If you are thinking about hitting Orlando this year for a vacation to Disney World or Universal Studios, but are looking for something else to do. Consider going to one of the best annual festivals that happens every year. Whether you love art, music, or food, these festivals offer top-tier entertainment and fun. Here are some events to keep in mind when you are booking your next trip to Orlando:
1. Mount Dora Art Festival February 3 – 4
Miami’s Art Basel isn’t the only world-renown art festival in Florida. Mount Dora in Orlando attracts more than 300,000 visitors every year. The art features includes a range of mediums from oil painting to sculpture to photography. They also offer live music, kids art-focused activities, and delicious food and drinks. Mount Dora is a great place to see the work of internationally recognized artists, as well as, view some of the newest up and comers to the art game.
2. Orlando Mardi Gras February 3 – April 7
If you really time your trip right, you can follow up the Mount Dora Art Festival with a Mardi Gras celebration at Universal Studios. The Mardi Gras festival at Universal Studio may very well be the second best Mardi Gras festival in the country only to New Orleans. The weeks-long event includes colorful parades with a variety of street performers, authentic Cajun food, and zydeco music to keep the spirit alive. So if you can’t make it over to Canal Street, stop by Universal Studios.
3. Florida Film Festival April 6 – 15
If you are a film buff, you definitely want to check out the Florida Film Festival. This week long event features the best of independent filmmakers from both local Floridians and international auteurs. Beyond the lineup of great films, there is also exciting menu selections for the foodies among us. Definitely make sure to take the time to enjoy a craft cocktail at the Eden Bar while celebrity watching both before and after the show. The film festival has been known to attract A-list celebrities like Jon Voight, Glen Close, and Lea Thompson.
4. Florida’s Juneteenth Music Festival June TBD
Dating back to the 1930s, some of music’s greatest names including Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, BB King, and Ray Charles have performed at this local music festival celebrating the abolition of slavery. The music festival also offers great food and drink, kid’s areas, and educational centers. If you are a music lover, definitely put this festival on your must-attend list.
5. Silver Spurs Rodeo September TBD
Started in 1944, this traveling rodeo company makes a stop every year in Orlando to feature the talents of the most impressive rodeo stars on the tour. The events include classics such a bull riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, and bareback riding, and of course, rodeo clowns. So if you love a good rodeo or just want to see how cowboys do their thing, add this festival to your list!
6. Epcot International Food And Wine Festival September TBD
If you are a foodie or a wine spectator or both, then you cannot miss Epcot’s yearly international food and wine festival. Featuring food and wine selections from the top chefs all over the world, this event is a food lover’s paradise. Beyond all the great food to eat, there are tons of educational events where you can learn cutting edge cooking tips and techniques from famous chefs. Of course, being at Epcot, you’ll also be able to enjoy all the rides, entertainment, and attractions Disney has to offer!
So when you are booking your next Orlando vacation, make sure to check out some of these great annual fests. If you can’t make it out this year, mark it on your calendar because they happen annually!