Everglades City Seafood Festival: Feb. 7-9, 2020

Everglades Seafood Festival (Photo: Pat Williams)
Everglades Seafood Festival (Photo: Pat Williams)

Seafood lovers mark their calendars for the annual Everglades Seafood Festival, scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 7-9, 2020  in Everglades City, gateway to the Ten Thousand Islands.

This free event packs ’em in for fresh seafood, country music, carnival rides, crafts booths — with an estimated 50,000 people expected to attend to pack this small town (population 500) the three-day event.

Photo by Heather Culligan via Flickr

Everglades City, Florida’s “stone crab capital,” is an off-the-beaten-track pocket of Old Florida with many original buildings and a rich history steeped in the lore of pirates and smugglers, murder and mayhem, and some of the best fishing and freshest seafood anywhere in the state of Florida.

The old-fashioned neo-classical City Hall once served as Collier County’s main courthouse until the county’s population shifted north to nouveau Naples, 40 miles away. Everglades City, settled in the 1880s, has retained its small-town charm, if not it’s legendary character and characters.

The town’s first Seafood Festival was held in 1970 to raise money for playground equipment, and that charitable tradition is still alive and well with proceeds from the festival going to local causes and college scholarships for local students.

In addition to shiploads of fresh seafood served up by local fishermen and restaurants, this year’s festival will feature 100 arts and crafts booths, a carnival and continuous country music and bluegrass throughout the weekend.


Getting there

Traffic can be tricky, so arrive early and bring your patience. (Many avoid that problem  by arriving on motorcycle. This is a favorite group outing for motorcycle clubs from Miami and Fort Lauderdale.) Parking is provided by local charities within walking distance of the festival.

A few tips: No pets, no coolers and be prepared to walk.

The Tamiami Trail makes a scenic route to Everglades City — here’s our guide to that road.

From the north, you can also take I-75 south to Collier Boulevard (County Road 951), south to U.S. 41 (Tamiami Trail), then east to State Road 29, which will take you south into Everglades City.

From the Atlantic Coast, take Alligator Alley (I-75) west to SR 29, then straight south to Everglades City.

To help plan your trip:

Nearby RV and/or tent camping:

Find a room:

The Ivey House and Everglades Rod and Gun Club are historic lodges in Everglades City that are popular with visitors. Check availability of rooms at these and other hotels on Hotels.com: Find a room in Everglades City

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  2. Avatar

    The citizens of Everglades City,Plantation Island and Chokoloskee need your support this year more than ever!! Most families survive on the fishing industries, airboat revenue and/or hospitality trade!! We are fortunate to have a second home there, but our neighbors,
    are still to this day.. hurting!! PLEASE COME OUT AND SUPPORT THE SEAFOOD FESTIVAL!!
    Thank you,
    Brian 7 Mary Kate Smith
    Custom Coastal Furniture

  3. Avatar

    Thank you for echoing my feelings about the 2017 tee shirt.
    Hopefully the “tee shirt” designer has heard the message loud and clear.
    Some of my favorite tee shirts have been “Everglades Seafood” shirts.
    Let’s get back with the program.
    PLEASE….. Tell the story of Everglades City.
    Not just “paste-ups” from some advertisers.

  4. Avatar

    To whoever cares:
    I just got home from this year’s festival and I have to SCREAM from the highest mountain.
    By far (and I have been going to this festival for 35 years) this is the WORST tee shirt EVER.
    I only bought this because my granddaughter “lives” for this festival (as do I).
    The seafood festival tee shirt has always told the story of Everglades City. They are a memento
    This piece of KRAP looks like someone was watching the Super Bowl last weekend and remembered that the festival is next weekend
    and threw some little stamps on the back.
    I want whoever is in charge of the shirts fired and I want my money back.
    I have always worn my tee shirts proudly.
    This one I will not even wash my car with.

    I will be very surprised if anyone even responds to this.
    You should hang your head in shame.
    You better get someone who knows how to design a shirt for next year.

    Paul R. Perry
    4976 SW 94th Terr.
    Cooper City, FL. 33328

    • Avatar

      Your comments fit my feeling exactly so much that I got a big laugh about it. My wife and I have been going for as long as we can remember, back when the city cooked and served the food. When I brought mine, I was telling the people that work the stand what I thought (in a nice way) when they introduced the person that is in charge of the tee shirts and I let her know. This will go down along with the year they did not have souvenir cups.

  5. Avatar

    Very over priced, they wanted 45.00 a plate for the captains platter that I can eat by myself. We went back to the rv and fired up the grill and fed all of us for WAY less money

  6. Avatar

    Is there any where to dry camp a small rv

  7. Avatar

    Most information at floridaramble.com is very helpful. The ads are annoying. They hide important information, can not be deleted, and when clicked on, take you to another page, not related to the article.
    I realize the ads are necessary, but why cover the article?
    Just saying…very annoying

    • Bob Rountree

      Hi Tena,
      Our apologies. The ads are supposed to kick down or slim down with small screen sizes. This ad overlap seems to occur most often with tablets. I assume you are experiencing this on a mobile device. I would suggest that you turn your device to a horizontal position to correct the overlap. It is difficult to correct from our end, although we continue to look at ways to improve the experience.

  8. Avatar

    we are coming from Ft lauderdale,can you give us the easiest directions.thank you

    • Avatar

      From Ft Laud.. take I-75 west to hwy 29 south.. as soon as you cross over hwy 41, it is about 4 miles to the festival.. cant miss the signs, or the traffic lol. Worth it tho.. we had a great time!

  9. Avatar

    We went for three years and took a bunch of friends each year. Last year the seafood was twice the price and the food quality was not as good. It was still fun but our friends were very disappointed. I wrote it off to the trouble in the Gulf last year. This could be a pivotal year for our group and several others we talked with. C’mon Everglades City, we want your event to succeed!

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    havent miss this… been going since i was 13 or younger.. im 25 now, and i look forword is this every year… thanx everglades city for putting on an icredible event…

  11. Avatar

    Looking forward to kicking off my 2012 tour at the Everglades Seafood Festival. My debut album on Nashville based Dixie Roads Records,In.c can be heard and purchased at http://www.warrensilvers.com

    I will be signing autographs after the show at a booth and selling merchandise so come up and say hello.

    I grew up in South Florida and have not been back since I moved to Nashville TN so I am excited to come back for my first show of my tour.

  12. Avatar
    denise horvat

    this is a dont miss.have not missed this for 25 years.i live here in everglades city.good or bad/IDONT KNOW

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