Love Gulf seafood? Then the 55th Annual Florida Seafood Festival in the historic town of Apalachicola is the place to be! Florida’s oldest maritime festival returns to Apalachicola’s picturesque Battery Park to celebrate local seafood with delectable eats, area artists and craftsman, live music, demonstrations and more. There’s something for everyone at this family-friendly and educational event.
Festival Highlights Include:
- Maritime Exhibit Area – Discover more about the Forgotten Coast’s fishing industry and the unique ecosystem of the Apalachicola Bay with hands on marine labs and exhibits designed for all ages. Educational exhibits and live demonstrations will showcase the hardworking fisherman from the local community.
- Oyster Eating Contest – Cheer on contestants as they battle to see who can consume the most oysters in 15 minutes! Pre-shucked, contestants guzzle as many of the big, juicy and slightly salty gulf delicacies as they can while hopefully keeping them down.
- Oyster Shucking Contest – Before the oyster eating contest, find the equally popular oyster shucking contest where participants must shuck a tray of 18 oysters as quickly as possible without mutilating, nicking or committing any other infractions against Apalachicola’s prized export. The Florida Seafood Festival champion goes on to compete in the national oyster shucking championships.
- Festival Parade – The Seafood Festival Parade begins Saturday at 10AM and travels down US Highway 98 to the Apalachicola River. With bands, floats and dignitaries from throughout the Forgotten Coast, the colorful parade is beloved by young and old alike.
- Blessing of the Fleet – Held at Battery Park on Friday afternoon at Battery Park, the Blessing of the Fleet is conducted by area clergymen along with King Retsyo and Miss Florida Seafood to bless the parade of passing fishing, shrimping and oystering vessels.
- Redfish Run – Beginning at the historic Gibson Inn at the foot of the John Gorrie Bridge, the RedFish Run is a 5000 meter (3.1 mile) road race that winds through the charming streets of Apalachicola.
- Blue Crab Races – For the kids, the Blue Crab Races are held at the top of each hour from 1PM to 5PM on Saturday and free to any children up to age 12 with prizes for everyone who participates.
- Arts and Crafts Exhibits – Featuring up to as many as 90 arts and crafts booths, browse the wares of local artisans and craftsman at beautiful Battery Park.
- Fresh Florida Seafood – Head to Food Row for a seafood lovers paradise with anything from fresh oysters on the half shell to smoked mullet. All the seafood is sold by local Not-for-Profit groups to benefit their organizations. Non-seafood items also served.
- Carnival – A large carnival located at the south end of the festival grounds offers rides and games of all types guaranteed to delight and entertain.
- Musical Entertainment – Many musical acts are scheduled throughout the two-day event including headliners Larue Howard on Friday and Maddie & Tae on Saturday.