Spring has (nearly) sprung, so emerge from hibernation and soak up the barely-missed sunshine during the Ancient City’s festival season. Whether you’re a melomanic or a gourmet or anything in between, St. Augustine has a festival for you. So check our list, load up your car with your friends, family, neighbors, mailman, the whole gang, slather on some sunscreen (they don’t call us the Sunshine State for nothing), and spend your spring as a St. Augustine festival-goer.
32nd Annual Cathedral Festival
Mission Nombre de Dios
Complete with carnival rides, raffles, music, food, and more, there’s no better way to start off the festival season than the long-running Cathedral Festival. Spend the weekend jamming out with a lineup of local musicians, surveying the city from the top of the ferris wheel, and watching fireworks light up the night sky. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children 11-17, and free for children 10 and under. Proceeds benefit the Cathedral Parish School and the Cathedral Parish Early Education Center.
St. Augustine Beach Arts & Crafts Festival
St. Johns County Ocean Pier
Join some of the area’s most talented vendors as they showcase their jewelry, ceramics, stained glass, handmade soaps, and photography. Find the perfect birthday gift or get a huge head start on your Christmas shopping. The event is free, so bring your family and friends along for the ride!
36th Annual St. Augustine Lions Seafood Festival
Get ready to savor the taste and aroma of fresh seafood. Gather the whole crew to taste mouth-watering seafood by vendors specializing in crispy conch fritters, buttery lobster tails, seasoned octopus, wild salmon, and a whole lot more. But once you’re full, never fear – the weekend will have music, arts and crafts, a kids zone, rides, belly dancers, pirate activities, and magic shows. Admission is $5 for adults. Kids 15 and under are free.
Menorcan Heritage Fest
The Menorcans were a group of Mediterranean people who journeyed to East Florida in the 18th century to work as servants on a plantation in New Smyrna. Celebrate the 240th anniversary of their arrival and experience the Menorcan arts and culture by listening to story-tellers and guest speakers and learn their history through period clothing and authentic food. The Menorcan Heritage Fest is presented by the Menorcan Cultural Society.
25th Anniversary Lighthouse 5K & Fun Run
St. Augustine Lighthouse
On your mark….get set….GO! This racecourse is flat 3.1 mile course going through Historic Lighthouse Park and Davis Shores. The 5K starts at 4:30pm and the Fun Run starts at 5:30 pm. Get your sneakers on and come join this family-fun race. Online registration for this event closes on Friday, March 3 at 12pm and walk-up registrations will be open the day of the race from 2-4pm before the race begins. The top male and female runners will be awarded $100 and the top three participants in each age group will receive awards.
71st Florida Azalea Festival
The 71st Florida Azalea Festival is held the first full weekend in March in Historic Downtown Palatka. Look forward to live entertainment, arts and crafts, food, and plenty of azaleas in bloom. After you’ve gotten your fill of wandering through the luscious blossoms, head over to the Florida Azalea Scholarship Pageant, Florida Azalea Car Show, a bowling tournament, Azalea Parade, and much more.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Downtown St. Augustine
Get yourself ready for the big festival with some celebration worthy of an Irishman! Don your favorite Kelly green garb and channel the luck of the Irish as you follow the St. Patrick’s Day Parade through downtown. As it is the only St. Patrick’s Day parade in Northeast Florida, the event will feature a number of talented performers showing off their best Celtic dancing, bagpiping, and kilting skills. The parade will end at Francis Field where guests can enjoy the Celtic Festival.
7th Annual St. Augustine Celtic Music & Heritage Festival
The biggest Celtic festival in all of North Florida is a can’t-miss in your festival season! The 7th annual St. Augustine Celtic Music and Heritage Festival kicks off Friday night with a whiskey tasting then continues on Saturday and Sunday with some festival fun! Channel your inner Celt as you enjoy the internationally recognized Celtic musicians, delicious traditional food, and local vendors. Celebrate your (real or imagined) heritage with a spirited weekend. General admission is $10. Tickets for the Friday’s Whiskey Tasting Event are sold separately and the entry fee is $45. In addition to the website, tickets can be purchased at Ann O’Malley’s in downtown St. Augustine.
Anastasia Music Festival
St. Augustine Amphitheatre
The inaugural three day festival of modern and classic bluegrass will feature more than 20 of the genre’s biggest touring stars.The lineup – with everyone from the Del McCoury Band to Elephant Revival – will attract both the genre’s veterans and its fledgling devotees. The weekend will be a celebration of all things bluegrass with toe-tapping music, delicious food trucks, and a chance to camp out. Early bird three-day passes are $125 and VIP passes are $250. Children 10 and under are free.
St. Augustine Race Week
St. Augustine Bayfront
Get your paddles and boats ready to set sail on this four-day event in one of America’s oldest seaport cities. This event will feature live music, food and a variety of sailing and boat events along the St. Augustine Bayfront and near Vilano bridge. This event raises funds to send underprivileged children to sailing camps every summer as part of their JDM Youth Sailing Scholarship Fund, named in honor of a strong supporter of Race Week, John Meehan. A competitor’s meeting will be held Wednesday, March 22 at the St. Augustine Yacht Club.
