by Megan Massion | June 3, 2019

What To Do in Florida This Summer: The Tide

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NORTH FLORIDA


Jumbo Shrimp on their homestead, the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
Jumbo Shrimp on their homestead, the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Photography by Edwine Pierre Louis

JACKSONVILLE JUMBO SHRIMP GAMES

JACKSONVILLE
APRIL 4—SEPT. 2

Hungry for baseball? Join Minor League Baseball’s crustacean nation and root for the Jumbo Shrimp at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Nearly every home game unfolds with a fun-loving theme or promotion. Roll your windows down and cruise into the stadium to experience the world’s largest drive-thru in honor of National Drive Thru Day, bust out your chopsticks for the 4,000th anniversary of ramen noodles or pay homage to Florida Man by breaking a weird Florida law each inning of the game. Other themed game nights throughout the season include Canines and Crustaceans Dog Days, where pups accompany their owners, and a Say Yes to the Dress night in which fans race across the field wearing wedding gowns. Wash down your cocktail sauce with dollar beers on Thirsty Thursdays, enjoy postgame fireworks on Fridays and take home free swag on Saturdays. Don’t leave without snapping a photo with the team’s mascot, Scampi. milb.com/jacksonville


SCALLOP SEASON

North Florida Gulf Coast
June 15–SEPT. 24

Dive for Florida “Easter eggs” (aka Florida bay scallops) in the grass flats of the Fenholloway River, Suwannee River or Steinhatchee River. To collect your daily limit (2 gallons whole scallops in the shell per person), all you need is a fishing license, a snorkel and a dive flag. Season dates vary by county. myfwc.com


EMERALD COAST BLUE MARLIN CLASSIC

Miramar Beach
June 19–23

This fishing tournament awards $2 million in prizes to anglers who catch the heaviest blue marlin. Festivities include exciting weigh-ins, live entertainment, food and fireworks at Baytowne Marina.
fishecbc.com


SEASIDE STARS AND STRIPES 

Seaside
July 3–4

Celebrate America to the soundtrack of the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra on July 3 followed by the annual Independence Day parade, a concert by The Victory Belles and fireworks over the Gulf of Mexico on the Fourth. sowal.com 


Close-up shot of The Blue Angels Demonstration Squadron flying in a delta formation over Pensacola Beach.
The Blue Angels Demonstration Squadron fly in a delta formation over Pensacola Beach. Photography courtesy U.S. Navy

PENSACOLA BEACH AIR SHOW

Pensacola
July 13

The Blue Angels showcase six F-18 Super Hornets in a 45-minute aerobatic routine over the Gulf. Other performances include stunt planes, vintage World War II Stearmans and a helicopter demonstration. visitpensacola.com


SWAMP STOMP

Tallahassee
July 13

This Americana music festival unfolds under a canopy of oak trees at the Tallahassee Museum. A signature event for the Big Bend region, the concert brings together folk, blues and acoustic musicians. tallahasseemuseum.org


GREATER JACKSONVILLE KINGFISH TOURNAMENT

Jacksonville
July 15–20

Land the largest kingfish for a chance to win bragging rights and cash prizes. This annual event includes entertainment, a junior offshore tournament and a redfish tournament. kingfishtournament.com


Frank Brown Park lit up with stages and filled up with crowds at the Gulf Coast Jam.
Frank Brown Park lights up and comes alive for this icon filled festival. Photography by PCB Entertainment

GULF COAST JAM

Panama City
AUG. 30–SEPT. 1

Country legends Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean and Kid Rock headline this music festival at Frank Brown Park over Labor Day weekend. A portion of proceeds from every ticket sold will benefit Hurricane Michael relief for the Panhandle. gulfcoastjam.com


CENTRAL FLORIDA


Amer Kobašlija, Lowe’s Tubes (detail), 2018, oil on Mylarmounted on panel. Depicts a barren tree covered in string, rope, and inter tube floats of many colors and shapes.
Amer Kobašlija, Lowe’s Tubes (detail), 2018, oil on Mylarmounted on panel, 96×118 in. (triptych,) © Amer Kobašlija

