Visiting Florida in fall means warm weather without the stifling summer temperatures and a host of festivals that celebrate everything from Asian gastronomy and dance to rock music. Throughout the Sunshine State, festivals invite families to experience food, fun and excitement. Many festivals also offer special activities specifically for grownups such as beer and wine tastings.
Chow down on food from Italy at Florida's fall festivals. Visitors to the Feast of Little Italy fest (feastoflittleitaly.com) in Jupiter experience the breadth of Italian cuisine and celebrate Italian-American heritage and culture. The event includes cooking demonstrations, live entertainment and rides for the kids. The Feast of San Gennaro, held in St. Augustine during October, follows the same theme. The festival has food, music, rides and games, including bocce ball, a popular Italian sport and a pizza cook-off.
The annual Rocktoberfest (rocktoberfestpsl.eventbrite.com) is a music and arts festival that features more than 40 musical acts. It takes place in October in Port St. Lucie. Kids 10 and under are free and adults cost $5, as of publication date. The two-day Treasure Coast Music Festival (tcmusicfestival.com) features three stages of live music including everything from metal to folk. It takes place in September at Vero Beach.
Get spooky with ghosts and goblins at Halloween-tastic festivals in Florida. The yearly Cooterfest (cooterfestival.com), which takes place in Inverness, has music, food, games and rides. The festival also features the Miss Cooter beauty pageant. Highlights are trick or treat and costume contests, so get creative and make something scary to wear. The Sarasota Pumpkin Festival (sarasotapumpkinfestival.com) also has food, rides and games and a few special events, such as a bear show and pig races. This festival celebrates all things fall.
Arts and Culture Festivals
Feel creative at Florida festivals that celebrate arts and culture. The Heart of Florida Asian Festival (gvlculturalaffairs.org) serves pan-Asian cuisine and features martial arts demonstrations, music, puppetry and more. The festival takes place annually in Gainesville each October and begins with a parade of performers. The Holidayfest and Craft Extravaganza, held during October in Port Charlotte (ginghamandlaceproduction.com), has games for kids, beer for grownups and a host of arts and crafts for sale, such as handmade baskets and furniture.
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