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October 2023 The Best Events and Festivals in Florida

The Best Events and Festivals in Florida

The Best in Florida Festivals and Events October 2023

Florida hosts some amazing events and festivals. Each month I hope to take a look at a dozen or so of these in hopes of bringing you fun, exciting, and unexpected ways to enjoy our state.

If you have an event or know of one coming up that you feel should be highlighted, please drop me a line with as much information as you can, including a website. I’ll be glad to include your suggestions in future posts.

Posts are listed in date order.

I have purposefully not included Oktoberfest and Halloween related events in this post.

October 6-8      Destin Seafood Festival             Destin

This event which features seafood, music, art, and more serves as a fundraiser for the Destin Charter Boat Association, a not-for-profit organization formed in 1954. More than 70 vendors, five music stages, and seafood galore.

 

 

 

 

Boots, Bulls, and Barrels October 7, 2023

October 7         Boots, Bulls & Barrells              Kissimmee

An intense event that combines the thrill of bull riding with the fast agility of barrel racing. This tournament-style event brings together professional bull riders and skilled equestrians in a competition of adrenaline and skill.

The annual Silver Spurs Rodeo is one of the top rodeos in the country so this event promises to be excellent.

Take a video tour of the history of the Silver Spurs Rodeo below.

 

 

 

Green Cove Springs Soul Food FestivalOctober 7         Green Cove Springs Soul Food & Music Festival

Enjoy an amazing day of southern cooking, live music, dancing, children’s activities, local artists, specialty vendors, and more.

 

 

 

 

MagazineValues.com

 

Winter Park Autumn Art Festival  

October 7-8      Autumn Art Festival         Winter Park

The Winter Park Autumn Art Festival is the only juried fine art festival exclusively featuring Florida artists.

The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce is proud to host the festival on the second weekend in October each year. The community-oriented sidewalk show presents quality visual art and live entertainment the whole family can enjoy. The festival is held in beautiful Central Park located along historic Park Avenue in downtown Winter Park.

The festival is open from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. both days.

Admission is free!

 

Nomatic

 

Florida Birding & Nature FestivalOctober 12-15  Florida Birding & Nature Festival    Apollo Beach

Four days of field and boat trips, expert seminars, keynote speakers, and a free nature expo with more than 20 vendors and organizations. There October are charges for certain portions of this festival.

 

 

 

October 14                McIntosh 1890s Festival            McIntosh

Named for the decade when the community began to flourish, this festival has grown to more than 200 vendors with tens of thousands of visitors. Enjoy music, food, shopping, arts and crafts, jewelry, and more while enjoying local Victorian charm.

 

October 19-22           Biketoberfest            Daytona Beach

Motorcycle enthusiasts come together during the four-day rally each year to enjoy beautiful Florida weather, live music, motorcycle racing at Daytona International Speedway, and miles of scenic rides along famous A1A, historic Main Street or the scenic Loop. Come experience the Southeast’s best motorcycle rally featuring motorcycle shows, custom bike builds and hundreds of the industry’s top vendors throughout Daytona Beach.

Biketoberfest

 

 
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October 21                Sanford Jazz in the Park         Sanford

Come out to the 6th annual Jazz in the Park at Centennial Park. This family oriented events features live music, food trucks, vendors, and a cash bar. This music festival is presented by Ladies 327 in association with Historic Downtown Sanford.

Sanford, Florida Jazz in the Park October 21, 2023

 

October 21-22           Cedar Key Seafood Festival      Cedar Key

Now it’s 53rd year, this year’s festival will celebrate the year of the clam. The festival features seafood, more than arts and crafts vendors, music, and an amazing Saturday morning parade you won’t want to miss.

Renowned for its delectable seafood offerings, vibrant arts and crafts scene, and lively live music performances, the Cedar Key Seafood Festival promises visitors an unforgettable weekend full of fun and flavors. 

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October 25-29           Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

With plans for multiple show locales, more than 1,300 boats, 1,000 brands, and 100,000 attendees, this is the boat show for any marine enthusiast. Buy your tickets in advance online (HINT, HINT, they aren’t cheap).

 

Naples Stone Crab Festival

October 27-29           Naples Stone Crab Festival       Naples

A Naples tradition for more than a decade, enjoy stone crab, other seafood, live entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, and more.

