Festivals

Grant Seafood Festival marks 52nd year March 2-4, 2018

grant seafood festival

Grant Seafood Festival grounds at night (Photo by Lee Spitzkopf)

Grant Seafood Festival, March 3-4, 2018

~ This sprawling rural community on the Indian River has celebrated its heritage as a fishing village every year since 1966, using the proceeds from the festival for community projects, a scholarship fund, the Grant Library and the Grant Historical House on the Indian River.

This small town’s population (4,000) explodes over the festival weekend, testament to the popularity of the seafood in this region. Oyster bars and clambeds blanket the Indian River Lagoon near Grant, an eco-system that nourishes a thriving marine environment harboring an abundance of redfish, black drum, spotted sea trout, snook and tarpon.

While much of the local fish is no longer be harvested commercially, the celebration continues.

Grant Seafood FestivalThe festival’s seafood booths are manned by local volunteers, and more than 100 artists from across the country exhibit their creativity during the two-day festival.   The Grant Library holds its annual book sale with hundreds of used books on sale. 

The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission and parking are free.

This area is also noted for kayaking and birdwatching opportunities, so plan a long weekend around this festival. Driving here on U.S. 1 alongside the scenic Indian River is half the fun.

Seafood Offerings at the Grant Seafood Festival

grant2015All of the seafood booths at the Grant Seafood Festival are staffed by community volunteers, with many manned by families who have been serving seafood at this festival for generations.

Volunteers handle the festival’s management, purchasing, cooking and serving.

This year’s menu includes:

Grilled Mahi Sandwich, Fried Mahi Sandwich, Lobster Roll, Steamed Clams, Fried Shrimp, Shrimp & Tuna Kabobs, Linguini W/ Clam Sauce, Sweet Puppies, Manhattan Clam Chowder, New England Chowder, Deviled Crabs, Fried Scallops, Fried Oysters, Conch Salad, Peel & Eat Shrimp, Scallop Imperial, Conch Fritters, Shrimp & Grits, Raw & Steamed Oysters, Gator Bites, Fried Clam Strips, Calamari, Crawfish, Lobster Bisque

Visitors will also be able to purchase hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken nuggets and french fries.  Beer and wine is also served. Most major credit and debit cards are accepted.

Arts and Crafts at the Grant Seafood Festival

More than 100 crafters from across Florida and the Southeast exhibit their hand-made arts and crafts during the two-day festival. This display of various artists and crafters has become one of our areas leading shows. The craft exhibits are located in the northeast corner of the festival grounds and will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Be sure to take a stroll though and take a look at the unique items that are available for purchase. You never know just what you might find.

Grant Seafood Festival Parking

Admission and parking are free. For easy access to parking, follow signs posted on U.S. 1. The village of Grant is on U.S. 1 between Sebastian and Melbourne. (See map above.) For more information, visit the festival web site at www.grantseafoodfestival.com

Related articles, related activities:

Paddle, hike Turkey Creek in Palm Bay –A scenic kayak outing on Turkey Creek takes you to Palm Bay’s Turkey Creek Sanctuary, where you can explore 3.5 miles of trails. Along the way, see dolphins, manatees and other wildlife.

Florida Seafood Festival Calendar — The annual seafood festival calendar is one of our most popular features. Add these dates to your own calendar

Surf, fish, camp and paddle Sebastian Inlet — Sebastian Inlet has always been a favorite destination: the fishing is terrific, the surfing is fine, the paddling is fun, you can go clamming in the shallows and the beaches are beautiful and pristine. Two well-maintained public campgrounds, Sebastian Inlet State Park and Long Point Park, are your gateway to the Indian River Lagoon.

Pelican Island: Oldest bird sanctuary in the US — President Teddy Roosevelt created this wildlife refuge in 1903 to stop plume-hunters from ravishing this three-acre island. Spring is a great time to visit.

Roughing it: St. Sebastian River Preserve — This 22,000-acre wilderness offers 60 miles of trails for hiking, biking and equestrians through five thriving wildlife habitats. Six primitive campsites allow you to really get away from it all.

Find a Campsite near Grant-Valkaria:

Sebastian Inlet State Park (7 miles)

Sunshine Travel RV Resort (11 miles)

Long Point County Park (11 miles)

Wickham Park Campground (20 miles)

Search for more campgrounds on ReserveAmerica

Find a Room near Grant-Valkaria:

Hotels in Palm Bay

Sebastian area Hotels

B&Bs in Sebastian, FL

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5 Comments

  1. You state in your article that the fishing at Grant is awesome, and so is the seafood that we will enjoy at this annual festival.
    If the eco-system at Grant provides a thriving marine environment for redfish, black drum, spotted sea trout, snook and tarpon, why do the “local” vendors not sell any of the “local” fish at the Grant seafood festival?.

    • Hi Larry… The fish species you mention, while thriving in the waters near Grant, can no longer be commercially harvested in Florida by law. You are correct in suggesting that local fish may not make it to “local” seafood festivals. The explanation I have received is that many of these seafood festivals have grown so large, it is impossible for the local fishing industry to fill the demand. As a result, the sponsors increasingly turn to wholesale suppliers such as Sysco for product. Sometimes that means going outside local markets for commercial catches. Such is the case in Grant, which I’m told is supplied by Sysco. I can see where my story might be misleading, and I will correct it to more accurately reflect the source of the seafood used in these festivals today, as opposed to earlier years. My apologies.

  2. The food at the Grant seafest was a huge disappointment! The fish was farmed raised Talapia. The shrimp was also farm raised. Low,low quality. Why go out of my way for expensive trash that I wouldn’t purchase anywhere.

  3. Karen Seidner says:

    What is the ruling on the tents or umbrellas. We are cancer survivors and need covering, Last year no tents allowed.

    Karen
    Ps our family members from Miami have enjoyed the Grant Seafood Fest for 8 years. Total family 11 members attended.

    • Karen,
      I’m told by a volunteer friend that they will have a tent set up and reserved exclusively for those with a medical need to get out of the sun.
      But you will not be allowed to bring in umbrellas or your own tent.

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