Florida bursts into action in the springtime, as families travel on spring breaks, people sell their homes and move to new locations and tourists begin the summer vacation season early! For this reason, both Orlando and Jacksonville offer an overabundance of outdoor festivals, specialty events, concerts, live entertainment and more! With such a wide variety of themes, there is definitely something in this list for everyone to enjoy.
This April and May, visit SeaWorld Orlando for the annual 2010 Viva La Musica! This event celebrates Hispanic culture with live performances of Latin musicians and dancers, while serving up traditional Hispanic cuisine and showcasing original Hispanic exhibits. Performances begin at 4 p.m. daily in Seaworld’s Bayside Stadium. For more info, call 407-363-3359.
Plan to attend a Jacksonville Suns baseball game as an affordable day at the ballpark! The Jacksonville Suns are a minor-league team affiliated with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and they play at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. For tickets, call 904-367-1423.
If you’re bummed that we have to wait a couple years for another Olympics, plan to attend the World of Nations Celebration from April 29 to May 2 in Jacksonville, where over 25 countries come together to showcase and celebrate cultural values and entertainment. For more information, call 904-630-3690.
From May 20 to May 31, attend the Orlando International Fringe Festival taking place in Loch Haven Park and other venues around downtown Orlando. This festival includes over 500 performers and 70 theater companies showcasing uncensored, cutting-edge musical performers and creative works of art. For more information, visit www.OrlandoFringe.org or call 407-648-0077.
Throughout the season of spring, the Jacksonville Riverfront comes alive with seafarers and landlubbers! Sail Jacksonville is an annual event that displays tall ships from around the world. Activities include the Pirate Battle for Treasure, seamanship demonstrations, live entertainment and more. For exact dates and continual updates, visit Coj.net.
From May 23 to May 23, May 28 to May 30, June 4 to June 6, and June 11 to June 13, visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort for the annual Star Wars Weekend 2010! Meet dozens of your favorite Star Wars characters while participating in a plethora of Star Wars activities, trivia contests, collectibles and pin trading, thrill rides and more! For more info, visit www.StarWars.com.
Visit the heart of downtown Jacksonville between May 27 and May 30 for the annual Jacksonville Jazz Festival! This free event draws tons of jazz enthusiasts each year to experience live performances from renowned jazz performers and from locals! Special highlights include the Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition, the ‘Round Midnight Jazz Jam, Jazz Talk, Sunday jazz brunches and more! Visit Coj.net for more information.
For a small-town festival atmosphere, head out to Zellwood, located Northwest of Orlando, for the 2010 Zellwood Sweet Corn Festival on May 28 through May 30. This festival has it all, from corn-eating contests and live country entertainment, to carnival rides, games, arts and crafts and more. For more info, visit www.ZellwoodCornFestival.com.
On May 31 at 10 a.m., plan to attend Memorial Day Observance at the Veterans Memorial Wall, 1145 East Adams Street. Listen to keynote speakers and family tributes while watching the wreath presentation and hearing the 21-gun salute. There is no better way to honor the local heroes who have and are still protecting our country’s freedom. For more info, call 904-630-3680.
From April 30 to May 16, visit the Mad Cow Theatre for the Orlando Cabaret Festival, which features 40 different shows in areas of jazz, pop, Broadway and more. Many notorious entertainers have performed at this event in the past, including Jaimie Roberts, Amy Baker, The Lascivious Biddies and more. For a listing of performers this year, visit www.OrlandoCabaret.com.
On a rainy day, head to a concert in Orlando or Jacksonville, both offering ample options, which include:
- Uncle Kracker on April 26 at The Club at Firestone, Orlando
- Goo Goo Dolls on April 27 at Hard Rock Live, Orlando
- Elvis Costello on April 27 at Florida Theatre, Jacksonville
- Ben Harper and Jack Johnson on April 29 at Florida Theatre, Jacksonville
- Loudon Wainwright lii on May 1 at Plaza Theatre, Orlando
- Flogging Molly on May 1 at Florida Theatre, Jacksonville
- Tim McGraw and Lady Antebellum on May 6 at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
- The Spill Canvas on May 11 at The Social, Orlando
A list of Broadway shows is also available for the Florida spring season:
- Xanadu from April 27 to May 2 at the Carr Performing Arts Centre, Orlando
- Grease from April 27 to May 2 at the Moran Theater-Times Union Performing Arts Center, Jacksonville
- Chicago from May 21 to May 23 at the Moran Theater-Times Union Performing Arts Center, Jacksonville
- Spring Awakening from May 18 to May 23 at the Carr Performing Arts Centre, Orlando