Check out festivals and events in April 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)
Through April 20: Universal Studios Mardi Gras, Orlando.This year's Mardi Gras concert line-up includes Kelly Clarkson, The B-52s, Goo Goo Dolls and J Cole. Concerts begin at 8:30 p.m., and March 31, April 7 and April 14 at 9:30 p.m. Included with Universal Studios ticket. 407-363-8000. http://www.universalorlando.com/Events/Mardi-Gras/Live-Concerts.aspx
Through May 19: 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. Meet with top horticulturists at one of the many Garden Town Programs and learn helpful gardening tips. Attend public demonstrations of advanced gardening techniques from around the world or get up-close with hundreds of colorful butterflies inside Fawn's Butterfly House outside of the Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden. At Walt Disney World's EPCOT with admission. 407-824-4321. http://www.disneyworld.com/flower
Through May 4: Sea World presents Viva La Musica, Orlando. SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay host Viva La Musica, a celebration of Hispanic music, food and culture on April 13-May 4 in the Orlando park and April 14-May 5 in the Tampa park. The event features the sights, sounds and tastes of various Latin cultures through music, dance, crafts, food and concerts. It is included in regular park admission. For details, visit www.seaworldorlando.com and www.buschgardens.com.
April 5: Jazz Friday at Fossaner Museum of Art. Melbourne. Every third Friday of the month the Fossaner Museum of Art hosts Jazz Friday in their galleries. Expect great music from local favorites. Admission is free for members of the Museum and $10 for non-members. 1463 Highland Avenue, Melbourne FL 32901. 321-433-4470. www.visitspacecoast.com
April 5-6: Central Florida Dragon Boat Festival, Tavares. Dragon boat racing was born out of myth and legend more than 2,000 years ago in southern China, commemorating the life and death of a great patriot who threw himself into the Mi Lo River. When news of his death spread, local fishermen raced out onto the water and splashed their paddles to prevent fish from eating his body. Today, worldwide, some two million people participate in dragon races. Activities kick off with the Awakening of the Dragon Ceremony, traditional Dragon/Lion dance and banquet. Action-packed contests begin with a crew of 20 paddlers led by the loud, steady beat of the drummer. As the long and colorful boats compete, an ancient rite is revisited, all in the spirit of charity and fun. At Wooten Park. 352-504-8158. www.cfdragonboat.org
April 5-7: The Fifth Annual New Smyrna Beach Balloon & Sky Fest, New Smyrna Beach. Features hot-air balloon rides, balloon glows after sunset, skydiving, plane and helicopter rides, and music on April 5-7. The event takes place at the New Smyrna Airport, 124 Industrial Park Avenue. Admission is $5. Prices of rides vary (weather-permitting, tethered balloon rides during balloon glows are $10). For information, visit www.SeasideBalloonfest.com.
April 5-8: The Ultimate National Cheerleading Championship, Kissimmee. Cheerleaders compete for the Ultimate National Championship. At Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center. Admission. 877-490-0010. www.COAcheer.com
April 6: 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. Admission is free. 386-749-2959. www.pioneersettlement.org
April 9-14: Sun 'n Fun International Fly-in and Expo, Lakeland. Educational forums, seminars and "hands-on" workshops; plus commercial exhibitors who offer aviation products and services for everyone. Enjoy a daily air show that showcases both new and old airplanes.The daily airshow will begin at 2pm, except on Tuesday and Wednesday, which will be at 3pm. There will be an additional night air show on Friday at dusk. At Lakeland Linder Regional Aiport. Starts at 9 a.m. Adults $35, children $15. 863-644-2431. http://www.visitkissimmee.com/leisure/things-to-do/festivals--events-calendar/details?id=450
