Inaugural Events 2018


NORTHERN REGION

44th Tallahassee Marathon & Half Marathon – Tallahassee – February 4, 2018. The Tallahassee Marathon began in 1975 with just two participants. From there, it has grown to a first-class event showcasing Florida’s capital city like no other race. The Tallahassee Marathon is an all-volunteer event organized by the Gulf Winds Track Club, a local non-profit dedicated to advancing the sport of running, whether for competition, physical fitness, or pleasure. Register now.

Panama City Beach Mardi Gras & Music Festival – Panama City Beach – February 9-10, 2018. The two-day festival and parade which takes place in and around Pier Park is one of the most fun Mardi Gras events. The event is perfect for the whole family and includes a Mardi Gras Kidz Zone, float tours, Fat Tuesday Street Fair and live music.

African American Heritage Celebration – Wakulla – February 18, 2018. This celebration is Wakulla County’s tribute to African-American culture and co-insides with America’s annual recognition of Black History Month. From ethnic food to African American arts and crafts and live performing artists, there’s never a dull moment. The event always features an African American-themed parade, complete with the sounds of local high school marching bands.

Warrior Dash 5K – Panama City – March 10, 2018. The national 5K obstacle course race that more than three million people have completed since 2009, will head to Sweet Bay in Panama City on March 10, 2018. Destination Panama City and Visit Panama City Beach are sponsors of the event that will bring thousands of runners and spectators to the area. Participants can take advantage of the lowest registration fee by signing up now through August 15. The cost to participate varies depending on wave selection and will initially range from $40 to $50, with pricing increasing as the event nears. To sign up and view more details on registration, visit the Warrior Dash Panama City website.

Ironman Florida – Panama City Beach – April 8, 2018. What began as a challenge between groups of Navy Seals has become one of the most recognized endurance events in the world. The Ironman consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run, with the Florida edition of the challenge serving as one of the most popular races on the circuit. For more information, visit www.ironmanflorida.com.

Seabreeze Jazz Festival – Panama City Beach – April 18-22, 2018. Named “Top 10 Jazz Festival in the USA” by JazzIZ Magazine and recently nominated as “Best Jazz Festival” at the Oasis Smooth Jazz Awards, the Seabreeze Jazz Festival combines the top national smooth jazz artists with a full weekend of fun, sun, great beaches, and good times. For more information visit www.seabreezejazzfestival.com.

Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam – Panama City Beach – August 31-September 2, 2018. This Labor Day weekend, the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam will bring the best of today’s country music to the beach. Festival-goers will get a chance to see many of the biggest names in country music as they take to the stage on the beach then, as the sun begins to set, patrons can ride free shuttles to the headline stage at Frank Brown Park. For more information, visit www.gulfcoastjam.com.


CENTRAL REGION

#NationalCheatDay at Datz – Tampa – January 25, 2018. Take part in round three of #NationalCheatDay by enjoying your favorite foods. Be decadent— be over the top— because we know after the foodie holiday ends you’ll go back to being your responsible (most of the time), health-conscious (is butter a carb?) self. It’s time to celebrate life’s greatest indulgence: food.

Rolex 24 at DAYTONA – Daytona – January 25-28, 2018. A 24-hour sports car endurance race culminates this four-day event that includes qualifiying races, January 25; BMW Endurance, January 26; and the Rolex 24 at DAYTONA, January 27-28. Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso brings the driver star power to this most exciting race.

33rd Annual Chowder Cook-Off with a Twist! – Port Canaveral – February 2, 2018. It’s that time again! Come join us on February 2nd, 2018 at Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal 1 for the 33rd Annual Chowder Cook-Off with a Twist! This annual event features area chefs and restaurants competing to determine who has the best chowder and best food ‘twist’ on Florida’s Space Coast. The event will also have enhanced live entertainment, a fantastic silent auction, a panel of celebrity judges and…new this year – a craft beer garden. General admission tickets are also available to purchase. They are $25 before December 31st and $28 after. General admission into the event will begin at 6:00 p.m.

Vero Beach Food Wine & Music Festival – Vero Beach – February 16-18, 2018. Vero Beach Food Wine & Music’s love affair with great chefs is clearly demonstrated in the amazing line-up of world-renown chef celebrities that will be included in multi-day events at Riverside Park and Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa. Guests will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and mingle with Graham Elliot, Shaun O’Neale, Alex Thomopoulos and Christi Ferretti at the “Fire and Ice Cocktail Party” at Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa. An array of tasty bites paired with specialty wines and spirits will be held on Thursday, February 15, from 7:30 to 10 p.m.

Ocala Culinary Festival – Ocala – April 11-15, 2018. A group of dedicated industry professionals have joined forces to provide a platform for extraordinary talent to convene in Ocala/Marion County for the purpose of creating unforgettable culinary experiences and generating insightful dialogue about food, wine, and spirits. Be sure to attend the 2018 festival as it coincides with one of the most beautiful times of the year in Ocala – spring! More information on their website and Facebook page.

