beach behind Schooners.


September 12, Tavernier

Autism Society of the Keys
Learn about resources available to your child from other families dealing with autism at 6:30 p.m. at 156 Pueblo St.
autismsocietyofthekeys@gmail.com; (305) 942-5172


September 15-17, Islamorada

18th annual Herman Lucerne Memorial Backcountry Fishing Championship
Named after the man known as “Mr. Everglades,” the event headquartered at the Islander Resort challenges anglers to target multiple species of fish during the competition in the boundaries of Everglades National Park.


September 15-17, the Keys

45th annual Poker Run
Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the U.S. travel the Overseas Highway to raise money for charity. Winner takes all, and can win a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle or cash. Stops are arranged throughout the Keys, with a final celebration in Key West.
www.petersonsharley.com; (305) 235-4023


September 20, Islamorada

Immerse Yourself!
John Hazelbaker from Hammerhead Marine speaks about “Searching for Batista Gold” during a free presentation at 7 p.m. at the History of Diving Museum, MM 83. Museum exhibits are open late.
www.divingmuseum.org; (305) 664-9737


September 21-24, Marathon

International Bonefish Tournament
This challenge recognizes individual and team champions catching the largest bonefish and permit, and the top anglers in fly and grand slam divisions. It is one of few tournaments where anglers can fish without a professional guide.
(305) 304-8682


September 22, Wauchula

6th annual Hall of Fame Dinner
Doyle Carlton III and Matt Scott join 14 previous inductees in the Hardee Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame. A dinner and ceremony is at 6:30 p.m. at Florida’s First Assembly Family Life Center, 1397 S. Florida Ave. Tickets are $50 and are limited. The event includes a silent auction.
www.haf-online.org; hardeeathleticfoundation@gmail.com; (863) 781-0358


September 22-24, Key Largo

18th annual Take Stock in Children Backcountry Challenge
Anglers compete to win trophies for trout, snook and redfish. An auction and Sunday dinner are open to the public. Proceeds support local vocational scholarships for all ages and Take Stock in Children scholarships for financially challenged Upper Keys students.
www.keylargorotary.org; (305) 331-0525


September 23, Bradenton

Mixon Farms Arts and Crafts Fair
Artists and vendors display their goods from
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Mixon Fruit Farms. Admission is free.
www.mixon.com; (941) 748-5829


September 23, Islamorada

5th annual Swim for Alligator Lighthouse
Swimmers participate in a 9-mile race from Islamorada to the Alligator Lighthouse and back. Proceeds benefit the Friends of the Pool in Islamorada, helping provide scholarships to those in need, and preserving treasured historic lighthouses on Florida’s coastal waterways.
www.swimalligatorlight.com; (305) 664-7149


September 28-October 1, Key Largo

Join Reef Environmental Education Foundation in a celebration of marine conservation. Activities include kayaking, snorkeling and diving alongside marine life experts in the morning, free seminars from renowned experts in the afternoon, and food and socialization in the evening. All events are open to the public.
www.reef.org; (305) 852-0030


September 29-30, Islamorada

Conch Scramble “On the Water” Golf Tournament
The wacky weekend charity golf tournament brings together four-person teams to enjoy a game of nine holes by boat, driving biodegradable golf balls toward floating greens, with no sand traps. An auction and cash raffle are planned. Proceeds benefit Keys charities.
www.conchscramble.com; (305) 509-0315


September 29-October 1, Pensacola

40th annual Pensacola Seafood Festival
Sample mouth-watering seafood dishes and enjoy continuous entertainment in Fountain Park. Arts and crafts vendors display their wares. A children’s area is filled with activities. In the Fiesta Seafood Grille, area chefs share their secrets and demonstrate preparation of regional delicacies, with an emphasis on seafood.
www.fiestaoffiveflags.org; (850) 433-6512


September 30, nationally

National Public Lands Day
Enjoy free admission to federal lands, including national parks such as Dry Tortugas, Everglades, De Soto, Castillo de San Marcos, Fort Matanzas and Gulf Islands.