April 11-14: Celebration Exotic Car Festival, Celebration, Orlando and Daytona Beach. Check out some sweet rides at the Celebration Exotic Car Festival on April 11-14. This four-day event showcases North America's largest collection of exotic cars, race cars and iconic Hollywood movie cars including the Batmobile, "Back to the Future" DeLorean, Herbie, KITT from "Knight Rider," the Speed Racer Mach V and even a Star Wars land speeder. The event also lets registered participants take to the track at Daytona International Speedway, while regular folk can view the rides for free while listening to music along the waterfront of Celebration. Also on tap is the ticketed, celebrity chef-infused Food and Wine at Portofino event including Top Chef Season 7 winner Kevin Sbraga. The four-day event benefits Make-a-Wish Foundation, Special Olympics and Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital. Admission is free to Saturday's concours show, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in downtown Celebration. The food & wine event runs from 7-11 p.m. on Saturday at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando. Tickets are $150, $250 for VIP seating. The Thursday and Friday rallies at Daytona are for driving participants only, but interested drivers can register on the festival website. For more information, call 407-566-2200 or visit www.celebrationexoticcars.com
April 12. Friday 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. http://www.space-coast.com/Calendar
April 13-14: Blues at the Winery, Clermont. For those who enjoy sipping a glass of Lakeridge wine and listening to the blues, this event is a must see. The event attracts the area's most talented blues musicians such as "Beautiful" Bobby Blackmon, who will perform on the outdoor stage the entire weekend. Lakeridge wine, beer, soft drinks and a variety of food will be available for purchase, along with complimentary Winery tours and wine tasting. At Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards on U.S. 27 in North Clermont. Event is from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Satudday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission: $2 donation. 800-768-WINE. http://www.lakeridgewinery.com
April 20: Cruisin' Downtown DeLand Classic Car Show. DeLand. Every 3rd Saturday of the Month (Except November). East Indiana Avenue in Downtown DeLand. Classic cars & rods line East Indiana Avenue in Downtown DeLand. Live DJ, giveaways, shopping & dining. 4-8 p.m. Free. 386-624-5027. www.MainStreetDeLand.org
April 20: Florida Lighthouse Day. Ponce Inlet. Florida Lighthouse Day at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse commemorates the 29 lighthouses that remain standing in Florida on April 20. The event offers an opportunity to learn more about these towers that have kept mariners safe since the first lighthouse was lit in Florida in 1824. Visitors can participate in family-oriented activities and meet the “Old Lighthouse Keeper” as he describes his duties at the lighthouse. Special workshops have been developed in celebration of the statewide Viva Florida 500 and Positively Ponce, commemorating the Town of Ponce Inlet’s 50 years of incorporation. Event hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Activities are included in the cost of regular admission ($5 for adults, $1.50 for children). For details, visit www.PonceInlet.org.
April 20: Earth Day. Orlando. Take the time to find out how to help the planet while having fun during the 8th Annual Central Florida Earth Day on April 20. This event at Lake Eola Park (east side) features music, guest speakers and activities for the family. Admission is free. Event hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For information, visit www.cfearthday.org.
April 25: 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 Dec. 28. 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 Mary at 386-761-1821 ext. 10.
April 26: 4th Fridays in Artisan Alley & DeLand Art Walk. DeLand. Gather with friends every fourth Friday of the month at Artisan Alley and also enjoy the DeLand Art Walk. DeLand Art Walk is a free, self-guided tour of the Historic Downtown area. Enjoy music, food, drinks, arts, crafts and more. Art galleries, museums, cultural venues, restaurants and boutiques host artists within their businesses on the fourth Friday of every month, rain or shine. Look for an official Art Walk banner in the front of each stop to identify the participating venues. Choose your own route, or begin from Museum of Florida Art. Downtown, 100 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand FL 32720. 6-9 p.m. 386-738-0649. delandartwalk.com/
April 26: 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.sanfordinfo.com
April 26-28: Blueberry Jerry Jamboree, Spring Hill Small, blue and tart is the order of the festival featuring live music, food, arts and crafts, and, of course, blueberries. This family-friendly event returns for the second year in a row from April 27-29 at the Rotary Pavilion on the Concourse. For more information, visit pascoblueberryfestival.com.
