Don’t miss these top Lakeland events happening all year long

We’ve got the ultimate list of Lakeland events you don’t want to miss out on each year. Mark your calendar for these community celebrations.

A crowd sits in camping chairs watching fireworks over Lake Mirror during the Red, White & Kaboom Lakeland event. Trees and street lights block part of the view.

Map of Red, White & Kaboom’s festivities located around Lake Mirror. | Map via The City of Lakeland

Photo by LALtoday

Have you ever said “I didn’t even know this was going on” after missing your favorite Lakeland event? Save this list and never miss out on our city’s biggest festivals, parades, and celebrations again.

A sign featuring Martin Luther King Jr. hangs on a fire truck during a parade

Celebrate Dr. King’s legacy at the annual MLK Parade.

Photo by the City of Lakeland

Dream Megafest honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a week of service opportunities and community events across Lakeland. It typically happens around Martin Luther Jr. Day, which is the third Monday in January.


Get all the barbecue you desire at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Photo by @jessicakurbatov

We hope you’re hungry, because the Tiger BBQ is coming up on Tuesday, February 20. Head to Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium for the 77th annual barbecue, and get amped before the Detroit Tigers start spring training.

Two people hold strawberries from their seats in front of the Florida Strawberry Festival stage. The seats surrounding them are teal, and a few other audience members sit closer to the stage.

We’re berry excited for this year’s festival entertainment lineup.

Photo by @jkarr7

Celebrate all things sweet at the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City. The festival brings together entertainment, food, and fun in early March each year, right around peak strawberry season. This year’s festival is Thursday, Feb. 29-Sunday, March 10.

Six planes fly in a line formation over a control tower at SUN 'n FUN. Each plane has a cloud of vapor trails following it.

SUN ‘N FUN International Fly-In & Expo | Photo by Danika T.

Did you know that the SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo is the biggest annual convention in Florida, bringing in 200,000+ visitors? Catch aviation and aircraft fun Tuesday, April 9-Sunday, April 14 — there’s something for everyone in the family.

Shoppers browse fine art at an outdoor art festival. Each artist is set up in a small white tent with a domed top set up in the grass by Lake Morton. Trees grow behind the tents, and downtown highrise buildings are seen in the background across the lake.

Fine art by Lake Morton — what more could you ask for?

Photo by Gregory Mills

Consider your Mother’s Day plans already made. Mayfaire by-the-Lake, a fine art festival, takes place on the shores of Lake Morton every Mother’s Day weekend. Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 11-Sunday, May 12.

A burst of Red, White & Kaboom fireworks shoot off from the lake; downtown Lakeland's skyline reflects on the lake

Red, White & Kaboom is one of Lakeland’s most beloved annual events.

Photo by @lifechanges_klw

Red, White & Kaboom is the City of Lakeland’s Independence Day celebration, happening each year on July 3. Head to the Frances Langford Promenade for live entertainment leading up to a fireworks show over Lake Mirror.

An artist paints an abstract design on a large canvas at Art Crawl. The artist wears a bandana, glasses, and lanyard.

Art Crawl welcomes artists of all mediums.

Photo provided by Art Crawl, Inc.

Let out your inner artist at Art Crawl in early November. Shop for a new piece to bring home, watch performances + contests, or even take part in a hands-on demonstration. Last year, this event took place at Swan Brewing for the first time.

A Christmas parade float is decorated with red and white glitter, realistic looking reindeer, and a sleigh. Santa and Mrs. Claus sit in the sleigh, waving to guests above and below the float.

You’ll catch Santa and Mrs. Claus at the end of every Christmas Parade.

Photo by LALtoday

Finally, you can already mark the first Thursday of December on your calendar — that’s when the Lakeland Christmas Parade takes place downtown each year. This event brings tens of thousands of people, so make a plan for setting out those chairs.