Ring in the New Year by discovering entertaining events the Sunshine State has to offer throughout 2019

Tallahassee, FL – With a new year comes thrilling, new opportunities to further explore the state that’s known for its endless beaches, countless days of sunshine and family-friendly events: Florida. From fine cuisine festivals and wine tastings to half marathons and flower festivals, there are an infinite amount of reasons to visit Florida again and again.

As one of Florida’s primary Gulf Coast cities, Sarasota offers visitors an eclectic blend of culture and fine dining, circus thrills and pristine beaches, as well as a wide array of shopping opportunities. In 2019, visitors will have even more reasons to visit, as some of Florida’s most exciting events are taking place within Sarasota. The Suncoast’s premier Food and Wine Festival, Forks & Corks, kicks off the year showcasing international award-winning vineyard owners and winemakers. Running from January 25, 2019 until January 27, 2019, this cuisine and wine pairing spectacular is not to be missed. Fitness junkies looking to up their marathon game this year should run, not walk, to sign up for Sarasota Music Half Marathon. With more than 20 bands and lawn parties, runners will find no shortage of fun and encouragement to beat their personal record on February 3, 2019. For a unique annual event beloved by this surfside town, try Venice Shark Tooth Festival. Venice holds the title of “Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World,” as countless artifacts can be found washed ashore, including sharks teeth. From April 12 until April 14, 2019, join fellow treasure hunters on the beach in search of their own toothy prize to bring home. Find foodies lined up as of June 1, 2019, at dozens of local restaurants who are participating in Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week. With prix-fixe meals discounted at some of the best restaurants in town, it’s no surprise WalletHub named Sarasota as one of the “Best Small Cities in America” to grab a bite to eat.

Conveniently located in the center of peninsula Florida, the city of Sebring is known for its historic downtown, as well as the many parks and lakes in the area that satisfy all recreational interests. VISIT FLORIDA invites car enthusiasts to discover one of the oldest organizations in vintage racing, Sportscar Vintage Racing Association, who hosts the annual Sebring Vintage Classic. Running from February 28until March 3, 2019, enthusiasts and competitors alike will enjoy sprint and endurance races, plus a car showcase featuring a variety of classic and exotic street and performance cars. Step back in time and relive childhood memories at Sebring Soda Festival taking place April 5 through April 6, 2019. This new family-friendly event is themed as a rockin’ fifties block party with hundreds of craft sodas to try, live entertainment, as well as VIP adult soda cocktail tasting. The kid’s zone and pop-up retail stores will bring back vintage fun for all ages. As the tulip fields in Holland rise to the top of bucket lists every year, Floridians don’t have to leave their own backyard to experience the similar Lake Placid Caladium Festival. Taking place from July 27 until July 29, 2019, see 1,500 acres of glowing caladium foliage and more than 40 varieties as they bloom in colour. The festival also features art competitions, bulb and plant sale and even an antique car show.

The Sunshine State offers visitors access to unique, year-round events regardless of the season. To plan your next holiday getaway or to experience a unique Florida event, visit www.VISITFLORIDA.com.

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As the Sunshine State’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 126.1 million visitors in 2018. Based on the latest economic impact study, in 2016, Florida visitors spent $112 billion, supporting 1.4 million Florida jobs. According to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, for every $1 the state invests in VISIT FLORIDA – the official tourism marketing corporation for the State of Florida - $2.15 in tax revenue is generated. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism to Florida through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs.

To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA, follow us on our industry social media channels: Facebook and Twitter @FloridaTourism