The Spring St. Augustine Record Fair
St. Augustine Amphitheatre
Wander among the stacks and find some tunes for your turntable at this free family-friendly celebration of all things vinyl. Records, CDs, posters, memorabilia, and more from over 25 music dealers sit alongside live music, a live DJ, food trucks, and a full day of entertainment. The event is hosted by ToneVENDOR and is free and open to the public.
www.staugamphitheatre.com or www.tonevendor.com
22nd Annual Rhythm & Ribs
March 31-April 2
It wouldn’t be a list of festivals without the premier event of the season! Come out for an assortment of finger-licking barbecue, award-winning culinary champions, live music, arts and crafts, rides, and more. Founded by the Sunrise St. Augustine Rotary, Rhythm & Ribs is in its 22nd year and is still one of the Oldest City’s best festivals. It began in 1995 as a small barbecue fest, but has since expanded into an enormous and lively weekend of toe-tapping music, amazing food, and talented local vendors. For music lovers and barbecue aficionados alike, Rhythm & Ribs is a can’t miss. Friday and Saturday tickets are $10 for adults. Sunday is family day tickets are $5. Kids 16 and under are free.
St. Ambrose Spring Fair
St. Ambrose Catholic Church
The annual St. Ambrose Spring Fair brings the joy of the warm, blooming season to the Ancient City! The even will offer a number of fun activities for the kids, live entertainment, delicious traditional Minorcan food, hay rides and tractor tours, auctions, and more. Spread your blanket under the live oak and take in the spring air. Admission is free.
Festival of Chariots 2017
Plaza de la Constitucion
April 8, 10-3pm
Come join this vibrant festival of Chariots or Rathayatra to celebrate the Hindu and Indian culture and participating in singing, dancing, and parades, henna tattoos, art vendors, vegetarian food, and live entertainment. The Festival of the Chariots is also referred to as Ratha Yatra, which means Chariot Festival. The Rathayatra festival first started in the ancient city of Jagannatha Puri in India to celebrate the Hindu Lord of the Universe. Bring your friends and family to celebrate and learn more about the Hindu and Indian cultures while you sing and dance! Admission to this event is free.
Vilano Beach Festival & Tour of Homes
Vilano Beach Town Center
April 8, 12-8pm
Celebrate the beauty of one of our favorite beach communities! Kick off the festival with a seminar describing the homes and neighborhoods of the Vilano Beach Home Tour that will take place the next day then head to the pier for a Sea Turtle Soiree with live entertainment and great food! The tour of homes and the Dish ‘n’ Fish will take place the next day.
St. Augustine Annual Easter Parade
Mission of Nombre de Dios
Come meet the Easter Bunny as you navigate down the streets of St. Augustine and get a glimpse of the floats, drill teams, horse-drawn carriages, marching bands, and more. The whole city comes out in celebration of spring and its glorious rebirth. The parade gives you a chance to meet pirates, royalty, and even a few Storm Troopers!
A Taste of St. Augustine
St. Augustine Amphitheatre
Come try the unique dishes of St. Augustine’s local restaurants as they compete for the TOSTA (Taste of St. Augustine) awards under categories such as Best Ethnic, Best Upscale, Best Family Dining, and Best Dessert, as well as People’s Choice. Devour these dishes and have a chance to vote for your favorite ones. This event will also feature activities, arts and crafts, face-painting, and live music. Admission for this event is $5 and taste tickets are $1 each with restaurants charging between 1-5 tickets per taste. Children are admitted free. You will receive a map that lists the participating restaurants, the location, and the dishes being served. Bring your friends and family and sample the best of the local cuisine.
15th Annual Florida’s Birding & Photo Fest
GTM Environmental Education Center, Ponte Vedra
You know what they say – birds of a feather flock together. So, come share your interest in photography at an event that will feature more than 110 different birding and outdoor photography events, workshops, classroom sessions, and night and action photography. This event is not just for the professionals or experienced photographers, but for beginners, amateurs, and enthusiasts as well. After taking beautiful pictures of the unique birds, join the festivities for a scrumptious dessert reception on Saturday, April 29th from 6:30-9pm at the Pioneer Bar. Tickets are $15.
Romanza Festivale of the Arts
St. Augustine Event Venues
Get your dancing shoes ready and grab a partner to move your body to the rhythm of this exotic festivale! Romanza Festivale will feature more than 60 events and exhibits by many organizations. Come and enjoy America’s Most Romantic City with your dearest love and dance the night away as the city celebrates art and music. This event will provide music and dance performances, concerts, art shows, and more. Some of the events are free and others require admission fees. Events will take place at different venues in St. Augustine. Check out the website for a full schedule.
Gamble Rogers Music Festival
Love the local musicians? Well, here’s your chance to listen to all of them during this three-day event that features local, regional, and national music groups. This event is to commemorate a recording artist, Gamble Rogers, who passed away by trying to save a drowning swimmer in 1991.