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Florida Events for September and October 2023

This months Events in Florida via Visit Florida: https://www.visitflorida.com/things-to-do/events/

SOUTH FLORIDA

SOUTH FLORIDA ADVENTURE PASS – This will enable you to have unlimited admissions to four amazing and popular attractions in Broward County: Butterfly World, Flamingo Gardens, the Museum of Discovery and Science and the Sawgrass Recreation Center. The pass for people 13 and over is $55 and for people under 13 the cost is $45.
When: Now through Sept. 30
Where: The four attractions mentioned above
Web: southfloridaadventurepass.com/

RT EXHIBIT DOUBLE HEADER – They both start and end on the same days and are at the same location in Southwest Florida. Digital (C)age: Recycling Art in A New Dimension features the works of Miguel Vazquez. He uses repurposed materials that otherwise might wind up in landfills to create sculptures from recycled metal and paintings with reclaimed wood. The Shapeshifting Artist presents the work of Mary LaGarde, who creates in a variety of styles, such as impressionism, cubism, figurative realism, narrative art, landscapes, photorealism and sculpture.
When: Sept. 1-28
Where: Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Fort Myers
Web: sbdac.com/art-galleries/

OUT OF THE BOX – THE ART OF THE CIGAR LABEL – This unique museum exhibition presents a sampling of 19th and early 20th century inner and outer cigar labels, showcasing more than 40 lithographs related to Key West and Cuban cigar manufacturers. The lithographs were layered with up to 10 colors and added golf leaf embellishments and embossing. The vibrant images helped sell cigars through romantic landscapes, patriotic figures, lush tobacco fields and Grecian representations of women.
When: through Oct. 22
Where: Key West Museum of Art & History at The Custom House
Web: www.kwahs.org/exhibitions/cigarlabel

AMERICAN INDIAN DAY CELEBRATION – It’s actually two days for this family-friendly festival. You will be able to connect with the Miccosukees, Miami’s original locals, and get a glimpse into the tribe’s culture and traditions. There will be indigenous craft and food vendors, a petting zoo, a fashion show, carnival rides, alligator wrestling shows and airboat rides.
When: Sept. 23-24
Where: Miccosukee Casino & Resort in the Florida Everglades
Web: miccosukee.com/news/american-indian-day-2023/

YUM! YUM! YUM! YUM! That’s one big “Yum!” for four dine-on-the-relatively-inexpensive options:

  • Delray Beach Restaurant Month – Discover the diverse dining scene in downtown Delray Beach in this 30-day foodie fest. Enjoy prix fixe menus at special prices for lunches and dinners at about 50 restaurants, cafes and casual eateries, including new establishments that that have opened in the last year. The event also includes dine-out deals, happy hour and brunch specials and culinary events. Reservations are encouraged. The prix-fixe menu prices will be $25, $45, $65 and $85, depending on the restaurant and whether it is lunch, brunch or dinner.
    When: Sept. 1-30
    Where: Various locations in downtown Delray Beach
    Web: downtowndelraybeach.com/restaurantmonth
  • Miami Spice – It’s not one, but two full months of fantastic dining at some 200 restaurants and bistros. Three-course menus will be offered for lunches, brunches and dinners. Lunches and brunches be in the $30-$35 range and dinners will run between $45-$60.
    When: Aug. 1-Sept. 30
    Where: Participating restaurants in Miami Beach and Miami
    Web: iLoveMiamiSpice.com
  • Flavor Palm Beach — About 60 eateries from throughout Palm Beach County, from Boca Raton to Tequesta will offer prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner. The lunch menus will be in the $25-$45 range and dinners will be from $35-$85.
    When: Sept. 1-30
    Where: Throughout Palm Beach County
    Web: flavorpb.com
  • Sizzle Dining Restaurant Week – Actually, it is three weeks long and you’ll be able to enjoy meals at 90 plus great restaurants from Cape Coral down to Marco Island and everywhere in between. Two-course lunches for $19 or $29 and three-course dinners for $29, $39 or $49 will be offered.
    When: Sept. 7-27
    Where: Throughout Lee and Collier Counties
    Web: sizzledining.com

