What’s Happening in May?

Fleet Week Port Everglades – Port Everglades; Fort Lauderdale

May 2-9

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This annual event makes it possible for 12,000 lucky people who manage to get one of the coveted reservations to tour active Navy and Coast Guard ships at no charge. Tour a nuclear submarine, an amphibious assault ship, a destroyer or a Coast Guard Cutter. Unable to get a reservation this year? Add it to your 2017 calendar now.

Food and Wine on Pine – Anna Maria

May 7 (May 8 in case of rain)

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Anna Maria showcases its best food, wine, art and music at Food and Wine on Pine. For only a $5 admission guests receive a glass of wine and a buffet tray. Then purchase food tickets for $1 each and start sampling…food and drink can be purchased for 2-10 tickets. Warning: This is a cash only event so get some green before you make your way to Pine Avenue.

Papio’s Kinetic Sculpture Parade – Key West

May 13-15

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Join the inaugural event of human-powered, family-friendly, art-inspired float parade through the streets of Key West. This is not only a parade for viewing, but one in which you can participate. With an entry fee of $15, anyone can enter their own Art human powered Art Bike in the 1.5 mile parade.

Forgotten Coast Paddle Jam – Apalachicola and St. George Island

May 20-22

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Three days of water based activities including a 3-mile, 6-mile, and 14-mile races for kayaks and standup paddleboards. In addition, there will be boat blessings, live entertainment, exhibitors and outfitters, and what else but a BBQ competition.

Tupelo Honey Festival -Wewahitchka

May 21

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What could be more old Florida than a festival for honey in a place called Wewahitchka. Featuring plenty of local honey products and the crowning of Miss Tupelo, plan to spend the day listening to music, eating and playing.

Florida Folk Festival – Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park

May 27-29

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This three day celebration takes place annually on Memorial Day weekend at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park. The state’s cultural heritage is the focus of the festival, celebrating everything from storytelling, the art of pine needle basket making, square dance, native plants and animals, and Florida foods. It’s also the site of the annual Fiddle Contest.

What do you have on your calendar for May?

What’s Happening in April?

NCAA Frozen Four Ice Hockey Championship – Tampa

April 7 & 9

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Frozen and Florida don’t usually appear in the same phrase, but this year Tampa hosts one of the brackets of the NCAA Men’s Division I hockey championship. This is a great opportunity to see high quality collegiate hockey in the Sunshine State.

Worm Gruntin’ Festival – Sopchoppy

April 9

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Starting at 7:00am and not concluding until 10:00pm, the Worm Grunting’ Festival provides a full day of activities beginning with a 5K and including art, craft, and food vendors and a worm grunting demonstration by Snap Revell. Live music will add to the fun throughout the afternoon, and the day concludes with the Worm Grunters’ Ball so don’t forget your dancing shoes.

Florida Blueberry Festival – Brooksville

April 16-17

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With live music, street entertainment, a kids zone, a wine bar and a beer garden, it sounds like the Blueberry Festival’s covered all bases. The events begin Saturday morning and continue until 4:00 Sunday afternoon. And of course, this is the place for blueberry muffins, blueberry ice cream, blueberry honey and baskets of fresh berries.

23rd Annual Downtown Crawfish Festival – Tallahassee

April 23

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Located in the state’s capital, the Downtown Crawfish Festival celebrates seafood and New Orleans style music. Live musical performances, eating competitions, a kids’ activity center and a group of featured chefs  add to the fun of a crawfish boil.

Sunfest 2016 – West Palm Beach

April 27- May 1

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Since 1982, the first weekend of May has been the time for Sunfest, the largest waterfront music and art festival in Florida. Fifty bands will be playing on three stages over the five days of the festival including Alabama Shakes, Duran Duran, and The Roots. The art show runs Friday – Sunday and there’s even a 5K.

Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival – Fernandina Beach

April 28-May 1

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This annual celebration of Fernandina Beach’s history in shrimping includes a Miss Shrimp Pageant, a Pirate Parade, a boat parade and a riverfront fireworks show. This is the place to be for all shrimp lovers.

 

 

Big Bugs Everywhere

On January 15, the Big Bug Invasion took over Leu Gardens. An army of enormous ants meet visitors as they enter the gardens.

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Created from natural materials, the creatures lurk around every corner.

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Despite the fact the insects may stand over twenty feet tall, many remain hidden among the plants.

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While others, like the lady bug remain in the open, ready for photo ops.

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The 200 pound assassin bug was quite a specimen.

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But I have an affinity for spiders and this one camouflaged among the bamboo may have been my favorite sculpture.image-67-683x1024

The Big Bug Invasion continues at Harry P. Leu Gardens in downtown Orlando until April 15 so there’s plenty of time to get acquainted with the garden’s newest inhabitants.

 

Pigging Out at Pigfest: Polk County

We were introduced to a new event yesterday, the Lakeland Pigfest, a place to enjoy a warm January day with friends and family while feasting on delicious barbecue.

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According to the festival website, the goals of the event:

Raise money for local charitable organizations
Create a relaxing event for all walks of life
Eat some world class barbecue!

From the size of the crowd and from the food we tasted, I’d say they met their goal.

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Ribs by the bones, wings and pulled pork sold in sample sizes made it possible to try quite a variety of food. I’m proud to say none of us succumbed to any of the fried selections. No fried Oreos. No fried strawberries. No fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. No fried bananas.

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That doesn’t mean we skipped the sweets. We just stuck to strawberry shortcake.

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The Lakeland Pigfest is held at Tigertown on Friday night and Saturday. If you missed this year’s event, mark your calendar of January 2017 so you can pig out.

(Thanks, John, for sharing your pictures.)