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Florida Travel Calendar for May

April 15, 2009

Check out our list of statewide festivals and events for May.

Central Florida
Covering the I-4 corridor from Daytona to Tampa plus Sarasota and Brevard County


Apr. 29-May 3: Sunscreen Film Festival, St. Petersburg. Over the course of five days, Sunscreen will showcase more than 50 films, including comedies, dramas, music videos, student films and documentaries from around the world. Additionally, the festival will host multiple parties, workshops and panels with celebrities and special guests from the film industry.  Venues include BayWalk and other locations throughout St. Petersburg. Admission. 727-259-8417. www.sunscreenfilmfestival.com

Apr. 30-May 3: World of Nations Celebration, Jacksonville. Celebration of rich cultural traditions and unique heritage of people from around the world, where you can experience the cuisine, artistry and customs from lands near and far. At. Metropolitan Park. Admission. International Party on May 1 is free. 904-630-3690. www.coj.net/Departments/Recreation+and+Community+Services/Special+Events/World+of+Nations/Default.htm

May 1-2: Smoke n’ Blues, Bikes and BBQ, St. Cloud. Florida BBQ Association sanctioned competition for both pros and backyard teams. Festivities include live blues entertainment, bike show, crafts, children’s play area, BBQ vendors and much more. At St. Cloud Lakefront. Free admission. 407-498-0008. www.stcloudmainstreetflorida.org

May 1-2: Planes, Trains and Barbeque, Tavares. Enjoy train rides, a Red Bull racing airplane, seaplanes, and tasty barbeque from competitors vying for top honors in this Florida BBQ Association-sanctioned competition. Event was inaugurated last year. At Wooton Park. Free admission; all rides $5. 352-394-8618.http://www.flbbq.org/contest.htm

May 2: Planes, Trains and Barbeque, Tavares. Enjoy train rides filled with robbers at this event inaugurated last year. On land, barbeque rules as Florida BBQ Association-sanctioned competition heats up. At Wooten Park. Admission. 352-394-8618. http://www.flbbq.org/contest.htm

May 2: Concert Under the Stars at Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales. Moonlight concert on the Great Lawn with a performance by the Imperial Symphony Orchestra and the Singing Tower carillon. Admission. 863-676-1408. www.boktowergardens.org/

May 2: Taste of Inverness, Inverness. A night of food and wine sampling while enjoying artwork and music, held the first Saturday in May. This is the third annual. It began in 2006 with the opening of Inverness Government Center, and last year featured 10 restaurants serving up everything from Cubans and pasta to ice cream and pizza. At Inverness Government Square. 352-726-2611 x1309. http://www.inverness-fl.gov/index.asp?NID=298

May 2-3: Ruskin Tomato and Heritage Festival, Ruskin. Held annually the first weekend in May. Free tomato slices and free tomato plants, while supplies last, and a wide variety of heirloom and other tomatoes to sample. Also includes a blacksmith, wood carvers, spinners, quilt makers and a Frontiersman Camp setup. Among Cracker food offered will be catfish and hush puppies, fried green tomatoes, grits, swamp cabbage and more. At E.G. Simmons Park. Admission. 813-645-6028. http://ruskinfoundation.org/festival.html

May 3: Taste of Mount Dora, Mount Dora. A spectacular evening of culinary delights prepared by Mount Dora’s finest restaurants. At Chamber of Commerce. Admission. 352-383-2165. www.mountdora.com/events.php

May 8-10: Cotee River Seafood Festival, Bright House Networks Boat Show, and Blues by the River, New Port Richey. Event combining live Blues music with tasty seafood and beautiful boats, plus an arts and crafts fair and activities for the entire family. Also offered are fishing and boating demonstrations, boat tours, and children’s games and activities. At Sims Park and Orange Lake. VIP seating for Blues Concert available. Most, but not all, activities are free. 727-842-8066. www.nprmainstreet.com