April 27: 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.-6 p.m. (wine walk 1-7 p.m.). Free ($25 for wine walk or $20 with previous month's glass). Flagler Avenue, 100 Flagler Ave., New Smyrna Beach, FL, 32169. 386-428-1770. www.flaglergallerygroup.com
April 27: Concert Under the Stars at Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales. Join the Bok Tower Gardens for an evening of fun and inspiring performances by Allison Brown and The Duhks with their annual springtime Concert Under The Stars. Admission is $25 for adults, $10 for children. 863-676-1408. www.boksanctuary.org
April 27-28: The Great American Pie Festival, Celebration. Oh, yum, yum! Lakeside Park in the town of Celebration in Central Florida sets the scene for the annual Great American Pie Festival. The fest features demonstrations, bake-offs, pie tastings and pie-eating contests on April 27-28. Admission is free. Ticket prices for the Never-Ending Pie Buffet featuring ice creams, pies, toppings and beverages are TBD. Event hours are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. 407-566-1200. www.piecouncil.org/Events/GreatAmericanPieFestival/
April 5 through April 27: DeSoto Heritage Festival, Bradenton. The Heritage Festival Children's Parade on April 5 proceeds from Manatee County Fairgrounds to Sutton and Lamb Parks, where food and fun activities including games and a magic show fill the rest of the day. The DeSoto Grand Parade on April 27 is the grand finale of the Heritage Festival. Acclaimed as the area's most dazzling, it is an illuminated night parade with more than 150 entries and more than 180,000 spectators as it winds its way from Manatee High School to the downtown area. An After-Parade Party follows at Bradenton Auditorium. Admission. 941-747-1998. www.desotohq.com
April 5-14: Sarasota Film Festival, Sarasota. The festival screens more than 180 films including features, shorts, documentaries and kid-friendly picks. During the event films run from 10 a.m. to midnight daily at Regal Cinemas Hollywood 20 on Main Street in Downtown Sarasota. Various tickets and packages are available. A regular film ticket is $12. For information, visit www.sarasotafilmfestival.com.
April 12-14: Gulf Coast Rhythm and Ribfest, Palmetto. The nation's top Rib Masters will serve their award-winning specialties as they compete for this year's coveted 2013 Gulf Coast BBQ Champion award. Entertainment includes a variety of local, regional and national bands performing a mix of Country, Blues, Jazz, Pop, and Rock, and for children, the Interactive Kid Challenge Fun Zone. At Manatee County Fairgrounds. Admission. 941-746-7470. www.gulfcoastribfest.com
April 12-14: Tampa Bay Blues Festival, St. Petersburg. The festival established itself as one of the world's preeminent blues music events, having presented more than 195 of the world's greatest blues performers. This year's line-up includes Roomful of Blues, Los Lonely Boys, Tower of Power, Jimmie Vaughan, Charles Bradley and Delbert McClinton. In addition to world class music, you can enjoy arts and crafts, taste treats from seafood and barbecue to Cuban cuisine, plus premium beer and wine. $30 a day or $75 for three days. 727-502-5000. Vinoy Waterfront Park. www.tampabaybluesfest.com
April 13-14: Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks Art and Craft Festival, Tarpon Springs. Fine arts and crafts, music, food and fun. Free. 352-344-0657. www.tnteventsinc.com
April 26-28: The Cotee River Seafood & Blues Festival, New Port Richey. This fest serves up music and food plus arts and crafts and other family-friendly activities along the river in Sims Park Friday-Sunday. Bands include national, local and student bands including the Thunderbolt Brown Blues Band, Kathy Jo and the Bluzification Band, The Blue Riders, Josh Lamkin, RJ Howsen, Sean Chambers and Time Bandits. Dig into fresh seafood, made-to-order sushi, and the Food Trucks of Tampa. Other highlights include the Mermaids of Weeki Wachee, a boat show, car show, kayaking and fly fishing demonstrations. For more information, call 727-842-8066 or visit www.nprmainstreet.com/cotee-river-seafest.
