Check out festivals and events in November 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)
Nov. 1-2: The Fall Fiesta in the Park, Orlando. The Fall Fiesta in the Park, held at Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando features more than 600 juried artisans on Nov. 1-2. Various media, including ceramics, glassware, jewelry, photography, wood and clothing will be represented. Live entertainment is also on the agenda and the fiesta offers an array of food available for purchase. Admission is free. For details, visit www.fiestainthepark.com.
Nov. 1-2: Festival of the Arts, Inverness. Artists and craftsmen will show and sell their works amongst performances of music, dance and art groups, along with a variety of food and beverage vendors. 42nd annual. At Courthouse Square downtown. Free admission and parking. 352-726-3913 or 352-382-2191 www.inverness-fl.gov
Nov. 1-2: Halifax Art Festival, Daytona Beach. Historic Downtown Riverfront Park in Daytona Beach sets the scene for the 52nd Halifax Art Festival on Nov. 1-2. One of the oldest continuous art festivals in Florida, this free event typically attracts more than 200 exhibitors and some 45,000 visitors. The fest offers music, children’s activities and student art competition. For information, visit www.halifaxartfestival.com.
Nov. 7-9: Melbourne Main Street Fall Festival, Melbourne. For the past 21 years, the Fall Festival has been a celebration of art, food and family fun. This will be the first year the festival will take place in November instead of October in hopes that the weather will be cooler. 1908 Municipal Lane, Melbourne; free. www.melbournefallartfestival.com
Nov. 7-9: Sebastian Clambake Lagoon Festival, Sebastian. The Clambake highlights the Riverfront of Sebastian and forges a common bond between the old Sebastian clamming families and new residents while showcasing the commercial fishery and history of the area. Enjoy clams, just about any way they can be served, fried, raw, steamed, over linguini and in chowder, all served up by a group composed of area public service organizations and supported by the business community. Also includes live entertainment and more. At Riverview Park. 772-589-5969. www.sebastianclambake.org
Nov. 1-2, 7-9: Lady of the Lakes Renaissance Faire, Tavares. Join the knights and ladies of Hickory Grove for the most elaborate faire in the countryside. Patterned after 16th century England, meet the queen and her court and enjoy entertainment by jousters, fire eaters, comedians and celtic musicians. Taste the hearty food of the era or enjoy a cold ale. At Hickory Point Recreational Facility. Admission prices TBD. 352-326-1265. www.lakerenfaire.com
Nov. 8: 29th annual Highlands Hammock Civilian Conservation Corps Festival, Sebring. Enjoy a great festival at Highlands Hammock State Park, held to honor the men of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s and '40s. This event includes a CCC alumni reunion, antique car show, live music and entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, live animals, pony rides, children's activities, hay rides, festival foods and more. Park admission is $6 per carload (up to eight people per car). 863-386-6094, 634-7695. www.floridastateparks.org/highlandshammock
Nov. 10-11: LEGOLAND Junior Master Model Builder Competition, Winter Haven. LEGOLAND Florida features a Junior Master Model Builder Competition on Nov. 10-11. During the interactive LEGO building competition that takes place each month, participants build a model that follows the designated theme for each competition. Winners receive special prizes and will be invited to build in the Ultimate Build Off at the end of the year. The activity is included in regular park admission (from $69 for adults and from $62 for children). For details, visit http://Florida.legoland.com.
