Published on : Wednesday, October 5, 2016
When they travel, they want to blend in with the locals. Eat like a local, drink like a local and naturally, live like a local. Festivals are a great way to get a taste of the local flavors, traditions and a sense of the community.
Florida is home to a number of crazy and unique festivals. And due to the year round temperatures averaging 22 degrees Celsius, it’s always the perfect time to get out and explore an activity the locals love. So if you look forward to be a part of the Floridian festivities, here is a festival calendar for you.
Connect with your artistic side this October
Come to a county where cultures collide. Sarasota, located 2 hours southwest of Orlando, is known as Florida’s Arts Capital, but it’s also known as the home to the Ringling Circus Museum. The history of the circus dates back to 1742, when Philip Astley, a former English Calvary Sergeant, decided his time was better spent conducting tricks on the back of horses and thus, the first circus performance was born. Because it is a visual art, circuses transcend language barriers and therefore are appreciated by audiences around the world – including China, India and the Americas. Each October, The Ringling International Arts Festival provides an opportunity for art lovers of all types – be it visual or performing, to get together as one global community to experience the joy of the circus.
Experience Art Basel in December
Miami has always been known as a cultural melting pot, and during December 1-4, 2016 Art Basel is a testament to this fact. The New York Times claims Art Basel in Miami Beach is the most sought-after and meticulously planned event on the American art world calendar. About one half of the galleries at Art Basel come from the US or Latin America, and for dealers from places like Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, it’s the year’s biggest opportunity to connect with global buyers. Even those who don’t know the difference between a Renoir and a Rembrandt can enjoy the festivities. Or stick around for the after parties, because where art is found, fashion and fun is never far behind.
Explore up-and-coming Tampa Bay in January
Florida’s southwest city of Tampa Bay is also the best place at this time to know the ancient history and mythology of Florida. As legend goes, Jose Gaspar, renowned Spanish Pirate, roamed the Gulf of Mexico and Spanish Main during the late 18th century, plundering for treasure. Each year, the citizens of Tampa Bay recreate the story and onJanuary 28, 2017, hundreds of eager pirates land on the Tampa Bay shores and hold the mayor captive until he turns over the key to the city. Then, the pirates’ victory celebration commences with live music, food and pirate-themed entertainment. This festival will have treasure seeking vacationers’ leaving with a chest full of treasured memories.
Enjoy Exotic Delicacies
Records show that frogs’ legs were common foodstuff in southern China as early as the first century AD. The tradition continues in Florida at the Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival. Each January, residents of the Sebastian River Area, located 1.5 hours from Orlando, come together to fry up frog legs, gator tail and other delicacies. This festival, now in its 26th year, boasts of two Guinness Book of World Records. First, for the most frog legs consumed in one day and second, for the largest frog leg festival in world, with more than 80,000 attendants.
Make permanent memories in March
Since 3370 BC, tattoos have been a part of cultural practices around the world. In Central America, Jesuit Relations took note of the art of tattooing among the Petun and Neutral tribes who permanently imprinted eagles, serpents and dragons on their skin. The traditions of tattooing even reached the United States, where navy sailors often used the ink as a way to identify oneself. Today, tattoos have grown in popularity, with famous tattoo artists like Miami-based Chris Nunez. But Miami isn’t the only hotspot for ink these days. Hosting more than 200 of the world’s top tattoo artists including TV personalities, vacationers can brag about their permanent memory from the ‘Ink Life Tour Festival’ during this March 2017. Accompanied by live hard rock, alternative and hip hop performances, this tattoo festival by the sea will have even the most undecided travelers plunging at the opportunity to get ink from these top artists.
Try a taste of America in April
France has wine, Germany has beer, America has whiskey and rum. Dating back to the 17th century, the Caribbean islands sold, bartered and traded rum to the colonials, thus bringing the tradition to the United States. In fact, in 1778, during the second anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, America’s first President George Washington famously ordered a double ration of rum for his troops. Florida, due to its proximity to the Caribbean, as well as the melting-pot culture, continues to celebrate this intoxicating beverage on April 22-23, 2017 at the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival. Rum-producers, experts and drinkers come to taste and explore at the world’s largest rum festival in the world.