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Florida Heritage Travel, June 2011
May 26, 2011

June 2011 News And Events

Florida Heritage Travel is the companion monthly e-zine of


Publix Supermarkets are very much a part of Florida history. The stores I remember when I first came to Florida more than 50 years ago looked like the one above. The were always identifiable by the large V that framed the entrance. In more recent years the architecture has been modernized, but the excellent service and high quality food still remain the same.

George Jenkins started the chain back in 1930 in Winter Haven, Florida with one store. For many years Publix stores were primarily located in Central Florida. Over the years they began to open stores in South Florida and other locations along both coasts until finally they pretty much had the state of Florida covered by the time Mr. George, as his employees affectionately called him, passed away in 1996 at the age of 88.

Publix is still controlled by the descendants of George Jenkins. His grandson is the current Chief Executive Officer. Another unique feature of the company is that it is largely owned by its employees. Chances are your checkout clerk and bag boy are stockholders. Publix now has more than 1,000 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee. The corporate headquarters is in Lakeland, Florida.


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June is starting to get hot and humid in most of Florida. The snowbirds have mostly gone home to their cool northern sanctuaries. Lines at restaurants are very short. 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 June 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 warmer, so there are fewer outdoor art festivals. There are still quite a few folk and bluegrass music festivals this time of the year.

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

FLORIDA THEATER. There are still a few plays and musical events in our many Florida theaters during the hot summer months. Check the links to find out what might be interesting to you.

FLORIDA AUTHORS. June 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. Another heavily visited page right now is that of Harriet Beecher Stowe because of the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.


Fort Walton Beach
56th Annual Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival. June 3-6. This event is held downtown and is a family-friendly weekend of featuring pirates and more pirates. You will enjoy food and grog, games and contests, fireworks and a parade! The highlight will be the landing of Captain Billy LVI and his Krewe on Friday. They land again on Saturday and battle the Mayor and his team.


61st Annual Jefferson County Watermelon Festival. June 17-18. The Watermelon Festival is the highlight of community activities in Jefferson County. Started many years ago to recognize the watermelon growers of the county, the festival includes beauty pageants, dinners, street dance, arts and crafts, melon run, sports events, and parade.


St. Augustine
245th Anniversary Of The Greek Landing. June 25 at Noon. This event at St Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine celebrates the arrival of the first colony of Greeks in North America. Hundreds of Greeks, Minorcans and Corsicans arrived in St. Augustine on June 26, 1768 and went on to establish the New Smyrna Colony. Enjoy music, food and dancing at this free event.


Cocoa Beach
Friday Father's Day Kickoff Cruise. June 10. Get a head start with Dad on Father's Day weekend on this 2-hour river cruise (700pm-900pm) on the Indian River Queen taking off from Cocoa Village Marina. Dinner buffet, coffee & tea service, cash liquor bar, live music by Tropical Yuppies. Book your cruise at 321-454-7414 or online.


21st Annual Harvest Festival. This event is held at Lakeridge Winery on US-27 North and features more than 100 art and craft vendors. Enjoy live music and grape stomping along with complimentary tours of the winery facilities. Needless to say, wine is for sale.


St. Petersburg
Juneteenth Family Festival. June 18. Campbell Park, Gym & Community Center, 601 14th Street South. June 19, 1865 is the date of the Emancipation Proclamation originally read out loud in Texas to notify slaves that they were free. Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. The event in St. Pete features historical displays and many live musical performances.


Summer Jazz On The Gulf Concert. June 25. This free event is held on several different weekends during the off season in Naples. It is held at the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club and has become a tradition for local folks. Lots of good music, friendship and beverages. The concert is on the green area between the sandy Gulf beach and the hotel. Bring your own chair and your favorite bug spray.


Coconut Grove
The 35th Annual Miami/Bahamas Goombay Festival. June 2-5. This is the largest Black heritage festival in the United States. Bahamians travel from the Bahamas with The Royal Police Force Band to participate each year. Thousands of attendees come from all over the country to enjoy the GOOMBAY. The festival features Caribbean foods, artists and live entertainment including the famous Junkanoo.

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.


Whale's Tale Fish House
2720 West Old Highway 441
Mount Dora, Florida 32757

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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