Posts Tagged ‘melbourne florida’

Melbourne Fla

Melbourne FlaFor the 20th year running Melbourne Main Street’s “Fall Festival” is just around the corner. The festival is being held this year officially on Saturday, October 5th and Sunday, October 6th (with some pre-events on Friday, October 4th) among the beautiful historic downtown area of Melbourne. On a typical day in the downtown area, visitors can partake in shopping, dining, and even yoga – the fall festival adds to the already vibrant area with live music, family activities, and more food and drinks!

Catering to families, retirees, and young adults/professionals, this festival is the place to be in Melbourne the first weekend in October with over 30,000 people expected to attend. East New Haven Avenue will act as the main thoroughfare for the festival with many of the side streets serving as branches with additional vendors. Main attractions this year include the main stage, the Gen-X Motors exhibit, food court, the Rockstar Energy Drink side stage, and a kids zone.


Previous years vendors and exhibits have included a variety of live music, great food and drinks, various merchants, along with face painting, bouncy houses, and temporary tattoos for kids. In addition to all this, one of the real draws to this festival is the availability of arts and crafts. This year will feature two separate shows: “The Fine Art Promenade” and “Artisans on the Avenue”. The “Promenade” will be displaying work from over 150 fine artists who will be competing for at least $3500 in prize money. “Artisans” will be made up of 60 to 70 artisans selling various wares such as decorative art, vintage goods, and hand-made creations. They will be off the main track on Deport Road.

Finally, while the daily offerings are all family oriented, there are evening and nighttime activities more geared for adults. Just off East New Haven Ave, on Municipal Lane, there will be a silent disco. Truly a hysterical thing to behold and an even more fun activity to participate in! It will be running prior to the festival on Friday from 7pm to 2am and again on Saturday from 3pm to 2am. This type of event first debuted at the Bonnaroo festival in 2005 and has since grown in popularity. If you haven’t seen or heard of this type of event, participants wear wireless headphones, all broadcasting live music. Those who don’t have the headsets will only hear silence so it looks like there are a bunch of people dancing in silence! People watching at its finest.

Make sure to stop by at this year’s 20th Melbourne Fall Festival the first weekend of October. Between the food, music, and kids zone – it will be fun for the whole family!

McKee Botanical Garden

McKee Botanical GardenA mere thirty miles south of Melbourne, just off route 1, you will find yourself in Vero Beach. It is here that you will discover the McKee Botanical Garden, one of the oldest tourist attractions in Florida!

Originally established in 1929 as the McKee Jungle Gardens, it was developed with the help of William Lyman Phillips, often viewed as the creator of tropical landscaping. It was at this time that waterways and trails were established and both native and worldwide flora and fauna were planted. By the time the 1940’s rolled around, upwards of 100,000 tourists visited the Gardens each year. Unfortunately, with the opening of some of the bigger theme parks in the area in the 1970’s the Gardens had to close down. Of the original 80 acres occupied by the Gardens, all but 18 were sold off and developed. These final 18 acres sat around undeveloped and untouched for over 20 years. Things turned around in 1995 when the Indian River Land Trust purchased the land after leading a successful fund-raising campaign. The Garden’s formal re-opening dedication was held in 2001.


Today the McKee Botanical Garden operates as a non-profit private cultural organization. It is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sunday’s from 12pm to 5pm. Admission costs vary by date and are currently $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $4 for children ages 3 through 12 (under 3 are free). School and private tours are also offered. The Garden is filled with exceptional beauty that can only be truly appreciated in person. As a member of Florida’s list of historical places, there are many renovated areas of the garden that are remnants of the original McKee Jungle Gardens.

In addition to tours, classes, and events held for visitors, the Botanical Gardens are also available to rent as a wedding reception location. Not only are the Gardens a beautiful place to celebrate a new marriage, there is also a caterer the Gardens work with exclusively. With reception rooms names like the Hall of Giants and Bamboo Pavilion, the Gardens are sure to make a memorable wedding locale.

Filled with numerous ponds, colorful flowers, and palm groves, the McKee Botanical Gardens is a place built for quiet reflection, learning about the beauty of nature, and celebration. Be sure to check out the Garden’s website for additional details for wedding and party rentals, volunteering for and supporting the garden, and just more general information. 

Crab Racing

Crab RacingNashville may have the Kentucky Derby, but here in Melbourne, FL we have the Crabtucky Derby.  The Crabtucky Derby is crab racing! The National Crab Racing Association organizes hermit crab races every Tuesday night at Crickets Spirits Sports and Food located at 1942 N. Wickham Road.  

