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Florida is full of fun things to do in November

The city plaza of St. Augustine is illuminated by thousands of lights for the annual Night of Lights festival, which runs until January.

Associated Press file

The city plaza of St. Augustine is illuminated by thousands of lights for the annual Night of Lights festival, which runs until January.

Whatever your passion, Florida has something for you. Here are just some of the major events scheduled in the Sunshine State:

South Florida

Miami Book Fair International – One of the nation's finest literary events turns the Big 3-0 with the usual weeklong slate of all things book for all ages and a huge street fair.

When: Nov. 17-24

Where: Miami Dade College, Miami

Web: www.miamibookfair.com

Fairchild Ramble – SoFla's most loved annual garden party features more than 15,000 plants for sale, art, antiques, rare books, a farmers' market, live music and great food.

When: Nov. 8-10

Where: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables

Web: www.fairchildgarden.org

American Sand Sculpting Championship & Beach Festival – Contests, demos, and lessons are featured. 1,000 tons of sand will be sculpted! Includes a kids' activity area.

When: Nov. 22-Dec. 1

Where: Fort Myers Beach

Web: www.fmbsandsculpting.com

Flavors of Fort Lauderdale – This celebration of South Florida culinary lifestyle has offerings from top local and regional chefs along with world-class wines and spirits.

When: Nov. 14-17

Where: Las Olas Marina, Fort Lauderdale

Web: www.flavorsfortlauderdale.com

Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival – Three-day bash features concerts (Marshall Tucker Band, Little River Band), arts, street performers, midway rides and a Bahamian market.

When: Nov. 8-10

Where: Downtown Jensen Beach

Web: www.pineapplefestival.info

Everglades Forever – Highlight of this eco-fest: Download your "Treasure Hunt" card starting Nov. 2 and then head for Everglades National Park. Take pictures and win prizes!

When: Nov. 2-3

Where: Museum of Discovery & Science, Fort Lauderdale, and Everglades National Park.

Web: www.mods.org

Stuart Air Show – Three-day event includes high-flying aerobatic acts, balloon rides, helicopter rides, military equipment displays and kids' rides.

When: Nov. 1-3

Where: Witham Field, Martin County Airport, Stuart

Web: www.stuartairshow.com

White Party Week – More than 15,000 partygoers will enjoy six days and nights of nonstop entertainment and help fight against HIV/AIDS at the same time.

When: Nov. 27-Dec. 2

Where: Various locations throughout Miami-Dade County

Web: www.whiteparty.org

The Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival – Casual paddlers, competitors, families and outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy this one-of-a-kind eco event.

When: Nov. 1-3

Where: Sanibel Causeway and various locations in Lee County

Web: www.calusabluewaypaddlingfestival.com

South Florida International Auto Show – See more than 1,000 new vehicles from 40 manufacturers. Another highlight: Topless in Miami's display of convertibles.

When: Nov. 8-17

Where: Miami Beach Convention Center

Web: www.sfliautoshow.com

The Great Grove Bed Race – In the mood for some mattress mayhem or a bed-on collision? Homemade beds barrel through the streets in this annual crazy race.

When: Nov. 3

Where: The streets of Coconut Grove.

Web: www.thegreatgrovebedrace.com

Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show – It's the mother of all boat shows, featuring more than a billion dollars' worth of boats, yachts and super yachts.

When: Oct. 31-Nov. 4

Where: Various locations in Fort Lauderdale

Web: www.showmanagement.com

¡Esperando Nacer 2013! – Celebration of traditional Latin American cultural features folk dancing, poetry readings, art exhibits, culinary surprises and a grand finale concert.

When: Nov. 9-10

Where: San Carlos Institute, Key West

Web: www.valnchzproductions.com

Delray Beach Wine & Seafood Festival – Fine wine and great food and it is already paired up. Live music, too. So, all you have to do is eat, drink and be merry.

When: Nov. 9-10.

Where: Downtown Delray Beach

Web: www.dbwineandseafood.com

Central Florida

Zoofari – Sample cuisine, desserts, chocolates, beer and other goodies from more than 50 of the Tampa Bay area's best restaurants. Live music and artwork, too.

When: Nov. 2

Where: Lowry Park Zoo, Tampaobi03

Web: http://www.lowryparkzoo.com/zoofari

Winter Park Concours d'Elegance – This exotic luxury car show draws more than 80,000 visitors to six blocks of the scenic, tree-lined Old Winter Park district.

When: Nov. 10

Where: Winter Park

Web: www.winterparkconcours.com.

Sarasota Chalk Festival – Watch mind-blowing chalk art masterpieces in the works, enjoy unusual performance art displays and dance along to local band serenades in this free, six-day festival.

When: Nov. 13-18

Where: Historic Burns Square, Sarasota

Web: http://chalkfestival.org

Tough Mudder Central Florida 2013– If slithering through mud, hopping over hot coals and scaling 12-foot walls is your thing, enter (or just watch) the Tough Mudder obstacle course challenge.