Nov. 14-16: 13th Annual Winter Park Concours d'Elegance, Winter Park. More than 200 exotic and rare automobiles representing numerous international marques are on display on elegant Park Avenue. Don't miss the Tour d'Elegance, an exotic car parade. Automobiles will compete for class awards and 10 major awards including Best in Show. Free admission. 407.649.9190. www.winterparkconcours.com
Nov. 14-15: Quilts and Tea Festival, Davenport. 13th annual. Indoor and outdoor quilt displays and vendors, quilt sales, cross stitch, fiber art, tea and accessories, delicious delicacies, tea related foods, reenactors of the 1860s, vintage vehicles and entertainment. Free admission. 863-258-7800. quiltsandtea.com/home.html
Nov. 14-16: 24th Annual Holiday Open House, Clermont. Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards welcomes the holiday season with hot mulled wine and many specials in its wine shop. Local artists and crafters are invited to display their works, and attendees may enjoy live music on an outdoor stage throughout the weekend. Lakeridge wine, beer, soft drinks and a variety of food is available for purchase, along with complimentary Winery tours and tasting. Free. 800-768-WINE. www.lakeridgewinery.com/aboutus-events.php
Nov. 15-23: Festival of Trees at Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando. For nine magical days, the Orlando Museum of Art is transformed into a glittering holiday wonderland where trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses ignite holiday spirit. The Winter Bark Village also allows dogs to enjoy a special pet-friendly village. Admission $10 adults, $6 children. 407-896-4231 x254. www.omart.org/programs/festival-trees
Nov. 21-22: The Plant City Pig Jam, Plant City. If you make the best BBQ, or think you do, or just enjoy eating great BBQ, don't miss this 12th annual State BBQ Championship, sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society. Competition is in two categories -- professional and amateur -- and gives the public an opportunity to sample some of the nation's finest fare. Prizes will be awarded in each category with professionals vying for the $3,000 Grand Champion Award, $2,000 for Reserve and cash prizes through 10th place in each of four food categories: ribs, pork, beef brisket and chicken. Prizes will also be awarded in the amateur and kids' competitions.At Randy Larson Softball Four-Plex Stadium. Admission free, parking $5. 813-754-3707. http://www.plantcity.org
Nov. 27-30: 41st Annual Daytona Turkey Run, Daytona. The Daytona International Speedway sets the scene for the 41st Annual Daytona Turkey Run Nov. 27-30. The event showcases more than 6,000 classic cars. Also on the agenda are a swap meet, car corral and arts and crafts. Tickets are $15 per day, $10 on Sunday. For details, visit www.turkeyrun.com.
Nov. 28-30: After-Thanksgiving Weekend Sale Midnight Madness, Orlando. Start your holiday shopping early at the Orlando Premium Outlets and enjoy special savings, live holiday music and fun. Many stores open at midnight on Nov. 28 and the remainder open at 7 a.m. Free. www.premiumoutlets.com/sales
Nov. 28-Dec. 30: Holidays Around the World, Lake Buena Vista. This Epcot tradition features storytellers, a daily character tree-lighting ceremony and a stunning display of snow-white lights. The moving Candlelight Processional, a favorite of all ages, includes celebrity guest narrators, accompanied by a massed choir and orchestra for a retelling of the Christmas story. 407-824-4321. www.disneyworld.disney.go.com
Nov. 29: 33rd Annual Light Up Mount Dora, Mount Dora. The 33rd annual Light Up Mount Dora ushers the holiday season in this quaint Central Florida town in a sparkly big way on Nov. 29. Some two million lights adorn the town and Santa comes to Donnelly Park in Downtown Mount Dora. Admission is free. For information, log on to www.mountdora.com.
Nov. 29 - Jan. 5: The Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens Holiday Home Tour, Lake Wales. Bok Tower Gardens is ready for the holidays! The Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens Holiday Home Tour showcases the 20-room Mediterranean-style mansion at Pinewood Estate beginning on Nov. 29 and lasting for five weeks until Jan. 5. Central Florida designers transform the 1930s winter retreat into a glittering holiday showcase for the event. Holiday Home Tour hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $20 per adult and $9 per child (covering entrance to the gardens and admission to Pinewood Estate for the Holiday Home Tour.) Bok Tower Gardens is located at 1151 Tower Boulevard. For additional information, log on to www.boktowergardens.org.
