Here’s a rundown of the St. Augustine Fall festivals that are sure to spice up your vacation or staycation. With various themed festivals from the datil pepper to a celebration of blues music taking place throughout the Fall months, there’s no better time to get out and about and explore Northeast Florida.
When: Sept. 23
Where: St. Johns County Ocean Pier
About: Get in line for St. Augustine’s annual event featuring the best of food on Anastasia Island: Taste of the Beach. This highly-anticipated event is a battle between local chefs and restaurants in a tried-and-true contest where participants compete for the following titles: Best Appetizers, Best Entrees, Best Desserts, Peoples’ Choice Best Restaurant, Judges’ Choice Overall, and Best Booth Décor. Tasters can purchase tickets for $1.00 a ticket and choose to use their tickets for a variety of food samples. Samples usually cost between one to four tickets each. This event benefits The Betty Griffin Center and supporting the domestic violence victims in Northeast Florida.
When: Oct. 6-7
About: St. Augustine has a hot little secret. That’s right, the datil pepper. Similar to habanero peppers, datil peppers are spicy with a sweet fruity flavor. The majority of datil peppers are produced in St. Augustine which is evident by the abundance of unique creations found in farmers markets, gift shops, and various entrees in restaurants throughout the city.
Save the date for the 11th annual Datil Festival, returning to St. Augustine this Fall. Along with indoor and outdoor vendors, a food court and entrees created with the datil pepper in mind, attendees can look forward to stocking up on the best datil-pepper-fused products like jams, margarita mix, vinegar, salsa, peanuts, relish, mustard, mayonnaise and more. Take a break from celebrating the spicy Menorcan-derived pepper with a walk through the Master Gardener plant sale. Additionally, on Sunday the festival will feature a Datil Pepper Restaurant Cook-Off where local chefs will compete for the bragging rights of the best datil inspired cuisine. Don’t forget to bring cash! Sample appetizer and entrée dishes will be available for $1.00 each, then you can vote for your favorite dish in each category.
When: Oct. 12-14
Where: Francis Field
About: Introducing all things Greek to St. Augustine for the 21st year in a row. The Greek Festival is a St. Augustine tradition that brings locals and visitors together to celebrate the Greek culture. Enjoy Greek dinners and desserts, folk dancers, dance lessons, music, and reading material on the Greek Orthodox faith and icons. This festival will feature two renowned dance groups the Nisiotes and Asteria Greek. Bring along your dancing shoes and rock the evening away to authentic music and food.
When: Oct. 14
Where: The River House
About: The SAiRA (St. Augustine Independent Restaurant Association) Food and Wine Festival is an annual event featuring special wines, appetizers, entrees, and desserts created by the 13 restaurants that make up SAiRA. The Food and Wine Festival is the best time to experience all that St. Augustine has to offer in the food department. From steak fajitas to strawberry shortcake and seared scallops, attendees are never disappointed by the eclectic palate of creations SAiRA presents each year. All proceeds are donated to the Boys and Girls Club.
When: Oct. 19-20
About: Each October, those visiting or living in the Old City look forward to cool-breezy weather, Halloween happenings and the Blues Festival in historic Lincolnville. This is a community event that benefits keeping the historic Saint Benedict the Moor Church in tip-top shape while celebrating the roots of Lincolnville and bringing the community together. The event features nine local blues artists and a true Southern menu for dinner. In years past, attendees have enjoyed BBQ ribs, ribeye sandwiches, chicken, pulled pork, green beans, coleslaw, potato salad, cornbread, and beer and soda. Bring your dancing shoes and an empty stomach, this is one festival you don’t want to miss.
When: Nov. 16-18
About: Have you ever toured a tiny house? If not, your chance is coming during the third annual Tiny House & Music Festival at the St. Johns County Fairgrounds. With dozens of tiny homes and over 60,000 attendees, this is one of the most popular festivals in Florida. This event features buses, gypsy wagons, campers, vans, and yurts all transformed into living spaces. Don’t miss the Friday Night Special where guests can enter free from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
When: Nov. 24-25
Where: Francis Field
About: In addition to tiny houses and datil peppers, you can look forward to another Florida favorite this Fall – arts and crafts. The St. Augustine Art & Craft Festival is a holiday tradition. Happening the weekend following Thanksgiving, hundreds of people gather in Francis Field to view 150 of the top national and regional artists exhibiting paintings, pottery, jewelry, sculptures, woodworks, glass and more. In its 53rd year, the premier art and craft show is expected to be the best St. Augustine has seen yet.
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Sharing and re-posting this blog is encouraged. Please credit St. Augustine Historic Inns when sharing. Disclaimer: Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information on the blogs of St. Augustine Historic Inns. Photo credits: Art & Craft Festival; St. Augustine Art Association, The Blues Festival; Saint Benedict the Moor Church, Greek Festival Logo; Holiday Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Taste of the Beach Logo; St. Augustine Beach Civic Association.