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Florida Heritage Travel, January 2011
December 29, 2010

January 2011 News And Events


Modern people might find the postcard above to be a bit politically incorrect. In our time, sea turtles are protected by law. They number far less now than they did back in the day when they were heavily harvested for food.

Unfortunately for the sea turtle, many people consider their meat and eggs to be a delicacy. The first people to settle in Florida - the various Native American tribes - discovered this rich source of protein along the coasts. The first European settlers, the Spanish, also enjoyed turtle steaks and eggs. Florida Crackers who settled along the coasts in the 19th century relied heavily on this source of nutrition.

Sea turtle females crawl up onto the beaches at night every couple of years and lay from 50 to 200 eggs in a sandy nest they dig and then skillfully cover back over with sand to conceal their location. The egg laying process takes from 30 to 60 minutes, and the females are very vulnerable during the process. They crawl back into the ocean after their egg laying has been done, leaving the eggs unattended.

Coastal communities all over Florida, including Key West, developed turtle harvesting into an industry, sending much of their catch up north for wealthy Yankees to enjoy in their posh hotels and restaurants.


Thanks for continuing to subscribe to Florida Heritage monthly e-zine. Florida Backroads Travel continues to grow, and we hope you enjoy these updates.

I have added a new feature to the website on Florida Genealogy It ties into Florida history, and I am looking for submittals by Floridians whose families were here at least 100 years ago. I haven't found that many, so may have to relax the criterion to 75 years or so.

I continue to automate Florida Backroads Travel so that any updates I make are posted automatically to my Mike Miller Facebook page and are tweeted on my Twitter page.

If you have a Facebook account, you might have fun joining the group Florida Backroads Travel. The group receives a lot of good comments and observations.

I continue to receive good input from site visitors who have created their own web page through the "Your Page" tab on the home page.

December had some really cold weather here in Florida. Hard freezes in the middle of the month did a lot of damage to fruit and vegetable crops, even in the southern counties.

An old Florida saying is that if you don't like the weather, just wait a few days and some will come along that you do like.

Here are some interesting events around Florida for January 2011.


FLORIDA WINERIES. Check the Florida winery nearest you. Many of them have wonderful weekend events that include music and wine tastings. Our site has information on 18 wineries scattered across the state.

FLORIDA FESTIVALS. December sees the beginning of the mass southward migration of snowbirds, but there are very few outdoor art festivals during the month. There are quite a few folk and bluegrass music festivals , however.

FLORIDA MUSEUMS. Many Florida art and historical museums have scheduled events. Click on the links to find out what is going on.

FLORIDA THEATER. This is an active time for plays and musical events in our many Florida theaters.. Check the links to find out what might be interesting to you.

FLORIDA AUTHORS. January is a good time to relax on a south Florida beach or in a park and read a book by a Florida author.


Light Of The Moon Tour. January 21 and 22. This event requires reservations and is held at the historic Pensacola lighthouse and museum. Hear true stories of the blood stained room and ghostly encounters! Climb to the top of the lighthouse for the most breathtaking view of a moonlit Pensacola Bay. Enter NAS through the East Gate. All tours held at the Pensacola Lighthouse are family friendly and appropriate for all ages. The Pensacola Lighthouse is open seven days a week for daytime tours. Tour times are Monday through Saturday 10:30 - 5:30 and Sunday 12:30 - 5:30 pm. Phone 850-393-1561.


White Springs
Road Scholar Program, January 23-28. Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park. Explore North Florida’s natural beauty and local culture along the Suwannee River in the Road Scholar learning programs for adults age 55 and older. Learn more about the life and music of Stephen Foster. Enjoy church suppers, local musicians and craftsmen, or canoe and hike along the Suwannee.


St. Augustine
17th Annual Nights Of Lights Celebration, through January 31, 2011. This event was named by AAA as one of the 12 best events for holiday cheer in the U.S. and Canada and named one of the American Bus Association's top 100 destinations for 2011. Nights of Lights is a two-month long celebration of the Holiday Season. More than two million tiny white lights glow along the ancient streets and historic buildings of the Nation's oldest city. Tracing its origins to the Spanish tradition of displaying a lighted white candle during the Christmas holidays, the spectacular lighting in St. Augustine reflects the city's 445-year history while creating a beautiful setting for the holidays through January 31.


New Smyrna Beach
Images: A Festival Of The Arts, January 29 & 30. The 35th annual IMAGES: A Festival of the Arts, presented by Atlantic Center for the Arts, will be held in picturesque Riverside Park along the beautiful Intracoastal Waterway in New Smyrna Beach. It will be an outstanding weekend featuring more than 200 talented artists, a delicious festival menu in the food court, children's art projects, and free top-notch entertainment all day. Plan to attend this outstanding annual art festival!


Mount Dora
6th Annual Mount Dora Florida Highwaymen Art Show Meet & Greet, January 7: 600-800pm. Admission is free to this event held at the Mount Dora Area Chamber of Commerce, 341 N. Alexander Street. Come and meet more than 11 Highwayment artists at the chamber's historic train station where their paintings will be on exhibit. Come join us for viewing with refreshments and light appetizers being served. All are invited to attend!! Some paintings will be available for sale. For more information please contact or call 352-383-4050.


11th Annual Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival, January 13-22. This festival offers the community of Tampa Bay a unique blend of African and African American art, culture and history. It helps promote and perpetuate the art, culture and history of African Americans and African people for the benefit of all Tampa Bay residents and tourists. This year's events include a presentation by civil rights activist Martin Luther King III. Information on venues and schedules can be obtained by contacting


Cape Coral
Cape Coral Festival Of The Arts, January 8 & 9. This 26th annual festival is held on Cape Coral Parkway in downtown Cape Coral between 1000am-500pm both days. The Rotary Club of Cape Coral sponsors this festival. Artists and craftspeople will be located on both sides of the median down the center of Cape Coral Parkway from Cape Coral Street to Vincennes. Merchants will also be taking part in the activities with sidewalk sales and special offerings during the Festival. There will also be plenty of food, activities for the kids, and fun for people of all ages.


Boca Raton
Boca Raton Fine Art Show, January 22 & 23. The event is held outdoors at Royal Palm Place, 308 S Federal Hwy 33432, Boca Raton, FL 33432. Royal Palm Place is a mixture of international restaurants, boutiques, salons, offices, services, entertainment & 185 luxury rental residencies. This site attracts hundreds of thousands of people annually to events and celebrations. The festival includes music and hundreds of artists and craftspeople featuring art in all media, jewelry, fiber craft and many others.

Information on the towns and places hosting these events, or near them, including lodging, can be found at Florida Towns.

If these events aren't convenient for you, try here for ADDITIONAL EVENTS.

In our current slow economy, some events are cancelled on very short notice. I do my best to ensure that our information is correct and current, but I recommend you call before leaving for the event to make sure it's still on.


Elijah's Cafe
248 West Ardice Avenue
Eustis, Florida 32726

Thanks for subscribing to Florida Heritage Travel. We will see you next month with more updates and event information.

Regards, Mike Miller
Chief Backroads Traveler

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