FLORIDA PRIZE CONTEMPORARY ART EXHIBITION

Orlando
May 31–AUG. 18

The Orlando Museum of Art lauds 10 of the most progressive visual artists working in the state in a showcase of installations that embody Florida’s vibrant culture through various mediums including sculpture, painting and photography. The annual exhibition, now in its sixth year, features both
up-and-coming and established artists, and the winner receives a $20,000 prize. This year’s finalists are Amer Kobaslija (whose work Lowe’s Tubes, Ichetucknee is pictured above), Robert Aiosa, Joe Fig, Lilian Garcia-Roig, Lola Gomez, Pepe Mar, Anja Marais, Edison Peñafiel, Vickie Pierre and Sri Prabha. Each artist will be represented by a recent or site-specific body of work that best reflects their overall vision, style and methods. The Florida Prize winner will be announced at the opening night preview party on May 31. Local chefs will contribute culinary creations with dishes inspired by the Florida Prize contenders’ works during the VIP hour from 6 to 7 p.m. omart.org


OLD SALT LADIES FISHING TOURNAMENT

Madeira Beach
June 20 and 22

Ladies compete for cash prizes and the Master Angler title, casting for red grouper, gag grouper, snapper, kingfish, sea trout, redfish, snook, flounder and sheepshead. oldsaltfishing.org


MASCOT GAMES

Orlando
June 21–22

About 30 MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL and Arena Football League mascots face off in gladiator style games. Fans mingle and take pictures with their favorite furry cheerleaders. Proceeds will benefit New Hope for Kids. mascotgames.org


ST. PETE PRIDE WEEK

St. Petersburg
June 21–23

Celebrate the LGBTQ community at one of the state’s largest pride events, featuring the SP2 concert, a parade along downtown St. Pete’s Bayshore Drive and a festival covering Central Avenue’s Grand Central District. stpetepride.com


BODY MIND AND SPIRIT EXPO

TAMPA
June 22–23

Become more mindful while learning about holistic medicine and alternative healing through experiences such as guided meditations and seminars about crystal healing, the science behind yoga and the benefits of CBD extract. bmse.net


Bird's-Eye view of Florida's historic Stetson Mansion. An updated modern home that still has obvious roots in the past.
Bird’s-Eye view of Florida’s historic Stetson Mansion. Photography courtesy Visit West Volusia County

STETSON LEGACY WEEK

DeLand
July 13–20

Tip a hat to John B. Stetson, also known as Florida’s first “snowbird.”  Family heirlooms and films of the famous hatmaker will be on display at the Stetson Mansion. visitwestvolusia.com


Astronaut Ed Aldrin poses for a photo beside the U.S. flag that has been placed on the moon at Tranquility Base during the Apollo 11 Mission.
Astronaut Ed Aldrin poses for a photo beside the U.S. flag that has been placed on the moon at Tranquility Base during the Apollo 11 Mission. Photography courtesy NASA

APOLLO 11 HISTORIC LAUNCH FLASHBACK, 50 YEARS LATER

Merritt Island
July 16

The Kennedy Space Center commemorates the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission by recreating the groundbreaking launch, which carried astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins on a mission to the moon. Other events like the One Giant Leap Celebration and the Welcome Home Apollo 11 Celebration will take place throughout the following days. kennedyspacecenter.com


Group of laughing people stomping on grapes to make homemade wine.
The stomping line; Photography courtesy Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards

HARVEST GRAPE STOMP

CLERMONT
AUG. 17–18

As they gear up for this year’s harvest, Lakeridge Winery prepares to celebrate the grape stomp tradition dating back 25 years. Take off your shoes and compete for prizes by stomping vats of fine-ripened grapes—and, of course, imbibe the latest vintage. lakeridgewinery.com


SOUTH FLORIDA


Group of people all dressed up as Ernest Hemmingway reenact a scene from his novel "The Sun Also Rises". They hold signs and wooden bulls.
The whimsical take-off on the famed run in Pamplona, Spain, is a facet of the island city’s annual Hemingway Days festival. Photography by Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau

HEMINGWAY DAYS

Key West
July 16–21

Only in Key West will you find hundreds of rotund white men with white hair and white beards parading down Duval Street in cable-knit sweaters, riding wooden cattle for a chance to win a bust of their hero, Ernest Hemingway, and be crowned the festival’s Papa. Hemingway enthusiasts descend on the famed Sloppy Joe’s Bar for the annual look-alike contest. There’s a running of the bulls reenactment in honor of the late author’s novel The Sun Also Rises. Other events include poetry readings, symposium presentations, a film screening, running and paddleboard races and a street fair. Hemingway lived in Key West during the 1930s, and the home in which he wrote Death in the Afternoon and To Have and Have Not stands today as a museum on Whitehead Street. This six-day extravaganza takes place during Hemingway’s birthday week and culminates with a party on the author’s birthday, July 21. fla-keys.com