ISLAND HOPPER SONGWRITER FEST – Behind every great country music hit, there is usually another outstanding singer/songwriter who wrote the tune.  Get to know the back stories behind country’s biggest hits and see them performed by the writers. The headliner is Chris Janson, who wrote Tim McGraw’s 2012 hit “Truck Yeah” and somehow got Dolly Parton and Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash to appear together on Janson’s new single, “21 Forever.” Some of the other featured performers include Sheena Brook, Brian Sutherland, Tim James, Angie K, Charlie Worsham, Clint Daniels, Ben Burgess, Emily Shackleton, Kristian Bush, Phil O’Donnell and Sonia Leigh. With a quick trip through Google, you’ll be surprised to learn how many country hits they wrote and/or the famous artists with whom they performed.
When: Various venues in Captiva Island, downtown Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach and Cape Coral
When: Sept. 22-Oct. 1
Web: www.IslandHopperFest.com

WYNWOOD’S OCTOBERFEST—This three-day event always is the first Octoberfest gathering in SoFla and this year is no exception. Beer aficionados will experience great Seasonal brews, live music, beer games, an artisan market and yummy food. Don’t miss the dog-friendly activities.
When: Sept. 29-Oct. 1
Where: Wynwood Marketplace, Miami
Web: WynwoodOctoberfest.com

BRAZILIAN FILM FESTIVAL OF MIAMI – The 27th version of this fest will have eight days of in-person screenings and six weeks of virtual events. The in-person movies will compete for the prestigious Crystal Lens Award for the best new Brazilian film. It will be announced at the Closing Awards night, which will also feature a showing the film Elis & Tom. The documentary AmarElo – It’s All for Yesterday is the opening night film. The festival also includes live talks, panels with industry experts and masterclasses.
When: Sept. 9-16 for the in-person screenings and now through Sept. 30 for the virtual program.
Where: Various locations in Miami
Web: miamiandbeaches.com/event/brazilian-film-festival/18819?category=5

CRAFTS FESTIVALS – At these outdoor gatherings, you’ll get to see stunning works in a variety of media, including ceramics, jewelry, stained glass and metal. For details on all of them, see artfestival.com.

  • Punta Gorda Sullivan Street Craft Festival, Sept. 16-17

HAPPY HAUNTING! – There are two multi-day events that will give you all the Halloween-inspired thrills and chills you can take:

  • THE HORRORLAND – This scare-a-thon turns four this year with a whole new approach. Instead of drive-through, it is now a walkthrough and a more terrifying and haunting experience is promised. It will take a little more than two hours to complete and features eight haunted houses with outdoor scare zones, blood carnival games, horror art exhibitions and a fearful gift shop. It’s not for the faint of heart but if you don’t mind the chills, shrills, screams and scares, this one is for you.
               When: Thursdays through Sundays, from Sept. 22-Oct 31
               Where: Jungle Island on Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami
               Web: thehorrorland.com
  • FRIGHT NIGHTS – This carnival of terror offers four new haunted houses along with scare zones, midway carnival rides, live entertainment, video games and virtual reality. Some of the highlights: flesh-eating zombies, twisted carnivals, evil clowns, haunted hotels, ghostly graveyards, insane asylums, dark fairy tale creatures, corn mazes, haunted hayrides and psychotic hillbillies.
    When: Oct. 5 (for a behind-the-scenes tour), 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21 26 and 28
    Where: South Florida Fairgrounds, West Palm Beach
    Web: myfrightnights.com

ZOMBIE BIKE RIDE – This one is more fun than scary. After a pre-ride four-hour party with face and body painters, food vendors and a full bar, thousands of costumed rock & roll inspired zombies take off on the bike ride. The ride ends with a huge dance party.
When: Oct. 22
Where: Various locations in Key West
Web: zombiebikeride.com/

NOT-SO SCARY SCARECROWS – These scarecrows aren’t meant to scare anybody! Instead, they will show how creative residents of these communities are.