Tampa Bay-Sarasota (including Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Sarasota, Anna Maria Island, Bradenton, Tarpon Springs and Homosassa)
Nov. 1: 7th annual Stone Crab Jam, Crystal River. From 3:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Crystal River offers music in the streets, seafood to eat, and food and fun for all. Festival site is south side of US 19 on Citrus Avenue. 352-795-0784. www.stonecrabjam.com
Nov. 1: 2014 Blues 'n Bar-B-Que, Homosassa. Annual event offering all-blues entertainment. This year's lineup TBA. At 10466 W. Yulee Drive, next to Old Mill House Gallery and Printing Museum. Benefitting Camp E Nini Hassee in Floral City, Florida. Admission $15 advance, $20 at gate. 352-628-1081. http://ncfb.tripod.com
Nov. 1-2: Ruskin Seafood Festival, Ruskin. The 26th annual Ruskin Seafood Festival, held at E.G. Simmons waterfront park on Tampa Bay, features sun, fun and seafood. The seafood festival is Hillsborough County's largest community event with more than 25,000 in attendance. Feast on lobster, oysters, clams, grouper, mullet, shrimp and much more. Admission $5 adults, children under 12 free. 813-645-3808. www.ruskinseafoodfestival.org
Nov. 1-2: The Venice Main Street Art Fest, Venice. The Venice Main Street Art Fest showcases the work of more than 150 artists and artisans on West Venice Avenue in downtown Venice on Nov. 1-2. Event hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For information, log on to www.venicegov.com.
Nov. 3: Conga Caliente Festival, Tampa. The 10th annual Conga Caliente, an event promoting Hispanic diversity and culture in Tampa has returned. It features national and international performers, colorful crafts, ethnic and Hispanic food, a beer garden, a cigar and domino area and a youth area. At Al Lopez Park. Free admission. 813-478-2534. http://congacaliente.com
Nov. 8-9: 26th Annual St. Armands Art Festival, Sarasota. The popular arts and crafts festival returns to the Beach Palms of Siesta Key Village with many nationally known fine artists. Free. 941-349-9000. www.artfestival.com
Nov. 9-10: Homosassa Arts, Crafts and Seafood Festival, Old Homosassa. Sponsored by Homosassa Civic Club, this event is held on Mason Creek Road in the historic district of Old Homosassa. It is home to many commercial fishermen and, with its spring-fed river, has been a nationally known sport fishing and recreation area since the mid-1800s. This 39th annual event will draw arts and crafts buyers and enthusiasts from throughout the surrounding areas, as well as other parts of Florida or out of state. Food vendors will serve shrimp, grouper, blackened mahi-mahi, seafood fritters, gumbo, clam chowder, fried green tomatoes, gator fritters, and more. At Yulee Drive and Mason Creek Road. Admission $2 adults, free for children under 12. 352-628-2666. www.homosassaseafoodfestival.org
Nov. 14-16: RibFest, St. Petersburg. This fun filled three-day charity fundraiser features the best BBQ ribbers in the world, national touring bands playing classic and southern rock and country hits. Offers a Family Fun Zone on Saturday. At Vinoy Park. Admission is $16 on Friday and Sunday, and $20 on Saturday. 727-528-3828. www.ribfest.org
Nov. 14-18: The Fifth Annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic Masters' Sandsculpting Competition, Siesta Key Beach. Calling all seaside Michelangelos! The Fifth Annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic Masters’ Sandsculpting Competition is expected to attract 40,000 visitors to Siesta Key Beach on Nov. 14-18. Master sand sculptors will compete creating amazing works of art by the seashore during the event, and there’s a category for amateurs. Event hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Admission is $6 daily per person. The amateur competition is free to enter with a paid $6 admission to the event. A Park And Ride Shuttle from Riverview High School, 1 Ram Way, to and from the event, is available for $5 per vehicle. For information, visit www.siestakeycrystalclassic.com
Nov. 15-17: Hudson Seafest Celebration, Port Richey. The 27th Hudson Seafest will offer the same great food and entertainment since 1984. Includes fantastic seafood and other taste treats, live entertainment, raffles, children's events and more. Held at the USA Fleamarket. The event kicks off with the famous grouper dinners on Friday with live entertainment and continues with the fishing tournament Saturday at 5 p.m. 727-236-3854. www.hudsonseafest.org