Southwest Florida (including Naples, Fort Myers, Venice, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda)
April 12-14: Florida's Creative Coast Weekend, Pine Island. On the second weekend each month November-April, Pine Island businesses offer themed artistic events. Galleries and shops are open extended hours on Friday, many offering special openings. Take a cooking class, or listen to live music. Other special events and workshops are planned at individual shops on Saturday and Sunday. 239-283-4842. www.floridascreativecoast.com
April 12-14: Sharks Tooth Festival, Venice. Go hunting for shark tooth fossils at the shark tooth's capital of the world. This annual event, which also includes food, entertainment, arts and crafts, and children's activities. At Airport Festival Grounds. Adults $3, children 12 and under free. 941-412-0402. www.sharkstoothfest.com
April 13: Sharks Tooth 10K run, Venice. A brand new feature of the Sharks Tooth Festival is this spring's Sharks Tooth 10K. Runners will run through neighborhoods, along the beach-front road, into Caspersen Beach Park and return along the Venetian Waterway Trail to finish at the Venice Airport Festival Grounds. Starts at 7:30 a.m. Participants will receive complimentary entry into the Shark's Tooth Festival on race day with bib. Also included, door prizes and a post-race party. Pre-registration encouraged but not required. 941-412-0402. www.sharkstooth10k.com
April 18: Downtown Gallery Walk, Punta Gorda. Held monthly on the third Thursday, 5-8 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
April 19-20: Cardboard Boat Regatta, Cape Coral. Pre-event party kicks off April 19. Zany water-logged event begins the April 20 at 9 a.m. and includes food, beer, live music and children's playground. At Four Freedoms Park. 239-245-0021. www.capecoralregatta.com
April 20-21: 10th Annual Island Earth Days, Honeymoon Island State Park. This event features great live outdoor music and entertainment on the big stage, kayak competition on Sunday and environmental vendors. Highlights include fresh seafood, plus a variety of other food & beverages including beer and wine, fine artists, quality craft vendors with a bigger than ever environmental area called Osprey Village. There will also be guided walks in the woods and on the beach, plus nature talks, presentations, and lots of activities and crafts for kids. At Honeymoon Island State Park. Donation of $8 per vehicle. Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 727-469-5943. www.islandearthdays.com/
April 20-21: 38th Annual Mainsail Arts Festival, St. Petersburg. The waterfront of downtown St. Petersburg provides a picturesque setting for the 37th Annual Mainsail Arts festival at Vinoy Park just north of the pier. Named by Sunshine Artist Magazine as one of the "100 Best" fine art events in the U.S., organizers expect more than 100,000 visitors to attend the art showcase of 250 juried exhibitors competing for $50,000 in prize money. The two-day event combines visual and performing arts along with opportunities for children to actively engage in art activities. Also on hand will be an assortment of culinary arts and souvenirs. From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free. At Vinoy Park. 727-892-5885. www.mainsailartsfestival.org
April 24-28: Fort Myers Beach Film Festival. Fort Myers Beach. This fest provides movie-goers the opportunity to see independent films and be a part of events designed to cultivate the spirit of visual creativity and harbor the talents of local and upcoming film makers on April 24-28. Tickets are $5 per film. For details, visit fmbfilmfest.com.
South Florida and the Keys (including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Key Largo, Key West and the Treasure Coast)
April 4-7: The Second Annual Brew on the Bay, Key Largo. This craft beer festival presented by the Rotary Club of Key Largo, features a variety of happenings including a home brew competition, more than 80 craft beers from around the world offered in an unlimited tasting with food, plus music and entertainment at Rowell’s Marina, Mile Marker 104.5 bayside. There are various ticket options; general admission is $35 in advance; $45 at the gate for Saturday’s main event. For details, visit www.keylargorotary.org.
April 5-6: 13th Annual O.J. McDuffie Spring Celebrity Golf Classic, Lauderhill. Tee-off at one of the most popular golf tournaments in South Florida alongside O.J. McDuffie, Ricky Williams and others from the world of sports and entertainment. Golfers will receive gift bags, tickets to the VIP reception premium open bar and dinner, welcome luncheon at the course, unlimited food and beverages, and numerous contests and prizes. Spots available from $750 to $2000; all proceeds benefit the Catch 81 Charities. VIP Reception: April 1 - Signature Grand. 6900 W. State Road 84. Davie, FL 33317. Golf Tournament: April 2 - Inverrary Golf and Country Club, 3840 Inverrary Blvd, Lauderhill, FL 33319. 877-584-2301. www.catch81foundation.org/events/celebrity-golf-classic/
April 6: Miami Riverday Festival, Miami. This festival celebrates the history and culture of Miami's working river, and features free riverboat tours, a variety of live music, children's activities, environmental education, historical reenactors, arts and crafts, and more. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. At Lummus Park Historic District. Free. 305-644-0544. www.miamirivercommission.org
April 7: 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/events/jazzbrunch/jazzbrunch.htm
April 7: Bay Jam 19, Islamorada. Local and guests artists perform on the shores of Florida Bay during the 19th Annual Bay Jam on April 7. The event, from noon to 8 p.m., takes place at the Capital Bank Amphitheater at Founders Park, Mile Marker 87. Admission is free with donation of non-perishable food item for the food bank. For information, visit www.keysice.com.
