Fresh local seafood abounds on Florida’s Gulf Coast and this weekend offers up some great opportunities to indulge. Whether you prefer your seafood favorites steamed, grilled, smoked, fried or sauteed; you’ll find a little bit of everything to please your palate. Come hungry!
John’s Pass Seafood Festival in Madeira Beach
This weekend hosts the 32nd Annual John’s Pass Seafood Festival at historic John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk in Madeira Beach. The two-and-a-half day outdoor festival begins at noon on Friday, October 25 and continues through Sunday, October 27. A local favorite, the festival features live musical entertainment, an arts and crafts show with over 60 vendors, children’s activities, fireworks, haunted house, over a hundred shops, and of course, a ton of tempting local seafood.
Special festival activities include the Blessing of the Fleet on Friday evening at 6p.m., a Halloween Block Party from 7-11p.m., and a fireworks display at 9p.m. Saturday features a children’s Halloween Costume Contest at 3p.m. and trick-or-treating from 10a.m. to 6p.m., and a Captain Morgan Halloween Bash from 9p.m. to 2a.m. Sunday continues with trick-or-treating from 10a.m. to 6p.m. and an Oyster Eating Contest at 3p.m.
You can find full festival details on the John’s Pass Seafood Festival website and on their Facebook page. Admission to the festival is free, but donations are suggested and benefit the Secrets of the Sea Marine Exploration Center and Aquarium. Parking is available on site for $10, parking is available at Gators on the Pass for $5 with shuttle service to the festival, and free parking can be found at the Madeira Beach Fundamental School with free shuttle service offered to and from the festival.
Frenchy’s Stone Crab Weekend in Clearwater Beach
The Stone Crab Weekend event started in 1984 when Frenchy’s owner, Michael “Frenchy” Preston, began offering his signature stone crab claws to the public for just above cost. The tradition continues annually and has become a crowd favorite. With stone crab weekend season opening on October 15, it’s the perfect time of year to celebrate all things crab.
Frenchy’s 29th Annual Stone Crab Weekend offers a two-day block party on Friday, October 25 and Saturday, October 26 in celebration of those tasty claws. In addition to fresh-off-the-boat Florida stone crabs, guests can enjoy live local music, food and drink specials, kid-friendly activities, raffles and so much more. Specially discounted prices continue in the four Frenchy’s restaurant locations in Clearwater Beach through Sunday. Don’t miss out!
Cooters Crab Fest in Clearwater Beach
Another local celebration of the kick-off of stone crab season happens at Cooters Restaurant & Bar. The 20th Annual Cooters Crab Festival begins on Thursday, October 24 and continues through Sunday, October 27. This four-day party includes a special Crab Fest menu featuring Florida stone crab, King crab, Snow crab and Dungeness crab at specially reduced prices. Guests also enjoy live music under the stars and fabulous drink specials.
In addition to all of the seafood fun and festivities, don’t forget that Indian Rocks Beach has its Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest for kids ages 4-12 at Kolb Park this Saturday beginning at 11a.m. The kids won’t want to miss out!
Speaking of Indian Rocks Beach, it’s the perfect place to stay during your Gulf Coast vacation. The quiet, pristine shores and family-friendly atmosphere make it the ideal beach vacation destination. Indian Rocks Beach is close and convenient to all of your favorite Gulf Coast festivals and events, so you won’t miss a thing. It’s the best of both worlds!
Let us know if we’ll be seeing you at any of the local seafood celebrations this weekend. So much seafood; so little time. We hope to see you there!