Since 2003, the Jacksonville Film Festival has annually served as one of the city's most anticipated cultural events, screening international and independent films and hosting some of Hollywood's most accomplished names. The first deal plunks cinephiles squarely on the red carpet with access to Saturday's special event, a screening of The Six Wives of Henry Lefay, starring Tim Allen, Elisha Cuthbert, and Andie MacDowell. Young film critics that already possess Roger Ebert's critical eye and Gene Shalit's bushy mustache can attend the kids' red-carpet event, which will screen the zany kid-friendly comedy Finn on the Fly. The third options gets you into the world premiere of Thespians, which documents the theater programs at two Duval County high schools as they prepare for the Florida State Thespians theater festival. Afterward, stay for a Q&A with the filmmakers and special guests.
On August 9, dozens of independent artisans will converge on the Maitland Civic Center for the Big Bang Bazaar. The one-day festival looks to feature a wide array of items that ranges from soy candles and handmade jewelry to more unexpected gifts, such as beaded X-Files posters. There will be some packaged foods for sale as well, including cake balls and homemade pickles, which are much more enjoyable than pickle-made homes.
The Ormond Beach Seafood Festival immerses marine-eating enthusiasts in a bevy of culinary and musical selections. The festival creates a tidal wave of taste with seafood favorites from local restaurants including RiverGrille, Hull's Seafood Market, and SmokeShack BBQ, as well as Hershey's Ice Cream, which offers 48 hit flavors and a wall of candies. Festival-goers can also emulate sailor stereotypes by purchasing beer and wine from sponsor S.R. Perrott and then standing watch for hours and hours. Parents can steer their schools of human fish to the children's activity area, where kids can enjoy face painting and bounce houses.
Fans of sci-fi, fantasy, and superhero shows, movies, and comics gather to celebrate their shared interests at CONjure. For three days, costumed guests mingle with new friends and old pals, shop for paintings and drawings from professional artists, and play tabletop, board, and console games for hours on end. Panel discussions and seminars from experts such as Space Ghost: Coast to Coast's George Lowe and The Legend of Neil director and writer Sandeep Parikh inform visitors of new trends in costuming, special effects, and media. Attendees can also compare their posters and life-size cardboard cutouts to the real-life forms of stars such as Mark Sheppard from Firefly and Supernatural, Kelly Hu from Arrow and X-Men 2, and Joel Hodgson from Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Spun sugar crystals float by spinning horses and pools of docile magnetic sharks beneath the glittering midway lights of Carol Stream Amusements' lively traveling carnival. The nearly 110-year-old fair company's third-generation of stewards bring rides, games, and snacks to states such as Florida, North Carolina, and New York, where it operates the state fair in Syracuse. A 65-foot century wheel soars above the bustle of the music-filled midway, where LED lights twinkle in patterns of white, green, blue, and red around its gondola cars. A merry-go-round sends fantastical steeds cantering around in a stately circle, while bumper cars careen around their nearby enclosure. Carnival games such as squirt-gun races and fishing for magnetized sharks yield prizes such as stuffed animals and inflatable Scooby-Doo, SpongeBob, and Henry VIII dolls, while flurries of corn dogs, cotton candy, popcorn, and taffy apples fall constantly on hungry fair-goers.
Dedicated to exposing local audiences to diverse stories told by artists from around the globe, the Orlando Film Festival attracts film-industry insiders, actors, and audiences for five packed days of movie-centric events. Filmmakers attend many of the festival's screenings to give audience members new perspectives on features or to challenge them to a round of "Trivial Pursuit: Stanley Kubrick Edition." Complimentary drinks and appetizers fuel the energy reserves of VIP-pass holders throughout the festival, but attendees can also find food and drink specials at nearby restaurants and bars.