Major Annual Events

Do the Buzzard Lope dance and enjoy seafood, music and entertainment at the annual Mullet Festival each January in Goodland. February is the month for the annual Everglades Seafood Festival, held in Everglades City. The Taste of Collier is held each Spring (April 27, 2014) in downtown Naples, with tasty treats from 30 of the area’s leading restaurants. In early May the annual Great Dock Canoe Race on Naples Bay is a colorful and zany event as much fun for spectators as it is for participants. There are numerous art festivals held throughout the year, and don’t forget that from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, downtown Naples comes alive with dazzling lights and holiday festivities to enhance your holiday gift shopping.

Here's a look at some highlights:

Saturday, April 19, 2014 at the Conservancy Nature Center
You’re invited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Conservancy of Southwest Florida during an Earth Day festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 19 at the Conservancy Nature Center!

April 26-27, 2014, Immokalee

Seminole Casino Immokalee will bring its third annual Balloons Over Paradise Festival to the Seminole Tribe Youth Ranch, April 26-27, starting at 6 a.m. daily. The two-day event will feature 60 hot air balloons and performances by Sister Hazel, Rachel/Hughes Band and JJ McCoy. Additionally, there will be delicious food, arts & crafts, tethered balloon rides, classic car show, dog agility performances, a polo exhibition and an equestrian drill team performance. Admission is free to the all-ages festival.

Taste of Collier

April 27, 2014, Bayfront
Taste Of Collier, a long-standing Naples tradition, is an afternoon of family fun featuring live performances by area musicians, the crowd-pleasing ice-carving contest, chef’s competition and of course, savory samples from over 30 of the best local restaurants in Collier County!
May 1 - 10, 2014, various locations
Each year, the ArtsNaples World Festival celebrates the full spectrum of the arts from a specific international culture. For one week in May 2014, you will be immersed in the culture of Italy through the visual arts, orchestral music, opera, theater, chamber music, cuisine, cinema and more.

May 10, 2014, race starts at The Dock at Crayton Cove

This annual Naples tradition marks the end to the busy winter season and the start of summer fun, and is probably Naples' best-loved spectator sport. Canoe contestants vie in a variety of races, and each year The Great Dock Canoe Race selects a theme for the race.

Downtown Naples New Year's Art Fair

January 2015, Fifth Avenue South
A new year and new opportunities await at this well-established art festival, which draws more than 230 professional artists from around the country and is ranked as one of the 100 Best Fine Art Shows in the U.S. by Sunshine Artist Magazine.
January 16 - 18, 2015, Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center
The annual Southwest Florida Nature Festival offers guided field trips to wildlife hot spots and on-the-water adventures around Southwest Florida, along with lectures at the Environmental Learning Center.
January 2015, race starts at Fifth Avenue South
Runner's Magazine votes this half-marathon as one of the best in the country. The USATF-certified course begins on Fifth Avenue South and returns to Cambier Park. After the race, attend the Pasta Party at First Watch Restaurant.

October 2015 Naples waterfront

Feast on the claws of Florida's tastiest crustacean during this kickoff to stone crab season. This weekend festival also celebrates the community's origins as a fishing village.

Sixth Annual Naples International Film Festival 

November 6-9, 2014
The Opening Night Film and Party will be held at Artis-Naples on November 6, 2014.  On November 7 - November 9, approximately 40 films, including domestic and international feature-length and short films in the drama, comedy and documentary genres, will be screened at Silverspot Cinema.  The festival will also celebrate independent films with filmmaker question and answer sessions, parties, panels and more. 

BaconFest Naples

November 7 - 8 2015, Hodges University 

Wake up and smell the bacon when the event kicks off with a catered, iron-chef style dinner. Cooks will compete to be fan favorites with their pork productions. Take home the bacon Saturday when the two-day event ends following a family day when all ages will be invited to feast on smoked swine.

Festival of Lights on 3rd Street South

November 25, 2014 Third Street South

Third Street South, full of twinkly lights and wonderful red and silver decorations, launches the Holiday Season as the Mayor lights the official Christmas tree. Music and bells resound from every courtyard and plaza, Santa arrives, the crèche is alive at Third and Broad, and…the snow falls – which it continues to do every evening during the week. Christmas on Third Street South is full of joy and spirit.

Celebration of Lights on 3rd Street South

November 25 - 29,  2014 Third Street South

Come and enjoy the wonderful holiday festivities on Third Street South.  Each evening, except Thanksgiving Day, there will be music, singing, carolers

Florida Panther Festival

November, North Collier Regional Park

Learn about the endangered state animal, hike the boardwalk, and enjoy food and music. No native panthers will be on display, but you can watch video footage of them in the wild.