 

October 28       Florida Territory Living History      Dade City

A living history event depicting Florida history before 1845: pre-history/archeological, pre-Columbian (15th Century and before), Spanish Colonial Period, Seven Years/Revolutionary War, Patriot War/War of 1812, Seminole Wars.
Tickets at the Gate Only.
Florida Territory Living History Day at Pioneer Florida Museum and Village

 

Thousands attend the Mt. Dora Craft Fair, consistently ranked one of the best craft fairs in the country.October 28-29   Mount Dora Fall Craft Fair      Mount Dora

Consistently voted in the top 5 craft fairs across the country by Sunshine Artist Magazine Subscription

The downtown streets come alive with almost 400 of the best exhibitors in the country ready to show and sell their fine and fun crafts at this annual event. Festival food, music, beer, wine, cocktails and some special guest appearances will round out the event.

 

 

 

October 28-29           Lake Wales Pioneer Days Festival

Happening in Lake Wailes Park, this event will feature reenactors and historic demonstrations, more than 60 craft market vendors, local food vendors, community partners, and be sure to nominate someone for “Pioneer of the Year.”

 

October 29                Tavares Trailblazers                 Tavares

Join historian Richard Lee Cronin at the Tavares History Research Center for a presentation celebrating some of the exceptional individuals and the roles each played in the development of the town.

Tavares Trailblazer October 29, 203

Thank you to Bob Grenier for alerting me to this event! Remember, if you have an event that you would like me to include in future posts, drop me a line with the information. It’s free!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products. 

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Historic Lake Monroe Bridge in Sanford, Florida

Marker with the bridge in background
Lake Monroe Historic Marker
The front side of the Lake Monroe Historic Marker
Lake Monroe Bridge marker
The backside of the Lake Monroe historic marker
Marker with the bridge in background
The old Lake Monroe Bridge with the historic marker showing in front.

 

Marker Text

The Lake Monroe Bridge was the first electronically operated swing bridge in Florida. In 1932-1933, the
state used Federal assistance to build the bridge, which replaced a wooden toll bridge that was manually
operated. The construction of the bridge provided economic relief for an area hurt by the economic
collapse of the Depression era. The bridge was fabricated by Ingalls Iron Works of Birmingham, Alabama;
the swing machinery manufactured by Earl’s Gears and Machine Co., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and it
was erected by W. W. White Steel Construction of St. Petersburg, Florida. Kreis Contracting Company of
Knoxville, Tennessee was the general contractor for the Florida Department of Transportation. The
Florida Department of Transportation and Seminole County cooperated in preserving the swing span as
a fishing pier when the new Benedict Bridge was completed in 1994.

The Lake Monroe Bridge had historic impact on the communities of the area, but also is of historical
value as an example of a branch of bridge engineering.

The Lake Monroe Bridge was 627 feet, and included a 235 foot swing span. It carried the main route
linking Daytona Beach and Tampa, via DeLand, Sanford, Orlando, and Lakeland. It could pivot 360
degrees on its curved rack and two spur pinions.

The Warren-type through truss construction had a central panel section peaked to accommodate the
drive machinery. The Warren-type truss is considered the most economical type of construction for
continuous spans. It is characterized by diagonals that alternate in direction. The first diagonal beam
starts at base level and goes up to the top. The next level diagonal starts at the top and goes down to
the base level. The diagonals are in tension and compression in alternate panels. To meet the heavy
stresses of the swing span operation the bridge arms were heavily reinforced and had riveted
connections at all stress points. The harbor for Lake Monroe Park in Volusia County was created by fill
taken from the approaches to the Lake Monroe Bridge.

Seminole County Board of County Commissioners

This marker is not part of the State of Florida historic marker program.

Lake Monroe Bridge dedication April 6, 1934
The April 6, 1934 Lake Monroe Bridge dedication. Image courtesy Florida Memory n028431

 

Local newspaper reports state that dedication of the $75,000 Bridge took place at a 3 p.m. ceremony on
April 6, 1934. Participants included Florida Governor David Sholtz and the Stetson University band. An image of the dedication is shown above.

See some beautiful early images of Sanford, FL in this title from the Images of America Series. From its days as a leading river town, to being the Celery Capital, to being the home to many incredible mid-century modern homes, Sanford has an incredible history.

Also recommended is African Americans of Sanford, which recognizes and applauds those who have helped to preserve Sanford’s history as well as those who have participated in making it.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors  products.