||Festival fun in the Sunshine State
The festival season lasts longer than just a few months in Florida, bringing parades, fireworks, aerial displays, delicious food and music to suit all tastes. Here’s our pick of some of the best. Come join the party.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
Electric Ocean returns to SeaWorld Orlando on selected nights this summer, promising thrilling night-time shows, electrifying music, and a spectacular finale with fireworks, lasers and fountains. Meanwhile over at Busch Gardens the fun continues with Summer Nights, when you can dance the night away in themed party zones and enjoy a fireworks finale each Friday, Saturday and Sunday (31 May-11 August). You can even ride Tigris, Florida’s tallest launch coaster, after the sun goes down.
St. Pete/ Clearwater
Rita Ora will headline at this year’s St. Pete Pride, Florida’s largest Pride, which takes place 21-23 June. More than 250,000 people will gather to celebrate the power and beauty of diversity with over-the-top floats at a parade, with lavish costumes, incredible live performances, and a firework spectacular along St. Pete’s beautiful downtown waterfront.
The Florida Keys & Key West
A wacky talent show, pie-eating, cookery competitions and many more tasty treats await visitors to the Seventh Annual Key Lime Festival in Key West this summer. Taking place on 4-7 July, the fun includes old favourites like the Key Lime Cocktail Sip & Stroll and, new for this year, The Key Lime Pie Hop.
Visit Panama City Beach
Join 70,000 country music fans for three days of sun, fun and country vibes, all just steps from the beach, at this year’s Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam in Panama City Beach. Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean and Kid Rock will be headlining this seventh annual festival on 30 August-1 September. General admission tickets start from $139 and $10 from every ticket is donated to the panhandle hurricane relief.
Daytona Beach CVB
Billing itself as the Festival Capital of Florida, Daytona Beach hosts more than 60 art, music and culture festivals throughout the year. Its famous free Bandshell Concerts and fireworks return this year, every Friday and Saturday night from now until 28 September, 7:15pm-9:30pm, with a free fireworks show over the Boardwalk and Pier after every Saturday night concert at 9:45pm.
Enjoy a weekend of seafood, sunshine and fun at this year’s Stone Crab Festival on Old Naples Waterfront, 25-27 October. Tuck into delicious crab claws while being entertained by live bands, artists, and lots of other family-friendly activities, plus great deals on food and drink at a number of locations.
Culture vultures will flock to Pensacola for the Foo Foo Festival in the first two weeks of November, with 12 days of entertainment, including a high-speed airshow from the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, ballets, operas, culinary events, songwriter showcases, concerts and lots more.
New Smyrna Beach
The entertainment will go sky high in New Smyrna Beach later this year when the New Smyrna Beach Balloon and Sky Fest comes to town. Between 8-10 November there will be classic aeroplanes and aerobatic teams performing aerial manoeuvres, morning and evening hot air balloon glows, helicopter and balloon rides, carnival rides, animal encounters, pilot meet and greets, and much more. This year’s theme is ‘Honouring Those Who Serve, Past and Present’.
With a wide range of vehicles to choose from, and prices to suit all budgets, let the music guide you to festivals around the Sunshine State when you book car hire with Hertz. Join the free Hertz Gold Plus Rewards programme to beat the queue, and simply pick up your car from any of the 300+ locations across the State, taking advantage of daily rates from £21 per day on Florida bookings. Need some inspiration for a road trip? See the Full On Florida route on Hertz Road Trip Planner which includes 14 iconic and off-the-beaten track stops in the Sunshine State, with downloadable maps and insider guides.