Country 500 Music Festival – Daytona Beach – May 25-27, 2018. Toby Keith, Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley, Billy Currington, Tyler Farr, Randy Houser, Midland, A Thousand Horses, 38 Special, Frankie Ballard, Colt Ford, David Nail, Craig Campbell, Michael Ray, Runaway June, High Valley, DJ Dirty and many more are set for the third annual Country 500 – The Great American Music Fest at Daytona, to be held May 25, 26 & 27, 2018. Daytona International Speedway, the “World Center of Racing,” will again become the World Center of Entertainment over Memorial Day weekend. Country 500 attracted 75,000 country music loving fans from across North America to Daytona for last year’s celebration. Visit Country500.com or call 1-844-500-FEST for tickets, camping, parking, and other festival information.

Inaugural Scalloping Mini Season – Pasco County – July 20-29, 2018. A scalloping mini-season is coming to the picturesque coastal Gulf waters of Pasco County. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s approval of a 10-day trial season for state waters off Pasco opens a fresh opportunity for boaters and divers that was traditionally restricted.

The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic – Orlando – October 26-28, 2018. This event will be making its return in 2018 for its ninth year Friday, October 26, Saturday, October 27 and the Sunday Bubbles Brunch on Sunday, October 28. The Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic offers guests unlimited tastings at more than 60 stations featuring culinary selections from the hotel’s award-winning restaurants and wine from around the world against a festive backdrop of live entertainment on the hotel’s scenic causeway. Upgraded ticket options allow guests everything from access to a festive beer garden featuring a wide selection of craft beers and Oktoberfest-inspired cuisine to hands-on seminars with the hotel’s chefs and certified beverage experts. Fans can now visit the website to book overnight packages and purchase tickets.


SOUTHERN REGION

Save the Panther 5K – West Palm Beach – January 6, 2018. Registration is open for our Save the Panther 5K, presented by #FPLSolarNow on January 6th and the 2018 Big Cat Race Series! Every runner/walker gets a tech-style, short-sleeve, polyester, running shirt available in men’s and women’s sizes. Your registration also includes admission to the Zoo for the day and 3 half-price discount coupons for friends and family! Net proceeds from this race help fund our partnership with the Florida Wildlife Corridor, an organization working to protect Florida panthers and their dwindling habitat. Register here.

Oshogatsu: A New Year’s Celebration – Delray Beach – January 7, 2018. 2018 marks the Year of the Dog, and the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens will ring in the New Year with its 40th annual Oshogatsu celebration! Oshogatsu is Japan’s most important yearly observance and a time of renewal. The Japanese make special efforts in the final days of December to clear away debts and obligations to start the New Year afresh. Experience Japan’s customary mochitsuki rice-pounding, making mochi rice cakes, and a sado tea ceremony. Appearances by shishimai, the lion dancer, are sure to bring good luck for the New Year!

Super Bowl Beach Bash – Riviera Beach – February 4, 2018. Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa invites guests and locals alike to ditch their living room armchair and microwaved chicken wings for world-class cuisine, live music and a viewing spot on its private beach to watch this year’s Feb. 4 Super Bowl LII face off between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots. The resort’s Super Bowl Beach Bash begins at 4:30 p.m. (two hours before kickoff), and is $25 per person (as well as resort guests), and free for all children under 5 years of age. A giant screen will be set up right on the sand projecting the big game, while chefs from the resort’s award-winning restaurant 3800 Ocean prepare Polynesian menu items at stations around the beach.

Florida Renaissance Festival – Fort Lauderdale – February 18-March 25, 2018. Walk through castle gates and explore the days of yore while viewing live demonstrations of glassblowing, steel-fighting, archery, and more at this yearly 16th century festival! Feast on hearty food fit for a king while enjoying live performances on stage, including thrice-daily jousting events. The festival will run weekends only and on President’s Day, 2/19.

Hatsume Fair: A One-of-a-Kind Celebration of Spring – Delray Beach – April 21-22, 2018. The 39th annual Hatsume Fair promises to be a spectacular event for the entire family! Celebrating the first bud of spring, Hatsume, the Morikami’s largest annual event, transforms Morikami Park into a unique Japanese spring festival. The event features multiple stages of continuous entertainment where guests can experience taiko drumming performances, samuraisword fighting, martial art and bonsai demonstrations, a costume contest, fashion show, and much more! Avenues of artisan booths, anime dealers, plant sales, food vendors, the Kirin Beer Garden, Sake Station, children’s activities and abonsai exploration area are sure to delight festival-goers.

Monster Energy Fort Rock – Fort Lauderdale – April 28-29, 2018. Get ready to rock out! South Florida’s biggest 2-day festival rock experience will feature the performances of rock’s top artists on two stages. Artists scheduled to appear include Ozzy Osbourne, Godsmack, Five Finger Death Punch, Stone Sour, Shinedown, and Breaking Benjamin.