From the hundreds of things to do on US Gulf Coast in January 2023 we narrowed our suggestions down to the following eight festivals and events. Cool, happy, and fun events that you expect to find on the Gulf Coast and brought to you by US Gulf Coast Travel.
The following Gulf Coast January events include food, music, and outdoor themes. NFL Playoffs are in full swing (Geaux Saints and Go Bucs) and mid-January commemorates Martin Luther King, Jr. and features free admission to National Park properties. A great time to visit our Everglades and National Seashores (Gulf Islands and Padre Island).
And is anyone thinking Mardi Gras yet? Mardi Gras is February 21, 2023 but you know we will be celebrating well before then!
Please see our Festive Florida Holiday Events on the Gulf Coast guide for Christmas, lights, holiday boat parades, and New Years Eve events and our collection of fun tropical Christmas decorations in Florida.
Enjoy our Fun Things To Do on US Gulf Coast in January and do let us know of other fun and cool events this month.
117th Annual Epiphany, Tarpon Springs FL, Jan 6, 2023
For over a century, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Tarpon Springs celebrates the baptism of Jesus in an old school Greek tradition. After a service at St. Nicholas Cathedral, the procession heads to nearby Spring Bayou for the blessing of the waters, Gospel reading, release of a white dove, and, the highlight for many, the cross dive.
For the cross dive, the Archbishop tosses a cross into the water and young men dive to retrieve it. The one who does ultimately bring it back to shore is blessed for the upcoming year.
New Year New Boots, Flora-Bama, Jan 12, 2023
The fine folks at Visit Perdido welcome back Florida Gulf Coast Panhandle snowbirds with a three event series called Snowbird Hootenanny. The first event is called New Years New Boots and is held at the world famous US Gulf Coast bar Flora-Bama.
Buy tickets in advance and enjoy music, dancing, food from Flora-Bama chefs, free swag from local businesses, and one drink (you can buy more!). Two other Snowbird Hootenanny events are in February.
Lighting of the Mardi Gras Tree, Mobile AL, Jan 14, 2023
While there are many Krewe balls and other kickoff Mardi Gras events along the US Gulf Coast in January, perhaps no other event in our mind launches Mardi Gras season quite like the Lighting of the Mardi Gras Tree in Mobile, Alabama’s Mardi Gras Park.
After the tree lighting, join the Second Line procession to Cooper Riverside Park and continue the Mardi Gras party with live music from The Juke Box Brass Band.
Florida Manatee Festival, Crystal River FL, Jan 14 – 15, 2023
January is peak time to see our favorite US Gulf Coast mascots, the manatees!, when they seek the warmest waters and want to avoid the cold. Same as all of us!
Enjoy two days of live entertainment, hundreds of food and craft vendors, children activities, and much more at the Florida Manatee Festival in Crystal River, Florida. But, yes, manatees are the star of the festival and enjoy seeing them on guided kayak paddles, discounted boat tours, or from select viewing spots.
Bonita Springs Art Festival, Bonita Springs FL, Jan 14 – 15, 2023
If you find yourself in Southwest Florida in mid-January, enjoy Bonita Springs Art Festival, one of USA’s top fine art festivals. 200 national and international artists attract the largest audience of any event in this area.
Bonita Springs National Art Festival actually is held over three weekends in three separate months. Other event dates are February 11-12, 2023 and March 4-5, 2023.
MLK Coastwide Celebration, Biloxi MS, Jan 16, 2023
The annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration in Biloxi Mississippi features a family-friendly parade followed by a Battle of the Bands event at MGM Stadium. Alcorn State University headlines the band battle and find out who will dare take them on.
Chuck Eats Restaurant Week, Lake Charles LA, Jan 20 – 29, 2023
Restaurants in Lake Charles and all across Calcasieu Parish are excited to host longtime and first time diners during the inaugural Chuck Eats Restaurant Week. Seventeen restaurants officially registered for Chuck Eats when this article was first published but check back as more will certainly join.
Look for offers like buy one get one free entrees, discounted menu items, percentage off entire bill (or select menu items), and special multi-course menus at area favorites like Crying Eagle, Rikenjaks, Restaurant Calla, and more than a dozen others.
14th Annual Yaga’s Chili Quest & Beer Fest, Galveston, Jan 20 -21, 2023
Join the quest to find the best chili in the world on The Strand in Galveston. Participants vie for the Chili Champion award in the Yaga’s Chili Quest cook-off contest. Attendees can enjoy all the chili versions in the tasting event along with craft beer samples.
The 5K Fun Run attracts BREWtiful runners to the Seawall Boulevard course and note that the first 100 registrants receive an event t-shirt and medal.
106th Gasparilla Pirate Fest, Tampa, Jan 28, 2023
Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla (YMKG) invades downtown Tampa every year (since 1904). Jose Gasparilla, the only fully-rigged pirate ship in the world, will enter Hillsborough Bay at 11:30am. The magnificent ship will be followed by thousands of boats in a phenomenal flotilla invasion with cannon fire and that must be seen and heard to be believed.
After receiving the key to the city from Tampa’s mayor, YMKG hosts a Gasparilla brunch (at Tampa Convention Center) followed by the Parade of the Pirates. The victory parade will feature over a hundred floats, a half dozen marching bands, and more than 50 Krewes.
Enjoy live entertainment from 10am – 8pm from stages in MacDill Park (rock music) and Curtis Hixon Park (latin music). Both venues will break from 3:30 to 5:30 for the Parade of the Pirates.
The popular Children’s Gasparilla will be on January 21, 2023 and features the Children’s parades, with more than 125 Crews, bands, performance teams, and organizations.
Please let us know of other happy, fun, and cool things to do on US Gulf Coast in January. Or any month!