  • Scarecrows in the Park – Ordinary folks of all ages will make their own scarecrows based on this year’s theme of movie characters. They will be on display for two weeks. If you want to have a scarecrow shown, you need to register by Sept. 30. Scarecrows in the Park is part of a larger event called Fall Festival, which also includes a train ride, hay rides, bounce houses and yummy fare food.
              When: Oct. 13-29
              Where: Lakes Park, Fort Myers
              Web: lakespark.org/scarecrows/
  • Scarecrows in the Forest Art Exhibit and Contest – These scarecrows are made from natural and recycled materials. Cash prizes will be awarded in each of three categories: school-age individuals or groups, not-for-profit groups and businesses, amateur individuals and creative professionals.
            When: Now through Nov. 30
            Where: Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden
             Web: keywest.garden/events/scarecrows-in-the-forest/

ZOO BOO – Kids under the age of 12 can trick-or-treat in costumes, participate in costume contests, meet special characters, make Halloween crafts and see the animals get their Halloween goodies. Zoo Boo is included with general admission to one of the finest zoos in the country.
When: Oct. 28-29
Where: Zoo Miami
Web: zoomiami.org/upcoming-events/event/zoo-boo-2023

FORT LAUDERDALE INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW – The numbers for the 2022 version were staggering: More than 100,000 attendees, 1,000 exhibitors, 1,300 boats and some $4 billion worth of merchandise. It will be more of the same this year with all kinds boats to be purchased or gawked at, including extraordinary super yachts, runabouts, sportfishers, high performance boats, center consoles, cabin cruisers, skiffs, express cruisers, sailing yachts, motor yachts, bowriders, catamarans, ski boats, trawlers, inflatables, canoes, kayaks and an amazing array of marine accessories. Don’t miss the Nautical Ventures’ AquaZone, which will give showgoers and upfront and personal experience with various water sports and innovative marine products. Pamper yourself and book space in the air-conditioned Windward VIP lounge in the heart of the super yacht section. Also included: kids’ fishing clinics, fishing and diving seminars, live water sports demonstrations, floating cocktail lounges and really good food. New this year: a collection of rarely seen classic and iconic cars Friday night in the Superyacht Village.
When: Oct. 25-29
Where: Various locations in Fort Lauderdale
Web: flibs.com

MIAMI CARNIVAL – This multi-event party includes steel bands, parades, concerts, beauty pageants, colorful and elaborate costumes, scrumptious food and arts and crafts. The biggie events are: Carnival Sunday Parade of Bands and concert, the Junior Carnival, Panorama Steel Band Competition and J’ouvert. 
When: Sept. 30 and Oct. 6-8 in 2023
Where:  Broward County Central Park in Lauderhill for the Junior Carnival, Panorama Steel Band competition and J’ouvert and Miami-Dade Fair & Expo in Miami for the Parade of Bands and concert
Web: miamicarnival.org

MIAMI HOME DESIGN & REMODELING SHOW – The latest trends will be on display for home improvements, décor, kitchen and bath renovations, flooring, closets, furniture, garden and patio, hurricane protection, home automation and security. Browse row-upon-row of booths, displays and demonstrations where experts and inventors offer cutting edge ideas for perking up your home décor. See innovative new tools, ingenious storage systems, work-saving cleaning aids and brilliant gardening and landscaping ideas. South Florida’s most in-demand professionals teach you useful skills and share valuable information to help you on your next project. Also included: lifestyle seminars, family day art activities and food and wine pairing demonstrations.
When: Oct. 20-22
Where: Miami Dade-County Fair & Expo Center, Miami
Web: homeshows.com/home-show-dates-miami/

FANTASY FEST – Leave the young’uns at home and head for this non-stop, adult-themed mega-party. Highlights include costume competitions, too!), island bands, pool parties, a scavenger hunt, a living art expo and great food. The theme for this year’s 42nd celebration is “Uniforms & Unicorns: 200 Years of Sailing into Fantasy.” See the website below for suggestions on costume inspiration to support the theme. Some of the highlights are the famous Fantasy Fest Parade, the Masquerade March (aka the “Locals Parade”), the Goombay Festival, concerts, theater productions, Heroes & Villains 5K run/walk, the always hilarious Pet Masquerade and the Headdress Ball.
When: Oct. 20-29
Where: Various locations in Key West
Web: fantasyfest.com

NAPLES INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL — The highlight this year will be the closing-night presentation of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,  with the film’s music score performed live by the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra. More than 50 films will be presented, including narrative features, documentary features, short films and student films. In 2019 MovieMaker Magazine named it among one of the top 25 coolest film festivals in the world.
When: Oct. 26-29
Where: Various locations in Naples
Web: naplesfilmfest.com

BEER! BRATWURST! BUTT-KICKING LIVE MUSIC! BAVARIAN BEAUTIES! MORE BEER! — It being October, we could only be talking about Oktoberfest. Here are just some of the celebrations:

SOUTH BEACH SEAFOOD WEEK & FESTIVAL – Attendees will help kick off the annual Stone Crab season and enjoy a myriad of other seafood yummies prepared by Miami’s top chefs and restaurants. Also: live bands, culinary and mixology demonstrations, a kids zone, health village and VIP hospitality benefits. 
When: Oct. 18-21
Where: Various locations in Miami and Miami Beach
Web: sobefoodfest.com

NAPLES STONE CRAB FESTIVAL – The star of the event, of course, Stone Crabs, but there is so much more: all kinds of other seafood, live entertainment, arts and crafts vendors and discounted rentals at Pure Naples. It’s also a good time to explore the shops, sights and activities around the Naples waterfront area.
When: Oct. 27-29
Where: Tin City, Naples
Web: stonecrabfestival.com

REEF FEST Activities include seminars, evening social gatherings, silent and live auctions and, of course, diving events along some of the best coral reef sites in the country. For non-Scuba folks, there will be snorkeling, kayaking and paddle boarding. All seminars are free, but pre-registration is recommended.      
When: Oct. 19-22
Where: Various locations in and near Key Largo
Web: reef.org/REEFFest

ORCHID SALE AND SYMPOSIUM – In addition to presentations and classes by the Southwest Florida Orchid Society, vendors will be selling orchids outdoors near the Garden Shoppe. Pollinator plants, herbs, fruit trees and more orchids will be sold inside. There will also be lots of good live music, food and beverages.
When: Oct. 9-10
Where: Edison and Ford Winter Estates, Fort Myers
Web: edisonfordwinterestates.org/events/orchid-sale-and-symposium/

CELEBRATE ORGULLO – This year’s event will again showcase the magic of Hispanic & Indigenous art, music, dance and theater. Highlights include the ArtDIVA bus tour, a workshop with everything you could want to know about religious clothing and rituals, the Goddess Cabaret featuring diva headliner Yoko Oso and the Miami Gay Chorus and the Gods Gala & Legends Honors Award on the final night. The latter includes a premium open bar, hors d’oeuvres, DJ Latrice Perry, a dance and musical performance by Ameyal and a fashion show by Bo Khasamarina.
When: Oct. 1, 3, 6 and 13
Where: Various locations in Miami Beach and Miami.
Web: celebrateorgullo.com

SWAMP CELEBRATION – For two days each year, visitors to the Big Cypress National Preserve can explore the private property surrounding noted photographer Clyde Butcher’s through guided swamp walks. Tours are 45 minutes and are limited to 10 people adults and five children. Reservations are required. Make sure to check out the gallery to see Butcher’s amazing nature photographs.
When: Oct. 21-22
Where: Big Cypress National Preserve, Ochopee
Web: clydebutcher.com/events/

MADAME GOUGOUSE CARIBBEAN CULTURE FEST – Hungering for some live music in the soca, reggae, dance hall, zouk, salsa and kompa genres? If so, this event is for you. It has always been a fusion of art, food and music connecting the Caribbean countries.
When: Oct. 21-22
Where: NoMi Village, Miami
Web: eventbrite.com/e/madame-gougouse-caribbean-culture-fest-tickets-603872538017

BOYNTON BEACH PIRATE FEST — You arrr going to have a good time at this family-friendly event, for sure. Highlights include a variety of vendors, live mermaids, pirate encampments, stunt shows, cannons and live music. Young buccaneers will enjoy a slew of kids’ activities, including a treasure hunt. If you haven’t yet visited this friendly city, this would be a good time to go.
When: Oct. 28-29
Where: Centennial Park and Amphitheatre, Boynton Beach
Web: boynton-beach.org/calendar.aspx?eid=647

DON PINDER: EYES ON THE ISLAND – This exhibit is devoted exclusively to the work of Key West photographer Don Pinder, who passed away in 2003, after a 35-year career (for the Key West Citizen) of documenting the island’s history and culture. It includes 50 black-and-white and color photos, some of them never before published.
When: Now through Nov. 5
Where: Key West Museum of Art & History on Stock Island (just outside of Key West)
Web: kwahs.org/exhibitions/donpinder

ARTS & CRAFTS TRIO – At all three of these outdoor gatherings, you’ll get to see stunning works in a variety of media:

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