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Florida Heritage Travel, May 2011
April 28, 2011

May 2011 News And Events

Florida Heritage Travel is the companion monthly e-zine of


Long before NASCAR came on the scene, the hard packed sand beach of Daytona was the scene of many automobile speed records. The most famous driver in those days was Britain's Sir Malcolm Campell. He brought five of his famous Bluebird racing cars to Daytona in the years 1928 through 1935. His goal was to set a new land speed record by going faster than the 300mph barrier which many people back then believed was impossible to break.

The 11 mile long stretch of beach from the Main Street Pier to Ponce Inlet was known as Campbell's Measured Mile Course. In 1935 Campbell drove his Bluebird to a new record of 276.82 mph in Daytona. Later that year he finally broke the 300 mph barrier at Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats.

After this, Daytona was no longer used for the land speed record races because the smooth salt flats at Bonneville were faster and more predictable than the fickle shifting sands of Daytona. The last day that Bluebird ran at Daytona, a young mechanic named Bill France was on the beach watching the record breaking run.

The City of Daytona Beach didn't want to lose the income that the land speed records had brought to town. They hired a race driver named Sig Haughahl to create a 3.2 mile oval course that ran on the beach along the measured mile and also on A1A parallel to the beach. The first race on this course was sanctioned by the American Automobile Association and was run on March 8, 1936. Bill France was one of the drivers in these early races.

France and others incorporated the National Association for Stock Car Racing in 1948, and the first NASCAR sanctioned race was held on the beach course on February 15, 1948. The rest, as they say, is history.


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May is starting to get a bit hot and humid in most of Florida. The snowbirds have mostly gone home to their cool northern sanctuaries. Lines at restaurants are shorter, and the locals miss the snowbird money but also welcome the return of peace and quiet and lighter traffic.

Here are some interesting events around Florida for May 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. The weather is getting hot and muggy in May, so there are not many outdoor art festivals this time of year. There are still quite a few folk and bluegrass music festivals in May.

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. May is a good time to relax on a beach or in a park or in a hammock on your lanai and read a book by a Florida author. Our most visited author page is that of Randy Wayne White, the creator of Doc Ford.


23rd Annual ArtQuest Fine Arts Festival. May 5-8. 130 international artists exhibiting in over a dozen mediums will fill downtown Seaside, FL for two and a half days, along with great live music, artist workshops, KidZone and fabulous food & beverage options provided by the Merchants of Seaside.


White Springs
59th Florida Folk Festival, May 27-29. This annual event is held at beautiful Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park. The three day event celebrates the music, dance, stories, crafts and food that make Florida unique. During Memorial Day weekend more than 300 performances give voice and meaning to Florida's heritage.


48th Annual Isle Of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, April 29,30 & May 1. This festival is held every year on the first weekend in May in the historic downtown Centre Street business district in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island. Dozens of parades, art and craft shows, music performances and lots of great seafood. This is one you don't want to miss.


Jackson Browne Solo Acoustic Tour, May 22: 730pm. Maxwell King Center for the Performing Arts at Brevard Community College. Singer-songwriter Jackson Browne has added The King Center for the Performing Arts to his 2011 solo acoustic tour. Playing guitar and piano, he will perform songs from his entire body of work, with varying set lists each night. One of the many guitars Jackson will be bringing on the road this time is the just-released Gibson Acoustic Jackson Browne Signature acoustic guitar. The handmade instrument, inspired by Gibson's legendary 1930s-era Roy Smeck model, is the first guitar to bear Jackson Browne's name.


Mayfaire By The Lake, May 7-8. This event has grown into one of Florida’s premier outdoor art festivals. Held on Mother’s Day weekend each year, Mayfaire is located on the shores of beautiful Lake Morton in downtown Lakeland, Florida. Mayfaire is one of the largest and oldest outdoor art festivals in Central Florida. More than 180 artists will be on display. Local musicians and dance companies provide exciting entertainment.


Orange Blossom Jamboree, May 20-22.This annual event is held at the Sertoma Youth Ranch, 85 Myers Rd, Brooksville, Florida 34602. This gathering is for music lovers. There is live music Friday, Saturday and Sunday with Over 30 bands on 2 stages. Many artists also display, along with food vendors. Enjoy campfires, drum circles, nature trails and primitive camping. Tickets are $45 in advance and $60 at the gate and includes primitive camping Friday and Saturday nights.


Fort Myers
Earth, Wind & Fire, May 5: 730pm. Barbara Mann Performing Arts Center. This famous musical group is on their 40th anniversary world tour. During the 1970s, a new brand of pop music was born and this group was among the pioneers. Their style is steeped in African and African-American styles - particularly jazz and R&B - and appeal to a broad cross-section of the listening public.


Redland International Art Show, May 13-15. This event is held at Fruit and Spice Park in southeastern Miami-Dade County. It is the largest annual orchid show in the U.S. featuring over 50 booths of educational exhibits and orchid vendors. An American Orchid Society judged event showcasing various types of orchids, plants, and supplies for sale, as well as lectures by experts, raffles, and international food.

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.


Mai Kai
3599 North Federal Highway
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308

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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