Fall Festivals in Cocoa, Florida

by Dan Harkins
Shuttle launches at Cape Canaveral are another attraction for the residents of Cocoa.

Shuttle launches at Cape Canaveral are another attraction for the residents of Cocoa.

Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images

The city of Cocoa, Florida, has a lineup of festivals spaced throughout the year to draw people together and highlight the city's features. In the fall alone, there are three festivals to choose from, as well as a regional fall arts festival in nearby Cocoa Beach.


Arts enthusiasts in Cocoa flock every year to the main event for area arts festivals, the Space Coast Art Festival. Running concurrently with Thanksgiving weekend in 2011, the festival gives not only residents but those visiting from other areas a chance to absorb the local talent and views. This long-running fest began in 1972 and is held over the Intercoastal Waterway from Cocoa, in Cocoa Beach. In 2011, juried displays were set to receive as much as $50,000 in cash prizes, drawing "local" artists from all around to heighten the quality of the work. For information about the art fest, call (321) 784-3322.


A fairly new event to coincide with annual trick-or-treating is Halloween in the Village, a tax-funded event hosted by the City of Cocoa's Leisure Services department, which can be contacted at (321) 639-3500. Running from early afternoon to nightfall, the free event packs a trove of bouncy houses, children's games and haunted displays and mazes into several blocks of the city's historic Cocoa Village/Riverfront Park district. Watch a scary movie at sundown, after little legs get tired from hunting candy.

Dog Fest

Riverfront Park is the place where dog owners can get their pooches into the mix at a fall festival sponsored by the city and the Brevard County Dog Training Club. Called the AKC (American Kennel Club) Responsible Dog Ownership Day, the event takes place on November 6 in 2011, all throughout the park, which is located at 401 Riveredge Blvd. Display booths of shelters and rescue groups mingle with food trucks, training demonstrations and pet-themed children's activities, to make your dog feel more loved than he has in months. Contact the city for details at (321) 639-3500.

Holiday Preparations

The end of the fall festival season in Cocoa is marked by a Christmas tree lighting in Cocoa Village's Riverfront Park and an annual Space Coast Boat Parade at the end of November. This serves to remind everyone that it's probably not going to snow this winter either. Area music groups provide the accompaniment to a lighting and caroling. During several hours leading up to the dusk fireworks, visitors relax on blankets with a boat-cluttered view of the horizon, tour the crafts and game areas, or just try to figure out why Santa Claus is so overdressed for the weather.

About the Author

Dan Harkins has been a full-time journalist since 1997. Prior to working in the alternative press, he served as a staff writer and editor for daily publications such as the "St. Petersburg Times" and "Elyria Chronicle-Telegram." Harkins holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of South Florida.

Photo Credits

  • Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images