Wrap up the season with these popular spring seafood festivals

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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, 2018

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Pompano Beach Seafood Festival, Pompano Beach, April 27-29, 2018

The Pompano Beach Seafood Festival is a mainstay on the festival circuit that draws thousands of people to the beach for a full weekend of seafood specialties, a Boardwalk Bazaar featuring arts and crafts, and stage entertainment on the beach.

The festival’s fun zone for kids features games, bungee jumps, rock climbing wall, bounce houses, face painters and more. Admission is $10 Friday, $15 Saturday or Sunday and $30 for a weekend pass.

America, the classic rock group, headlines a full weekend of musical entertainment on Saturday night, but there’s a great mix of musicians on three stages for all three days, from country and rock to island and beach music. Something for everyone. For a complete entertainment schedule, go to this link.

Where: The festival takes place on the beach at Atlantic Boulevard near the pier, and parking is easier this year with a new multi-story garage near the festival entrance. For more information, visit pompanobeachseafoodfestival.com

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Martin County Shrimp & Lobster Festival, April 27-29, 2018

This is only the second year for this Treasure Coast festival, so give them a boost if you are in the neighborhood. They are hoping to create a new tradition to mark Mother’s Day.

Besides arts and crafts and an abundance of seafood, there will be entertainment throughout the festival. This year’s headliners include Wyclif Jean’s Carnival Tour on Friday, country music singer Colt Ford on Saturday, and The Original Wailers wrapping up the weekend with more reggae on Sunday.

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.

Admission last year was $10, but the price was not posted for this year’s festival. Individual tickets are being sold, however, for the evening concerts with seats ranging from $12 to $40 each night.

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


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Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, Fernandina Beach, May 3-6, 2018

Isle of 8 Flags Shrimp FestivalThis would be the 55th 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 at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, with the Pirate Parade through downtown, but the full festival doesn’t get into swing until Friday night with the of Miss Shrimp Festival 2018 Scholarship Pageant at 6 p.m., 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 23rd 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.

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, north of Jacksonville. For more information, visit www.shrimpfestival.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 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. Entertainment has not yet been announced.

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

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Venice Seafood & Music Festival, May 5-6, 2018

Venice Seafood Festival logoThis is the inaugural year for the Venice Seafood & Music Festival, to be held in Centennial Park on Saturday, May 5, and Sunday, May 6 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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St. Armands Seafood & Music Festival, Sarasota, May 26-27, 2018

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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Palatka Blue Crab Festival, May 25-27, 2018

2017 is the 29th anniversary of this popular Memorial Day Weekend festival, featuring arts and crafts, beauty pageant, seafood cook-off, parade, kids rides, a spectacular carnival ride and entertainment in downtown Palatka.

Admission and parking is free, although you’ll have to pay for carnival rides

The seafood cook-off will take place Sunday, and the Memorial Day Parade takes place on Monday.

There will be free, live entertainment for all four days of the festival. Click here for the complete entertainment schedule.

Where: Downtown Palatka, along the riverfront. For more information, visit www.bluecrabfestival.com

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For a complete list of 2018-19 seafood festivals, visit our 2018-2019 Seafood Festival Calendar.

 

 

 

 

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