Nov. 16: Pirates and Pioneers Day, Sarasota. Visitors are invited to come in costume to the Pirates And Pioneers Day on Nov. 16. On the agenda are arts and crafts, live music, a Thieves Market, pirate tales and songs, games of skill for children. The event, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is at Pioneer Park on 12th Street. Admission is free but visitors are encouraged to bring at least one canned good for the Mayor’s Feed The Hungry Campaign. For details, visit http://www.hsosc.com/
Nov. 22-23: Yankeetown Seafood and Arts Festival, Yankeetown. 33rd annual event, showcasing great local seafood plus arts and crafts and live musical entertainment. Sponsored by Inglis/Yankeetown Lions Club. At Riverside Drive. Free admission. 352-219-4578. www.yankeetownseafoodfestival.com
Southwest Florida (including Naples, Fort Myers, Venice, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda)
Nov. 1-3: Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival, Pine Island and other locations in Lee County. Paddlers, competitors, families, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the nation are expected to attend this one-of-a-kind eco-event. Ten days of festivities at Bonita, Fort Myers Beach and Pine Island will include a fish fry, competitive canoe/kayak races, a pro-am kayak fishing tournament, paddling clinics and demonstrations, seminars, family activities, archaeological and environmental events, guided tours, and more celebrations along the Great Calusa Blueway paddling trail. 239-433-3855. www.calusabluewaypaddlingfestival.com
Nov. 2: Taste of the Town, Fort Myers. This 32nd annual event, sponsored by the Junior League, features samplings from more than 40 local restaurants, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The largest food and entertainment festival in Southwest Florida, attracting some 15,000 people, it also features live music, a rock climbing wall, giant slides and other children's entertainment. At Centennial Park. Admission $5, children 12 and under free. 239-242-7000, 239-277-1197, 419-466-9787. www.jlfm.org
Nov. 6-9: Cape Coral Coconut Festival, Cape Coral. Celebration of the city's reputation in the Lee County area for coconuts, multicultural food, boating, fishing, and wildlife. The festival features carnival all three days, fireworks on Friday and Saturday, and street entertainment on Sunday. On stage performances include country on Friday, rock and roll on Saturday, and Community Stage on Sunday. Hours are 5 p.m.to midnight on Friday; noon to midnight on Saturday; and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $7 per day, children under 5 free. At festival grounds in Sun Splash Family Water Park's parking area. 239-573-3121, 707-6241. www.cocofest.com
Nov. 6-9: FGCU-Sanibel Island Writers Conference, Sanibel Island. Participants at all stages of development,from notebook scribblers to published novelists, are invited to attend a variety of three-day morning workshops in fiction, poetry, screenwriting, songwriting and creative nonfiction; afternoon panels on publishing, collaborative writing, and humor writing; and nightly readings? all presented by celebrated and experienced writers and teachers. Richard Russo will be this year's keynote speaker. Regular tuition is $400 per person. 239-590-7421. http://www.fgcu.edu/siwc/
Nov. 7-8: 17th Annual American Indian Arts Celebration, Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation. A celebration of culture, arts, dance and music. Features exhibitors, Native American entertainment, Indian Market, indigenous food. At Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum. 877-302-1113. Admission $10 adults, $7.50 seniors/students, 4 and under free. www.ahtahthiki.com
Nov. 8: Aviation Day, Fort Myers. Annual community event organized by the Lee County Port Authority aimed at educating the residents of Southwest Florida about the social and economic benefit to the region by aviation. Highlights include experimental, antique and military plane exhibits, plane rides, performances by a 17-piece big band ensemble, children's activities and character appearances, demonstrations by airport police and fire departments, refreshments and more. At Page Field General Aviation Airport . Free. 239-590-4504. www.flylcpa.com/aviationdayrsw
Nov. 15-16: Biannual Estero Fine Art Show, Estero. This fine art event showcases artists from 30 states and Canada including glass, clay, wood, fiber, jewelry, sculpture, painting, photography, and metal. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free admission. 941-755-3088. www.HotWorks.org
