Sunsets at Pier 60 Festival
Clearwater: Celebrate sunset with wonderful artisans, crafters, street performers, live music and entertainment. Takes place nightly starting two hours before sunset until two hours after sunset at Pier 60, 1 Causeway Blvd., Clearwater.Info: 727-449-1036; sunsetpier60.com.
Downtown Clearwater Farmer’s Market
Clearwater: Every Wednesday colorful tents and booths overflow with farm fresh produce, delicious cheeses, fresh baked goods, glorious cut flowers, plants and much more. Takes place from 9am – 2pm on the 500 – 600 blocks of Cleveland St. in Clearwater. Info: 727-461-7674; clearwaterfarmersmarket.com.
Saturday Morning Market
St. Petersburg: Live music fills the air at this fantastic outdoor market brimming with local produce, an eclectic array of food trucks, eateries and tons of arts and crafts. Takes place through May from 9am – 2pm at First Ave. S and First St., St. Petersburg. Info: SaturdayMorningMarket.com.
December 12 – 17
Love Never Dies
Tampa: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the Opera is not to be missed. Catch it at the Straz Center, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Info and tickets: 813-229-7827; strazcenter.org.
December 15 – 17
Florida Orchestra Holiday Pops
Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater: Have a jolly good time and enjoy your favorite Yuletide carols. TAMPA: 8pm, Fri., Dec. 15 at the STRAZ Center; ST. PETE: 2 pm and 8pm on Sat., Dec. 16 at the Mahaffey Theater; CLEARWATER: 2pm and 7:30pm on Sun., Dec. 17 at Ruth Eckherd Hall. Info: 727-893-7832; themahaffey.com.
New Year’s Eve Parade
Tampa: Elaborate floats, over twenty marching bands, a Pep Rally and a special“Battle Of The Bands” competition welcomes in the new year. Parade starts at 5:30pm and runs along 7th Ave. Info: outbackbowl.com.
Light Up Tampa Bay & Aqua Eve
Tampa Bay: Watch Tampa “Light Up” with live entertainment, a midnight fireworks display and ball drop over the downtown waterfront. Must be 21+. Takes place at The Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Dr., Tampa. Info and tickets: 813-273-4000; flaquarium.org.
Kids New Year’s Eve
Winter Haven: Lots of fun happenings for kids include an exclusive dance party, LEGO building activities, special entertainment and explosive fireworks all before midnight! Takes place at Legoland, 1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven. Info: legoland.com.
Light It Up Clearwater
Clearwater: Ring in 2018 with a spectacular midnight fireworks display over the water. Cited as one of the country’s top 5 kid-friendly places to spend New Year’s Eve by US News Travel. Info: 727-447-7600; lightupclearwater.com December 31 First Night St. Petersburg St. Petersburg: Party like it’s 2018 with music, lights, dance, fire, bubbles, fireworks and more. Takes place from 4pm – midnight throughout the downtown area with fireworks at 8pm and midnight. Info: 727-823-8906; firstnightstpete.com.
January 2 – 7
School of Rock
Tampa: A New York Times “Critic’s Pick” is an inspiring jolt of energy, joy and mad skillz. Catch it at the Straz Center, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Tickets and info: 813-229-7827; strazcenter.org. January 12 – March 11 Forever Plaid Tampa: When four young singers are killed in a car crash, they posthumously take to the stage for one final gig in this goofy 1950s nostalgia trip. Catch it at the Straz Center, 1010 N W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Tickets and info: 813-229-7827; strazcenter.org.
January 27 – 28 & February 2 – 4
32nd Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire
Gainesville: The Alachua County Fairgrounds transform into “Hoggetowne” — a medieval marketplace where you can immerse yourself in the rich culture of the Middle Ages. Open Sat. and Sun. from 10am – 6pm and from 9:30am – 3pm on “Discount Friday,” Feb. 3 when General Admission tickets are reduced. Find it at 3100 NE 39th Ave. in Gainesville. Info: HoggetowneFaire.com.
OTHER FLORIDA HAPPENINGS
Monthly “Climb to the Moon”at Ponce de Leon Lighthouse Daytona: One day a month, visitors get to toast the setting sun and rising of the full moon with a sparkling beverage at the top of Florida’s tallest lighthouse. Climb 203 steps to the top of the 175’ tower and enjoy magnificent views of Daytona Beach, Ponce Inlet and surrounding waterways from the lighthouse gallery deck of this National Historic Landmark. FYI: Reservations a must! Find it at 4931 South Peninsula Dr., Ponce Inlet. Info: 386.761.1821; ponceinlet.org.
January 24 – 28 Key West Food & Wine Festival Key West: This annual island-wide festival celebrates the local culinary arts community and turns up the heat this year with all kinds of great events. Info: 305-292-1622; keywestfoodandwinefestival.com.
February 2 – 4 ArtFest Ft. Myers Fort Myers: ArtFeset kicks off with an Opening Night Party on Fri., Feb. 2 from 6 – 10pm featuring over 65 festival artists. On Sat. and Sun., you can enjoy the works of 200 outstanding professional artists, as well as a high school art competition, art demos, children’s craft area and more. Takes place from 10am – 5pm in the Downtown River District. Info: ArtFestFortMyers.com