Bar patrons can participate for free in the crab racing.  The first race begins at 6:30 p.m., with about 12 to 14 heat races total.  All participants have to do is select their crustacean from the aquarium and give their new buddy a name.  Each crab shell is marked in advance to avoid any confusion amongst competitors.  We don’t want to hear any “Hey that’s my crab, not yours!”  

Once the crabs are selected and receive their racing names it is off to the starting line for them.  In the Crabtucky Derby, the starting line is the center of a 6 foot racing ring.  Crabs are given a chance to warm up under their upside down salad bowl confinement.  Then it is race time!  The crabs scamper off in every direction.  Participants want their crab to cross the yellow marked ring first in order to win the heat.  The crab that wins is advanced into the championship round.  

The winner of the final championship race receives a sealed envelope, with an unknown cash prize inside.  Prize money ranges from $10 to $100 depending on what envelope is chosen.  Winners choose wisely!

Crab racing is a fun activity for all people over the age of 21 years old to enjoy. For more information about the Crabtucky Derby visit  We will leave the horses for Nashville, but crabs belong to Melbourne.  

Indian River Boat Queen

Indian River Boat QueenVisitors travelling over the Hubert Humphrey Bridge on 520 in Cocoa slow to a crawl when their eyes rest upon the “Queen” perched at her dock.  The Indian River Queen is truly a majestic sight to see.  The Queen stands out with her bright red paddle wheel and shiny black chimney. When visitors see this steamer, it beckons them to come aboard.  

Native Floridian Penny S. Flaherty purchased the Indian Queen Riverboat back in 2004, shortly after the steamer was used in the action packed movie “Out of Time” starring Denzel Washington.  Built in 1984, the vessel was in need of some TLC when Penny took over ownership.  Penny and her crew spent two years lovingly restoring the beautiful triple deck riverboat to make her service ready.  And service ready the Indian River Queen is!

Guests can book two hour dinner sight seeing cruises on Friday and Saturday afternoons.  While leisurely chugging up the river, guests dine on exquisite cuisine catered by the Black Tulip.  The Black Tulip is a local fine dining restaurant in Cocoa celebrating over 32 years in business. 

While dinner cruises are popular, the main use of the vessel is for weddings.  Penny and her crew offer couples the romantic wedding experience.  The Indian River Queen boasts a full service bar, catering station and an air conditioned function room affectionately called “The Queen’s Room” that accommodates up to 85 guests. Couples can chose from a range of different wedding packages offered by the Indian River Queen. 

The Indian River Queen also has recently partnered with the Historic Derby Street Chapel to give couples a church wedding and river cruise reception package.  “Even though the Indian River Queen is a perfect venue to host an all inclusive wedding ceremony and reception, there is the occasional bride who has dreams of being married in a quaint little chapel. The Derby Street Chapel is just perfect! ” said Penny.  

Besides weddings the Queen stays busy as a venue for private parties and corporate networking events. Holiday parties and themed parties are huge hits on board the Queen.  Who doesn’t like partying like a pirate for a night on the Indian River?  

Whether enjoying a dinner cruise, celebrating a wedding, or networking with colleagues the Indian River Queen offers fun for everyone.  The Indian River docks at the Cocoa Village Marina in Cocoa, FL and operates year round.  For more information about their services, visit Indian River Queen Cruises.

Surf Camp Florida

Surf Camp FloridaSchool is out for the summer.  The time of year which parents dread.  The kids are home all day and the parents have to work.  Who is going to watch the children?  They certainly can’t leave their children unsupervised.  What are parents to do?

Send the children to Surf Art Camp!  Surf Art Camp located at Beach Place Guest Houses at 1145 S. Atlantic Ave in Cocoa Beach is owned and managed by local community artist Mary Moon.  Mary Moon offers children fun filled days where they can surf the waves and create art.  Her camp offers the perfect combination for students to utilize both the body and mind.  Students burn off energy while riding the waves under the guidance of a trained surf instructor. Instead of being indoors playing video games, the kids are outdoors enjoying the sun and fresh ocean air.

Along with surfing, students take art classes taught by Mary Moon herself.  They learn different art techniques from mixed media, water color painting, sculpturing, and environmental art.  With Mary’s 30 plus years of art teaching experience, the children are definitely in good hands.

Each session runs Monday thru Friday from 9am to 3pm throughout the summer months.  The cost per session is $295, with board rentals costing an additional $25.  The days are scheduled for half the students to surf in the morning for two and half hours, while the other half creates art.  Then both groups break for lunch for an hour.  After lunch the groups switch activities so that each day students have the chance to surf and create art.  Please note that all Surf Art Camp counselors are first aid and CPR certified.

Parents interested in sending their children to Surf Art Camp can contact Mary at or call her directly at 321-799-3432.

This article is courtesy of Widerman Malek, PL, a patent law firm, copyright law firm and trademark law firm located in Melbourne Florida.