October seafood festival calendar

Florida Seafood Festival Calendar — October

Stone Crab season opens October 15

St. Marks Stone Crab Festival

St. Marks Stone Crab Fest

Florida’s seafood festival season kicks into full gear during October, coinciding with the opening of stone crab season on Oct. 15.

As we greet the first “cool” fronts of the season and the humidity dissipates, October is the time of year that Floridians emerge from summer hibernation. And what better way to celebrate the season than with a few authentic Florida seafood festivals.

Here’s the statewide seafood festival schedule for October 2013:

Cedar Key Seafood Festival — Oct. 18-19, 2014

CEDAR KEY — Looking for old Florida? This rustic outpost on the Gulf’s “forgotten coast” has a rich fishing history, and it is the nation’s No. 1 supplier of farm-raised clams, succulent red-tinged littlenecks that make your mouth water just looking at them. We love Cedar Key clams, and you’ll love their annual seafood festival. In addition to locally harvested seafood, the festival boasts more than 200 arts and crafts booths with live entertainment around town, day and night.

The Cedar Key Seafood Festival is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and features more than 200 arts and crafts exhibits, live music at several locations, a parade Saturday morning and loads of great local seafood. Bluegrass music is the featured entertainment. Read Florida Rambler’s full story on this seafood festival.

Weather: 6-day forecast

Accommodations: Hotels in Cedar Key

Campgrounds: Search ReserveAmerica

Related Florida Rambler articles and things to do nearby:

Cedar Key Seafood Festival, Oct. 19-20

Florida Rambler’s guide to Cedar Key

Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival — Oct. 17-19, 2014

 NICEVILLE – If you’ve got mullet, flaunt it. And they have plenty of mullet in the waters of Choctawhatchee Bay and the bayous around Niceville, which is near Destin in Florida’s Panhandle.  An estimated 4 tons of mullet will be consumed during this three-day Cajun country-flavored festival.  In addition to tons of fried, smoked and Cajun recipe mullet, there should be an ample supply of oysters, crawfish and shrimp dishes on hand.  A juried art show is also featured.

This festival does not skimp when it comes to entertainment, booking some of country music’s biggest stars year after year. This year’s headline act is the legendary Vince Gill. Also appearing are country singer-songwriter Justin Moore, husband and wife duo Thompson Square, country newcomers Blackjack Billy, Elvis impersonator Ben Portsmouth, The Isaacs, The Swon Brothers and local favorite Parker Willingham.

Admission between $10 and $15 per day.

Weather: 6-day forecast

Web site:  http://mulletfestival.com/

Accommodations: Hotels in Niceville

Campgrounds: Search ReserveAmerica

Related Florida Rambler articles and things to do nearby:

RV camping at state parks in Florida’s Panhandle


Coconut Grove Seafood Festival – Sunday, Oct. 19

 Unlike most of the other seafood festivals on our schedule, this fledgling fest is privately sponsored by an event management company. The venue is Peacock Park in Coconut Grove, and there is an entry fee of $25 ($15 in advance). Promoters promise a multi-cultural menu in keeping with Miami, including Bahamian cracked conch, Jamaican Jerk grilled fish, Latin American paella, Peruvian ceviche, Asian sushi and sashimi, Cajun gumbo, jambalaya and crawfish etouffee and Northeast chowders and lobster rolls.

“Island” music will be the featured entertainment, although performers have not been announced.

(Note: The same company, Social House Events, is sponsoring Grovetoberfest at Peacock Park on Saturday, Oct. 19)

Weather: 6-day forecast

Web site: www.coconutgroveseafoodfestival.com

Accommodations: Hotels in Miami

Campgrounds: Search ReserveAmerica

Related Florida Rambler articles and things to do nearby:

Deering Estate: Hidden getaway, full of beauty and history

Fairchild Tropical Gardens

Oleta River State Park

Miami’s picturesque Crandon Park

St. Marks Stone Crab Festival — Oct. 26, 2013

 ST. MARKS – This small, community-oriented festival has been celebrating the opening of stone crab season every year since 1997, but this historic little fishing village has been around a lot longer than that.  St. Marks was first settled 1527 at the confluence of the Wakulla and St. Marks rivers, near where they empty into Apalachee Bay, and stone crabs are not a sport here, it’s their business.  The weather is always perfect towards the end of October, so enjoy the great food, music, parade and, of course, the crowning of the Stone Crab Queen! This same weekend features the Monarch Butterfly Festival at nearby St. Mark’s National Wildlife Refuge, and St. Marks is also not far from Wakulla Springs State Park.

The festival provides a venue for local musicians and artisans. This year’s entertainment includes the Wailin’ Wolves Band (blues/rock), Model A (classic rock), and Wanderfoot (Americana, folk rock).

Weather: 6-day forecast

Web site: http://www.stmarksstonecrabfest.com/

Accommodations: Hotels in Perry — Hotels in Tallahassee

Campgrounds: Search ReserveAmerica

Related Florida Rambler articles and things to do nearby

RV camping at state parks in Florida’s Panhandle

John’s Pass Seafood Festival — Oct. 24-26, 2014

 MADEIRA BEACH – This festival is held at the colorful but  touristy John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk on Gulf Boulevard on the busy barrier island separating St. Petersburg from the Gulf.  This festival is more of a promotional event for the village’s 150 shops rather than a celebration of the seafood industry.  The event kicks off at noon on Friday, closing out the day with a Halloween Block Party and fireworks.

The festival continues all day Saturday and Sunday with a juried art show, street dance, fishing expo, seafood vendors and entertainment on the Food Court Stage. At 3 p.m. on Saturday, there will be children’s Halloween Costume Contest. Admission is free but parking costs $10.  If you’re camping, I recommend Fort Desoto Park, just a few miles south.

Weather: 6-Day Forecast

Web site:  http://johnspassfestivals.com/jpsf/

Accommodations: Hotels in Madeira Beach

Campgrounds: Search ReserveAmerica

Related articles on Florida Rambler and things to do nearby:

Pinellas Trail: Treasured rail trail

Caladesi Island: A wild beach even better by kayak

Honeymoon Island: Natural beach with comforts

Fort Desoto Park: Beach among best in nation

Best Camping Near Tampa Bay: 9 Choice Campgrounds

Naples Stone Crab Festival — Oct. 24-26, 2014

 NAPLES — This is the third year for the Naples Stone Crab Festival, which celebrates the kickoff of the stone crab season on the waterfront in upscale Naples.  Sponsored by the Old Naples Waterfront Association, the festival is designed to show off the historic center of Naples.  It also helps that this area of the Gulf Coast, especially nearby Everglades City and the Ten Thousand Islands, is one of Florida’s prime stone crab harvesting regions.  Most of the events are hosted at waterfront businesses.

naples seafood festivalEntertainment to be announced.

Admission is free, though parking is $5. Free water taxis will transport you to all waterfront locations participating in the festival.  My recommendation for campers is Collier-Seminole State Park on the Tamiami Trail, south of the city.

Weather: 6-day forecast

Web site:  http://www.stonecrabfestival.org/

Accommodations: Hotels in Naples

Campgrounds: Search ReserveAmerica

Related articles on Florida Rambler and things to do nearby:

Tigertail Beach: Marco Island adventure

Discover Hidden Beach at Clam Pass

Collier-Seminole Park: Kayak trail, camping near Naples

Corkscrew Preserve: A sanctuary for us, too

Stone Crabs in Everglades City: Fresh from the source

Smallwood’s store in Chokoloskee

Beach camping in the wild Ten Thousand Islands

November Seafood Festivals

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