May 9: Sand Sculpture Contest, Siesta Key. Annual event where children and adults alike compete for cash prizes for first, second and third place in several categories of competition. Sponsored by Sarasota County Parks and Recreation and the Pelican Press. At Siesta Key Public Beach. Free. 941-349-1911. http://siestakeychamber.com/events.php

May 9-10: Mayfaire-by-the-Lake, Lakeland. Begun in 1974 as a crafts fair on the lawn of the Lakeland Public Library, this event has grown into one of Florida’s premier outdoor art festivals. Held on Mother’s Day weekend each year, Mayfaire is located on the shores of beautiful Lake Morton in the downtown area, and is one of the largest and oldest outdoor art festivals in Central Florida. Lake Morton Drive. Free. 863-688-7743. www.PolkMuseumofArt.org

May 9-10: Jazz on the Vineyard Green, Clermont. Live jazz music, free tours and wine tasting, and food and beverages available for purchase. At Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards. Admission. 800-768-WINE. www.lakeridgewinery.com

May 14-17: Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival, Sarasota. World-class weekend of food and wine including vintner dinners, a late-night kick-off soiree, and The Grand Tasting with visiting wineries, food demonstrations, delicious samples, live entertainment and a charity auction. At various venues along the Suncoast. Admission varies per event. 941-955-3663. www.freshoriginals.com/forksandcorks/events.php

May 15-17: Wild Amelia Nature Festival, Amelia Island. Educates residents and visitors about the bioregion, and encourages stewardship of the area’s natural resources. Started in 2006 by a group of residents who realized that Amelia Island’s unique position of being almost surrounded by State and National Parks made it the perfect place for a nature festival. This year’s focus is on the Northern Right Whale, which comes to the waters off Amelia Island each year to give birth. Wide variety of tours and outings offered, ranging in price from free to $80. 904-251-0016. www.wildamelia.com

May 16: Arcadia Watermelon Festival, Arcadia. Held annually in May, which is height of watermelon harvesting season. Features a variety of pageants, contests, vendors and activities. Downtown. Free admission. 863-494-2020. www.arcadiamainstreet.com/events.htm

May 16: Blueberry Bluegrass Festival, Lake Placid. Day filled with blueberry treats of all kinds, from shakes and shortcakes to fritters, pies and more, and the sounds of live Bluegrass/Country music. Also offered is the farm’s walking tour feeding the chickens, a presentation in the winery, and complimentary cheese and wine tasting. Lawn chairs and umbrellas recommended. At Henscratch Farms. Admission. 863-699-2060. www.henscratchfarms.com

May 17: Annual Blueberry Bash, Lake Placid. Blueberry pancake breakfast with bluegrass music, and arts and crafts for sale. All things blueberry are offered: blueberry wine, blueberry muffins, blueberry fritters, blueberry jams and blueberry syrup. At Henscratch Farms. Free. 863-699-2060. www.henscratchfarms.com

May 23: Red, White and Brew, Daytona Beach. This third annual event takes place on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. It takes advantage of the summer Boardwalk fireworks program kick-off, and features live music, food vendors, food courts, giant inflatables, giveaways and radio station live remotes. Each of Main Street’s bars and restaurants showcase up to seven American Microbreweries. The micro-brews are on sale in both sample and full sizes. 386-255-9300. www.whog.fm

May 23: Art Walk on Flagler Avenue, New Smyrna Beach. Features, in the five blocks between the Indian River and the ocean, a variety of interesting and unique art works by resident and visiting artists. Also entertainment, demonstrations and free prize drawing. Held fourth Saturday each month January-June. Free. 386-428-1770. www.flaglergallerygroup.com

May 23-24: Tampa Travel Show and Tastes of the World, Tampa. High-energy show consisting of 450+ travel- and culinary-based exhibitors, special appearances by celebrity chefs, travel experts, adventure activities such as rock climbing and on-site scuba lessons, and professional live entertainment. At Tampa Convention Center. Free. 877-STL-TRAVEL or 314-481-8100 x109. http://tampaadventureexpo.com/