September 30-October 1, Islamorada

Boating Skills and Seamanship Course
Ensure your safety in and around the water by attending a two-day class conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Islamorada Flotilla 13-8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the History of Diving Museum, MM 83. The class covers navigation, boating safety, water regulations and how to avoid damaging the fragile ecosystem. The cost is $45 per person or $70 per couple. Preregistration is required.
phrigkeys@gmail.com; (678) 333-1288


September 30-November 5, Milton

9th annual Corn Maze and Fall Fun Festival
Spend a weekend day at Sweet Season Farms and navigate your way through an 8-acre corn maze, play on 20 farm-themed activities, enjoy goodies and learn about agriculture. Hours are Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Friday (October only), 6 to 10 p.m. Admission is required for ages 3 and older.
www.sweetseasonfarms.com; (850) 675-3573


October 4, Lake Placid

Highlands County Audubon
Dr. Paul Gray with Audubon Florida leads the group on a tour of Scrub Penn Road and Istokpoga Park. Leave Lake Placid Tower at 8 a.m., or meet at Church of Brethren,
332 Palm Estates Road, Lorida, at 8:30 a.m. to carpool. Bring lunch.
Roberta, (863) 599-0124


October 6-8, Panama City Beach

Pirates of the High Seas Festival
Sword-swinging showdowns, parades and other fun culminates with a dueling fireworks display.


October 6-8, Key Largo

6th annual Songfest
Nashville songwriters liven up three stages with jazz, blues, rock ‘n’ roll, country and contemporary pop. Admission is free.
www.keylargosongfest.com; (305) 619-0172


October 6-8, Key West

SoMo Marathon and Half
Run through 26.2 or 13.1 miles of ocean and gulf views, as well as Key West landmarks.
www.somokeywestmarathon.com; lizlovekw@gmail.com


October 7, Lake Placid

4th annual Barktoberfest
Ten nonprofit rescue organizations offer adorable cats and dogs for adoption Saturday, October 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lake Placid’s Stuart Park. One of the last adopters at the 2016 event was Antonio Morales, above. The pair bonded quickly. Barktoberfest also welcomes families and their leashed pets for pet blessings, free nail clippings, a pet costume contest, photos, food, music and giveaways. Attendees receive a raffle ticket with the donation of dog or cat food. For more information, call (863) 441-0351 or visit www.facebook.com/barktoberfest.lakeplacid


October 7, Panama City

3rd annual Dazzle and Dine
Dine, dance and bid on silent and live auction items from 6 to 11 p.m. in The Holley Center on the Florida State University Panama City campus. Tickets are $60 per person, or $480 for a table. Proceeds benefit the Angel House Bereavement Center, a nonprofit organization that provides clinical grief counseling services in Bay and Gulf counties.
(850) 257-5036


October 7, Pensacola

Walk to End Alzheimer’s
Registration begins at 8 a.m. with the fundraising walk at 9:30 a.m. at Bayview Park.
www.act.alz.org; (850) 462-5410


October 7, Marathon

The Marathon Games Pentathlon
Join a five-event, Keys style Pentathlon featuring swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddling, driving frozen “golf” balls and a footrace. Proceeds support local nonprofits, including the Florida Keys SPCA. Up to five-person teams can register for the event, which starts at 8 a.m.
(305) 587-9830


October 7, Pensacola

5th annual Pensacola Mud Run
Traverse 5 miles and 20 obstacles, including rope walls, a military crawl, a river of mud, a giant mudslide, ice pits, dirt moguls, tires, a haystack climb and more in competitive, non-competitive and kids’ divisions, with teams of up to five people. Proceeds benefit Pathways for Change. The event begins at 7:30 a.m. at St. Matthew Baptist Church.
www.werunwild.com; (850) 435-9222


October 10, Key West

Autism Society of the Keys
Learn about resources available to your child from other families dealing with autism at 6:30 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, 2713 Flagler Ave.
autismsocietyofthekeys@gmail.com; (305) 942-5172


October 12-14, Panama City

Gulf Coast Bluegrass & Folk Music Festival
The fundraising event for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bay County draws bands from across the Southeast to Under the Oaks Park overlooking St. Andrews Bay. The festival includes craft and food vendors.
www.bayartsevents.com; (850) 763-2076


October 13, Lake Placid

Highlands County Audubon
Leave Lake Placid Tower at 7:30 a.m. or Quality Inn, 6525 US 27, North Sebring, at 8 a.m. to carpool to Lake Apopka Loop Trail for wildlife viewing. Bring lunch.
Roberta, (863) 599-0124


October 13-14, Panama City Beach

The event from 4 to 11 p.m. is staged at Aaron Bessant Park.


