Florida Forest Festival
Forest Capital Museum State Park, Perry, Florida
Last Saturday in October
Founded in 1955
One of the oldest annual festivals in Florida, the event dubbed the "Pine Tree Festival" in 1955 was originally held to educate the public on how to prevent forest fires that were crippling the timber industry. The festival accomplished its goal, and by 1965 Taylor county had preserved its forests. Florida governor Hayden Burns and the Florida cabinet proclaimed Taylor County the "Tree Capital of the South". That same year, the Pine Tree Festival was renamed as the "Florida Forest Festival".

Although advertised as a one-day festival, a variety of local events lead up to "Festival Day". The kick-off is the Miss Florida Forest Festival Queen Pageant, and the Little King & Queen Pageant held on the Saturday prior to the festival. Beginning on Wednesday, a carnival is set up at the festival, and fireworks are shot off on thursday evening at the Perry-Foley airport. Friday events include a dog show in downtown Perry, the Gaslight Parade in the evening, followed by a dance and concert, and antique car cruise-in.

On Saturday, the day of the festival, the King Tree Parade and a 5-K run are held in the downtown area. Then the festivities move to the main event venue at Forest Capital Museum State Park, just south of Perry. Live entertainment is provided from noon until the festival closes at the end of the day. Featured events are the lumberjack shows, including chainsaw, cross cut and loader competitions.

One of the highlights of the festival is the "World's largest FREE fish fry" - which begins a noon.
Getting there ...
Additional resources
Note: The dates of annual events and festivals are subject to change from year to year. Before planning your trip, be sure to check the links above for the actual dates, times, and schedule of activities.