Florida Hotel Reservations
Local happenings all across Florida
Local or visitor? Check out just a few of the popular events going on for the next few months in Florida. Find Best Western hotels convenient to most events.
Tampa & West Central Florida Events
Tampa's Downtown on Ice
Wear your shorts and go ice skating. The city of Tampa's only skating rink is open to everyone all week long. Hours vary. 90 minutes of skating includes skate rental.
Gasparilla Pirate Fest
The world's only fully-rigged pirate ship, the "Jose Gasparilla", makes its annual pilgrammage to Tampa Bay and gathers its flotilla to "sack" the city of Tampa. Cannon volleys and a storming of the Tampa Convention Center at 1 pm are highlights alongside brunch, a parade, and street festival. Event starts downtown at 10 am.
Florida Manatee Festival
Downtown Crystal River celebrates its most famous marine resident, the manatee. Experience fine art, a craft fair, activities for the kids, beer garden, and boat tours to see the manatees. Festival begins 9 am on both days.
Dunedin hosts its annual Mardi Gras parade, where the music begins early and keeps going till closing time. 30,000 people will line the streets for the parade and bead tossing, which starts at 7:30pm at the Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
26th Annual Downtown Sarasota Festival of the Arts
Sarasota's biggest event is held along Main Street in downtown Sarasota. There, you can meet some of the nation's best artist and their work all while strolling downtown's quaint shops and cafes. Festival starts at 10 am and ends at 5 pm. Free admission.
American Invintational & Winter Equestrian Festival
Some of the world's finest riders jump for this event. One of the most respected equestrian events in the country, Tampa's Winter Equestrian Festival caps off with the American Invitational, a world class jumping competition, at Raymond James Stadium. Other events take place at Bob Thomas Equestrian Center.
Attracting thousands of creative fun seekers and featuring more than 140 arts & crafts vendors, Weeki Wachee's Swamp Fest is fun for the whole family. Delicious local food, entertainment, carnival and a "swamp monster" contest encourage attendants to dress their craziest for prizes. The carnival starts Thursday at 4 pm and the festival the next day at 9 am. Event takes place at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.
Friday Extra Concert Series
Occurring every Friday for eight weeks, Tampa's waterfront plays a soundtrack of its own. Local musicians hit the stage and entertain starting at 7 pm. Park venues vary.
Sun 'n Fun Fly-In & Expo
The 40th Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In and Expo offers something for everyone. Pilots and aviation enthusiast alike attend this festival for its famous air show, teachers workshop, and forums on everything aviation. Fly-in or drive-in to Lakeland Linder Regional Airport.
South Florida & the Keys Events
Holiday Photos with a Dolphin
Make sure to bring your own Santa hats when posing for this unique opportunity. Visitors at the Dolphin Research Center in Key West can meet the dolphins, give them a back rub, share a "flippershake", and capture the memory with high quality photography. Pictures can be taken on a walk-in basis.
Christmas Boat Parade
Viewing spots are plentiful for the bright lights of Key Harbor's Annual Christmas Boat Parade. Try to guess which boat's dazzling decorations will win the grand prize when the parade starts at 6 P.M.
Art Deco Week-end
South Beach's famous Art Deco waterfront becomes the focus of this celebratory week-end. Over 400,000 people are expected to attend this landmark event preserving Miami's history. Join the fun down on Miami Beach's Ocean Drive.
Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival
Miami hosts America's most prestigious gourmet gathering, where famous faces from the Food Network conduct wine tastings, gourmet dinners, seminars, and cooking demonstrations. The fun starts at around 3:00 P.M. in Miami's South Beach.
Miami International Boat Show
The Miami International Boat Show's huge size allows visitors to brush up on the latest in the boating scene. Sailboats, yachts, powerboats, and fishing boats line up the Miami Convention Center, Sea Isle Marina, and Miamarina at Bayside, starting at 10 A.M.
Florida Renaissance Festival
Held over six weekends, the Florida Renaissance Festival graces Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach. The fun starts at 10 A.M.
Outdoor Juried Art Festival
Enjoy both good weather and high caliber fine art at Boca Raton's Outdoor Juried Art Festival. Considered one of the prestigious art shows in the country, audiences are given the chance to be knowledgeable and thoughtful. On-site judges will be on hand. Event starts at 10 A.M. in Mizner Park.