May 23-24: Market Fest at Water Tower Place, Celebration. Art, crafts, food. At W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy and Celebration Blvd. Free. 352-344-0657. www.tnteventsinc.com

May 23-25: Blue Crab Festival, Palatka. Florida’s largest Memorial Day celebration. Includes Memorial Day Parade, seafood cook-off, live entertainment, helicopter and airboat rides, arts and crafts, antiques, and more. Downtown. Free admission. 386-325-4406. www.bluecrabfestival.com

May 25: Memorial Day Celebration and Remembrance, Cocoa. Old-fashioned Memorial Day celebration featuring a variety of speakers, musicians and more. Food and beverages will be available for sale. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets. At Riverfront Park in downtown Cocoa Village. Free admission. 321-631-9075. www.cocoavillage.com

May 28: Memorial Day Concerts at Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales. Half-hour carillon concerts at 1 and 3 p.m. present a musical salute to the nation’s veterans and current members of America’s armed forces. To honor the military, free admission will be offered to all branches of the military as well as active, retired and disabled veterans. 863-676-1408. www.boktowergardens.org/

May 29-31: Mount Dora Blues and Wine Festival, Mount Dora. Sample wines from the best vineyards and listen to Blues artists and groups. At Lakeside Inn. Admission. 352-383-2165. www.mountdora.com/events.php

May 30: Picnic in the Vineyard, Lake Placid. Henscratch Farms hosts an end of season picnic for the community. Activities include a tour of the winery and a video of the winemaking process, plus complimentary wine tasting with cheese and nibbles. Entertainment by the "Front Porch Fiddlers" is scheduled 11am -2pm. It is blueberry u-pick season on the farm and the ice cream shack will be open for creamy Blueberry & Strawberry treats to enjoy with lunch. Guests may tour the farm by strolling through the nine flagged educational stations, complete a scavenger hunt and feed the 101 free range hens. Door prizes and giveaways will be awarded every 15 minutes. It’s all for free. 863-699-2060. www.henscratchfarms.com

May 31-June 1: Downtown Sarasota Craft Festival, Sarasota. More than 100 talented crafters display their wares, from baskets and homemade soaps to jewelry and much more. On Main Street downtown. Free. 941-957-1877. http://www.escape-to-sarasota.com/sarasota-calendar-of-events.html


South Florida
Covering the Keys, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, the Treasure Coast and Southwest Florida including Naples, Fort Meyers and Punta Gorda
 


Apr. 29-May 3: SunFest 2009, West Palm Beach. Stroll Florida’s largest music, art and waterfront festival featuring more than 50 concerts by national recording artists and local acts. Enjoy a three-day juried art show, fireworks, children’s activities and plenty of food and refreshments. Downtown. 561-659-5980. http://sunfest.com/index.php

May 1-2: Las Olas Wine and Food Festival, Fort Lauderdale. Upscale street festival with splendid offerings, from culinary delights prepared by more than 60 of the area’s finest restaurants to wine selections from around the world, as South Florida’s hottest band, Superstuff, provides the music. There will also be a VIP reception lounge. On Las Olas Boulevard. Admission. 800-586-4872. www.lasolaswineandfood.com

May 1-3: Miami Beach Polo World Cup 2009, Miami Beach. This three-day international polo tournament will bring eight teams from around the world to compete for La Martina Trophy on the sands of Miami Beach. Events include a player presentation/press conference, polo games Friday through Sunday, and social gatherings. As in years past, venue will be oceanside by The Setai Hotel, between 20th and 22nd Streets. 305-538-3809 x22. www.miamipolo.com

May 1-3: Redfish Cup Tournament and Festival, Charlotte Harbor. Nationally televised by ESPN2, this event is now a permanent stop on the Redfish Tour. In addition to the professional fishing tournament, spectators can experience an interactive festival complete with cardboard boat races, splash dog competition, an art competition, a variety of vendors, food, beverages, and musical entertainment. At Laishley Park and Marina. Admission. 941-743-1900. www.charlotteharbortravel.com/cms/index.php?id=172

