Autumn has arrived, even in hot and humid Florida, where the daily temperatures have dipped below the average sweaty 90F. As the locals drag out their sweaters, a certain crispness fills the air- cool breezes, rustling leaves underfoot (yeah the leaves have already dropped, by-passing that exquisite color-changing event that the Northern States are so famous for, but with the changing weather comes another event that we love to embrace- the Fall Festival.
Fall Festivals abound in every town and falling under every category imaginable-it has gotten too chilly to hit the beach for swimming, but so nice you can’t stay indoors, so we embrace life with a festival of food, drink and the arts. From the Cedar Key Seafood Festival, where you can chow down on clam chowder (we had the smoked mullet), listen to live music and check out the local artists and homemade handicrafts, to Peanut Festival of Williston, the Cooter Festival in Inverness (yes, a celebration of, you guessed it, the turtle!), FAFO (Fine Arts of Ocala), Micanopy Arts Festival, Macintosh Festival and beyond.
We had visited Cedar Key during a blustery Spring Break this past year, so it was nice to return under sunny blue skies. A wander through the arts and crafts, from homemade soaps to shark’s teeth necklaces, and a cool touch tank display filled with unusual local fish- from the bat fish to a hermit crab curled up in his shell. Local businesses touted seafood galore, from smoked mullet (yum) to the local FFA’s Seafood chowder. Safety Patrols from the local school were on hand selling bottles of water to fund their Washington DC trip. This was truly a community event!
Now is the time to hit the great outdoors and check out what your creative neighbors have been creating. Explore new food, old favorites, let the kids play on the town playground- a new playground in a different town is always more fun, and embrace small town Florida.