Compiled by Adrienne Cutway, Orlando Sentinel
1:10 PM EDT, May 18, 2015
Check out festivals and events in May across the state.
This list is organized by region.
Central Florida (including Orlando, Kissimmee, Daytona Beach, Sanford, the Space Coast, Lakeland/Polk and Lake County)
May 1: Jazz Friday at Foosaner Museum of Art, Melbourne. Every first Friday of the month the Foosaner Museum of Art hosts Jazz Friday in their galleries. Expect great music from local favorites. 1463 Highland Avenue, Melbourne FL 32935. 321-674-8916. www.foosanerartmuseum.org
May 1-2: Smokin' Blues, Bikes and BBQ, St. Cloud. Florida BBQ Association sanctioned competition for both pros and backyard teams. Festivities include live blues entertainment, bike show, crafts, children's play area, BBQ vendors and much more. At St. Cloud Lakefront. Free admission. www.stcloudmainstreetflorida.org
May 1: First Saturday Jam, Barberville. On the first Saturday each month visit the Pioneer Settlement for entertainment and fun for the entire family. 9 a.m to 4 p.m. Includes informal music jams, free workshops, a chili cook-off, yard sale. 386-749-2959. www.pioneersettlement.org
May 2: Dancing on the Drive, Orlando. Street party in College Park neighborhood with dance instruction and vendors: 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; Along Edgewater Dr. Between Smith & Bryn Mawr Streets, Orlando; free. www.collegeparkpartnership.com
May 2-3: St. Johns River Festival of the Arts, Sanford. Art festival in downtown Sanford touting live demonstrations and audience participation opportunities. With a juried art show, food vendors, live acoustic music. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. 407-416-1779. stjohnsriverartfest.com
May 2-3: Jazz on the Vineyard Green, Clermont. Live jazz music, free tours and wine tasting, and food and beverages available for purchase. At Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday. $2 donation. 800-768-WINE. www.lakeridgewinery.com
May 3: Climb to the Moon, Ponce Inlet. Climb to the Moon at Ponce Inlet Lighthouse offers views of the sunset and moonrise from atop the lighthouse on May 3. The lighthouse keeper relates the story of this National Historic Landmark. Sparkling cider and hors d'oeuvres are provided by Inlet Harbor Restaurant. The lighthouse is at 4931 South Peninsula Drive. Participation is limited to 25 people and tickets ($25) must be purchased in advance by calling 386-761-1821 ext. 10. www.ponceinlet.org/climb-to-the-moon-tour
May 5: Cinco de Mayo Celebration, New Smyrna Beach. Begins at 5 p.m. Tuesday; Flagler Avenue, 100 Flagler Ave., New Smyrna Beach; free. www.nsbfla.com
May 8: Art and Music in the Park, Casselberry. Food trucks and entertainment: 6-9 p.m. Lake Concord Park, 95 Triplet Lake Drive, Casselberry; free; 407-262-7700. www.casselberry.org
May 8: Friday Family Fest, Melbourne. Held the second Friday of the month in Historic Downtown, it's a family-oriented event that includes art craft and business vendors, lots of great food, beer and wine, a children's activity. Highland Avenue, Melbourne FL 32922. Free. 321-724-1741. www.downtownmelbourne.com
May 9-10: Mayfaire-by-the-Lake, Lakeland. Begun as a crafts fair on the lawn of the Lakeland Public Library, this event has grown into one of Florida's premier outdoor art festivals. Held on Mother's Day weekend each year, Mayfaire is located on the shores of beautiful Lake Morton in the downtown area and is one of the largest and oldest outdoor art festivals in Central Florida. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Lake Morton Drive. Free. 863-688-7743 ext. 237. polkmuseumofart.org
May 11: Mother’s Day at the Gardens, Lake Wales. Don’t just give Mom flowers on her day, give her a garden. Bok Tower Gardens marks Mother’s Day with free admission to all Moms on May 10. Moms can enjoy walks along meandering garden paths and special Mother’s Day Carillon Concerts will be presented at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. www.boktowergardens.org
May 14: Alive After 5, Sanford. Monthly themed street party with vendors and entertainment: 5-8 p.m. Thursday; Downtown Sanford, 230 East First Street, Sanford; free admission; 407-302-2586. www.sanfordwelcomecenter.com
Weekends May 15 - June 14: Disney Star Wars Weekends, Lake Buena Vista. The Force is always with you as Walt Disney World Resort's Hollywood Studios Park sets the scene for an out of this world event: Star Wars Weekends. Held every weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) from May 15 through June 14. The event features celebrity autographs, shows and a nightly party with Wookies, Ewoks, Stormtroopers and other characters from the Star Wars series. Children ages 12 and under can hone their light saber skills at the Jedi Training Academy, while the whole family can enjoy the Star Tours -- The Adventure Continues attraction at the park. Star Wars Weekends festivities are included in the price of admission to the park ($97 for adults, $91 for children). There are various ticket plans including Florida resident discounts. Visit www.DisneyParks.com.
