Florida’s Best Memorial Day Parties

Sunshine and live music bring thousands together to celebrate the start of summer


Memorial Day is certainly a time when we should pause to remember and honor those who gave service to our country. But it’s also a three-day weekend, and the start of the summer season. Cities across the State of Florida will celebrate the holiday with concerts and beach parties. Here are six of the best.

Great American Beach Party, Fort Lauderdale Beach

The Venice of America kicks off the summer season in style with an all-day beach party. Seven bands perform everything from surf rock and oldies to funk and country. There are plenty of vendors, food and drink, and activities that include a sand castle building contest, classic car show, family fun zone and a military tribute to our service men and women. It all starts at 10 a.m., Saturday May 27.

Sunset Music Festival, Tampa

On Saturday, May 27th and Sunday, May 28th, fans will gather to dance the weekend away to the hottest acts in electronic music. More than 50,000 are expected to fill Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium to take in performances by more than 40 artists on three stages. Headliners include Major Lazer, RL Grime, Above & Beyond and Zeds Dead.

Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Jacksonville

Now in its 36th year, this event has grown to become one of the country’s largest jazz festivals. From May 25 to 28, a 15-block area of Jacksonville’s downtown will be transformed into a lively street festival, with local food, art, vendors and live jazz on three stages. The all-star lineup of performers includes jazz icons and Grammy winners such as Chic Corea, the Rippingtons, Commodores and the Pacific Mambo Orchestra.

Taste of Brickell Food & Wine Festival, Miami

Exceptional tastes from more than 40 of Miami’s premier restaurants will be complemented by fine wines and spirits when the 6th annual Taste of Brickell returns to downtown Miami on Saturday, May 27. Festivalgoers will enjoy gourmet samplings, cooking demonstrations, and interactions with featured vendors. The event also includes live concerts throughout the day and evening, an exotic car exhibit, and arts and crafts booths.

Johnny Chisholm’ s Memorial Weekend Party

In a tradition dating back to the 1960s, LGBTQ groups from across America will gather at Pensacola Beach over the Memorial Day weekend. Since 1991, a weekend-long series of celebration has been organized by nightclub owner Johnny Chisholm. Nightly happenings include stage shows, costume contests, dances and concerts. The party runs from Thursday, May 25th through Monday, May 29th.

Bands on the Sand, Treasure Island

This small oceanfront community just west of St. Petersburg will once again host Bands in the Sand. This two-day beach party and music festival kicks off on May 25th with a lineup that includes some of the top names in the Tampa Bay music scene. Now in its ninth year, this family friendly event includes food, art exhibits and crafts tables. The grand finale of the event is a fireworks show over the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.