January through April is festival season in Florida. It's the most popular time to have a festival for three reasons: 1) Snowbirds build attendance and they spend money, 2) the heat and humidity is tolerable, and 3) rain is less likely to dampen attendance. In short, it's the one time of year when everyone likes being outdoors and they are looking for things to do outdoors.
Most festivals benefit something, at least partially. It may be a person, special-interest group, or a community project. And, on the Space Coast, there is something for everyone, whether its a love of strawberries, street-parties, or music. Below are some of the events that will take place in February.
Feb 9 - 10 Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras 2013 will be a two-day event in Cocoa Village. This year's event promises to be " a true New Orleans style Mardi Gras " with exceptional live entertainment and the traditional parade with floats. Tickets are $8 in advance and $12 at the gate. Mardi Gras officially begins at 5 p.m. and the Parade of Floats will start at 9 p.m.
Headlining the live entertainment will be The Soul Rebels, an eight-piece brass ensemble direct from New Orleans. They have performed with Metallica, Green Day, Maceo Parker, Galactic, Slick Rick, Trombone Shorty, Suzanne Vega and David A. Stewart of the Eurythmics, as well as being billed on shows with Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Alabama Shakes, Estelle, Cee Lo Green, Arcade Fire and others. They will be live at Cocoa Mardi Gras on Saturday and they will go on stage at 10 p.m., immediately following the parade. The attached video will provide a taste of what the audience can expect from The Soul Rebels.
Mardi Gras continues on Sunday, Feb. 10 with Paws in the Park. This event is a free family event with a variety of dog related vendors and products on display. There is no cost for admission but all vendor sale proceeds benefit the Central Brevard Humane Society. There will be a pet parade and a dog Mardi Gras King and Queen will also be crowned. The event will be held in Riverfront Park in the village and it starts at noon.
Space Coast Craft Beer Festival
The Space Coast Craft Beer Festival's will take place on Saturday, February 23 at the Broken Barrell Tavern in Palm Bay. Times are 2–5 p.m. for General Admission; 1–5 p.m. for VIP. The festival goal is " to provide a fun and safe environment for beer drinkers to learn and enjoy the finest craft beers from around the World. All paid attendees will receive a souvenir tasting glass, samples of the beers at the festival (sorry, DD's but no cup for you), and the opportunity to be part of the Third Annual Space Coast Craft Beer Festival." Attendance is limited and sells out quickly. Tickets may be purchased online.
There will be numerous servers and beer representatives at the event so there will be ample opportunity to learn about the various beers. 100% of the proceeds will be going to The Space Coast Early Intervention Center. 26 different breweries, including those located right here on the Space Coast, will be on hand.
Two more February events, the arrival of the Washington Nationals and the beginning of Spring Training, and the Art of Sand will be covered in a separate article.