Key West Fishing Tournament
Key West's legendary fishing competition kicks off in April with a competition worth $5,000 in cash prizes. Exciting fishing then takes over as the seven month competition gets underway. All entries and ages are welcome to participate.
East Central Florida Events
5th Annual Festival Italiano
Downtown Fort Pierce hosts this festival covering all of your favorite Italian specialties. Food, drink, music, and arts & crafts are all provided. Admission is free. Join the fun at 5 pm on Friday, 3 pm on Saturday, and noon on Sunday.
Pelican Island Wildlife Festival
Wildlife lovers will love this event cerebrating the 110th birthday of the Pelican Island Wildlife Refuge. Live wildlife shows, Pelican Island tours, and exhibitions are highlights. Event is held at Riverview Park in Sebastian.
TICO Warbird AirShow
In 2014, Titusville's TICO Warbird AirShow hosts its first ever night show. In addition to acrobatic stunts from famous trainer, transport, fighter, and bomber aircraft, the air show will feature fireworks, static aircraft displays, firepower demonstrations, and helicopter rides. The show takes place at Space Coast Regional Airport. Gates open at 2:00 pm for the Friday night air show, and at 8:30 am for Saturday and Sunday's daytime shows.
73rd Annual Bike Week
Over 500,000 riders are expected to turn out for the country's most prestigious motorcycle event. All week long, bikers will race and attend parties, concerts and street parades honoring the motorcycling state of mind. Events occur all across town.
Easter Beach Run
Race like the Easter Bunny on one of the world's most famous beaches. This popular fun race runs at low tide across and back Daytona Beach. All ages and teams welcome for this 4 mile race. 2 mile race and kids' races are also held. Show up at 2 pm at the Daytona Beach Pier area to start racing.
Southwest Florida Gulf Coast Events
Thunder By The Bay
Ride on in the spirit of patriotism and to support local charities. The Thunder By The Bay Motorcycle Run is expected to attract over 90,000 people in an eclectic show of cheering on motorcyclists, musical shows, and activities. Pre-run events start on Jan 9 while the main draw happens on Jan. 12 at South Palm Ave.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Event
Fun for the entire family, the self proclaimed "Greatest Show on Earth" stops by to dazzle audiences in the Fort Walton-Naples area. Show starts at 5:00 P.M. at Estero's Germain Arena.
Jacksonville & Northeast Florida Events
Wooden Boatbuilding Demonstrations
Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, volunteers the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum engage audience with traditional boat building techniques. Admire past technology and gain appreciation for the handiness of wood. The Boatworks are open from 9 A.M. to 12 P.M inside the museum.
St. Augustine Night of Lights
Arguably the holiday light capital of the country, St. Augustine's holiday cheer is hard to beat. Reflecting its Spanish roots of leaving a white candle in the window Christmas season, St. Augustine's amplifies tradition into a dazzling display of craft and holiday magic. Be there for the kick off ceremony Nov. 23 at 6:30 P.M. at the Plaza de la Constitucion.
Annual Cathedral Festival
Festival rides, games, baked goods, tents, bingo, and food await the visitor to the Annual Cathedral Festival located at the Mission of Nombre De Dios in St. Augustine. Festival starts at 5 P.M. on Friday, noon on week-ends.
Jacksonville Jazz Festival
Stay in Jacksonville and experience one of the country's premier jazz festivals. Music starts at 2 P.M. and it keeps up on playing till long after dark. Occurring parallel to piano competitions and art in the heart of downtown, visitors are sure to leave Jacksonville jazzed up.
World Arts Film Festival
Jacksonville's World Arts Film Festival supports the vision and creativity of artists and filmmakers of all ages expressed through the power of short film. In addition to film showings, viewers can participate in workshops and attend panels. The festival takes place at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
World of Nations Celebration
Jacksonville reveals its melting pot colors with the traditional World of Nations Celebration. Take the time to broaden your perspective on culture, food, and traditions. Music and entertainment provided. Perspectives are changed at Metropolitan Park.
Tallahassee & Northcentral Florida Events
Hoggetown Medieval Faire
The Alachua County Fairgrounds near Gainesville become the old time marketplace of the Hoggetown Medieval Faire. Held on two week-ends, this bustling crowd of street performers, knights, actors, and lute musicians are sure to offer a jousting good time. Festival is held on Jan. 25-26 and Jan. 31-Feb. 2.