When: Nov. 2, 3

Where: River Ranch, Central Florida

Web: http://toughmudder.com/events/central-florida-2013/

Pioneer Settlement Fall Country Jamboree – Set in a historical village in western Volusia County, more than 100 actors, artisans and demonstrators reenact Florida's old pioneer settler times. Activities for kids and cracker-style food, too.

When: Nov. 2, 3

Where: Barberville, Volusia County

Web: http://www.pioneersettlement.org/falljamboree.html

Coastline Festival – Combining food and music for a "musiculinary experience," this two-day show features some of the hottest indie band acts, such as Passion Pit and Two Door Cinema Club, plus food trucks and craft brewery stands.

When: Nov. 9-10

Where: Midflorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa

Web: http://www.coastlinefestival.com

Anna Maria Island Privateers Pirate Invasion – Dance at the Friday night Grande Pirate Masquerade Ball or bring the little pirates to Saturday and Sunday's family activities, including a treasure dig, a balloon toss, a costume contest and pirate sack races.

When: Nov. 1-3

Where: Coquina Beach, Anna Maria Island

Web: http://pirateinvasion.org/

International Folk Fair – Travel the world without leaving Vinoy Park at this long-running festival featuring ethnic foods, displays and artwork, live music and dancing, plus an international beer garden.

Where: Downtown St. Petersburg

When: Oct. 31-Nov. 2

Web: http://www.spiffs.org/

A Taste of Ybor – The old stogie-rolling days come to life at this historic cigar factory district, where food and drinks are served while you bid on a silent and live auction and watch live cigar making demonstrations inside the Ritz Theater.

Where: Ybor City, Tampa

When: Nov. 9

Web: http://gulfridgecouncil.org/auction/

Sponge Docks Seafood Festival – Known for its rich Greek culture and natural sponges, Tarpon Springs celebrates its local seafood as well as arts and crafts and bands.

When: Nov. 9-10

Where: Historic Tarpon Springs

Web: http://www.visitstpeteclearwater.com/event-details/1071/sponge-docks-seafood-festival

Light Up Ocala – Get into the holiday spirit early with this food and craft fair that builds up to the big moment: the "flipping of the switch" that lights up a 40-foot tree and thousands of twinkling lights that snake through the downtown streets.

Where: Downtown Ocala

When: Nov. 23

Web: http://www.ocalafl.org/lightup/

Leesburg Craft Beer, Wine & Food Festival – Learn about the various notes, noses and flavors of craft beer and wine from around the world. Local restaurants serve samplings while musicians entertain.

Where: Islands of Venetian Gardens, Leesburg

When: Nov. 16

Web: http://www.leesburgcraftbeerfest.com/

Daytona Beach Film Festival – Celebrate obscure and highly creative independent, local and foreign films by attending one of the five-day festival's various theme nights, including an "Americana Food & Flick" with hot dogs, apple pie and an outdoor movie.

Where: Downtown Daytona Beach

When: Nov. 7-11

Web: http://www.dbff.org

New Smyrna Beach Rock & Roll Music Festival– Time travel through rock 'n' roll history beginning with 1950s rockabilly to Elvis to '80s hair metal bands to '90s grunge rock. For three days, live bands of all genres take over the bar and music venue scene throughout this beach town.

Where: New Smyrna Beach

When: Nov. 15-17

Web: http://nsbfla.com/rock_rollmusicfestival

North Florida

23rd Annual Seeing Red Wine Festival — The charming beach town of Seaside welcomes the flavors of California, France, Australia and Argentina at its annual four-day celebration of wine. The event kicks off with a Winemaker's Dinner (Oct. 31) featuring guest vintner Jed Steele of California's Steele Winery and concludes with the sparkling wine tasting, A Celebration of Bubbles (Nov. 3).

When: Oct. 31-Nov. 3

Where: Seaside

Web: www.seeingredwinefestival.com

Creature from the "Blues" Lagoon Concert — Enjoy of smorgasbord of sound at this outdoor concert in Wakulla Spring State Park featuring the groove-filled rhythms of Tallahassee's Jamie Eubanks Band. Also performing is Memphis' Jeff Jensen Band, playing soulful blues and rock'n'roll. Make a day of it — go swimming in the freshwater springs (one of the largest and deepest) and pre-order a picnic dinner from the park's historic lodge.

When: Nov. 1

Where: Wakulla Springs State Park

Web: http://store.wakullaspringslodge.com/index.html

50th Anniversary Florida Seafood Festival — Florida's oldest ode to fresh-from-the-Gulf seafood is a two-day celebration with arts and crafts vendors, musicians, contests (think oyster shucking and blue crab races) and seafood ... lots of seafood.

When: Nov. 1-2

Where: Battery Park, Apalachicola

Web: www.floridaseafoodfestival.com

Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival — More than 600 painters, sculptors, jewelry designers and craftsmen apply for the 200 spots in hopes of taking home part of $25,000 in prize money. Other event highlights include live music and the Children's Art Festival.

