If you're heading to the southern states this winter, you won't want to miss out on the incredible fairs and festivals going on. From the pirate festival of Tampa, Florida to the famous Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, you can find exactly the gathering that suits your tastes. Even if you don't call the southern reaches home, why not plan a trip to take in one of these fun get-togethers? You'll never regret your time in the sun.
January and February
Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo
Mid-January - early February
Will Rogers Memorial Center - Fort Worth, Texas
From incredible rodeos to stock shows, petting zoos, exhibits, and amazing food, this show is the greatest fair and rodeo event you'll ever attend. It's world-famous for good reason -- because of the vast number and quality of events. You'll find the classic rodeo events like calf roping, barrel racing, and bull riding as well as special events for the whole family like riding and roping classes, goat milking contests, pigeon shows, and magic shows. You'll find livestock of all kinds here, plus some of the bravest cowboys you'll find anywhere.
Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival
Third week in January
Late January - early February
Birders from all over the country converge every year for this incredible celebration of birds and birding. This is the time when migratory birds travel back from their southern wintertime havens and find a great resting and feeding place on Florida's Space Coast. The festival includes field trips, seminars, workshops, a pelagic (ocean-going) birding trip, kayaking, an art competition, and special talks and lectures. Join the over 3,500 people who flock to this amazing festival. For more info call - 321-268-5224
National Art Festival
Third week in January
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Wander through the sunny streets of Fort Lauderdale touring booths, art stands, and galleries. This al fresco event showcases the works of more than 100 high-end artists from around the world. More than 65,000 people will gather to see the year's finest pieces of art. For more info call -954-670-2839.
Gasparilla Pirate Fest
First week in February
Yarr, maties! Grab your eye patch and Jolly Roger and head to beautiful downtown Tampa for the Pirate Fest Street Festival held along Florida Avenue from Kennedy to Channelside. Be sure to arrive for the opening salvo, when pirates storm into town and capture the city. These fun-loving sea rogues turn Tampa into a party town as they romp through the streets, living it up. This is the perfect place to unleash the pirate within.
Second week of March
This fun, family-friendly festival has carnival rides, yummy food, and great shows and entertainment. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend this lively Louisiana festival. For more info call - 225-654-6777.
St. Joseph's Day Parade
New Orleans, Louisiana
Head to the big easy for the Italian American Marching Club's annual festival and parade. Up to 100,000 people are expected on the sidelines of this traditional parade. The Italian American club of New Orleans is one of the largest ethnic organizations in the Southeast. 504-421-0955
Sidewalk Art Festival
Third week in March
Winter Park, Florida
Stroll the streets and boulevards of Winter Park, Florida, viewing the work of more than 225 nationally and internationally juried artists. Their original works brighten up the city for a full week at the end of March. You'll be in good company, since 200,000 people are expected at this amazing art festival. 407-672-6390
Blessing of the Fleet
Last weekend in March
Head to the Georgia coast for this annual nautical festival. The Blessing of the Fleet of takes place in Darien-McIntosh and offers arts, crafts, delicious food, and fun with ships and seafood. Don't miss the fabulous shows and entertainment. 912-437-6684
Mulberry Street Festival and Cherry Blossom Festival
Head to historic Macon, Georgia for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival and the fun Mulberry Street Festival, an arts and crafts fair that's held at the same time. You can stroll along Mulberry Street enjoying the booths, stands, exhibits, and entertainment. More than 25,000 people are expected to head to the festivals this year! 478-744-9557