May 16: DeSoto County Watermelon Festival, Arcadia. Held annually in May, which is the height of watermelon harvesting season. Features a variety of pageants, contests, vendors and activities. At Veterans Park off Highway 70 West. Free admission. 9 am to 4 pm. www.arcadiamainstreet.com
May 16: Cruisin' Downtown DeLand Classic Car Show, DeLand. Every 3rd Saturday of the month. East Indiana Avenue in Downtown DeLand. Classic cars & rods line East Indiana Avenue in Downtown DeLand. Live DJ, giveaways, shopping & dining. 4-7 p.m. Free. 386-738-0649. www.MainStreetDeLand.org
Through May 17: Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, Lake Buena Vista. Spring special event filled with flowers, gardens, topiaries, live music and educational events. See millions of blooming flowers and a vibrant collection of specially themed topiaries. At Walt Disney World's EPCOT with admission. 407-939-5277. http://www.disneyworld.com/flower
May 22: Fourth Fridays Art Walk, Sanford. Central Florida's only monthly juried art show. With exhibits and music at participating venues. 6-9 p.m. Downtown Sanford, First Street, Sanford, FL, 32771. Free. 407-323-2774. www.sanfordartwalk.com
May 23: Wine and Art Walk on Flagler, New Smyrna Beach. Held on the fourth Saturday each month, Flagler Avenue livens up with entertainment and wine tastings at participating venues. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (wine walk 1 p.m.-7 p.m.). Free ($25 for wine walk or $20 with previous month's glass). Flagler Avenue, 100 Flagler Ave., New Smyrna Beach, FL, 32169. 386-428-1600. www.flaglergallerygroup.com
May 30: James Taylor CSN Tribute & Fireworks, Daytona Beach. The James Taylor CSN Tribute & Fireworks is a free program, part of Daytona Beach’s Bandshell Concert Series, on May 30. The program starts at 7:15 p.m. with fireworks over the Atlantic Ocean beginning at 9:45 p.m. For details, visit www.daytonabeach.com/includes/calendar-of-events/James-Taylor-CSN-Tributes-Fireworks/35302/.
Tampa Bay-Sarasota (including Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Sarasota, Anna Maria Island, Bradenton, Tarpon Springs and Homosassa)
May 2: Siesta Key Sand Sculpture Contest, Siesta Key. Bring your pail, shovel, sunglasses and creativity to Siesta Key Public Beach on for the Annual Siesta Key Sand Sculpture Contest. The contest, traditionally held the first Saturday of May, is held near the Pavilion on at Siesta Public Beach. Free and open to all ages of participation, the Siesta Sand Sculpture Contest also awards five cash prizes. www.escape-to-sarasota.com
May 2: 5th Annual Food and Wine on Pine, Anna Maria Island. Culinary event which features more than 25 independent area restaurants along with more than 30 wines, beers and craft beers. Add more than 30 artists and a juried art show, fun for the kids, folks in period costumes, live music, a fully loaded Kentucky Derby tent outfitted with Big Screen TV’s and more and you should have a great time. Pine Ave, Anna Maria Island, 11:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. Admission: $2. www.foodandwineonpine.com
May 8-9: Gator Nationals World Karate Championships, Tampa. Visitors can sit back and watch martial arts professionals kick, punch, knee and elbow their way into locks, throws and restraints. For ticket prices or further details, call 407-701-7030 or visit http://www.gn-wkc.com/.
