Wrap up ‘the season’ with these popular spring seafood festivals

Seafood festivals in Florida go dormant in summer, so these spring festival mark your last chance to get out and enjoy authentic Florida seafood until next season.

This year’s roundup of April and May seafood festivals includes some firmly established mainstays, and if the seafood served is not enough for the palate, the entertainment at these fests is better than ever in 2018

Florida Spiny Lobster Season ended in March

Stone Crab Season ends on May 15

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Pompano Beach Seafood Festival, Pompano Beach, April 26-28, 2019

New Location!

The Pompano Beach Seafood Festival, a mainstay on the festival circuit, has moved from the beach to a more accessible location at Pompano Beach’s Community Park on U.S. 1.

The new location is adjacent to the city’s amphitheater, an outstanding venue for entertainment, and this year, organizers promise plenty of good sounds, including the Guess Who, Foghat, Inner Circle, Zach Deputy, local favorites Two-Can Blue and 19 other musical acts performing on three stages.

Entertainment is included in the price of admission, which is $15 for Friday , $20 Saturday, $15 Sunday, and $35 for a weekend pass. Proceeds benefit local charities, school and civic groups.

Where: The festival takes place at Community Park, just off Federal Highway (U.S. 1), between NE 6th Street and NE 10th Street, just south of the Pompano Beach Municipal Golf Course. Look for signs for parking. For more information, visit pompanobeachseafoodfestival.com

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Martin County Shrimp & Lobster Festival, April 26-29, 2019

This is the third year for this Treasure Coast festival.

Besides arts and crafts and an abundance of seafood, there will be entertainment throughout the festival. This year’s headliners include rock band Tonic on Friday, country rap duo The Lacs on Saturday, and singer-songwriter Everlast on Sunday.

The Kid Zone is being expanded to include carnival rides.

Festival organizers say a wide variety of artisans and crafters will display their works in clay, digital art, drawing and pastels, fiber, glass, leather, mixed media, photography, sculpture and wood.

General Admission for the 2019 festival is $12 each day. 3-day pass is $26. Single-day VIP is $25, includes 2-hour open bar.

When: Friday 5pm-10pm; Saturday and Sunday 11am-10pm

Where: Memorial Park, 300 SE Ocean Blvd., Stuart. For more information, visit their web site at shrimpandlobsterfest.com

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Pensacola Crawfish Festival, April 26-28, 2019

No, this is not Louisana, but it’s close.

Crawfish Festival

The annual Pensacola Crawfish Festival features 16,000 pounds of boiled crawfish provided by the Cordova Crawfish Company of Pensacola. Cajun dishes such as red beans and rice, boudin balls, seafood gumbo, étouffée, jambalaya, and Cajun pasta will also be available in addition to traditional festival fare.

You can also participate in a Crawfish Eating Contest in three divisons: kids, adult or the seriously serious CrawDADDY division. Kids entry is free, adult entry is $5 and CrawDADDY entry is $10. (Registration starts 30 minutes prior to each competition.)

The festival starts Friday from noon until 11 p.m., continuing Saturday from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Admission is $5 daily, $10 for a 3-day pass. Children 12 and under, free.

Where: Bartram Park, downtown Pensacola. For more information, visit their web site at fiestaoffiveflags.org/pensacola-crawfish-festival

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Tampa Bay Seafood and Music Festival, April 26-28, 2019

This is the second year for this event, one of several similar festivals produced around the state by Paragon Festivals of Sarasota.

Food vendors cook all foods on site, including mahi mahi, stone crabs and grouper, all using local and sustainable ocean resources.

The entertainment festival has not yet been announced. (as if 3/19/2019)

The festival marketplace features arts, crafts, gourmet food items and specialty products.

General Admission: $5; children under 12, free.