April 13: TurtleFest, Juno Beach. Guests of all ages can celebrate Earth Day weekend and enjoy up-close encounters with threatened and endangered sea turtles during the Ninth Annual TurtleFest on April 13 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Loggerhead Marinelife Center and Loggerhead Park. Local bands will take the stage while educational activities, art, shopping and other activities are available for children. Admission is free. For more information, call 561-627-8280. www.marinelife.org/turtlefest
April 13: Seven-Mile Bridge Run, Marathon. The 32nd annual Seven Mile Bridge Run is expected to draw 1,500 runners to a foot race across the longest segmental bridge in the world on April 13. The action kicks off at 7:30 a.m. For information, visit www.southernmostrunners.com/.
April 13: Cuban Cultural Exposition & Hot Havana Nights, Key West. The Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden presents a celebration of the Cuban contribution to Keys culture in dance, music and food. Highlights include a Cuban band, Tropicana-style revue, artwork by Cuban and émigré artists and a taste of the island 90 miles from Key West. For details, visit www.keywestbotanicalgarden.org.
April 13-14: 22nd Annual Florida Keys Island Fest, Islamorada. One hundred artists and crafters from around the state will display their work and food will be available for purchase. Live music and a "Taste of the Islands" competition where the best Upper Keys restaurants compete for coveted awards round out the event at Founder’s Park, Mile Marker 87, bayside. Admission is free. For information, visit www.islamoradachamber.com.
April 17-20: Miami Wine and Food Festival, Miami. Ranked as one of the top ten wine events in the nation, the festival features an array of culinary and wine events including wine tasting and interactive dinner with a top chef, live and silent auctions offering exotic travel packages, and some of the highest quality wine lots in South Florida. Admission. 305-646-7111. www.miamiwinefestival.org
April 18: Third Thursday Art Walk. Islamorada The Morada Way Third Thursday Art Walk presents local fine arts, music and culinary specialties on Dec. 20. The galleries of Morada Way are between Mile Markers 81 and 82. Event hours are from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. For details, visit www.fla-keys.com.
April 19: Las Olas Wine and Food Festival, Fort Lauderdale.The Street Festival includes over 60 restaurants and wine from around the world. Patrons will enjoy popular varietals and experiment with the newest and hottest grapes emerging onto the market. With over 40 tables to sample from, each table will offer a variety of labels and winery representatives will be on hand to offer advice, tips and answer any questions. $100 per person. 954-524-4657. 7:30 to 10 p.m. on Las Olas Boulevard. www.lasolaswineandfood.com/home.htm
April 19-28: Conch Republic Independence Celebration, Key West. Commemorates the founding of the Conch Republic in 1982, when the Keys seceded in response to a U.S. Border Patrol roadblock that halted traffic in and out of the Florida Keys. Begins with a Conch Republic Military Muster at Fort Taylor and includes a drag race, cruiser car show, Reef Relief party, bed race, "World's Longest Parade" down Duval Street from the Atlantic to the Gulf at the Schooner Wharf Bar, craft show, and the Naval Parade and Great Battle for the Conch Republic. 305-294-6019. www.conchrepublic.com/schedule.htm
April 20: Earth Day Festival at Flamingo Gardens, Davie. Learn about the environment, conservation and waste reduction through hands-on activities, demonstrations and crafts. Visit the recycled art vendors and information booths. For butterfly lovers there will be a Butterfly Encounter, a butterfly release, plus butterfly garden tours and presentations by the Broward County Butterfly Association. At Flamingo Gardens, 3750 S. Flamingo Road.Admission. 954-473-2955. www.flamingogardens.org/events.htm
April 20: Earth Day Celebration at Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key. Features live music, sand sculpture contest, puppet shows, face painting, environmental exhibits and booths, marine life touch tanks, telescopes with special viewing lenses, and food from hot dogs to sloppy joes. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free park entry, free event. 305-872-9807. www.floridastateparks.org/bahiahonda/Events.cfm