30th Annual Mullet Festival 

January 2015, Goodland FL
Fun for the whole family at the world famous Mullet Festival

January 2015, Florida Sports Park

Experience the world's muddiest races as swamp buggy vehicles speed around the track known as the Mile O' Mud.

Sunshine State Steak Cook-off and Family Fun Day at Ave Maria

January 2015 Ave Maria Town Center

This is a fun-packed day, and a fundraiser for the Donahue Academy. There are carnival games, inflatable fun houses and live music for. Then later in the day, there's a steak cook-off for the best grilled steak. Diners can have a wonderful steak dinner for $15.

World Wetlands Day

February 2015, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary celebrates World Wetlands Day with a two-day festival. Discover the connection between Corkscrew and the health of the greater Everglades' waters and wildlife. Visitors will enjoy immersion into Corkscrew's forest, marshes, uplands and wetlands with guided walks, special explorations of birds and plants, demonstrations and displays of wildlife behaviors, kids activities from scavenger hunts to crafts and live music.

Everglades Seafood Festival

February 2015, Everglades City

Come and enjoy the annual Seafood Festival held in Everglades City, featuring three days of live music, carnival rides, arts, crafts and incredible food. More than 100 vendors offer a variety of great seafood, refreshments, midway, and handmade arts and crafts.

February 2015, various golf courses
The tournament annually attracts the strongest field of competitors from the Official Money List and legends from the World Golf Hall of Fame. Names like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Ray Floyd, Hale Irwin, Tom Kite and Tom Watson have all competed in this prestigious event.

10th Annual Marjory Stoneman Douglas Festival

February 2015 Everglades City

The Majory Stoneman Douglas Festival is an annual five-day celebration of the Everglades and Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ legacy, encompassing daily activities, programs, workshops and presentations bringing together specialists and professionals who share enthusiasm for the Glades.  All activities are designed for the entire family.

Naples National Art Festival

February 2015, Cambier Park/Eighth Street South

A competitive juried event, this fine art and fine craft festival showcases the talents of more than 260 artists.

Blues, Brews & BBQ - Outdoor Concert Event at Ave Maria

February 2015, Ave Maria Town Center

Spend the afternoon in one of the area’s most beautiful outdoor venues, Ave Maria Town Center, for their Blues, Brews & BBQ event. The free event features an outdoor concert by various blues artists, a display of cars from West Coast Muscle Car Club, savory BBQ, a beer sampling tent and local vendors.

Naples Craft Beer Fest

March 2015, Bayfront

The Naples Craft Beer Fest is a celebration of the art of craft beer. A variety of beers from breweries across the country and around the world are available for tasting. To enhance the tasting, local restaurants provide food pairings specifically designed to match a particular brew. Lastly, the Naples Craft Beer Fest showcases local musical talent to create a truly festive atmosphere.

Swamp Buggy Races

March 2015, Florida Sports Park

Experience the world's muddiest races as swamp buggy vehicles speed around the track known as the Mile O' Mud.

Mercato Fine Arts Festival

March 2015, Mercato

This juried festival showcases works in all media by 110 artists from across the country. Enjoy lunch from a variety of great restaurants, too.

Old Florida Festival

March 2015, Collier County Museum
The annual family-style event, now in its 25th year, brings together over 80 of the state’s finest historical reenactors, craft workers, and living history performers to recreate over ten centuries of daily life on the Southwest Florida frontier.

March 2015, Downtown Naples
The parade staging area and beginning of the parade will be at Saint Ann’s Church in Old Naples. The parade travels down 3rd Street South to 5th Avenue, and then goes down 8th Street South to end at Crayton Cove.
March 2015, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Batfish Bash for the Bay will feature delicious food from Matthews and Gardner catering. Hors d'Oeuvres, soups, sandwiches, a fresh grilling station, and many delectable dessert options will entertain your tastebuds while the upbeat and catchy music from the Girl Meets Boy band will have you grooving on the dance floor! 

March 2015, Fifth Avenue South

Enjoy a beautiful day strolling Fifth Avenue South and enjoying artwork from more than 150 national artists. Take in lunch at one of the downtown restaurants, too.

61st Annual Naples Flower Show

March 2015, Naples Botanical Garden
Two-day event, one of the largest flower shows in South Florida, includes a Garden Market, a variety of educational demonstrations and the Naples Garden Club’s spectacular juried Flower Show.  This year’s theme is “Through the Looking Glass.” 

March 2015, Veterans Park, Marco Island

The 2014 Marco Island Seafood and Music Festival has an all new schedule! It will begin on Friday this year, at 11:00 AM, March 28th. The internationally acclaimed, “Satisfaction-a Rolling Stones Experience” will perform opening night! Mick himself would be satisfied with the Friday line-up! The island’s own Jim Long kicks off the evening music at 4:00 PM and you can get your “Satisfaction” at 7:00 PM.

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