Our beachside community is not just a sun-soaked haven for beach enthusiasts; it's also a thriving hub of cultural celebrations and artistic expression. In 2024, the area is set to host an array of festivals that promise to captivate the hearts of locals and visitors alike. Let's dive into the tapestry of events that make New Smyrna Beach a cultural hotspot, from fine art extravaganzas to soulful jazz renditions.
1. IMAGES: A Festival of the Arts (January 26-28, 2024)
Ranked an impressive number 16 in the nation for Fine Art Festivals by Sunshine Artist Magazine, IMAGES: A Festival of the Arts is a testament to New Smyrna Beach's commitment to fostering artistic brilliance. The event, held from January 26 to 28, 2024, draws a staggering 53,000+ art enthusiasts, transforming the city into a vibrant canvas of colors and creativity. Featuring fine art from more than 237 artists, live music, demonstrations, food trucks, a spirit garden, a student art exhibit, and a creative education tent, Images Arts Festival is a free family event that has something for everyone.
2. Art Fiesta: Where Art and Culture Unite (February 24-25, 2024)
Every February, the Art Fiesta transforms New Smyrna Beach into a vibrant hub of creativity. With over 240 artisans and crafters from around the country showcasing their works, the event is a harmonious blend of competition, entertainment and fine art. As you stroll through Old Fort Park, Sam’s Avenue, Julia Street and Canal Street, you'll be serenaded by live music while discovering the timeless qualities of fine art. This two-day event is free to the public, offering an opportunity to immerse yourself in a world where art and culture unite.
3. New Smyrna Beach Jazz Festival: A Symphony of Soul (May, Dates TBA)
The New Smyrna Beach Jazz Festival is a celebration of life, love and the timeless allure of jazz. Taking place each May, this three-day extravaganza has been a cornerstone of Central Florida's music scene since its inception in 2001. This premier music event promises great jazz, good food and lots of fun. A testament to the city's vibrant cultural scene, the Jazz Festival is a melody that resonates with both locals and visitors, creating an unforgettable experience that transcends musical boundaries.
4. Shrimp and Seafood Festival: A Culinary Extravaganza (August, Dates TBA)
Culinary enthusiasts, rejoice! The annual Shrimp and Seafood Festival, held in August, is a gastronomic delight that brings together the best local restaurants, each vying for the coveted "Best on the Beach" awards in four categories. Flagler Avenue, closed to vehicle traffic during the event, becomes a lively center of seafood-inspired activities. Guests can savor sample-sized portions of award-winning seafood dishes, discover local artists and groove to the rhythms of beach music. It's not just a festival; it's an exploration of New Smyrna Beach's rich culinary landscape.
5. Garden & Gun: An Art Affair (October, Dates TBA)
Join one of the South’s premier publications, Garden & Gun, and The New Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau for An Art Affair, now in its second year. Guests who purchase tickets to this luxurious annual event will enjoy a dinner at a unique venue, along with art walks, plein air painting and more. Concluding with an artful luncheon, this event perfectly complements the annual Plein Air Paint Out and the area’s historic arts district. Be sure to check back for more information and to secure your tickets for this can’t-miss event.
6. Plein Air Paint Out: Art in Nature's Embrace (October 15-19, 2024)
For art connoisseurs and nature lovers alike, the Plein Air Paint Out is an annual spectacle that brings together 25 artists from around the country. Each October, the area becomes a canvas, with artists creating masterpieces from dawn to dusk at various outdoor locations. Spectators are not just observers; they are invited to interact with the artists as they work. At the end of each day, the completed works are displayed in a gallery open to the public. Beyond the visual feast, the Paint Out contributes to environmental education and art programs, supporting the Marine Discovery Center and the Artists’ Workshop in the mission of conservation and stewardship.
Whether you're an art enthusiast, music lover, nature admirer or a culinary connoisseur, the area's diverse festivals offer an immersive experience that reflects the vibrant spirit of this coastal gem. So, mark your calendars, pack your bags, and get ready to embark on a journey of cultural discovery in the New Smyrna Beach Area!