Fall means more than just heading back to school and the end of those fun family summer vacations. This is the time to take advantage of the various ways to celebrate the season. What better way to take a break from a tough week at the office or long hours of studying for exams than by attending one of the many fall festivals that, in some cases, have become traditions in South Florida. They are a means for local communities to come together and celebrate the fun and flavor of South Florida culture and rich heritage.

Miami Broward Carnival
Miami Dade County Fairgrounds
10901 S.W. 24th St.
Miami, FL 33165
(305) 653-1877
www.miamibrowardcarnival.com

Date: October 9, 2016 with gates opening at 11:00 a.m.. The event continues until 9:00 p.m..

On October 9th, just in time to coincide with Columbus Day, Miami celebrates its multicultural heritage. Use your crazy creativity to dress up in the costume best suited to your heritage. The event has gained notoriety, drawing in over 50,000 participants yearly. Festivities include competitive pageants and the music of world-class artists eager to bring positive vibes to the day. Since the Caribbean takes major focus over the course of the day, there are plenty of Steel bands to get everyone on their feet and dancing to the rhythm. Following on the heels of the musicians are the famous music trucks. Dancing can certainly create an appetite and carnival attendees eagerly await their turn to try all the savory Caribbean food favorites like the curry and Jamaica jerky. Wash it down with a refreshing Caribbean rum drink with that tropical appeal. The culmination of the Miami Broward Carnival is the crowning of the Carnival King and Queen Panorama, followed by the Junior Carnival and the Miss Miami Broward Carnival pageant.

Key West Brewfest
Various locations throughout downtown Key West
1405 Duval St.
Key West, FL 33040
www.keywestbrewfest.com

Date: September 1, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. and ending on September 7, 2016 with final activities taking place at 7:00 p.m.

Key West becomes a plethora of activity as visitors from many parts of the nation come together on this small island with the big heart. Key West Brewfest is a non-stop festival filled with beer dinners, beer seminars, beer brunches, specialty beer parties and pool parties for some fun in the sun. Key West Brewfest kicks off at Waterfront Brewery which is located at 201 William Street. From there, as the days go on, the events move all across Key West from hotels to restaurants to open spaces. Enjoy the Florida tap takeover, the paired beer dinner, all-American sunset, signature tasting events and even a beer-inspired band to get visitors rocking. Try some of the beers that rule the industry such as Dos Equis, Heineken, NewCastle Brown Ale, Estrella Damm and Yuengling Beer. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $40 and $50 as the festival gets underway. VIP tickets run $75 per person with plenty of perks. The Key West Brewfest is held due to the efforts of the Key West Sunrise Rotary and a committee from the Southernmost Beach Resort. This is a non-profit event with funds collected going to the Key West Sunrise Rotary. There is no better way to spend your Labor Day weekend.

VeritageMiami
Various venues throughout Miami
(305) 646-7011
www.veritagemiami.com

Dates: October 5, 6, 7, & 9, 2016 beginning at 7:00 p.m. on October 5th at Wynwood Walls

Living the motto “eat drink unite,” VeritageMiami entertains with a passion for excitement, variety and fine taste. From Wynwood Walls to Coral Gables to Key Biscayne to the Marriott Marquis in downtown Miami, attendees are swept off their feet as they join over 3,000 other wine, beer, spirits and food lovers to try tantalizing treats. Working to make this event a successful one, notable chefs, prestigious wineries, blended breweries and a host of sponsors are the most special part of VeritageMiami. There is no better event around to raise money for United Way of Dade County, an organization giving support to the local community in the form of education, health and financial stability. Get ready to participate in one-of-a-kind auction experiences. Expand your horizons at a fall festival that will give you more knowledge on interesting recipes and how to spot the perfect wine to accompany each meal.

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Miami Harvest Festival
Miami Dade Fair Expo
10901 S.W. 24th St., Coral Way
Miami, FL 33165
(386) 860-0092
miamiharvest.com

Dates: November 19 – 20, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

This is the real deal when it comes to fall festivals. Harvest Festival features arts & crafts, hayrides, a model train village, bounce houses, pony rides, a classic car show, rock climbing wall, face painting, a petting zoo and much more. There has never been such a variety of activities to do and things to see all under one roof and extending outdoors. It seems like there are hundreds of vendors ready to entice your curiosity for one-of-a-kind items. Get a jumpstart on holiday shopping with some of the unique handmade creations. Little girls will love the American Girl doll clothes. Check out the plants, artwork, candles, wind chimes, photography along with the usual fair food like cotton candy and other treats that it is difficult to pass up. If you feel lucky enough, you may win one of the free hourly door prizes. Perhaps your best friend would like one of the firefighter calendars. Enter your baby in the cutest baby photo contest. There is two days’ worth of astonishing fun to be had at the Miami Harvest Festival. See for yourself.

Coconut Grove Seafood Festival
Peacock Park
2820 McFarlane Road
Miami, FL 33133
(305) 443-2604
www.coconutgroveseafoodfestival.com

Date: October 16, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

South Florida is surrounded by water on all sides. Its’ specialty is seafood so there is no better way to “dive” into sumptuous seafood than by attending the Coconut Grove Seafood Festival. Taste a multitude of delicacies direct from the sea, all in one eventful day. Held in scenic Coconut Grove, delight in dining, enjoy the sounds of live music ranging from Jimmy Buffet to Bob Marley to Pearl Jam, and bring the entire family for lots of fun. The Seafood Festival also welcomes the arrival of stone crab season in October. What is your favorite fish dish? Is it jambalaya, lobster rolls, clam boils, steamed oysters, sushi, paella or Peruvian ceviche? Whatever it might be, you will be sure to find it here. Bring a pad and a pen to take good notes during the cooking workshops. Kids can’t get bored as they let their imagination run wild on the Pirate’s Revenge or the Kraken Dual Lane Slide. Get your tickets at the door for $25 and kids under 12 are free. Don’t leave without checking out the fresh oysters, rum cocktails and award-winning brew at the Shipwreck Oyster Lounge.

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A longtime resident of Palm Beach County in South Florida, Hope Wilkos divides her passions between writing, fashion and scuba diving. With the gift of self-expression, Hope has used her writing skills to cover memorable events over the last five years and share that thrill and accomplishment with her readers. To achieve your goals, Hope strongly believes that you must “Follow Your Dream.”

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