May 8-9: Big Guava Music Festival, Tampa. Big Guava Music Festival features a lineup of artists at the Florida State Fairgrounds and MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on May 8-9. Tickets start at $55 on Friday and at $70 on Saturday. For information, visit www.bigguavafest.com.
May 8-10: John Levique Pirate Days, Madeira Beach. John Levique Pirate Days brings a boat parade, sea battle, family treasure hunt and other activities to the Johns Pass Village and Boardwalk on May 8-10. Other highlights of this, the 14th annual event, include adults’ and children’s costume contests. Admission is free; a donation of “a buck an ear” is requested. A portion of the proceeds is donated to charity. For information, visit www.johnleviquepiratedays.com.
May 9: Temple Terrace Craft BrewFest 2015, Temple Terrace. New this year, the Craft BrewFest will feature beers from Two Henrys Brewing Company and Bayshore Beer co plus food from local food trucks. Starts at 3 p.m. at Woodmont Park. www.templeterracebrewfest.com
May 9-10: Downtown Sarasota Craft Fair, Sarasota. More than 100 talented crafters display their wares, from baskets and homemade soaps to jewelry and much more. On Main Street downtown. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free. http://www.escape-to-sarasota.com/may-sarasota-events.html
May 14-16: Harvey Milk Festival, Sarasota. The 6th annual Harvey Milk Festival features a variety of music, art and film over three days. Downtown Sarasota at Five Points Park and various other venues. Admission is free to Five Points Park events. - See more at: www.escape-to-sarasota.com
May 23: Venice Brew Bash IV, Venice. More than 60 craft and imported beers along with live music, food trucks and local vendors. Samples of the beers are provided, not full bottles of beer. Must be 21 and older. Tickets: $30, $35 at the door, designated drivers no charge. 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. Miami Avenue, downtown Venice. www.venicebrewbash.com
May 23-24: Sunset Music Festival, Tampa. The Sunset Music Festival is an electronic dance music fest at the Raymond James Stadium North Lot on May 23-24. Various tickets and packages are offered. For information, visit www.smftampa.com.
May 31 - June 21: The Sarasota Music Festival, Sarasota. For three weeks you can enjoy the best up and coming young musicians from around the world along with chamber music, master classes and concerts. - See more at: www.sarasotaorchestra.org
Southwest Florida (including Naples, Fort Myers, Venice, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda)
May 3: 20th Annual Taste of the Beach, Fort Myers. More than 20 restaurants will participate along with live on-stage concerts. Restaurants will offer samples of their signature dishes available for purchase and compete for top Taste of the Beach Award honors in the categories of Best Appetizer, Best Desert, and four awards for Best Entrée. Gates open at 11:00 a.m. Food will be served until 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $5 each. Old San Carlos Blvd., Fort Myers Beach. tasteoffortmyersbeach.com
May 9: Turtle Trot 5K, Fort Myers. Time to dust off your running shoes? The Turtle Trot 5K Race invites runners, joggers and walkers alike to Lovers Key State Park to join in the fun on May 9. Participants will trek over a path along Black Island Trail, run up a 38-foot hill and cross two bridges as they race toward the finish line at the beach. Lovers Key State Park is at 8700 Estero Boulevard. Would-be participants can register on line at www.friendsofloverskey.org or stop by the park and pick up a paper registration form. Cost to participate is $25 for youths and $35 for adults; $40 the day of the race.