April 20-21: Fort Lauderdale Air Show, Fort Lauderdale. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will headline the inaugural air show. The four-hour, patriotic show will take to the skies on Saturday and Sunday featuring top military and civilian acts flying over the ocean, demonstrating skill and exciting viewers on Fort Lauderdale Beach. General viewing for the Air Show is free. Premium Viewing spots start at $29. For more information, call 877-377-8499 or visit lauderdaleairshow.com
Northeast Florida (including Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Flagler County and Amelia Island)
April 4-6: Antique Tractor and Engine Show, White Springs. Farm machinery representing 200 years of American history. Vintage farm equipment, tractor pulls and races for adults. Children's games and races. Demonstrations of wheat threshing and shingle milling. Food concessions. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. At Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park. Park admission. 386-397-7005. www.floridastateparks.org/thingstodo/events.cfm
April 5: First Friday Art Walk, St. Augustine. One of the city's most popular cultural events, held the first Friday of each month. Enjoy new exhibits, music, entertainment and refreshments at 15 participating galleries, plus great food courtesy of the St. Augustine Independent Restaurant Assn. Tours begin at Rembrandtz American Craft Gallery. St. Augustine Sightseeing Trains and Old Town Trolleys offer complimentary shuttle service to most galleries. Shuttles run on a continuous loop every 30 minutes. 904-829-0065.www.artgalleriesofstaugustine.com
April 5-7: George's Music Springing the Blues, Jacksonville Beach. Bring the entire family to celebrate blues music and the arts at this three-day oceanfront event. Named one of the top 50 Music Festivals in the World by Downbeat Magazine. It features a number of renowned blues performers such as John Primer, Joann Shaw Taylor and Albert Cummings as well as numerous displays and activities geared for the entire family. At SeaWalk Pavilion. Free. 904-465-2426. www.springingtheblues.com/
April 12-14: Jacksonville International Boat Show, Jacksonville. Largest in-water boat show in the region. The hottest boats and boating accessories will be on display along with live entertainment, fresh seafood and a riverfront tiki bar. You will also enjoy an antique boat display, Nautical Signal Flag decoding hunt and a Maritime History display. At Metropolitan Park and Marina. Adults $10 and children 16 and under free. 904-673-0093. www.jaxboatshow.com
April 13: Artrageous Artwalk, Fernandina Beach . Held monthly on second Saturday each month, to open the doors of some of Amelia Island's incredible galleries, featuring photography, pottery, copper, stained glass, watercolor, acrylics and more. Participants can peruse more than a dozen galleries in downtown Fernandina Beach and at the Plantation Artists' Guild and Gallery located at Amelia Island Plantation. 5:30-8:30 p.m. 800-226-3542. http://www.ameliaisland.com/calendar.aspx
April 18-21: 11th Annual Florida’s Birding and Photo Fest, Ponte Vedra Beach. This annual event shines the spotlight on Northeast Florida’s abundant bird life and natural beauty on April 18-21. More than 110 birding and photography events are featured during the festival. The fest is headquartered at the GTM Research Reserve, 505 Guana River Road. For details, visit www.FloridasBirdingandPhotoFest.com.
April 27: Taste of St. Augustine. St. Augustine. The Old City serves up the 16th Annual Merrill Lynch A Taste of St. Augustine on April 27. The event showcases the culinary delights and signature dishes of more than 30 area restaurants that are judged for “the best of” in numerous categories as well as the “People’s Choice” award at the St. Augustine Amphitheater. Additionally, cookbooks, cooking equipment and specialty food items will be available for purchase. Admission tickets to A Taste of St. Augustine are $5 and taste tickets are $1 each with restaurants charging 1-5 tickets per taste. The family-friendly festival also features live entertainment. The Race to the Taste 5K is also presented during this event. Festival hours are from noon to 8 p.m. For additional information on A Taste of St. Augustine, visit www.epiccommunityservices.org.