M.L.K. Dare to Dream Festival
Enjoy this cultural bash and parade celebrating the vision and inspiration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on his birthday. Activities are plentiful for the kids and the historian alike. Celebration lasts from 12:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. on Kleman Plaza.
Columbia County Doxie Derby
Fun for the whole family, the Columbia County Doxie Derby lets Daschund and Daschund mixes participate in races, costume contests, and other events. Spectators can enjoy the races, visit rescues, and enjoy the vendor and food booths. Event will be held at the Columbia County Fairground in Lake City from 8:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M.
Bradford County Fair
Rides, more rides, fun events, and everything you would want in a fair comes to Bradford County. Gates open at 5 P.M. on week-days and around noon - 1 P.M. on week-ends. Fair is located in Starke at the Bradford County Fairgrounds.
You can everything and anything that has to do with watermelons in this one day festival. Seed-spitting contests, weighing contest, tour de melon bicycle event and watermelon donations are all part of Chiefland's great mid-summer extravaganza. The event starts in downtown Chiefland at 8 A.M.
Orlando & Central Florida Events
The Red Christmas Barn at Green Meadows
Nostalgic holiday cheer can be found at Green Meadows Petting Farm in Kissimmee. The Red Christmas Barn features a treasure trove of toys from fond childhood memories and adorable woodland critters. Don't forget about the gift from Santa's bag for the kids.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
The world famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus rivals Walt Disney World as the greatest show in Orlando for four days. The acts start to fly at the Amway Center. Show times vary between 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm.
Fans of comic books, sci-fi, anime, fantasy and gaming mark their calendars to catch up on the latest with the Orlando MegaCon. Exhibits are held at the Orange County Convention Center North/South Buildings in Halls SA and SB. Gates open at 1:00 pm on Friday and at 10:00 am on Saturday and Sunday.
Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival
About 1,100 artists will participate in Winter Park's Sidewalk Art Festival. Join one of the 350,000 visitors and admire craftsmanship ranging from clay, digital art, fiber, glass, drawing, graphics, painting, photography, leather, metal, sculpture, wood, and more. Festival hours are from 9 am to 5 or 6 pm at Central Park.
Orlando Cabaret Festival
Over 40 cabaret events are scheduled to perform at Orlando's Mad Cow Theater. Featuring the best of Central Florida's cabaret singers and a few surprises from New York City, this show is set to thrill. Opening night starts at 6:30 pm.
Zora! Festival 2014
The Zora! Festival celebrates the life and work of Zora Neale Hurston and her contribution to culture and humanities. Boasting an impressive roster of artists, entertainment, exhibitions, and public panels, this cultural tour de force is held in Hurston's home town of Eatonville. Embrace another side of culture.
Ocala Slow Art Day
Challenge your perception of art. Ocala's Slow Art Day encourages you to do just that. Pick five pieces of art, experience and examine every layer, and then discuss with your hosts and other participants. Attend at the Appleton Museum of Art, starting at 11 am.
2014 Sanford Fourth of July Celebration
Witness one of the largest firework shows in Central Florida from historic downtown Sanford. Stroll along the brand new RiverWalk overlooking Lake Monroe and celebrate Sanford's great Fourth of July extravaganza. Come down to Fort Mellon Park and Lake Monroe at 5 pm.
Pensacola & the Florida Panhandle Events
New Year's Eve Beach Ball Drop
Times Square has nothing on Panama City's New Year's Eve. Celebrate the new year on the beach with the Family Beach Ball Drop's 10,000 inflatable beach balls before ringing it in with the big glowing 800 Pound Beach Ball Drop. Festivities start at 5:30 P.M.in Pier Park.
Sandestin Gumbo Festival
The area's best chefs compete for your attention as you stroll the streets of The Village of Baytowne Wharf. Sample gumbo at your pleasure in this week-end filled with music and entertainment. Swing by from 12 P.M. to 4 P.M.
Florida's Forgotten Coast Plein Air Invitational
Witness the artists at work as plein air artists descend upon Florida's Forgotten Coast to capture the allure of the sea and of the landscape. Exhibitions, on location artists, and sales will be shown across towns on the coast, from Mexico Beach to Carrabelle and Apalachicola.
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