This weekend, Everglades City will host the Everglades City Seafood Festival in front of City Hall. Friday night kicks off with “Family Night” at 5:30 p.m. and music by Rodney Atkins! The Everglades Seafood Festival has a feast of fresh gulf shrimp, fish, stone crab claws, fried gator, arts and crafts, and rides for the kids. The festival lasts until Sunday, so take your Valentine to celebrate Florida’s heritage fresh from the water! The festival is coordinated by the non-profit group; Betterment Association of the Everglades Area, which donates to local organizations like the Kiwanis Club.
Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival and Marco Island Seafood Festival are coming up back-to-back in mid-March, so be ready for two more big seafood weekends that include 5k fun runs, parades, local vendors and fresh seafood for the whole family! The last big area festival is the Naples Stone Crab Festival, which will be happening later in October during stone crab season. The Naples festival is happening on Fifth Street where you can enjoy fresh seafood while taking a stroll down Naples’ beautiful downtown area. It has a calm, European atmosphere lined with cafes and restaurants featuring outdoor seating to enjoy the cool October weather.
Fort Myers Festival of Lights
Fort Myers is celebrating Thomas Edison with their annual Festival of Lights. The festival highlights the recently renovated historic River District near Thomas Edison’s Winter Estate. It includes vintage car shows, pageants, a 5k run, and a grand parade that includes the whole community and one of the largest events in the area. Fort Myers has revived its River District with popular new restaurants that pay homage to Edison and his friends like Henry Ford and Henry Firestone. This event, along with the renovations, have attracted a variety of thriving new businesses. Visitors can explore the scenic river view in Centennial Park and grab food at Ford’s Garage or Firestone Grill. These influential men have left their mark on history and Fort Myers has memorialized the powerful friendship of these good friends with delicious food and a relaxing place to enjoy the view.
Photo courtesy of Ford’s Garage.
Southwest Florida’s Playful Side
Naples always has something going on, from its nationally-ranked Art Show at the end of February to the Stone Crab Festival in October. Aside from Fifth Avenue, downtown Naples is also known for boutique shops and restaurants and has internationally recognized beaches less than a block away. After dinner on Fifth, explorers can wander down to the beach and enjoy a magical sunset. Naples not only prides itself on its beaches, but also venues like Artis Naples and Bakers Museum, which has concerts directed by the world famous conductor Andrey Boreyko. The city extends its interest in the arts with events like the World Festival in April that celebrates music from a variety of cultures and the Naples National Art show. But art is just one side of Naples! The other half attests to its love for water with boat shows, boat races, and fishing tournaments year round.
Whether you live or vacation in Southwest Florida, you’ll always find an adventure!