May 9: Great Dock Canoe Race, Naples. Wildly decorated canoes and costumed paddlers compete in this annual event in Naples Bay in front of The Dock restaurant at Naples City Dock. This year's event begins at 11 a.m. and the theme is "The Hunger Games." Free for spectators. There is an entry fee to compete. www.greatdockcanoerace.com
May 21: Downtown Gallery Walk, Punta Gorda. Held monthly on the third Thursday, 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Visit any of the downtown merchants, restaurants and galleries for your game card. As always, there will be live entertainment, food and drink samplings, art, beauty and health demonstrations, a free trolley, and an evening of fun. Free; free parking. 941-505-1915. www.puntagordashopping.com
May 24: Annual Watermelon Festival, Fort Myers. Watermelon eating and seed spitting contests are on the agenda during the Annual Watermelon Festival at Fleamasters Fleamarket on May 29-31. Highlights of the event include live entertainment on two stages and lots of fresh watermelon to sample. Admission is free. For details, visit www.fleamall.com/_pages/melon.html.
May 25: 4th Annual Myakka River Blues Festival, Venice. Ready for some blues? The 4th Annual Myakka River Blues Festival is taking place on Memorial Day. Details, time, bands are pending release. Snook Haven, 5000 E. Venice Avenue, Venice. myakkablues.com
South Florida and the Keys (including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Key Largo, Key West and the Treasure Coast)
Through May 3: SunFest, West Palm Beach. Florida's largest music, art and waterfront festival attracts nearly 300,000 fun-in-the-sun seekers with headliners in every music genre from rock to rap and hip-hop to blues. Admission. 561-659-5980. www.sunfest.com
May 3: Greynolds Park Annual Love-In, North Miami Beach. Miami-Dade Parks' annual 1960s-themed outdoor festival and concert. It features live music, a '60s costume contest, vintage VW bugs and a great time for the whole family. Greynolds Park. Admission $15 in advance, $20 at the door. 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. www.greynoldslovein.org
May 3: Suntrust Sunday Jazz Brunch, Fort Lauderdale. Live outdoor concert series bringing the area's best local jazz artists to the city's scenic Riverwalk the first Sunday of each month. Listen to the soulful sounds on four different stages. Everyone is welcome to attend, including well-behaved, leashed pets, and there is ample room to set up chairs, blankets and picnic baskets. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Free admission. 954-828-5363. www.fortlauderdale.gov
May 6-10: Key West Songwriters' Festival, Key West. The 19th annual showcase of musical magic features America's foremost performing songwriters, with concerts staged in intimate, audience-friendly island settings. 305-304-0814. www.keywestsongwritersfestival.com
May 14-17: Key Largo Original Music Festival, Key Largo. Multiple melodic happenings are to set the stage for music lovers during the annual festival, featuring live and original performances. Hit songwriters from Nashville and around the U.S. are expected to appear during the four-day festival on various intimate stages. Individual singers and bands, both locally and nationally acclaimed, participate in the musical celebration that includes pop, rock, blues, jazz and country. For more information, visit www.keylargosongwritersfestival.com.
May 14-17: Discovery Series, Miami Beach. Witness the emergence of the Next Great Generation of keyboard giants and brilliant prodigies in an intimate, non-competitive setting. Colony Theater. Admission details online. www.miamipianofest.com
May 15: Third Thursday Art Walk, Islamorada. The Morada Way Third Thursday Art Walk presents local fine arts, music and culinary specialties on May 15. The galleries of Morada Way are between Mile Markers 81 and 82. Event hours are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. For details, visit www.fla-keys.com.
May 15-16: 13th Annual Harry S. Truman Legacy Symposium, Key West. The Last Key sets the scene for the 13th Annual Harry S. Truman Legacy Symposium on May 15-16. Key West's political history is highlighted in panel discussions, a reception and tours of the Little White House where Truman spent many working vacations during his presidency. The 2015 topic is "America's Greatest Humanitarian Effort -- The Marshall Plan." Tickets are $125 per person including a reception on Friday, the conference, a snack and lunch on Saturday. For details, visit www.trumansymposium.com.