When: Nov. 1-3

Where: Seville Square, Pensacola

Web: http://www.ggaf.org

28th Annual Frank Brown Songwriters Festival — Learn the stories behind the songs from more than 200 songwriters at various venues along the gulf beaches from Perdido Key to Gulf Shores, Ala. These songwriters, some Grammy Award winners, have worked with artists like Kenny Chesney, George Strait, Rascal Flatts, Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire.

When: Nov. 7-17

Where: Various venues, Florida and Alabama

Web: http://www.fbisf.com

Emerald Coast Cruizin — Spit-and-polished chrome, bright rainbow-hued paint jobs and the steady roar of lovingly remade engines take over Panama City Beach. Check out hot rods, cruisers and other classic cars, more than 125 auto vendors, a swap meet and the car corral.

When: Nov. 7-9

Where: Aaron Bessant Park, Panama City Beach

Web: http://www.emeraldcoastcruizin.com

7th Annual Tallahassee Brewfest — Beer lovers know the key to partaking in the Tallahassee Brewfest is to either arrive early or purchase tickets in advance for this annual event that features 30 breweries, pouring more than 200 different beers in 30,000 square feet of space. Favorite craft brewers participating include Rogue, Victory, Grasslands Brewing Co., Florida Avenue and Tallahassee's own TDO. This event sells out!

When: Nov. 9

Where: Tallahassee Automobile Museum

Web: http://www.brewfesttallahassee.com

22nd Alachua Main Street Festival— Continue the University of Florida Homecoming celebration just north of Gainesville in Alachua's tree-lined, Victorian downtown for annual harvest-themed festival. Live music will take over two stages and artisans will set up shop.

When: Nov. 10

Where: Alachua

Web: http://www.alachuabusiness.com

NHL Legends Hockey Game — Former NHL stars Ray Bourque (Boston Bruins) and Rick Middleton (Bruins and New York Rangers are joined by Stanley Cup winners Gary Leeman (Montreal Canadians) and Mike Krushelnyski (four-time Stanley Cup winner) to face-off on the ice for an exhibition game.

When: Nov. 15

Where: Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena

Web: http://www.jaxevents.com/?event=nhl-legends-hockey

Jacksonville Celtic Festival — Put on your kilt, indulge in a pint of Guinness and stake out the perfect spot at the beachfront Seawalk Pavilion to listen to variety of traditional Celtic bands like Enter the Haggis or solo singers like Colm Kirwan. The international festival showcases the traditional food, beer, music and dancing from the Celtic nations of Europe.

When: Nov. 16

Where: Seawalk Pavilion, Jacksonville Beach

Web: www.jaxcelticfest.com

Holiday Cookie Tour of Inns — Get ready to deck the halls of your own home with Thanksgiving and Christmas decorating tips from seven historic Amelia Island inns and B&Bs. The annual, self-guided tour also makes sure you don't leave empty-handed and hungry as each stop will feature a signature Christmas cookie and a recipe card for tour participants.

When: Nov. 23

Where: Amelia Island

Web: ameliaislandinns.com

Night of Lights — Chosen as one of the 10 best holiday lighting displays in the world by National Geographic in 2011 and 2012, historic St. Augustine gets the star treatment with millions of twinkling lights. Wander the brick-lined streets of the city center and the tree-lined sidewalks of the neighborhoods to take in the magical atmosphere which kicks off Nov. 23 with the official lighting of the city's Christmas tree.

When: Nov. 23 - Jan. 31

Where: St. Augustine

Web: http://www.floridashistoriccoast.com/nights/

Annual Pajama Party Sale & Contest — Really, who wants to wake up hours before the sun rises for Black Friday shopping? Fernandina Beach has the right idea. Show up at 8 a.m. in your pajamas for the annual day-after-Thanksgiving sale and enjoy hot coffee and sweet pastries while you bargain hunt. Prizes are award for Best Dressed and Most Outrageous.

When: Nov. 29

Where: Fernandina Beach

Web: www.downtownfernandinabeach.com

Apalachicola Christmas Celebration — It's one of those only-in-Florida moments: Santa arriving on a shrimp boat to kick off Apalachicola's annual Christmas party in the city's streets. The historic Orman and Raney houses will be trimmed for the holidays. On Nov. 30, support the community by doing a little holiday shopping at the Small Business Sunday event.

When: Nov. 29-30

Where: Apalachicola

Web: www.apalachicolabay.org

Giving Thanks: 17th-Century Apalachee & Spanish Foodways — Old World meets New World in this culinary event featuring demos of food prep by historical interpreters at this restored mission where Spaniards and Apalachee Indians coexisted in the early 1700s. Visitors can learn how native and European plants from the site's garden were used in traditional dishes and meat and fish will be smoked on a barbacoa.

When: Nov. 30

Where: Mission San Luis, Tallahassee

Web: http://www.missionsanluis.org/index.cfm

This story originally appeared at Visit Florida.

Florida is full of fun things to do in November 10/31/13 [Last modified: Thursday, October 31, 2013 8:54pm]
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