Nov. 16-Dec. 31: Festival of Lights at Fishermen's Village, Punta Gorda. View more than a million lights and themed decorations throughout the Village daily thru December 31. 941-639-8721. www.fishville.com
Nov. 21-30: American Sandsculpting Championship Festival, Fort Myers Beach. Join artists from around the continent at this 28th annual event as they create amazing works of art on Fort Myers Beach in front of the Wyndham Garden Hotel. In addition to witnessing the Master Sculptors Competition, spectators can participate in the amateur's contest. Festivities include a Sand Vendor Village -- an area featuring artisan and food booths -- on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Broadcast music, demonstrations, and beach barbecues keep the five days lively. This annual Gulf-front competition draws more than 50,000 spectators. This event is free, with VIP passes available to get an up-close view. 888-627-5151. www.sandsculptingfestival.com
South Florida and the Keys (including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Key Largo, Key West and the Treasure Coast)
Nov. 2-9: Key West World Championship, Key West. High-speed powerboats continue Key West's long-standing tradition in a challenge described as the Indianapolis 500 of powerboat racing. Call 305-296-6166 or visit www.superboat.com
Nov. 7-9: 12th Annual Feast of Little Italy, Jupiter. Come and enjoy all the food, music, fun and activities that await you at the The Feast of Little Italy. With an average attendance of more than 70,000 people, it is the largest Italian event in the tri-county area. At Abacoa Town Center, 3 p.m. - 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m-10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. Sunday. Admission $7 adult, children 12 and under free. 561-427-0500. www.feastoflittleitaly.com
Nov. 7-9: The 74th annual Ramble, A Garden Festival, Coral Gables. The Ramble is South Florida's most loved and oldest garden party. Come and experience a blend of old traditions and new introductions with Nell's Tea Garden, the largest plant sale in South Florida, antiques and collectibles, garden themed art, old and rare books, our famous Kid Way, live music and a ramble raffle of more than 60 items. 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. At Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. 305-667-1651. www.fairchildgarden.org
Nov. 7-9: 74th Annual Ramble Festival, Coral Gables. The 74th Annual Ramble Festival – a garden tradition – features an array of activities as well as antiques and collectibles, rare books, tropical plants, a green design and furniture show, tea service, and delicious food. Admission is $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and up, $12 for children 6-17, and free for Fairchild members and children 5 and under. www.fairchildgarden.org
Nov. 7-16: South Florida Auto Show 2014, Miami Beach. Car-related merchandise and more than 1,000 of the industry's latest vehicles for the upcoming year are on display by world-leading auto manufacturers. At Miami Beach Convention Center. Admission $12 adults, children 6-12 $6. 305-981-1448. www.sfliautoshow.com
Nov. 7-23: Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, Fort Lauderdale. Competitive film festival showcasing independent cinema from around the world. Premieres, documentaries, free films for kids, free outdoor family movies, student film competition, black tie galas, celebrities. Free seminars. At Cinema Paradiso. 954-760-9898. www.fliff.com
Nov. 8: 6th Annual Key Largo Bridge Run, Key Largo. Participants on the 6th Annual Key Largo Bridge Run can enjoy the sunrise where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Gulf of Mexico during the Key Largo Bridge Run on Nov. 8. The race, an outreach of Key Largo Baptist Church, goes over part of the historic 18-Mile Stretch and the Jewfish Creek Bridge at Key Largo, gateway to the Keys. Registration prices vary. For details, visit www.keylargobridgerun.com.
Nov. 14: 32nd Annual Cook-Off, Key Largo. The culinary competition is open to professional and amateur cooks and chefs, as well as young aspiring chefs. Categories for judging and public sampling include soups and chowders, appetizers, sides and salads, main dishes and desserts. Tasting fee is $15 per person. The event is at the Holiday Inn, Mile Marker 99.7 ocean-side. For details, visit www.keylargochamber.org.
