Fort Myers Signature Events: Celebrate Every Season of the Year

Located in southwest Florida along the Caloosahatchee River, Fort Myers features a mix of Old Florida and modern style. The best way to experience both is to attend an annual event. These festivals celebrate everything Fort Myers and bring the community together for fun, food and entertainment. Even better, they don’t just occur in the summer – the fun carries on throughout the year. Check out the top Fort Myers signature events.

Top 6 Fort Myers Signature Events: Celebrate With Loved Ones

fort myers shrimp festival

March: Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival

For over 55 years, the Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival in March has attracted tens of thousands of shrimp lovers who come to eat, shop and help local charities. The main star of the event are the Gulf pink shrimp delivered straight from the Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Boat Fleet. In fact, hosts serve over 1,000 pounds every year.

Cooks boil and toil the shrimp for two days, and each guest receives a half-pound to enjoy. After filling up, explore over 100 vendors for locally made goods and items, providing the ultimate souvenir shopping experience. Other things to do at Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival include listening to live music, watching the Shrimp Queen pageant and family-friendly activities. Fort Myers Beach Lions Club hosts the events, and all proceeds benefit their charities.

May: Taste of the Beach

The month of May brings together Fort Myers area restaurants and live entertainment. Taste of the Beach, which has run over 20 years, offers everyone the chance to sample signature dishes. While browsing delicious options, pay attention to who wins top food honors, such as best appetizer and people’s choice. Admission costs only $5 per person, and food tickets are $1 each, providing an affordable way to try almost everything.

fort myers july fourth festival

July: Fourth of July Parade

Fourth of July ranks as one summer’s busiest holidays. It’s the perfect time to schedule a beach vacation or extend one before or after the holiday. Those visiting Fort Myers Beach can attend the Fourth of July parade and fireworks show. Arrive early to park and enjoy breakfast. Then head to Estero Boulevard to see vintage cars, floats, boats and more. Come dressed in patriotic suits and head to the beach for a day in the sun. When dusk arrives, it’s time for the fireworks show, a July 4th must.

October: Fort Myers Beach Pirate Festival

Grab a hat or eye-patch and join the fun at Fort Myers Beach Pirate Festival in October. Find jolly pirates, wenches and scallywags, all waiting to have a blast for three days. The event takes place at the Historic Seaport District of Old San Carlos and features live ship battles and children’s activities. Other must-sees include themed live music, performances and the pub quest for guests over the age of 21. The Fort Myers Beach Pirate Festival is so much fun, it even ranked among the best in the U.S. by USA Today.

fort myers sand festival florida

Photo: Dawn Ashley

November: American Sandsculpting Championship

Fort Myers Beach has an interesting location that makes it a prime spot for sand sculpting. This art has garnered attention for decades, and people flock to these festivals to see true works of art built in sand. The American Sandsculpting Championship in Fort Myers Beach ranks as one of the largest in the state with master sand-sculptors, amateurs and demonstrations.

For 10 days in November, over 50,000 people come to the festival to see these creations and play. Kids also enjoy bounce houses and slides, while adults can shop 50 different vendors.

December: Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade

Escape cold winter temperatures and celebrate the holidays during the Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade. This top among Fort Myers signature events showcases over 30 boats decked out in holiday flair. The boat parade begins at Salty Sam’s Marina and passes by several area restaurants where families dine and watch the fun.

Can’t make the parade? No problem. Attend the Holiday Festival of Lights in Cape Coral. For over 25 years, this event has welcomed over 20,000 guests to ring in the holiday season. The festival takes place in early December and features a kids’ play area, snow slide, multiple live performances and food courts.

Fort Myers welcomes visitors anytime of year. Start planning and search Fort Myers vacation rentals.

Need more things to do? Check out downtown Fort Myers.