May 1-3: West Palm Beach Antique and Collectibles Show, West Palm Beach. Known as one of Florida’s biggest and best antique shows with dealers from all over the country selling a vast array of antiques, collectibles and decorative accessories. Americraft Expo Center. 561-640-3433. http://wpbantiques.com

May 2: Cinco de Mayo Festival, Delray Beach. Enjoy a family day with great food, entertainment, youth performances, vendors and perhaps its best-known activity, the Chihuahua Race. Celebration presented by the Hispano-Latino Cultural Alliance. At Old School Square Pavilion. Admission. 561-276-3396. www.oldschool.org/specialevents.asp

May 2-3: Seaside Craft Fair, Hollywood Beach. Third annual, featuring local and national crafters displaying and selling everything from folk art and pottery to jewelry, paintings, clothing, and more. On the Boardwalk. Free. 954-472-3755. www.artfestival.com

May 3: 25th Annual Taste of Collier, Naples. Afternoon of family fun featuring live entertainment, waiter and waitress games, an ice-carving contest, chefs competition, and savory samples from 30 of the best restaurants in Collier County. Held each year on the first Sunday in May. Admission. 239-272-1907. www.tasteofcollier.org/

May 5: Cinco de Mayo Celebration, West Palm Beach. Special Cinco de Mayo celebration at Palm Beach Kennel Club. Enjoy Mexican food and drink specials, music, and prize drawings. Admission. 561-683-2222. www.pbkennelclub.com

May 7: 12th Annual Pineapple Grove Bed Race, Delray Beach. Watch as numerous bed racing teams compete for first place in an unforgettable race. The bed racing teams are made up of four runners, one queen or princess riding in the bed, and one substitute. Pineapple Grove Arts District. 561-279-1380 x36. www.downtowndelraybeach.com/site.php?PageID=21

May 7-9: Florida Frontier Days, Charlotte Harbor. Celebrate Florida’s rich pioneer days, with old-fashioned food, trailblazing entertainment, pioneer trades people, fun and games, and hands-on activities. At Bayshore Live Oak Park. Admission. 941-629-7278. www.charlottecounty.com/historical

May 8-10: Red, White and Bluegrass, Hollywood Beach. Featuring the lively strains of mandolins, banjos and fiddles by traditional and contemporary bluegrass artists. On two stages. At Hollywood Beach Broadwalk. Free. 954-924-2980. www.southfloridabluegrass.com/

May 9: Sand Sculpture Contest, Siesta Key. Annual event where children and adults alike compete for cash prizes for first, second and third place in several categories of competition. Sponsored by Sarasota County Parks and Recreation and the Pelican Press. At Siesta Key Public Beach. Free. 941-349-1911. http://siestakeychamber.com/events.php

May 9: Mother’s Day Groove in the Grove, Coconut Grove. This is the ultimate musical serenade to mothers, with food, art exhibit, fashion show to capture the attention of mom and the whole family. Pampering never felt as good as moms will receive complimentary makeup, manicures and massages. 4 p.m. Peacock Park. 305-642-1271. www.coconutgrove.com

May 9: Battle in the Bay Dragon Boat Festival, Marathon. Don’t miss this high-action event as Dragon Boat Racing arrives in Marathon for the only beach-launch boat race of its kind. Bring a team or come and watch as boats race along a 400-meter course parallel to Sombrero Beach. Spectators free. 305-766-1053. www.battleinthebay.org/Battle_in_the_Bay/Welcome.html

May 9: Great Dock Canoe Race, Naples. Wildly decorated canoes and costumed paddlers compete in this annual "just for fun" race event in Naples Bay in front of The Dock restaurant at Naples City Dock. This year’s theme is "It’s a Jungle Out There." Free to spectators, entry fee to compete. 239-261-4191. www.greatdockcanoerace.com

May 9-10: Tropical Flowering Tree Show and Sale, Coral Gables. One of few tropical flowering tree sales and shows in South Florida where a large selection of tropical flowering trees, vines and shrubs will be offered for display and sale as well as expert advice made available on the selection process. At Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Admission. 305-667-1651. www.fairchildgarden.org