October 13-15, Pensacola

58th annual Greek Festival
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church hosts a celebration of Greek food, pastries, music and dancing from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Admission is free.
www.pensacolagreekfestival.com; (850) 433-2662


October 13-15, Panama City

Strummin’ Man Ukulele Festival
The inaugural event features workshops and concerts from 5 to 10 p.m. at St. Andrews Marina.


October 13-16, Key West

6th annual Stand-up Paddle Invitational 2017
Join a 2-mile paddleboard and beach obstacle course to support Special Olympics Florida Monroe County. This all-levels event features a loop-style course that offers a great view for spectators. The registration fee is $35.
www.specialolympicsflorida.org; (305) 923-0288


October 14, Pensacola

4th annual Bridge to Bridge 5K
Run from the base of the 3-mile Bay Bridge in Pensacola across the Bay Bridge into Gulf Breeze. A post-race party follows the 7:30 a.m. run.
www.werunwild.com; (850) 435-9222


October 15, Islamorada

50/20 Anniversary Celebration
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of World Wide Sportsman and the 20th year at its current location from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with historical exhibits, tributes to George Hommell Jr. and Billy Pate, kids’ events, live entertainment and complimentary food and drinks. Raffles benefit the Everglades Foundation. Admission is free.


October 18, Islamorada

Immerse Yourself
Mallory Fenn of the Florida Public Archeology Network speaks at a free presentation at 7 p.m. at the History of Diving Museum, MM 83. Museum exhibits are open late.
www.divingmuseum.org; (305) 664-9737


October 18-22, Key Largo

5th annual Humphrey Bogart Film Festival
See a rotating selection of Bogie classics and a group of movies celebrating the life and films of the man the American Film Institute named America’s greatest male screen legend. Hosted by the screen legend’s son, Stephen, the 2017 event celebrates the 75th anniversary of “Casablanca.”


October 19-29, Pensacola

Pensacola Interstate Fair
Check the daily schedule for events and times.
www.pensacolafair.com; (850) 944-4500


October 20-22, Florida Keys

Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing
Become an angler or improve your fishing skills in just one weekend, and reel in a fish like these ladies. The Florida Keys saltwater fishing university for Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing, a nonprofit organization, is Friday, October 20, through Sunday, October 22, at BPOE Elks, MM 92 bayside, Tavernier. Learn what to do before you have a fish on the line from the pros in a comfortable atmosphere, with one-on-one time. Registration includes networking receptions and fundraisers, classes, door prizes and hands-on skill practice. Men and teens are welcome. No equipment or experience is required. Optional fishing charters are Friday and Sunday out of Islamorada. For more information, call (954) 475-9068, email info@ladiesletsgofishing.com or visit www.ladiesletsgofishing.com.


October 21-22 and 28, Gulf Breeze

Boo at the Zoo
Designed for a younger audience, enjoy kid-friendly fun and Halloween entertainment from
10 a.m. to 4 p.m., including a trail of trick-or-treating stations. Kids and adults are encouraged to wear fun, not scary, costumes.
www.gulfbreezezoo.org; (850) 932-2229


October 25-29, Panama City Beach

Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally
Bikers from throughout the country enjoy scenic rides along the Emerald Coast, live entertainment and local cuisine.


October 26, Islamorada

“Haunted History: Robert the Doll Returns”
The Keys History and Discovery Center, MM 82, hosts a lecture at 6 p.m. Doors open at 5 p.m. The cost is $25 for non-museum members (free for members), and includes museum admission, light appetizers and a cash bar. Reservations are recommended.
www.keysdiscovery.com; (305) 922-2237


October 26, Key West

The Smallest Parade In the Universe
Entrants build tabletop-size floats no larger than 18 inches that bobble down a conveyor parade route and are later sold in auction. The 6 p.m. event at The Key West Theater benefits Monroe Association for ReMARCable Citizens—a charity supporting intellectually challenged adults.


October 28, Panama City Beach

Monarch Butterfly Tagging Festival
Join the citizen science project as beautiful butterflies are tagged at Conservation Park and sent on their journey south to Mexico. The free event is noon to 2 p.m.
(850) 233-5045; dcolby@pcbgov.com


October 30, Lake Placid

Highlands County Audubon
Leave Lake Placie Tower at 5 p.m. to carpool to Hickory Hammock Wildlife Management Area to see owls and possibly roast marshmallows over a campfire. Bring food and beverage.
Roberta, (863) 599-0124