Group of smiling young people holding instruments posing in and around a vintage goldenrod yellow Volkswagen Beetle. Sarasota's waterways and a bridge are pictures in the background.
The young rising stars of the Sarasota Music Festival; Photography courtesy the Sarasota Orchestra

SARASOTA MUSIC FESTIVAL

Sarasota
June 1–22

The three-week classical music celebration is marked by performances from the world’s best professional and student musicians. Classical violin, cello and piano players preform alongside acts like the Pacifica Quartet and the Montrose Trio. sarasotaorchestra.org


VERO BEACH WINE AND FILM FESTIVAL

Vero Beach
June 6–9

There’s something to sip and see for everyone, with screenings of more than 75 independent films by some of the industry’s most lauded directors and food by celebrity chef Norman Van Aken. vbwff.com


Sherri Shepherd, Judy Reyes, Karrueche Tran and Executive Producer Janine Sherman Barrios at spotlight screening of the premiere episode of Turner's new series Claws.
Sherri Shepherd, Judy Reyes, Karrueche Tran and Executive Producer Janine Sherman Barrios at spotlight screening of the premiere episode of Turner’s new series Claws. Photography America Black Film Festival

AMERICAN BALCK FILM FESTIVAL

Miami Beach
June 12–16

Thousands of filmgoers convene for one of the nation’s largest black film and television events, known for premiering early work of A-listers like Kevin Hart. See screenings, hear celebrity talks and attend parties. abff.com


KEY LIME FESTIVAL

Key West
July 4–7

Defy gravity at the key lime pie drop, throw back beverages at the key lime cocktail sip and stroll, and devour an entire 9-inch dessert at the World Key Lime Pie Eating Championship. keylimefestival.com


Appearing to be flying, a green sponsored powerboat racer speeds along the water.
Nearly flying, a powerboat racer speeds along the water. Photography courtesy Sarasota Powerboat Festival

SARASOTA POWERBOAT FESTIVAL

Sarasota
July 5–7

Rub fenders with the who’s who of powerboat racing from around the world at the Boats on Main block party. Then watch more than 30 teams race at speeds exceeding 100 mph in the waters off Lido Beach.  sarasotapowerboatgrandprix.org


Baskets of mangoes and fruit with their variation labels.
Baskets of tropical fruit and rare mango varieties on display. Photography courtesy of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

MANGO AND TROPICAL FRUIT FESTIVAL

Coral Gables
July 13–14

Go fruity for hundreds of rare tropical mango species. See the world’s largest mango and tropical fruit collections. Enjoy mango tasting and cooking workshops or buy a fruit tree to take home. fairchildgarden.org


HEMINGWAY 5K SUNSET RUN & PADDLEBOARD RACE

Key West
July 20

Honor Ernest Hemingway’s athletic side by standup paddling or running from Key West’s Southernmost Point all around the historic city. Each race concludes, and rightly so, with awards and libations. keywesthalfmarathon.com


Two ballet dancers are in a pas de deux, One is in arabesque and the other is golding her up. They are dressed in decorative ballet costumes.
Two dancers from the Ballet Manilla Philippines perform Tchaikovsky’s Arabian Dance. Photography by Simon Soong

INTERNATIONAL BALLET FESTIVAL

MIAMI BEACH
July 27–AUG. 18

The world’s most prestigious ballet companies and dancers convene for three weeks of galas featuring young artists, contemporary dance companies, and classical and neo-classical ballet performances. internationalballetfestival.org


JUPITER MEDICAL CENTER LOGGERHEAD TRIATHLON

Jupiter
AUG. 3

Swim 0.375 miles in the ocean, bike 13 miles and run 3.1 miles along the ocean in one of the state’s longest-running triathlons. More than 600 athletes make the pilgrimage to Jupiter in what has become a must-do event in the Southeast. pbnchamber.com


KEY WEST LOBSTERFEST

Key West
AUG. 8–11

Bring a bib and dig into sweet and tender Florida lobster, served boiled or steamed at the iconic street fair. Other activities include a Reef & Rita’s snorkel trip and First Flight Island Restaurant & Brewery’s lobster brunch.  keywestlobsterfest.com