May 9-10: Fine Arts and Crafts Show, Punta Gorda. Displays by more than 60 fine arts and crafts vendors, featuring woodworking, pottery, florals, ceramics and jewelry. At Fishermen’s Village. Free admission. 941-379-0951. www.fishville.com

May 9-10: African Violet Show and Sale, Davie. Fourth annual Mother’s Day Weekend show at Flamingo Gardens. Presented in cooperation with the Violet Patch of South Florida. Admission. 954-473-2955. www.flamingogardens.org

May 9-17: World Croquet Championship 2009, West Palm Beach. Eighty of the world’s best players from 24 countries will compete for the Wimbledon Cup in this event sponsored by the U.S. Croquet Assn. And World Croquet Federation. At four venues: PGA National, NCC, Beach Club, and Royal Palm Yacht Club. 832-725-8814. http://www.worldcroquet2009.com

May 14-17: Miami International Piano Festival / Discovery Series, Miami Beach. Witness the emergence of the Next Great Generation of keyboard giants and brilliant prodigies in an intimate, non-competitive setting. Concerts begin at 8:15 p.m. with a 2:00 p.m. matinee on Saturday. Free lectures at 7 p.m. every night. Lincoln Theater. Admission. 877-722-2924. http://www.miamipianofest.com

May 15-17: Marathon Super Boat Grand Prix, Marathon. World-class, high-speed powerboats compete in the waters surrounding Marathon and the historic Seven Mile Bridge in the Middle Keys. On the day of the race, May 17, experience the ultimate thrill as race boats pass under both Seven Mile Bridges at speeds of 150 mph. Viewing at Gulfside entrance of old bridge, and at Chappy’s Restaurant on Atlantic side. Spectators free; also free admission to Powerboat Dry Pits. 305-296-6166. www.superboat.com/events.cfm?action=details&id=110

May 15-17: Redland International Orchid Show, Homestead. One of the largest annual orchid shows in the U.S. featuring over 50 booths of educational exhibits and orchid vendors. An American Orchid Society judged event showcasing various types of orchids, plants, and supplies for sale, as well as raffles, international food, and lectures by experts. At Fruit and Spice Park. Admission. 305-247-5727. www.fruitandspicepark.org

May 15-17: Sunshine State Figure Skating Championship, Coral Springs. At Incredible Ice, a 75,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, twin ice skating and entertainment facility. 954-341-9956. www.incredibleice.com/

May 16: Arcadia Watermelon Festival, Arcadia. Held annually in May, which is height of watermelon harvesting season. Features a variety of pageants, contests, vendors and activities. Downtown. Free admission. 863-494-2020. www.arcadiamainstreet.com/events.htm

May 16: Blueberry Bluegrass Festival, Lake Placid. Day filled with blueberry treats of all kinds, from shakes and shortcakes to fritters, pies and more, and the sounds of live Bluegrass/Country music. Also offered is the farm’s walking tour feeding the chickens, a presentation in the winery, and complimentary cheese and wine tasting. Lawn chairs and umbrellas recommended. At Henscratch Farms. Admission. 863-699-2060. www.henscratchfarms.com

May 16: 11th Annual Haitian Compas Festival, Miami. Come and celebrate the Compas music sound that has been unique to Haiti for more than 50 years. Bayfront Park. 305-945-8814. http://www.sakapfet.com

May 17: Annual Blueberry Bash, Lake Placid. Blueberry pancake breakfast with bluegrass music, and arts and crafts for sale. All things blueberry are offered: blueberry wine, blueberry muffins, blueberry fritters, blueberry jams and blueberry syrup. At Henscratch Farms. Free. 863-699-2060. www.henscratchfarms.com

May 17: Greynolds Park Annual Love-In, North Miami Beach. Miami-Dade Parks’ annual 1960s-themed outdoor festival and concert. It features live music, a ’60s costume contest, vintage VW bugs, and a great time for the whole family. Greynolds Park. 305-945-3425. www.greynoldslovein.org