Nov. 14-16: Sunny Isles Beach Jazz Fest, Sunny Isles Beach. Annual festival celebrates the extraordinary sounds of jazz music, featuring world-renowned jazz entertainers and notable local artists performing amidst the backdrop of the Atlantic ocean. At Heritage Park. 305-792-1952. www.sunnyislesbeachjazz.com
Nov. 15: Savor the Season Festival, Miami. An annual community festival featuring food and wine from more than 20 of Miami's finest restaurants and distributors, and live entertainment on the 30,000 square foot Brickell World Plaza. Tickets: $100. 600 Brickell Avenue, Miami, FL 33131. 305-358-9807. www.savortheseasonmiami.com
Nov. 16-23: Miami Book Fair International, Miami. One of the nation's finest and largest literary gatherings treats book lovers to more than a week of cultural and educational activities, including author readings, book signings, the IberoAmerican Authors program, the popular Street Fair on the actual closed streets of downtown Miami surrounding the campus, Children's Alley, and much more. At Miami Dade College. 305-237-3258. www.miamibookfair.com
Nov. 20: Third Thursday Art Walk, Islamorada. The Third Thursday Art Walk showcases the music, art, and culinary delights of Islamorada at the Morada Way Arts & Cultural District between Mile Marker 81 and 82 on Nov. 21. Admission is free. For information, log on to www.moradaway.org.
Nov. 22: One Love Nutrifest - Miami International Reggae Festival, Miami. One Love Nutrifest dubbed the Miami International Reggae Festival is a positive celebration highlighting the power of word, sound and art uniting us all as members of one human family. Join us as we celebrate the state and quality of being one. The daylong family-oriented festival will be composed of many elements but all share in a single idea: a state of being unified as one. As Bob Marley so humbly said, "one love, one aim, one destiny." 2 p.m.- midnight. Sun Life Stadium, 347 Don Shula Dr, Miami Gardens, FL 33056. www.rockersmovement.com
Nov. 22-23: Harvest Festival, Miami. More than 300 craft artists display items ranging from wood crafts to toys, miniatures to quilts, and more. Also features folk arts, antique cars, children’s activities, historical reenactments, food and entertainment. Fair Expo Center, 10901 Coral Way. Miami, FL 33165. 386-860-0092. www.miamiharvest.com
Nov. 29- 30: 15th annual Downtown Delray Beach Thanksgiving Weekend Art Fest, Delray Beach. First class art exhibitions much like those you'd expect at an art gallery or museum but outdoors and family friendly. They make the arts more accessible to the community in a casual and fun setting and afford a wonderful way to support the arts and artists. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; free admission. www.artfestival.com
Northeast Florida (including Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Flagler County and Amelia Island)
Nov. 2: 30th Annual Great Chowder Debate, St. Augustine. Satisfy your passion for great seafood chowder at the Conch House Marina's celebrated annual Great Chowder Debate. More than 30 area restaurants compete to see who has the best chowder -- each special entry is available for tasting with taste tickets at $1 each. An astounding variety of chowders will be available, from local favorites like the Menorcan chowders to an assortment of New England chowders made with clams, conch, lobster, scallops and crab and laced with secret concoctions of herbs and spices. The event starts at noon and runs throughout the day. At Conch House Marina Resort, on Anastasia Island. 904-829-8646. www.getaway4florida.com/events
Nov. 6: Sunset / Moonrise Tour, St. Augustine. Be a guest of the St. Augustine Lighthouse and enjoy viewing the sunset and moonrise from the most unique perspective in all of St. Augustine! This special event includes a champagne toast, provided by San Sebastian Winery, atop the tower and an informative overview of the history of the St. Augustine Light Station. A champagne toast, provided by San Sebastian Winery, and light refreshments, provided by The Reef, is included in the price of each ticket, which is $25. Advance reservations required; call 904-829-0745. www.staugustinelighthouse.com
Nov. 7-9: St. Augustine Pirate Gathering 2014, St. Augustine. Welcome back to the annual Pirate Gathering. Aye, we be calling reenactors, living historians and casual pirates from all over the seven seas to join the Crews of the Black Heart, Ancient City Privateers and Brothers of the Coasts, as we celebrate the Golden Age of Piracy in the nation's oldest city. See the pirate mutiny, weapons demonstrations, sailor's encampment and thieves market. Hear stories of the high seas, history, shanties and more. All pirates are welcome so come ashore dressed in your best piratical "pirattitude" and enjoy a weekend of fun. At St. Frances Field and Historical Quarter downtown. 904-829-3168, 800-356-8222. www.pirategathering.com
