Florida's 10 Best Fall Festivals and Events

Peanuts, Music, Seafood, and Great Weather

San Antonio Rattlesnake Festival
Courtesy of San Antonio Rattlesnake Festival

Although it may not feel like fall, Floridians know how to celebrate it. Statewide fall festivals are celebrated all season long. From pumpkin patches, to corn mazes, there is lots of family fun to be had. Festivals are also the perfect place to shop some unique finds for those on your holiday list. There is something going on in every part of the state and on every weekend until Thanksgiving, so pack up the family and enjoy the great Florida fall weather.

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    Fantasy Fest
    Courtesy of Fantasy Fest

    Put on your greasepaint and let the good times roll for ten days of celebrating that can only be described as zany, bizarre, and hilarious. Fantasy Fest participants take to the streets of Key West in a somewhat raucous style with circuses and sideshows like you've never seen before. Nonstop activities include parades, masquerades, street parties, and more. If you're prone to flamboyance, this event is better than mardi gras. The festival lasts from October 19-28, 2018.

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    An assortment of fresh seafood is tossed with one of Northwest Florida's largest arts and craft fairs and seasoned with live entertainment to bring you the recipe for a family-friendly day of fun in the Florida sun. The Pensacola Seafood Festival is held annually at Seville Square in downtown Pensacola. The festival is from September 28- 30, 2018. 

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    North Central Florida Peanut Festival
    Courtesy of North Central Florida Peanut Festival

    Grab the family for a day of fun, food, games, and entertainment. Watch the girls and boys compete for Little Peanut King and Queen, take a ride on a horse-drawn trolley, listen to live music, enter the horseshoe tournament, view antique cars, and shop at more than 90 vendor booths. Of course, the Peanut Industry Showcase displays a large assortment of peanuts and peanut products. The Central Florida Peanut Festival is held the first week of October at Heritage Park in Williston.

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    The Winter Park Autumn Art Festival features musical entertainment, food, and children's activities along with artworks by over a hundred artists. It is the only juried fine art festival that exclusively features Florida artists. All this combines for a great weekend of family fun and entertainment. A children's hands-on art workshop is held on both days. The two-day festival is held annually at Central Park located along Park Avenue in downtown Winter Park. Admission is free. Expected dates for 2018 are October 13-14.

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    San Antonio Rattlesnake Festival
    Courtesy of San Antonio Rattlesnake Festival

    For more than 50 years, Floridians in the west-central city of San Antonio have celebrated all things rattlesnake on the third weekend of October at the Pasco County Fairgrounds. The festival features the obvious snake shows along with gopher races, entertainment, food, and arts and crafts. Free parking and free admission make this a great budget entertainment choice for the whole family. The Rattlesnake Festival will be held on October 20-21, 2018.

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    McIntosh 1890s Festival
    Courtesy of McIntosh 1890s Festival

    Residents dress in 1890's clothing in an attempt to turn back the clock, but that hardly seems necessary—in McIntosh, you'll really feel like you've gone back in time. Victorian and Florida cracker-style homes set among century-old live oak trees are a perfect backdrop for this popular festival. Stroll the dozens of arts and craft booths, sample delicacies from the many concession stands, or bring a blanket and a picnic lunch to enjoy the entertainment while the children romp in the park. The festival is held along Hwy. 441 between Gainesville and Ocala. It will take place on October 20, 2018. 

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    Antique shops, stately B&Bs, and historical landmarks are the perfect setting for this town's biggest event.  While the main stage plays host to good-time music, local artists join others from the Southeast to present their works in over 200 displays. An auction of items donated by participating vendors is the highlight on Saturday afternoon. Micanopy—"the town that time forgot"—is located just off Hwy 441, 12 miles south of Gainesville. It will take place on October 27-28, 2018.

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    Florida Seafood Festival
    Courtesy of Florida Seafood Festival

    Florida's oldest maritime exhibit draws thousands to this small river port city at the mouth of the Apalachicola River. Delicious seafood, arts and crafts exhibits, and fish-related events and displays are offered in Battery Park in downtown Apalachicola. There are events for just about everyone: the 5,000-meter Red Fish Run, oyster eating and shucking contests, a parade, and the King Retsyo Ball. Plus, the festival provides plenty of delicious seafood to sample, arts and crafts to complete your holiday shopping, and musical entertainment to enjoy. The event will take place on November 2-3, 2018. 

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    Held this year at the Sertoma Youth Ranch in Brooksville, the Riverhawk Music Festival will have you jumping for four days in November. The festival offers live bands on three stages, all-day kids programs, song contests, camping in the woods, plus craft brews and great food. Tickets are available for one or all four days and camping. On Sunday, pay for a carload of friends for one price—everyone you can fit in your vehicle legally. The event will take place November 8-11, 2018. 

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    Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

    Epcot Food and Wine Festival Orlando

    Michael Gray

    Live music, world-class food, and amazing wines are abound at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Enjoy meet and greets with celebrity chefs, cooking events, kids food festival, and the Eat the Beat Concert Series. There is also an Active Eats event to teach about healthy eating and tasty diet desserts. The festival takes place from August 30- November 12, 2018.

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