North-Central Florida (including Ocala, Gainesville and Tallahassee)
April 4-13: Clay County Agricultural Fair, Green Cove Springs. Showcase for Clay County's agricultural, educational, civic and commercial interests. Also includes livestock, midway, stage entertainment, contests and Early Florida Pioneer Village. At fairgrounds. Admission. 904-284-1615. www.claycountyfair.org
April 6-9: Suwanee River Paddling Festival, Suwanee County. Join the Paddle Florida event and spend two days exploring the spring-fed upper Wekiwa then paddle down to the St. John's and Blue Spring State Park on this long-weekend adventure. Register on the main website. 386-364-1683. www.paddleflorida.org
April 13-14: Cedar Key's 48th Annual Fine Arts Festival, Cedar Key. A juried art show with over $10,000 in prize money and purcahce awards. Features paintings, sculptures, jewelry, crafts, ceramics, textiles, photography and more. Downtown area. Cedar Key Arts Center. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 352-543-5400. www.cedarkeyartsfestival.com
April 19-20: Down Home Days Festival & PCA Rodeo, Madison County. Celebrating its 32nd year. Rodeo events are slated for Friday and Saturday nights. The Saturday festival in downtown Four Freedoms Park includes a parade, classic car show, frog hop, petting zoo and other kids activities plus arts, crafts and food vendors. Festival events are free. Rodeo is $10 advance or $12 day of event for adults. Children 11 and under are free with each paid adult ticket. Festival is Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Rodeo gates open at 6 p.m. each night. For more information, call 850-973-2788 or visit madisonflevents.com
April 21: Spring Festival, Alachua. Music, children's games, rides, activities, pony rides, petting zoo, food, handmade crafts. Main Street downtown. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. www.alachuabusiness.com/
April 27-28: 37th Annual Pioneer Days High Springs, Downtown High Springs. Saturday 9-5, Sunday 10-4. Held at James Paul Park. Hand made crafts, reenactments, Heritage village, period music and entertainment, large kids corral, parade, contests from the old days. Contact the chamber at 386-454-3120, 352-871-4992, or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the chamber website for more information www.highsprings.com
The Panhandle (including Pensacola, Panama City Beach, Apalachicola and Destin)
April 17-20: Seabreeze Jazz Festival. Panama City Beach. This annual fest features the smooth sounds of contemporary jazz at Pier Park on April 17-21. The event, which typically attracts more than 20,000 fans, offers three days of jazz and a themed dinner cruise. Varied tickets and passes are available. One-day general admission seating is $80 per person. For more information, visit www.seabreezejazzfestival.com.
April 20: Apalachicola Antique and Classic Boat Show, Apalachicola. Display of all types of antique boats, traditional vessels, work boats, fiberglass classics, antique outboard motors and antique cars. Free. 850-653-9419. www.antiqueboatshow.org/
April 26-27: Carrabelle Riverfront Festival, Carrabelle. Riverfront festival showcasing seafood, music, and regional and award-winning artists showing original works and prints, custom designed pottery, stained glass, sculpture, metal art, wood carving and more. Also includes seafood, maritime exhibits, sand sculptor, kid's zone and live entertainment. On Marine Street. Free. 850-697-2585. www.carrabelleriverfrontfestival.com
April 26-28: Interstate Mullet Toss and Gulf Coast's Greatest Beach Party , Pensacola America's last great roadhouse can throw a party - and a fish - like nobody else. The is a silly event that raises serious money for local charities. Festivities take place at the Florabama Lounge & Oyster Bar. Participants can pay $15 to toss a 1-pound mullet across the state line from Alabama to Florida. Watching the event is free. For more information call 850-492-0611 or visit www.florabama.com.
April 27: Choctawhatchee Estuary Festival, Niceville This event at Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park is a family event that features fun, educational activities and displays showcasing our coastal environment. Cheer on the crab races and get your hands dirty as you make fish printed T-shirts to take home. Then learn about local critters, ground water and red tides at informational displays. Winners of an amateur photo contest will also be announced. Park entry fee waived for participants. On April 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 850-729-6469. www.floridastateparks.org/rockybayou.
Correspondent Georgina Cruz contributed to this report.