Nov. 11: Veteran's Day Parade, Jacksonville. Hosted in downtown Jacksonville, the Veteran's Day Parade will feature active duty and retired military units, veterans groups, local high school marching bands, military organizations, decorative floats, giant balloons, JROTC units and more. It will begin at 11:01 a.m. www.makeascenedowntown.com
Nov. 15-16: Arts and Crafts Festival. St. Augustine. The St. Augustine Beach Pier Park on A1A sets the scene for an Arts and Crafts Festival on Nov. 15-16. The fair is a seaside display of fine arts and crafts and features live music. Food is available for purchase. Event hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 15 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 16. Admission is free. For information, log on to www.tnteventsinc.com.
Nov. 22-Jan. 31: Nights of Lights Festival and Celebration, St. Augustine. This inspiring display of more than two million tiny white lights adorning the palm trees and buildings throughout the city's historic district is based on a custom by the town's original Spanish colonists, who placed a white candle in their windows to brighten the nights during the Christmas holidays. Among special events and activities awaiting visitors: nighttime tours of ancient buildings and inns led by storytellers in period clothing, rollicking train and trolley tours through the narrow brick streets, art walks featuring more than 30 galleries serving free holiday refreshments on the First Friday in December and January, special Saturday night antique shopping events, a dazzling regatta, Florida ice skating, luminaries in the town plaza, holiday concerts, even a Christmas parade. Other new aspects include a 100-foot-long Ice Slide (the first outdoor ice slide for warm climates) as well as an outdoor ice skating ring, sleigh rides that run nightly through an enchanted winter forest and downtown. There's also an Elf Village (free admission), a S'mores Fire Pit, and more. Nights of Lights, 902-825-1004; other activities 904-471-1965. www.getaway4florida.com/nights/
Nov. 22: Amelia Island Holiday Cookie Tour, Amelia Island. Sample a signature cookie from each of the inns of Amelia Island's historic structures and take the recipes home with you. Self-guided and self-paced. $25. www.ameliaislandinns.com/
Nov. 26: Jacksonville Light Parade, Jacksonville. The St. Johns River in downtown Jacksonville is transformed into a spellbinding display of lights as the region's finest boats and captains parade magically decorated vessels down the river. This enchanted night is topped off by a fireworks display over the river, featuring the city's signature "waterfalls" fireworks. Free. 904-630-3690. www.coj.net
North-Central Florida (including Ocala, Gainesville and Tallahassee)
Nov. 1-2: The 40th Annual Fall Harvest Festival. Micanopy. The 40th Annual Fall Harvest Festival, on Nov. 1-2, showcases the work of more than 200 local and regional artists and crafters. The festival also presents live entertainment as well as an auction of donated items. Event hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free and proceeds from the festival benefit local charities. For information, visit www.micanopyfallfestival.org.
Nov. 6-8: Seventh Annual Fall Palatka Bluegrass Festival, Palatka. Three-day event featuring top names in bluegrass music and drawing an estimated audience of 1,000. At Rodeheaver Boys' Ranch. 706-864-7203. www.aandabluegrass.com/Festivals/FallPalatkaBluegrassFesti.html
Nov. 22-Dec. 1: 27th Annual American Sandsculpting Championship and Beach Festival. The event will include World Class Master Sand Sculptors, a State Championship contest, Amateur contest, Quick Sand Speed Sculpting, Sand Sculpting Demonstrations and Lessons, Chain Saw Art, Flying Colors, a kids’ activity area with bounce houses and slides, and more than 60 vendors. The event is scheduled for 10 days this year, the first week will be the Master Solos and Amateur divisions. The second week will be the Master Doubles and State Championship divisions. Awards ceremonies will be on Sunday the 24th and also Sunday the 1st. In all over 1000 tons of sand will be piled and sculpted. Advance tickets are $4. For details, visit http://fmbsandsculpting.com.