May 17: International Museum Day at Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton. Since 1977 museums around the world have offered special programming to showcase museums as institutions in service to society. The Boca Raton Museum of Art is open and free to all on International Museum Day. An art film, Riches, Rivals and Radicals: 100 Years of Museums in America, will be shown at 2 p.m. 561-392-2500. http://www.bocamuseum.org

May 19-25: Delray Beach Film Festival, Delray Beach. Truly a filmmakers’ festival, this event brings high-quality independent short and feature-length narrative and documentary films, as well as panels, workshops, concerts, contests, celebrities, and parties. 561-213-5737. http://www.dbff.us/

May 30: Picnic in the Vineyard, Lake Placid. Henscratch Farms hosts an end of season picnic for the community. Activities include a tour of the winery and a video of the winemaking process, plus complimentary wine tasting with cheese and nibbles. Entertainment by the "Front Porch Fiddlers" is scheduled 11am -2pm. It is blueberry u-pick season on the farm and the ice cream shack will be open for creamy Blueberry & Strawberry treats to enjoy with lunch. Guests may tour the farm by strolling through the nine flagged educational stations, complete a scavenger hunt and feed the 101 free range hens. Door prizes and giveaways will be awarded every 15 minutes. It’s all for free. 863-699-2060. www.henscratchfarms.com

May 30: EVP Volleyball Tour, Naples. Head to Vanderbilt Beach for all the action in the sand at the annual EVP Extreme Volleyball Tour event. At Lowdermilk Beach Park. Free admission. 239-252-4267. www.evptour.com/eventInfo.asp


North Florida & the Panhandle
Covering St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Ocala, Tallahassee and the Panhandle
 


Apr. 30-May 3: Thunder Beach Spring Rally, Panama City Beach. One of the fastest growing motorcycle rallies in the Southeast. Held twice yearly, the first weekend in May and the last weekend in September, to share stories, see great bands and live entertainment, find the hottest custom motorcycles and motorcycle accessories available, and to experience a scenic ride on "The World’s Most Beautiful Beaches." All activities are free. 850-249-7627. www.thunderbeachproductions.com\

Apr. 30-May 3: World of Nations Celebration, Jacksonville. Celebration of rich cultural traditions and unique heritage of people from around the world, where you can experience the cuisine, artistry and customs from lands near and far. At. Metropolitan Park. Admission. International Party on May 1 is free. 904-630-3690. www.coj.net/Departments/Recreation+and+Community+Services/Special+Events/World+of+Nations/Default.htm

May 1: Sounds on Centre, Fernandina Beach. Community concert on the first Friday each month March-October. Bring a chair, your dancing shoes, a smile on your face and a song in your heart. Downtown on Centre Street between Second and Front. Free. 904-277-0717. www.downtownfernandina.com

May 1-3: Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, Fernandina Beach. 45th annual. Includes dozens of food booths featuring shrimp specialties, plus an outstanding fine arts show that has been ranked 38th in the nation. At historic downtown Centre Street. Free admission. 904-277-7305. www.shrimpfestival.com/

May 1-3: 25th Annual Pensacola Crawfish Festival, Pensacola. The bayou meets the beach at this gigantic mud bugs boil featuring Cajun and Zydeco music, dancing, crafts and games, crawfish races, crawfish eating contest and a complete range of foods from boiled crawfish to crawfish pies and poboys,. At Bartram Park. Admission. 850-433-6512. www.fiestaoffiveflags.org/CrawfishFestival/index.html

May 1-3: Gamble Rogers Festival, St. Augustine. Celebration of the music, stories and dance that made Gamble Rogers famous. Six stages of continuous music with a special Saturday night performance. At St. Johns County Fairgrounds. Admission. 904-208-5210. http://gamblefest.com