May 15-17: Sunshine State Games Spring Festival, Broward County. Rugby, figure skating, lacrosse and rugby will take place at Saveology Iceplex in Coral Springs. Entry fee and registration date information can be found at www.flasports.com
May 15-17: Redland International Orchid Show, Homestead. One of the largest annual orchid shows in the U.S. featuring more than 50 booths of educational exhibits and orchid vendors. An American Orchid Society judged event showcasing various types of orchids, plants and supplies for sale, as well as raffles, international food and lectures by experts. At Fruit and Spice Park. Admission is $10. 305-247-5727. www.fruitandspicepark.org
May 16: Battle in the Bay Dragon Boat Festival, Marathon. Don't miss this high-action event as High Five Dragon Boat arrives in Marathon for the only beach-launch boat race of its kind. Bring a team or come and watch as boats race along a 400-meter course parallel to Sombrero Beach. Finals begin around 2 p.m. Spectators free. 305-766-1053. www.battleinthebaydragonboat.com
May 16-17: KEYS100 Ultra-Marathon, Florida Keys. The Keys' annual KEYS100 Ultra-Marathon races are set for Saturday with racers navigating up to 40 bridges over the Atlantic Ocean, Florida Bay and Gulf of Mexico. Three competitions take racers along the island chain's Overseas Highway: a 100-mile individual race from Key Largo to Key West, a 50-mile individual race from Marathon to Key West and a 100-mile, six-runner team relay race from Key Largo to Key West. Close to 900 runners are expected to compete. The 100-mile team relay and individual races are to begin Saturday at 6 a.m. and 6:10 a.m., respectively, on the sidewalk near Mile Marker 100 at the Divers Direct and Office Depot shopping center ocean-side in Key Largo. The 50-mile challenge is to begin at 9:45 a.m. at Mile Marker 50 in front of the Marathon Garden Club. There are various fees to compete (proceeds benefit charity) but it is free to watch. Visit www.keys100.com.
May 16: Bunfest, Stuart. The Southeast Bunfest is all about bunnies and the people who love them on May 16. Sponsored by the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast, activities for all ages are planned and there will be a Critter Spa, Bunny Playground, bunny seminars and adoptable critters. Visitors are invited to bring their bunny if they have one. The event, at the Flagler Place, is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information, visit www.hstc1.org.
May 23-24: Downtown Delray Beach Craft Festival, Delray Beach. The Annual Downtown Delray Beach Craft Festival original handmade artwork at the Tennis Center on Atlantic Avenue on May 23-24. A Green Market offers gourmet sauces, handmade soaps, live orchids and more. Event hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Admission is free. For details, visit artfestival.com.
May 25: Palm Beach Jerk & Caribbean Culture Festival, West Palm Beach. The Palm Beach Jerk & Caribbean Culture Festival presents Caribbean music, food, crafts and children’s activities on May 25. The event, at the South Florida Fairgrounds, 9067 Southern Boulevard, is from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Advance admission is $25 (children under 12 are free). For details, visit www.palmbeachfl.com.
May 30: Jazz & Art On The Riverwalk, Jupiter. Smooth sounds and visual candy are part of Jazz & Art On The Riverwalk on May 30. Live music by jazz musicians and fine art and crafts are on tap. Admission is free. The event, at the Plaza Down Under on the Riverwalk, is from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. For information, log on to www.jupiter.fl.us/index.aspx?NID=1073.
