From cultural celebrations to craft beer festivals to empowering art exhibits, here are the top events in Southwest Florida this month.
The Cake at Naples Players
Enjoy this dramatic comedy based on a true story of a baker whose religious beliefs are challenged when she’s asked to make a cake for the same-sex wedding of her late best friend’s daughter. From $35.
The Drifters with Special Guests Jay Siegel’s Tokens at Seminole Casino Hotel, Immokalee
Dive back into the ’60s with the doo-wop and soul group The Drifters, known for songs like “Under the Boardwalk” and “This Magic Moment” as they perform their Billboard chart-topping songs in Immokalee. Jay Siegel from The Tokens (the beloved voice behind “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”) joins the group on stage. Adults 21 and older $69.
ArtFest Fort Myers at Fort Myers River District
Catch art from more than 200 artists, hailing from 39 states, during this family-friendly event in downtown Fort Myers. Little artists-in-training will love the Publix Art Yard tent, where they can create their own masterpieces on Saturday and Sunday. Finish the weekend with the all-ages Run to the Arts 5K Fun Run that kicks off at 8 a.m. and goes from the new Caloosa Sound Convention Center and Amphitheatre over the Edison Bridge and back to the starting point, where you are greeted with breakfast. Festival is free to attend, VIP tickets from $75 include catered lunches; reserved parking; mimosas, coffee and treats in the morning; and during the day, wine, beer and sparkling soda at the VIP Club Terrace, overlooking the festivities. Race registration from $30.
Women Take Issue at Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Fort Myers
Punta Gorda artist Patricia Anderson Turner calls on her female colleagues to create works that highlight women’s history and the female perspective on social and political issues, like immigration and body sovereignty. This empowering exhibit runs in conjunction with The Female Spirit All Fired Up and Stitched Down and selections from the OURstory and HERstory collections, which represent perspective from Black women and ladies from various international backgrounds. $1 entry donation.
Cars on 5th on Fifth Avenue South, Naples
Rev your engines and head downtown where the Ferrari Club of Naples presents more than 650 rare vintage, muscle and exotic cars, along Fifth Avenue South, to benefit St. Matthew’s House. VIPs pregame at the Jetport Reception at Naples Airport on Thursday, Feb. 3, and on Friday, the club hosts an auction of more than 200 special automobiles at Ultimate Garages in Naples. Festival entry $30 per person, VIP tickets $100. Read more about what makes this event an annual standout event.
Meet the Artists Clyde & Niki Butcher at Big Cypress Gallery, Ochopee
Explore the Butchers’ gallery located within the 730,000-acre Big Cypress National Preserve. The first weekend in February, the renowned naturalist photographer and his artist wife host a signing for Clyde’s new book, The Everglades, which features his signature black-and-white swamp shots spanning from 1986 to 2019. Books from $30.
Dear Evan Hansen at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, Fort Myers
The six-time Tony and Grammy Award-winning Broadway musical follows a social anxiety-ridden teenage boy on a desperate journey to find acceptance. When a fellow student commits suicide, the shy boy’s misguided attempt to reassure the grieving family places him in the spotlight. From $60.
Jodi Benson at Music & Arts Community Center, Fort Myers
Gulf Coast Symphony accompanies the singer and actor who voiced Ariel in the original The Little Mermaid and Barbie in the Toy Story series as she performs Broadway and Disney classics with her daughter, Delaney. From $45.
Everglades City Seafood Festival, across from Everglades City City Hall
Here’s an opportunity to go straight into the heart of Old Florida and get first dibs on locally caught delicacies while you’re at it. Everglades City—the so-called Stone Crab Capital of the World, where many of the resident multigenerational families are fishermen—comes alive in February for The Florida Stone Crabbers Association’s 52nd jubilee, with dozens of stands doling out crab claws, shrimp skewers, seafood paellas, fried fish and tons more Gulf-fresh goodness, along with live music, carnival rides and other family-friendly activities. Donations encouraged.
Vintage Market Days “Road Trip” at the Lee Civic Center, North Fort Myers
The traveling market that has visited 26 states comes to town, with more than 100 vendors and artisans selling antiques, handmade jewelry, recycled and repurposed items, and upcycled home goods at the Lee Civic Center. Live music sets the tone for your shopping, and artists host DIY classes. Tickets from $7. Children 12 and under free.
Asia Fest “Year of the Tiger” Celebration at Mercato Shops, Naples
Celebrate traditions from China, Japan, India, the Philippines and other Asian countries at this family-friendly cultural showcase that includes shows by Japanese taiko drummers, martial artists and Chinese lion dancers, along with Asian food, art and guest speakers. The afternoon culminates with the Parade of Cultural Pageantry and crowning of Ms. Asia Fest 2022.
Edison Ford Winter Garden Festival, Fort Myers
The Edison Garden Shoppe gathers Floridian plants, including many species native to Southwest Florida, for this garden sale. Bring a market bag or wagon to tote your purchases as you enjoy the event’s live music and food trucks. Free.
Alton Brown Live: Beyond the Eats at Artis—Naples
The two-time James Beard Award-winning chef and longtime Food Network personality hosts an interactive cooking demonstration that mixes laughter and science on the Hayes Hall stage. From $69.
Naples Ikebana International #160 Show at Naples Botanical Garden
Ikebana members exhibit the four main schools of the Japanese floral artform: Ikenobo, Sogetsu, Sensho Ikenobo and Ohara. Adults $25, children (4-17) $10, children under 4 and members free.
Bonita Brew Fest 2022 at Riverside Park, Bonita Springs
The craft beer scene gets top billing at this festival, where admission includes unlimited samples of more than 200 beers from Florida and beyond, as well as live music and bites from local food trucks. Adults 21 and up $55, VIP tickets $79.
The 20th Annual Burrowing Owl Festival Wildlife and Environmental Expo at Rotary Park, Cape Coral
Tour burrowing owl habitats at this event that supports the nonprofit Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife’s work to sustain the native winged creatures. While there, you can sponsor an endangered burrowing owl in the Cape, which has the largest population for the owl in the state. Afterward, visit the park’s butterfly house, filled with thousands of Florida native species, and fill up on food from local vendors. Donations encouraged.