by The Editors | April 28, 2022

The Best Florida Events Happening This Spring & Summer

From a journey through the sky to underwater musical performances, fill up your summer with these festivals.



Immersive art experiences paint the walls of Alys Beach in color at this projection art festival. Photography courtesy of Alys Beach.

Digital Graffiti

MAY 13-14

Who says art and science have to be at odds? It’s the ultimate marrying of the minds at this immersive festival where projection art paints the stark-white skyline of this New Urbanist enclave in technicolor.

Florida Folk Festival

MAY 27-29

Learn the stories of the Sunshine State at this celebration of Florida’s heritage. Pluck a mandolin, weave a pine-needle basket or call a square dance. Whatever it takes to get back to your roots.

Annual Mug Race


Sail 38 nautical miles down the longest river in Florida to become the Mug Cup champion. Or sit back and watch the fleet of sailboats cross the finish line in Orange Park.

Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic

JUNE 22-26

Use your sturdiest rod, and fight to heave in the heaviest blue marlin on the Gulf Coast at this sport-fishing showdown. With a $2 million purse, this is one of the top-ten big-money events in the world.

Rock the Roost


Let your boots swing from a dropped tailgate while Luke Bryan serenades you with chart-topping hits at this outdoor concert that benefits Tallahassee Community College. Yeah, that’s our kind of night.

Scallop Season


Grab a snorkel and a net and head to Florida’s Big Bend for one of summer’s most iconic pastimes. Collect your share, but not more than the limit, of these Easter eggs of the sea, best enjoyed fresh off the boat, grilled or chilled.

At Amelia Island’s Fish to Fork event, chefs compete to catch and cook the best seafood. Photography courtesy of Omni Amelia Island.

Fish to Fork

SEPT. 29-OCT. 2

Chefs must be skilled with both a rod and a roaster to excel in this multifaceted showdown. First, these captains of cuisine board a backwater charter in search of red drum, black sea bass, flounder and any other local species that might taste good topped with olive tapenade or seared over a plate of creamy risotto. Once back on dry land, competitors use their day’s catch to craft a gourmet meal that will out-flavor their foes, while incorporating the secret ingredient, of course. Chefs battle both individually and as teams, but the guests are always the judges, sampling dishes in between dancing and drinks. Previous contenders have included Kenny Gilbert, Kathleen Blake and even Maneet Chauhan. Who’ll be crowned the king or queen of brawn and brine this year?


Floridania Fest

MAY 21

Swap something old for something, um, older at this meetup for collectors of Florida kitsch. Trade your vintage collectibles for sentimental Sunshine souvenirs, postcards, art and more.

Beer ‘Merica 2022: The Legend Returns

MAY 14

Salute the red, white and brew when this fest featuring more than 100 craft beers returns to Ivanhoe Village. Flaunt your patriotic getup for a chance to win a year of free beer.

The Pride Cup

JUNE 3-5

Spike a volleyball, sink a hole-in-one or join the rainbow run at this inaugural LGBTQ+ sports tourney inspired by the 30-year tradition of “Gay Day at Magic Kingdom.” Stick around after dark for parties into the night.

Suncoast Ladies Classic


Watch as legit lady anglers compete for $45,000 worth of cash prizes. Want in on the fun? There are seminars all weekend long to help newbies become pro-fish-ionals.

This jet ski grand prix is the largest watercraft racing series in the world. Photography by Ronny McHenry.

P1 AquaX Daytona Beach Grand Prix

AUG. 12-14

Root for your favorite jet ski skipping over the surf at the largest watercraft racing series in the world. Recreational and professional riders are welcome, just don’t forget your courage—or your helmet—at home.


JULY 16-17

Swim at your own risk! Sharks will swarm the Florida State Fairgrounds during this fin frenzy. Dive into the science behind the species, learn to scuba and protect these apex predators.

Stick around after the sun goes down for a hot air balloon glow show at Up, Up and Away. Photography by

Up, Up and Away

MAY 6-8

See the Sunshine State from a new perspective—as long as you’re not scared of heights. A fleet of hot air balloons will sail over Lakeland for a weekend’s worth of whimsy. The fearless can fly high in a tethered balloon for an unobstructed view of Central Florida’s splendor. Meanwhile, the landlubber can look up for an awe-inspiring display of balloons bobbing above the treetops. When you’re not airborne, saunter over to the stage for songs by Rico Monaco Band and Audio Exchange, or sit behind the wheel of a vintage vehicle at the car show. Stick around after sunset because the spectacle lights up with a spectrum of color for the balloon night glow. Come for a day or camp out for all three, and get the full-blown experience.


World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament and Festival

MAY 18-19

See who can score the heftiest silver king at this storied fishing competition in some of the state’s most active waters. They don’t call Boca Grande the tarpon fishing capital of the world for nothing.

Vero Beach Film Festival

JUNE 9-12

Wine lovers and film aficionados unite at Vero Beach’s favorite film festival. Pair a red with romance or a sparkling white with comedy, and make friends with rising filmmakers.

Key Lime Festival


Test your Floridian taste buds with five days of unique Key lime concoctions. Race to win the pie-eating contest, discover the best Key Lime rum and even learn how to grow your very own key lime tree.

Rub elbows with fellow cork dorks at vintner dinners during Boca Bacchanal. Photography courtesy of The Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum.

Boca Bacchanal

MAY 6-7

Make Bacchus proud when you indulge in this food-and-wine spectacular. Cork dorks can geek out at exclusive vintner dinners held at historic homes throughout the city or talk shop with somms at the grand tasting.

Miami Swim Week

JULY 14-21

Scour the catwalk for your summer wardrobe at one of fashion’s most anticipated events. From bandeaus to triangle bikinis, models will debut what’s sure to be trending on the sand and at the pool this season.

Underwater Music Festival

JULY 8-9

Explore North America’s only living coral reef while musicians strum the day away under the sea. This submerged jam session benefits coral reef preservation.

Dancers from all over the world perform at the International Ballet Festival in Miami. Photography by Phillipe Obregon.

International Ballet Festival of Miami

JULY 23-AUG. 14

Enjoy an evening with the etoiles of ballet companies from around the world at this festival for fancy feet. Principal dancers from Europe, Asia, Latin America and the U.S. meet on the stage in Miami to perform both the classics and contemporary creations. Past attendees have been treated to Washington Ballet’s Katherine Barkman and Gian Carlo Perez Alvarez in the Diana and Actaeon pas de deux from La Esmeralda, Bianca Teixeira and Lucas Erni in the White Swan pas de deux in Swan Lake and a memorable performance from Milwaukee Ballet’s Mary Fumero as the ever-sultry lead in Carmen. Audiences also have the opportunity to see the stars of tomorrow at the International Young Medalists Performance or enjoy various dance films at venues throughout the city.