Northeast Florida (including Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Flagler County and Amelia Island)
April 30-May 3: World of Nations Celebration, Jacksonville. Celebration of rich cultural traditions and unique heritage of people from around the world, where you can experience the cuisine, artistry and customs from lands near and far. At Metropolitan Park. Admission $5. 904-630-3690. www.makeascenedowntown.com/Events/World-of-Nations-Celebration.aspx
May 1-3: Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, Fernandina Beach. The Pirate Parade is the kick-off event for the annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival. Includes stage performances, putt putt tournament, blessing of the fleet, best decorated boat contest and more. In downtown area. www.shrimpfestival.com
May 1-3: Gamble Rogers Folk Festival, St. Augustine. This annual event celebrates the best in folk and Americana for three days with music, stories and dance that made Gamble Rogers famous. On Friday, during the Old City’s First Friday Art Walk downtown St. Augustine galleries will host festival performers. A stage will be set up at the city marina at the base of the Bridge of Lions, and on Saturday and Sunday performers will take the stage at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre located at 1340 A1A South. A variety of tickets, packages and passes is available. 904-794-4163. www.gamblerogersfest.org
May 5-10: The Players Championship, Ponte Vedra Beach. One of golf's biggest events played annually at Northeast Florida's stunning Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Tournament begins on Tuesday with practice rounds. Thursday, Round 1 of tournament play begins leading up to the big finish on Sunday to see who will take home the crystal trophy. Events, including The Players Downtown Experience, are scheduled throughout the region. Admission, parking fees. 904-543-7446. http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/the-players-championship.html
May 8-17: Romanza Festivale Week, St. Augustine. A celebration of art and music in the Old City featuring more than 50 productions and presentations by more than 30 organizations. Daily events include music and dance performances, concerts, art shows, dramatic productions and more at locations throughout the city. Many of the events are free; admission is required for others and prices vary. www.Romanzafestivale.com
May 15-17: Wild Amelia Nature Festival, Amelia Island. Educates residents and visitors about the bioregion, and encourages stewardship of the area's natural resources. Started by a group of residents who realized that Amelia Island's unique position of being almost surrounded by State and National Parks made it the perfect place for a nature festival. Includes kids activities, live music and more. Wide variety of tours and outings offered, ranging in price. www.wildamelia.com
May 16: Bostwick Blueberry Festival, Bostwick. Berry fanciers may wish to check out the Bostwick Blueberry Festival on May 16. Held at the Bostwick Community Center, 125 Tillman Street, the fest serves up a blueberry pancake breakfast, blueberry ice cream, homemade blueberry pies and other goodies as well as free entertainment and arts and crafts. Event hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (breakfast served from 8 a.m. to noon). For information, visit www.bostwickblueberryfestival.com.
May 21-24: Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Jacksonville. Jazz performances in the heart of downtown Jacksonville. This year it is a street festival featuring a jazz club atmosphere with multiple stages of entertainment, Art in the Heart Downtown juried art show and sale, children's educational activities and more. In downtown Jacksonville on West Duval Street. Free admission; smaller ticketed events. 904-630-3690. www.makeascenedowntown.com
May 22-25: Blue Crab Festival, Palatka. Florida's largest Memorial Day celebration. Includes Memorial Day Parade, seafood cook-off, live entertainment, helicopter and airboat rides, arts and crafts, antiques, and more. Downtown. Free admission. 386-983-9772. www.bluecrabfestival.com
May 25: Memorial Day Ceremony, St. Augustine. The Ancient City Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America and the Florida National Guard will host the annual Memorial Day Ceremony at the National Cemetery on 104 Marine Street, south of the St. Francis Barracks, beginning at 10 a.m. on May 25. At the conclusion of the ceremony, attendees are invited to proceed to the Central Plaza for a brief ceremony to dedicate the addition of two bronze plaques to the Pilots Club War Memorial. These plaques contain the names of those from St. Johns County who gave their lives serving their country in Iraq and Afghanistan. For details, visit www.floridashistoriccoast.com/listings/view/24378.
North-Central Florida (including Ocala, Gainesville and Tallahassee)
Through May 2: Suwannee River Jam, Live Oak: The Suwannee River Jam at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park presents a lineup of headliners including Alabama, Josh Turner and Rodney Atkins. A variety of tickets is offered with Saturday tickets costing $50. The Suwannee Music Park is at 3076 95th Drive. For information, visit www.suwanneeriverjam.com.
