Florida is renowned for its fishing heritage and top quality seafood and wine products. Most of the annual festivals in the state are related to food and wine. The festivals and events held are family-oriented with a traditional local flair which is quite unique to each community. All the festivals prominently feature delicious local seafood, wines, beers and live musical performances. Among other highlights at these festivals include oyster shucking competitions, cooking demonstrations, 5K run/walks, parades, children’s rides, arts and crafts vendors, and local and regional acts.
As the humidity dips and there is chill in the air, Florida starts welcoming celebrity chefs to show their skills and acumen in wining and dining. Let us get an insight into some of the best food and wine festivals held across the state during the months starting from September through March. Some of these major festivals that you would consider visiting include Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Florida Seafood Festival, Palm Beach Food & Wine Fest, Key West Food & Wine Festival and Florida Strawberry Festival. An insight into these important festivals is pertinent to prepare in advance for your visit.
Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is held during the month of September to November. The 53-days-long festival of awesome wining and dining attracts visitors and celebrity chefs from 27 countries. This year the festival was attended by a large number of people from various countries where they availed the opportunity to enjoy delicious steamed mussels from Belgium, varied types of beers at the German pavilion and Korean bulgogi, among various other delicacies. About 30 international beverage and food stalls were put up at the festival venue. The major highlights of the festival this year included beverage seminars, exciting culinary demonstrations, Eat to Beat concert series, and signature dining experiences with famous international chefs. There is something to discover new each time whenever you attend the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
Florida Seafood Festival
The two-day-long Florida Seafood Festival is held in the historic Apalachicola town in the picturesque Franklin County. The festival is organized in October-November every year, particularly at the peak of oyster season in Apalachicola. The venue of the festival at the mouth of the Apalachicola River under Apalachicola's Battery Park shady oaks is flush with thousands of visitors who gather to get a thrilling experience by participating in the oyster-eating competition. Some of the participants in the competition have been seen slurping down nearly 250 to 300 of the briny bivalves. The major highlights of the festival include arts and crafts exhibitions, delicious seafood dishes, and other seafood related events such as Blue Crab Races, 5K Redfish Run, and Oyster Shucking and Oyster Eating contests. Among other events held during the festival include King Retsyo’s Ball, Fireworks Show, History of the Festival Exhibit, The Blessing of the Fleet, Parade, and Photo Contest.
Palm Beach Food & Wine Fest
The Palm Beach Food & Wine Fest is usually held in the month of December at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach and at some select locations on the Palm Beach Island. This year the festival will be held from December 11 to 14, 2014. The 4-day-long festival of delicious food and fine wines is all set to attract thousands of wine and food lovers from different parts of the globe. Make this fabulous resort destination of Florida to see many events taking place, which includes 5-course dinners complemented with premium wine pairings, specialty Chef Talk discussions, live musical performances, and a free volleyball game. Several renowned chefs and food legends are expected to participate in this year’s festival. The prominent ones include Aaron Black, Lindsay Autry, Darryl Moiles, Clay Conley, Gabrielle Hamilton, Anita Lo, Virginia Willis, Ken Oringer, Jeff Mauro, Elizabeth Falkner, Marc Murphy, Robert Irvine and Daniel Boulud.
Key West Food & Wine Festival
The Key West Food & Wine Festival is held during the months of January and February every year. The festival, which will be held from January 27 to February 1, 2015, is all set to transform Key West in a flurry of activities. The community in Key West boasts of a rich food and drink heritage. The festival is held every year to celebrate this love for fine dining and wining. The prominent highlights of the forthcoming foodie event would be café con leche, conch fritters and smoked fish dip. Among other related events at this famous festival include exuberant walk-around tastings during sunset, educational food and wine seminars, and local jazzy events.