Orlando celebrates global cultures with a wide range of special events (including FusionFest, pictured), and you’re always invited to the party.
Updated Feb. 11, 2021
Want an easy way to travel the world? Come to Orlando! Throughout the year, traditions from all over the planet are celebrated at multicultural festivals packed with authentic art, music, live performances, food and other unforgettable experiences. Although many of the events featured here opted for virtual editions in 2020 and early 2021, several have announced in-person dates for later in 2021, and the rest are expected to return by 2022.
What's more, event organizers are joining forces with our theme parks, attractions, resorts, transportation providers and other businesses to help protect you as you explore a different side of Orlando. Ranging from theme park galas to local gems, here’s your guide to some of the most fun, exciting ways to broaden your cultural horizons during your next visit!
Winter/Spring Multicultural Festivals in Orlando
Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities, aka ZORA!® Festival (January – February; 2022 Dates TBA)
Celebrating the works and influences of prominent Harlem Renaissance author Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God), the annual ZORA! Festival primarily takes place in Hurston’s historic hometown of Eatonville, about 25 minutes north of Orlando's main tourism district. Consisting of educational seminars at locations in Eatonville and throughout Orange County, the event traditionally culminates with a three-day Outdoor Festival of the Arts featuring art, culture, heritage, and STEM activities and information, plus food, merchandise and entertainment in the heart of Eatonville.
Discover: ZORA! Festival
Central Florida Scottish Highland Games (January; 2022 Dates TBA)
Presented by the Scottish-American Society of Central Florida, the Scottish Highland Games take place in Winter Springs, about 45 minutes north of our tourism districts. In addition to promoting Scottish history and culture, the event features traditional Scottish athletics — including caber-tossing and hammer-throwing — plus dance, art, music and food.
Black History Month (Feb. 1-28, 2021)
In February, Orlando traditionally celebrates Black History Month with a variety of in-person events and exhibitions showcasing African Americans’ many contributions and positive influence in the Central Florida community. For 2021, in an abundance of caution, the city’s Black History Month workshops and educational panels will instead take place virtually with a series of online events hosted by downtown Orlando’s Orange County Regional History Center,
Discover: Black History Month in Orlando
Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval at Universal Orlando Resort (Feb. 6 – March 28, 2021)
It’s Mardi Gras served up a whole new way at Universal Orlando Resort! Mardi Gras 2021: International Flavors of Carnaval brings a global food fest to Universal Studios Florida with cuisine and entertainment inspired by Carnaval celebrations from around the world. Enjoy nightly parades with outrageous street performers, colorful costumes and countless beads.
Save on discount tickets: Universal Orlando Resort
You can also catch some of the biggest names in music live in concert on select nights. Plus, mouthwatering New Orleans food is available for purchase. Best of all, the festivities are included with theme park admission, annual pass or seasonal pass!
Seven Seas Food Festival at SeaWorld® Orlando (Fridays Through Sundays, Feb. 5 – May 9, 2021)
Oceans of flavor and fun are waiting at SeaWorld® Orlando! From foodies to families, everyone will find tasty delights among more than 200 distinct (and mostly new this year!) offerings. Explore more than 50 fresh global cuisine choices to pair with over 75 wine and cocktail selections and 75 craft beers — and be sure to check out the relaxing new beer garden!
Save on discount tickets: SeaWorld Orlando
Central Florida Dragon Parade Lunar New Year Festival (February; 2021 Dates TBA)
Held in downtown Orlando’s Mills 50 district, this vibrant event brings East Asia to Central Florida. Celebrating the Year of the Rat, the festival will feature martial artists, taiko drummers and ample food vendors, as well as the signature parade. Admission and parking are free.
Salsa y Sazón Latin Food and Music Festival (March 28, 2021)
Moving to the outdoor Seneff Arts Plaza at downtown Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts for 2021, this fun event is recognized as one of the largest salsa dance festivals in the country. In addition to plenty of dancing, it features authentic Latin food and drink.
Summer/Fall Multicultural Festivals in Orlando
EPCOT® International Food & Wine Festival (August – November; 2021 Dates TBA)
Not only has this world-famous, globally inspired festival at Walt Disney World® Resort been going strong since 1995, but it’s inspired several other Orlando-area food festivals in the process. Included with admission to EPCOT, it gives you the chance to sample international food and beverages at Global Marketplaces that extend from Future World to the World Showcase promenade.
Save on discount tickets: Walt Disney World Resort
The menu selections are traditionally complemented by a wealth of live entertainment, including the “Eat to the Beat” concert series. You can also participate in numerous special events.
India Independence Day Celebration (August; 2021 Dates TBA)
Hosted by the Indian Cultural Society of Orlando, this annual celebration is held in Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs. Free to attend, it showcases cultural dancing and an eclectic array of vendors, including food and beverages.
Florida Puerto Rican Parade & Festival (Sept. 18, 2021)
Although this event traditionally takes place in April, it's moving to September for 2021. It starts with a vibrant parade through downtown Orlando, culminating at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. The fun then continues at the venue’s Seneff Arts Plaza with food, live music, arts and crafts, and vendors. As the name implies, it’s part of a statewide Puerto Rican Parade initiative, which holds simultaneous parades in cities across Florida.
Come Out With Pride Orlando (Oct. 9, 2021)
Held in and around downtown’s gorgeous Lake Eola Park, this free, nonprofit celebration invites everyone from Central Florida and beyond to come together in support of Orlando’s LGBTQ+ community. Throughout the day, enjoy live entertainment at multiple stages, visit the Pride Marketplace, and finish with a signature fireworks spectacular over the lake.
Asian Cultural Expo & Orlando International Dragon Boat Festival (Oct. 16, 2021)
Produced in conjunction with each other, these free, one-day events showcase the wonders of Asian culture through exhibitions, performances and crafts. Expect to see demonstrations by martial-arts groups, dance troupes, vocalists and musicians. Both celebrations are held in Bill Frederick Park, about 15 minutes north of Universal Orlando Resort.
Festival Calle Orange (Oct. 24, 2021)
This massive, one-day celebration of music takes over 10 blocks of downtown Orlando with dozens of national and international artists on three action-packed stages, representing musical styles such as salsa, merengue and bachata. Traditional Latin food and beverages are available for purchase.
Oktoberfest (October; 2021 Dates TBA)
Come thirsty and hungry to this two-weekend festival, which takes place in the city of Casselberry, about 20 minutes north of downtown Orlando. It’s presented by the German American Society of Central Florida, which goes to great lengths to provide authentic German beer, food, music and entertainment.
Discover: Orlando Breweries
FusionFest (Nov. 27-28, 2021)
Taking place Thanksgiving weekend, this unique, two-day cultural celebration invites you to discover the world from the comfort of the Seneff Arts Plaza at downtown Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. In addition to a cornucopia of dishes from around the globe, it features interactive experiences and contests celebrating fashion, music, dance, short films and more, representing 160 different heritages. Plus, admission is free.
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