Always popular celebrations, Oktoberfests are staged in a number of venues in Florida. Now Jacksonville is joining the festivities with its first Oktoberfest Oct. 11-13, which it calls Jaxtoberfest. On tap: German cuisine and beer, chicken dances and polkas, live entertainment on multiple stages, fun and games.
Cape Coral boasts its Oktoberfest is the state’s biggest. In its 28th year, the Cape Coral Oktoberfest Oct. 18-20 and Oct. 25-27 will feature a huge tent, outside biergarten, three stages, live bands and, of course, lots of beer. Tampa holds its Oktoberfest Oct. 11-13 with German cheer along the Hillsborough River in Curtis Hixon Park. For a list of other Florida Oktoberfests, click on www.funtober.com/oktoberfest/florida.
Related by name, but not substance, is another forum for fun: Daytona Beach’s Biketoberfest, which brings together motorcycle fans for a weekend of cycle races, street festivals, concerts and other events. More than 100,000 bikers and bike fans are expected to descend on Daytona Oct. 17-20.Riding the waves:
Florida’s most favored surfing spots are New Smyrna, Ponce Inlet, Sebastian, Jacksonville Beach and Cocoa Beach. Cocoa Beach is the home of the celebrated Ron Jon Surf Shop, which occupies an entire block. In New Smyrna, the Red Dog Surf Shop is home base for surfers.
The Florida State Surfing Championships will be held at Jacksonville Beach Oct. 10-13.Weekday theme park deals: Magical dining in Orlando:
For a taste of foods from all over, Epcot at Walt Disney World is staging its 18th annual International Food and Wine Festival from Sept. 27 to Nov. 10. Thirty global marketplaces will be featured, along with special dinners, demonstrations, wine tastings and other culinary doings. Park admission is required, and many of the activities involve additional fees.
WATER PARKS CUT HOURS FOR SEASON
With summer on the wane, waters in Florida’s good ol’ swimming holes will soon be getting cooler, and with kids back in school, fewer of them will be visiting water parks. Because of this, many water parks will cut back their hours in autumn and winter, or close for the season.
Here’s a guide to what’s open and when. All dates are subject to change.