May 2: Panacea Blue Crab Festival, Panacea. Day of waterfront fun including delicious seafood, crab-picking contest, mullet toss, arts and crafts, live music, dance performances and historic presentations. Preceded by a parade down U.S. 98. At Wooley Park. Admission. 850-984-CRAB. www.bluecrabfest.com

May 2: Spring Tour of Historic Homes, Apalachicola. Don’t miss the 17th Annual Trinity Episcopal Church Historic Apalachicola Home and Garden Tour. Many of Apalachicola’s private homes and buildings can only be viewed from the exterior except on this day. For a $15 donation you can take a guided tour through architecturally and historically significant homes, churches and commercial buildings. Admission. Separate price for gourmet lunch in Benedict Hall. 850-653-9550. www.apalachicolabay.org

May 2: Taste of Inverness, Inverness. A night of food and wine sampling while enjoying artwork and music, held the first Saturday in May. This is the third annual. It began in 2006 with the opening of Inverness Government Center, and last year featured 10 restaurants serving up everything from Cubans and pasta to ice cream and pizza. At Inverness Government Square. 352-726-2611 x1309. http://www.inverness-fl.gov/index.asp?NID=298

May 2-3: Ruskin Tomato and Heritage Festival, Ruskin. Held annually the first weekend in May. Free tomato slices and free tomato plants, while supplies last, and a wide variety of heirloom and other tomatoes to sample. Also includes a blacksmith, wood carvers, spinners, quilt makers and a Frontiersman Camp setup. Among Cracker food offered will be catfish and hush puppies, fried green tomatoes, grits, swamp cabbage and more. At E.G. Simmons Park. Admission. 813-645-6028. http://ruskinfoundation.org/festival.html

May 4-10: The Players Championship, Ponte Vedra Beach. One of golf’s biggest events played annually at Northeast Florida’s stunning Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Tournament begins on Monday with practice rounds.  Thursday, Round 1 of tournament play begins leading up to the big finish on Sunday to see who will take home the crystal trophy.  Events, including The Players Downtown Experience, are scheduled throughout the region.  Admission, parking fees. 904-273-3383. www.pgatour.com/tournaments/r011/tickets.html

May 5: Cinco de Mayo Celebration, St. George Island. Benefit for Franklin County Humane Society. Margaritas, beer and wine, barbecue, live entertainment, art auction. At festival site beside Sometimes It’s Hotter Seasoning Company. Free admission. 850-927-5039. www.seestgeorgeisland.com/Events.aspx

May 8-10: Cotee River Seafood Festival, Bright House Networks Boat Show, and Blues by the River, New Port Richey. Event combining live Blues music with tasty seafood and beautiful boats, plus an arts and crafts fair and activities for the entire family. Also offered are fishing and boating demonstrations, boat tours, and children’s games and activities. At Sims Park and Orange Lake. VIP seating for Blues Concert available. Most, but not all, activities are free. 727-842-8066. www.nprmainstreet.com

May 9: Windsor Zucchini Festival, Windsor. 25th annual, benefiting volunteer fire department and small community projects. Includes zucchini carving contest, contests for the biggest and ugliest zucchini, Cook-A-Zook contest, fried zucchini, zucchini ice cream, arts and crafts, live entertainment, and a variety of children’s activities. At fire station. Free admission. 352-378-8671. www.afn.org/~windsor/page2.htm

May 15-21: Jacksonville Film Festival, Jacksonville. Spotlights the growing film industry in the region as well as its silver screen roots dating back to the silent film era when the city was known as "Winter Film Capital of the World." Features independent and international films, panel discussions, screenings, receptions and other celebrations. Held at various venues. Prices vary per individual event, from free to a $200 Early Bird all-access pass. 904-366-6911. http://filmfestival.jacksonville.com/

May 16: Newberry Watermelon Festival, Newberry. Some of the favorite festival activities started many years ago and still continue today, including contests for watermelon eating, seed spitting, hog calling, pie/cake baking, and of course the "Big Melon." Melons are from local growers and are provided free to festival goers. At Canterbury Equestrian Showplace. Free admission; fee charged for parking. 352-278-5190. www.newberrywatermelonfestival.com