May 9: Windsor Zucchini Festival, Windsor. For the past several decades, the folks in Windsor celebrate the zucchini with a zucchini contest, zucchini carving a Duke of Zuke & Zuqueenie Pageant and even zucchini ice cream. festivalnet.com
May 14-26: Capital Cuisine Restaurant Week & Concert Series, Tallahassee. Our state capital presents the Capital Cuisine Restaurant Week & Concert Series celebrating the diverse selection of dining and the city’s growing reputation as a culinary destination, on May 14-26. The event, which this year also includes music, allows patrons to explore the tastes of the area’s most popular eateries. Participating restaurants offer prix fixe menus featuring two and three-course meals for lunch and dinner. For details, log on to www.visittallahassee.com.
May 16: Newberry Watermelon Festival, Newberry. Some of the favorite festival activities started many years ago and still continue today, including contests for watermelon eating, seed spitting, hog calling, pie/cake baking, and of course the "Big Melon." Melons are from local growers and are provided free to festival goers. At the future site of Destiny Community Church. www.newberrywatermelonfestival.com
May 16: Tupelo Honey Festival, Wewahitchka. Honey is a local delicacy in Wewahitchka, and one day a year people come from all over the world to sample the sweet nectar. Festival runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. www.tupelohoneyfestival.com/
May 20: Emancipation Day Celebration, Tallahassee. The Knott House and John G. Riley House Museum annually commemorate the declaration of the Emancipation Proclamation during the Emancipation Day Celebration in Tallahassee. The 150th anniversary of the event, on May 20, features a live reenactment of the reading at the Knott House, complimentary lunch on the lawn, period music, speeches and costumed entrepreneurs. Admission is free. The Knott House Museum is at 301 East Park Avenue. For details, log on to www.VisitTallahassee.com.
The Panhandle (including Pensacola, Panama City Beach, Apalachicola and Destin)
May 1-2: Spring Tour of Historic Homes, Apalachicola. Don't miss the 23rd Annual Trinity Episcopal Church Historic Apalachicola Home and Garden Tour. Many of Apalachicola's private homes and buildings can only be viewed from the exterior except on this day. For a $20 donation you can take a guided tour through architecturally and historically significant homes, churches and commercial buildings. Homes are open to visitors on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 850-653-9550. www.apalachicolahistorichometour.org
May 1-3: 31st Annual Pensacola Crawfish Festival, Pensacola. The bayou meets the beach at this gigantic mud bugs boil featuring Cajun and Zydeco music, dancing, crafts and games, crawfish races, crawfish eating contest and a complete range of foods from boiled crawfish to crawfish pies and poboys. 850-433-6512. www.fiestaoffiveflags.org/
Through May 3: Thunder Beach Spring Rally, Panama City Beach. One of the fastest growing motorcycle rallies in the Southeast. Held twice yearly, the first weekend in May and October, to share stories, see great bands and live entertainment, find the hottest custom motorcycles and motorcycle accessories available, and experience a scenic ride on "The World's Most Beautiful Beaches." All activities are free. www.thunderbeachproductions.com
May 22-24: Florida Folk Festival, White Springs. On Memorial Day Weekend the Stephen Foster Folk Cultural Center State Park in the little hamlet of White Springs abounds with the sounds and sights of Florida's finest music, dance and stories. The Florida Folk Festival presents the roots of Florida's many cultures as performers gather from little towns and large cities. One of the oldest state folk festivals in America, the event now brings 30,000 concert-goers to the festival site each year to hear more than 300 performances on multiple stages. 877-635-3655. Admission. www.floridastateparks.org/folkfest/
May 24-26: Memorial Day, Pensacola Beach. Head to Pensacola Beach May 24-28 and experience a Memorial Day Weekend party unlike ever before. Celebrate your pride with more than 60,000 guests from across the country with four days of live entertainment, contests, boat parties, beach house celebrations, costumes and much more, extending the beautiful sugar-white sands of Pensacola Beach. For details, visit www.visitpensacola.com.
Correspondent Georgina Cruz contributed to this report.
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