Nov. 22-23: Yankeetown Seafood and Arts Festival, Yankeetown. 33rd annual event, showcasing great local seafood plus arts and crafts and live musical entertainment. Sponsored by Inglis/Yankeetown Lions Club. At Riverside Drive. Free admission. 352-219-4578. www.inglisyankeetown.com
Nov. 29: Giving Thanks 2014, Tallahassee. Apalachee & Spanish Foodways is an event at the Mission San Luis that explores 17th century food traditions on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Visitors can observe traditional methods of food preparation by historical interpreters in period dress as well as various demonstrations. Children’s activities are planned. Tickets to Mission San Luis are $5 for adults and $2 for children. Active duty military are free with I.D. For information, visit www.missionsanluis.org.
The Panhandle (including Pensacola, Panama City Beach, Apalachicola and Destin)
Nov. 1-2: 50th Annual Florida Seafood Festival, Apalachicola. Two-day event annually drawing thousands of visitors to the historic town of Apalachicola in the curve of Florida's panhandle region. The festival features delicious seafood, arts and crafts exhibits, a parade, the Blessing of the Fleet, musical entertainment, and a wide variety of seafood-related events, from Oyster-Eating and Oyster-Shucking contests to Blue Crab Races and a cooking contest. Festival is held under the shady oaks of Battery Park at the mouth of the Apalachicola River. Admission $5 adult, under 12 free. 850-653-4720. www.floridaseafoodfestival.com
Nov. 6-16: 30th Annual Frank Brown Songwriters Festival, Perdido Key. During this 11-day festival, seasoned and aspiring songwriters and musicians from all over the country will play at different venues along the Gulf Coast including Perdido Key, Pensacola, Orange Beach, Ala. and Gulf Shores, Ala. to celebrate the art of songwriting. This festival is held annually and showcases Grammy Award-winning songwriters from around the nation. Various venues on Perdido Key, Perdido Key FL 32507. 850-492-7664. www.fbisf.com
Nov. 7-9: Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival, Pensacola. The three-day juried art show draws more than 200 of the nation's best painters potters sculptors jewelers graphic artists craftsmen and other artists. The event features live musicians in Fountain Park with sounds ranging from Zydeco bluegrass jazz and blues to classical. Local dance schools and groups perform daily. The Children's Arts Festival is next door in Bartram Park featuring numerous hands-on artistic opportunities provided free of charge. The Children s Festival is open Friday for children with special needs from selected schools and is open to everyone on Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Seville Square, Pensacola FL 32502. Free. 850-434-1234. www.ggaf.org
Nov. 8: Blues, Brews, & BBQ, Destin. Local restaurants will be firing up the grills for a good time and a good cause at HarborWalk Village. The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association s Northwest Florida chapter will host a craft beer tasting and creative BBQ competition. 10 Harbor Blvd., Destin FL 32541. 850-424-0600. www.emeraldgrande.com
Nov. 28: Historic Apalachicola Annual Christmas Celebration, Apalachicola. Streets will be lined with luminaries and filled with holiday spirit. Merchants will be open late and the sounds of carolers will echo through the streets filling the evening with the Christmas spirit. Santa will arrive on a shrimp boat at 4 p.m. at the City Dock on Water Street. Santa will hear children's Christmas wishes and carolers will sing. The Orman House is trimmed in holiday finery and docents in period costumes lead visitors through the early history of the County. The Raney House is decorated in holiday greenery and open for tours. www.apalachicolabay.org
Special Correspondent Georgina Cruz contributed to this report