Florida is a haven for events and something is happening every weekend. You won’t want to miss these four must-attend Florida festivals in April. I’ve rounded up the best events representing the best in the Sunshine State this month. These events are the Sebring Soda Festival, Rock the Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival in Ft. Lauderdale, Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival in Clearwater, and Cocoa Beach Uncorked.
Sebring Soda Festival, April 5 & 6, 2019
Whether you call it soda or pop, if you have an affinity for sweetened carbonated beverage, the Second Annual Sebring Soda Festival is for you. Florida’s fizziest festival offers an opportunity to sample more than 200 craft sodas while walking around downtown Sebring’s Circle and listening to live music, admiring vintage autos, and grabbing lunch from one of the restaurants or food trucks.
Sample soda flavors as strawberry-rhubarb, candied bacon, and key lime. Buy a punch card for 8, 18, and 40 samples for $5, $10, and $20, respectively. If you fall in love with a flavor, find it in Sebring Soda & Ice Cream Works which carries 300 different flavors of soda from around the world. The tasting portion of the festival is 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 6. (Downtown Sebring on the Circle, 347 Fernleaf Ave., Sebring, Fla. 33870; Tel: (863) 385-8448; www.visitsebring.com/sebring-soda-festival)
Rock the Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival in Ft. Lauderdale, April 12 – 14, 2019
Music and conservation intertwine to create one of Florida’s most celebrated annual events, Rock the Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival. About 50 musical acts will perform over the three days. Jason Aldean, Flor Rida, Kenny Chesney, Sheryl Crow, and Joan Jett & the Black Hearts are some of the scheduled acts.
Tortuga is located oceanside and the festival includes Conservation Village. This is where organizations representing Rock the Ocean’s five core issues of coral reef degradation, marine pollution, overfishing, shark conservation, and turtle conservation exhibit. Last year, the festival implemented conservation efforts including using ocean-friendly straws, providing canned water and water refill stations, recycling materials, and contracting with food vendors who sourced ingredients from within 200 miles.
The three-day general admission pass is $239 and a single-day general admission pass is $135. Children 6 and younger are free. Gates open a Noon daily and end around 10 p.m. each night. (1100 Seabreeze Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. 33316; Tel: 888-512-7469; www.tortugamusicfestival.com)
Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival, Clearwater, April 12 – 28, 2019
A 21,000-square-foot tent houses the Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival’s main attraction, the Sugar Sand Walk Exhibit. Called Florida’s number one sand sculpting festival, this event celebrates Tampa Bay’s most treasured jewels, the sugar-sand beaches and sunsets. Watch sand sculptors from around the world craft piles of sand into famous destinations and landmarks. The artists will use shovels, trowels, spatulas, and other items you may find in your kitchen or garage, to create temporary works of art fitting the theme, “A Journey Around the Globe.”
The festival has expanded from 10 days to 17 and includes live music, a kids play zone, and sand sculpting classes. Feeling competitive? April 20 is the Pro-Am Sand Sculpting Tournament and April 21, Easter Sunday, is the Family Sand Sculpting Competition.
General admission for ages 11 and older is $10 and children 4 – 10 are $8, children 3 and younger are free. Purchased tickets online in advance. Discounted tickets will be available at the gate: $8 for AAA Members, Seniors (60 and up), Active & Retired Military Personnel, Police and Fire, and Educators, when valid identification is provided. Admission tickets are valid for one day/night. The exhibit is open Mondays – Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. (1 Causeway Blvd., Clearwater Beach, Fla. 33767; Tel: (727) 403-0517; www.sugarsandfestival.com)
Cocoa Beach Uncorked, April 27 & 28, 2019
Now celebrating its third year, Cocoa Beach Uncorked is the perfect event for sipping a glass of wine and wriggling your toes in the sand. Before entering the Grand Tasting Village, participants have the option of leaving their shoes at the entry way and walking barefoot through the tent while tasting, sampling, and celebrating the best of the Central Florida’s breweries, chefs, restaurants, and wineries. Happening at Alan Shepard Park, the festival will serve up stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. Cocoa Beach Uncorked is the Space Coast’s “hippest beachfront gastronomic event.”
Water quality is a state issue. The Marine Resources Council and Cocoa Beach Uncorked are partnering to raise awareness and funds to preserve the Indian River Lagoon. MRC will soon release the Annual Indian River Lagoon Health Update to raise awareness and offer solutions to improve Lagoon health.
Attendees must be at least 21 years of age and general admission entrance into the Grand Tasting Village begins at 1 p.m. and ends at 4 p.m. each day. General admission cost is $65 per day. 2 S Orlando Ave., Cocoa Beach, Fla. 32931; www.CocoaBeachUncorked.com)
While enjoying these can’t miss Florida festivals, remember to keep hydrated, protect yourself from the sun (check out Reef Safe Sunscreen and yes, it has been tested to be reef-safe), and drink responsibly.
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