May 16: Tupelo Honey Festival, Wewahitchka. Held annually on the third Saturday of May to celebrate this local delicacy. Wewahitchka is site of one of Florida’s largest beekeeping operations, used as the setting for the movie Ulee’s Gold. The festival features live music, food, arts and crafts, children’s activities, and honey. At Lake Alice Park. Free admission. 850-639-2605. www.gulfchamber.org/index.cfm/m/16/mt/Calendar

May 16: Tallahassee Highland Games and Celtic Festival, Tallahassee. Pipe bands, athletic competition, opening and closing ceremonies, Ceilidh. At North Florida Fairgrounds. A Whiskey Tasting Seminar, also at the Fairgrounds, is scheduled the preceding day, May 15. Admission. 850-819-0122. www.tallahasseehighlandgames.com

May 16-17: Sawgrass Village Arts Festival, Ponte Vedra Beach. One of the South’s premier juried art competitions. Includes watercolors, oils, glass, pastels, drawings, clay, photography, wood, acrylics and graphics, as well as great food, fun and children’s activities. At Sawgrass Village Shopping Center. Free. 904-285-2004. http://pontevedrachamber.org/3db/eventsdetail.cfm?recordid=193

May 22-24: Jacksonville Jazz Festival 2009, Jacksonville. Jazz performances in the heart of downtown Jacksonville. This year it is a street festival featuring a jazz club atmosphere with multiple stages of entertainment, Art in the Heart Art Show and Sale, Wine Down Tasting Experience, jazz exhibits, children’s educational activities, and more. On Laura Street. Free admission; smaller ticketed events. 904-630-3690. www.coj.net/Departments/Recreation+and+Community+Services/Special+Events/Jazz+Festival/Default.htm

May 22-24: Florida Folk Festival, White Springs. On Memorial Day Weekend the Stephen Foster Folk Cultural Center State Park in the little hamlet of White Springs abounds with the sounds and sights of Florida’s finest music, dance and stories. The Florida Folk Festival presents the roots of Florida’s many cultures as performers gather from little towns and large cities. Since 1953, folk artists have gathered to celebrate Florida’s land and its people and, as one of the oldest state folk festivals in America, the event now brings 30,000 concert-goers to the festival site each year to hear more than 200 music shows per day on multiple stages. This is Florida’s premier heritage event, with more than 600 of Florida’s greatest folk and roots artists. 386-397-2733. Admission. www.floridastateparks.org/folkfest/ParticipantApp.cfm

May 23-25: Blue Crab Festival, Palatka. Florida’s largest Memorial Day celebration. Includes Memorial Day Parade, seafood cook-off, live entertainment, helicopter and airboat rides, arts and crafts, antiques, and more. Downtown. Free admission. 386-325-4406. www.bluecrabfestival.com

May 27-June 7: Yulee Railroad Days, Yulee, Callahan, Archer. Honoring Sen. David Levy Yulee and the railroad he built 150 years ago, this celebration is a chain of special events in individual communities along the 155-mile route of the railroad from Fernandina to Cedar Key. All-day festivals happen in Archer and Callahan on June 6 and other activities are scheduled in Gainesville and Yulee Sugar Mill State Park near Homosassa Springs. Event is sponsored by Archer Historical Society and Railroad Museum. 352-495-1044. www.yuleerailroaddays.org

May 29-31: Sail Jacksonville, Jacksonville. Welcome the beauty and majesty of Tall Ships® from around the world back to the Jacksonville downtown riverfront. Tour the Tall Ships®; hang out with pirates and Vikings; watch on-the-water races, land-side demonstrations, live entertainment and more. Free. 904- 630-3690. www.makeascenedowntown.com

May 29-31: Shell Show, Jacksonville. Educational displays of beautiful local and worldwide seashells and fossils, plus shell art and shell crafts. At Morocco Shrine Auditorium. Admission. 904-398-6383. www.jaxshells.org

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