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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:


Naples Fall Classic Half Marathon


November 23,2014

Naples, Florida is home to some of the most beautiful beaches,  fine dining, high end fashion shops and is a prime destination for a half marathon. The race course will take you past some of the most beautiful natural scenery, luxurious homes, and friendly fans cheering you on along the way.  


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


Naples Snow Fest

December 6, 2014, Golden Gate Community Park

Snowfest is Collier County Parks & Recreation Department’s signature event. The event was established in 1985 with the concept of giving the community the thrill of getting to play in snow in 80-degree weather. Starting out with only 5 tons of snow and a few hundred people, the festival has grown to become Collier County’s largest community event, attracting over 15,000 people.


Swamp Heritage Festival

December 6, 2014, Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center

This free family event provides a venue for individuals and groups with a deep connection to the Big Cypress Swamp an opportunity to share stories of the past and hopes for the future related to this special place. Through living history demonstrations, informative presentations, and exhibits everyone can learn what daily life was and is like in such a remote, and at times, inhospitable place. 


Downtown Naples New Year's Art Fair

January 3 - 4, 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

11th Annual Southwest Florida Nature Festival! Explore the local environment through almost 40 guided field trips to 20 wildlife hot spots around Southwest Florida and lectures at the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center. Field trips, including birding walks, buggy rides and boat tours, are offered in conjunction with partners such as Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Big Cypress National Preserve and Conservancy of Southwest Florida. 

Sunday January 18, 2015 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.

Annual Mullet Festival 

January 23-24, 2015, Goodland FL

The three-day festival attracts nearly 5,000 people to Goodland. Fried and smoked mullet are featured and in addition to the Buzzard Lope Queen event there is also a Buzzard Lope Princess day when girls from ages 6 to 16 compete for the title, a trophy and cash prizes.

January 24 - 25, 2015, Florida Sports Park

Experience the world's muddiest races as swamp buggy vehicles speed around the track known as the Mile O' Mud. The Races, heralded as the World’s Muddiest, feature swamp buggies -- which range from standard Jeeps with snorkels to giant monsters with NASCAR racing engines -- navigating the famous Mile O' Mud track. This figure-eight track is flooded with water, around 18 inches deep in most areas, but much deeper in the dreaded sippi holes, so as you can imagine it gets really messy.


Seminole Tribe PRCA Rodeo Finals

January 30-31, 2015, Seminole Youth Ranch Arena

The Immokalee Volunteer Firefighters Association in conjunction with Mason Pro Rodeo is bringing a professional PRCA rodeo to Immokalee on January 30 and 31, 2015 at the Immokalee Seminole Youth Ranch Arena. The Immokalee rodeo is sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) for championship points towards qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.


Sunshine State Steak Cook-off and Family Fun Day

January 31,  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 2, 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 6-8, 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.


The Ace Group Classic

February 10 - 16,  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.

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Golf Classic 

February 16-17, 2015, Tiburon Golf Club


The event will be held February 16-17, 2015 with the golf classic taking place on Tuesday, February 17th in Naples, FL at Tiburon Golf Club. The event will also include a VIP Pairings Party dinner and auction, a Hall of Famer Roundtable and an Awards Luncheon with over 20 Hall of Fame members and Sports Legends participating. Hall of Fame 2014 class members Alonzo Mourning and Mitch Richmond will also be in attendance.



Marjory Stoneman Douglas Festival

February 24 - 28, 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 21 - 22, 2015, Cambier Park

The Naples National Art Festival is consistently voted among the top 25 art festivals in the country by Sunshine Artist Magazine. As one of the oldest festivals in Collier County, Naples National is counted by the local community as among its premiere, must–see events, thanks to the high quality of art, the engaging personalities of the artists and the festive atmosphere. The festival is held in scenic Cambier Park and along 8th Street South, one block from downtown Naples’ premier shopping and dining district.


Blues, Brews & BBQ - Outdoor Concert



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 "Nights" Races

March 14, 2015, Florida Sports Park

Experience the world's muddiest races as swamp buggy vehicles speed around the track known as the Mile O' Mud. The Races heralded as the World’s Muddiest, feature swamp buggies -- which range from standard Jeeps with snorkels to giant monsters with NASCAR racing engines -- navigating the famous Mile O' Mud track. This figure-eight track is flooded with water, around 18 inches deep in most areas, but much deeper in the dreaded sippi holes, so as you can imagine it gets really messy.


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 14,  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.

April, 2015, 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, 2015, 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!

April 27 - May10, 2015, various locations

Each year, the ArtsNaples World Festival celebrates the full spectrum of the arts from the culture of France.


Blues, Brews & BBQ at Tin City

May, 2015, Tin City

As part of the CityFest Celebration week, enjoy great rockin' bands on the waterfront stage at Tin City! Kicking off at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 9th Deb and the Dynamics will play until 9:00 p.m. while finger-licking good BBQ is served with fresh, local seafood and icy brews. The next day, Saturday the 10th, the fun will continue with the Rachel Hughes Band from 10:30:0 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., Cracker Blues Band from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. and The Long Run, a renowned tribute band for The Eagles from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. plus more decadent food, drinks and tunes!  Admission: Free



May, 2015, 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.


World Oceans Day

June 2015, Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center

Officially recognized by the United Nations, World Oceans Day is held worldwide to encourage individuals to think about what the ocean means to them and what it has to offer all of us with hopes of conserving it for present and the future generations. In celebration of World Oceans Day, the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center offers “buy one, get one free admission.” Cannot be combined with other offers. Must pay at door, no registration necessary.


National Wildlife Day

Sept 2015,  Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center

National Wildlife Day is celebrated each year to bring awareness to the number of endangered animals around the world and to commend those who are educating the public about conservation strategies to protect the world we live in. In celebration of National Wildlife Day, the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center offers “buy one, get one free admission.” Cannot be combined with other offers. Must pay at door, no registration necessary.

Sept, 2015,National Estuarine Research Reserve

The National Estuaries Day event at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve will include staff-narrated boat tours (bus transportation provided to the boat), kayak trips, marine critter touch tank, live animal presentations, kids games and crafts, behind-the-scenes tours of the science labs, films, food and more. A reduced admission fee for the day includes all activities (reg. $5).


World Habitat Day

October, 2015, Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center

World Habitat Day reminds us of the basic need for adequate shelter. In order to build an adequate shelter, we must nurture a healthy ecosystem. Come in today and learn how Rookery Bay helps keep our ecosystem thriving and enjoy “buy one, get one free admission” to the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center. Cannot be combined with other offers. Must pay at door, no registration necessary.


October, 2015 Naples waterfront

Looking for an entertaining weekend full of seafood and fun? Then you definitely don’t want to miss out on this year’s annual Stone Crab Festival, set for October, 2015 at several connecting locations on the Old Naples Waterfront. Celebrating its 5th anniversary this year, the Stone Crab Festival will offer plenty of fresh stone crab claws, music, events, art and a ton of fun activities for the whole family!

November, 2015, Florida Sports Park

Experience the world's muddiest races as swamp buggy vehicles speed around the track known as the Mile O' Mud. The Races, heralded as the World’s Muddiest, feature swamp buggies -- which range from standard Jeeps with snorkels to giant monsters with NASCAR racing engines -- navigating the famous Mile O' Mud track. This figure-eight track is flooded with water, around 18 inches deep in most areas, but much deeper in the dreaded sippi holes, so as you can imagine it gets really messy.


Sixth Annual Naples International Film Festival 

November 2015

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 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.


Florida Panther Festival

November, 2015 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. (field trips to panther territory offered on Nov. 16)

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