Where:  Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 North Ashley Drive, Tampa. For more information, visit http://www.seafoodfestivals.com/S-54-Tampa+Bay+Seafood+&+Music+Festival

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Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, Fernandina Beach, May 3-5, 2019

Isle of 8 Flags Shrimp FestivalThis is the 56th annual shrimp festival in one of Florida’s most productive shrimp regions, so you know they’ve got it figured out. Pirate Parade, exhibits, arts and crafts, antiques, games, contests, seafood and live music along the Amelia River in downtown Fernandina Beach.

Free admission for all events.

The long weekend kicks off Thursday, May 2, with the Pirate Parade through downtown, but the full festival doesn’t get into swing until Friday night with the of Miss Shrimp Festival Scholarship Pageant, followed by the Pirate Parade Awards and entertainment. The evening wraps up with fireworks at 9:30.

On Saturday at 8 a.m., join the annual Shrimp Festival 5K Run/Walk at the beach. The festival grounds open at 9:30 a.m. with continuous entertainment throughout the day and evening. Featured performers at 3:30 p.m., Firefall and Poco.

The festival opens at 11 a.m. Sunday with annual Blessing of the Fleet set for 1:30 p.m. and musical entertainment until 5 p.m.

Both Saturday and Sunday, all day, enjoy fresh shrimp and seafood at dozens of food booths throughout the festival site. The Kids Fun Zone is open throughout the festival.

Where: 102 Centre Street, Fernandina Beach, Florida,. For more information, visit www.shrimpfestival.com

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Venice Seafood & Music Festival, May 3-5, 2019

Venice Seafood Festival logoThis is the inaugural year for the Venice Seafood & Music Festival, to be held in Centennial Park from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. both days.

Local restaurants are slated to serve up the seafood, including one of my favorites, the Crow’s Nest, which serves oysters from around the world at its restaurant overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway at the Venice Inlet.

Besides the Crow’s Nest, organizers have also announced participation by the Blu Island Bistro, Brew Burgers, Burgundy Square Cafe, Cafe Venice, Captain Eddie’s, Cedar Reer, Daiquiri Deck, Made in Italy and the Saltwater Cafe.

Musical entertainment, which begins at 12:30 p.m. each day, will include R&B, jazz, rock, big band and Caribbean.

Admission is free.

Where: Downtown Venice in front of City Hall.

For more information, visit their web site at ParagonArtEvents.com 

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Pensacola Crawfish Festival, May 4-6, 2018

No, this is not Louisana, but it’s close.

Crawfish Festival

The 33rd annual Pensacola Crawfish Festival features 16,000 pounds of boiled crawfish provided by the Cordova Crawfish Company of Pensacola, Florida. Cajun dishes such as red beans and rice, boudin balls, seafood gumbo, étouffée, jambalaya, and Cajun pasta will also be available in addition to traditional festival fare.

You can also participate in a Crawfish Eating Contest in three divisons: kids, adult or the seriously serious CrawDADDY division. Kids entry is free, adult entry is $5 and CrawDADDY entry is $10. (Registration starts 30 minutes prior to each competition.)

The festival gets an early start on Friday at noon and runs until 11 p.m., continuing Saturday from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Admission is $5 daily, $10 for a 3-day pass. Children 12 and under, free.

Where: Bartram Park, downtown Pensacola. For more information, visit their web site at fiestaoffiveflags.org/pensacola-crawfish-festival

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May 15: Stone crab season closes.

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St. Armands Seafood & Music Festival, Sarasota, May 24-26, 2019

In its second year, the St. Armands Seafood Festival will be held at St. Armands Circle Park from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. on both Saturday, May 26, and Sunday, May 27.

The sponsors promise local seafood dishes from sustainable ocean resources, served by local restaurants.

Musical performances by Jah Movement, Kettle of Fish, Sarasota Steel Pan Band, Ocean’s Eleven Big Band, the Sarasota Jazz Project, Reverend Barry, Twinkle & Rock Soul Radio, and Funktastic Soul.

Admission is free.

Where: St. Armands Circle is on St. Armands Key, between Sarasota and Lido Key. For more information, go to seafoodfestivals.com

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For a complete list of this year’s seafood festivals, visit our 2019 Seafood Festival Calendar.

 

 

 

 

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