is National Seafood month and what better place is there to enjoy
fresh seafood than at The Beach on Northwest Florida’s gulf coast.
Take a fish or shellfish to lunch when you show up at one of the many fall foodie festivals taking place all across the 227-mile
coastline of The Beach. Local chefs will be cooking up everything from shrimp to barbecue
to German sausages.
The action starts in late September each year and
continues through the month of November. Join thousands of visitors who venture to these sugar-sand shores for great food, fine wine and live music.
Here you’ll find fish and shellfish boiled, fried, blackened,
sautéed, raw and as the featured item in many original culinary
Check out competitions between the best local cooks, mouth-watering recipes from area
restaurants as well as the best vintage wines and home brews. The festivals are like one long progressive dinner and
Grab a handful of napkins, check out the
menu and dig in to fall culinary travel at The Beach.
Here are the
Annual Pensacola Seafood Festival
Friday, Sept. 25, Noon – 11 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26, 10 a.m. –
11 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 27, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Square in downtown Pensacola, 850-433-6512
Tthe Pensacola Seafood Festival is one of
the Southeast Tourism Society’s “Top 20 Events in the Southeast,”
and one of the largest events in Florida, with over 100,000 in
Area chefs offer selections that include fried grouper,
blackened mahi mahi, and Pensacola crab ball, while festival goers
enjoy the arts and crafts of over 175 vendors. Live music by a dozen local bands,
cooking demonstrations, a 5K walk/run, a Splash Dog competition and
children’s activities make this three-day event an area favorite.
Admission is free.
Annual Destin Seafood Festival
Friday, Oct. 2, 4 - 10 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 3, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m., and
Sunday, Oct. 4,
a.m. - 4 p.m.
Village on the Destin Harbor, 850-837-2711
listed in the Southeast Tourism Society’s “Top 20 Events in the
Southeast,” the Destin Seafood Festival offers fresh seafood
prepared by some of the area’s most popular restaurants, while
local bands share the stage with top national music makers.
year’s headliners are Survivor and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.
Children’s activities and arts and crafts booths overlook the
Destin Harbor where the month-long Destin Fishing Rodeo takes place
Festival goers can watch the afternoon weigh-ins on the
docks as anglers compete for cash and prizes.
Around 36,000 people
attend the three-day event.
Admission for all three days is $15, or
you may purchase daily admission bands for $5 each for Friday and
Sunday and $10 for Saturday.
2 & 3, 2009
Friday, Oct. 2, 5 – 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Avenue, downtown Panama City, 850-785-2554
out the lederhosen it’s Oktoberfest time.
Each year downtown Panama
City is transformed into a German-style village, with accordion
players, carnival rides, sausage eating contests and lots of food and
Tthis beer and brats fest annually attracts more than 25,000 people.
Family activities include clowns and face painting for the kids, and
beer tastings and polka dancing for the grown-ups.
Admission is free.
Annual Blue Jeans & BBQ
Saturday, Oct. 3, 3 – 9 p.m.
Ranch, 5097 Berryhill Road in Milton, 850-208-7122
a food festival and a bull riding competition, Blue Jeans & BBQ
shows off the country side of The Beach and includes arts and crafts
vendors and children’s activities.
There are Kiddie Korral games
from 3-7 p.m., and the bull riding competition from 7 - 9 p.m., as
well as live entertainment, lots of down-home BBQ, and drawings.
Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.
Tickets are $10 each
prior to the event or $15 at the door. Children 5 and under are free.
All funds raised from the event go to Covenant Hospice.
October 9 &
Friday, Oct. 9, 5-9 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 10, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
of Italy Lodge, 808 South Dr., Fort Walton Beach, 850-651-4008
by the Sons of Italy Lodge #2422, Festa Italiana is an old fashioned
street festival with authentic Italian food and live entertainment.
Admission is free.
George Island Oyster Spat Festival
- October 9
& 10, 2009
(Eastern Time Zone) events at various times starting at 8 a.m.
George Island on the beach, 850-653-8678 (Franklin County TDC)
reign supreme at this festival on St. George Island that includes a
parade, a treasure hunt, live music and a 5K race.
Area residents are
proud of their long-standing oystering, fishing and shrimping
traditions, and with 90% of Florida oysters coming from the
Apalachicola Bay, they have lots of facts about the humble mollusk.
For instance, an oyster spat is a baby oyster that has just passed
the larva stage and has attached itself to its home base. Who knew?
goers can attach themselves to plates of oysters and other seafood at
this two-day festival on the beach.
City Beach Seafood, Wine & Music Festival
Friday, Oct. 9, 4 - 11 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 10, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.,
Sunday, Oct. 11,
a.m. -11 p.m.
Brown Park on Hwy 98 (Back Beach Road) across from Pier Park, Panama
three ever popular activities into one huge event, the Panama City
Beach Seafood, Wine & Music Festival pairs daily wine tastings
with celebrity chef exhibitions and nationally known performers in
jazz, rock, reggae and country music.
The 2009 stars include Grand
Funk Railroad, Julianne Hough, John Anderson, and STYX.
celebration of seafood and fun also hosts a classic car show,
antiques vendors, arts and crafts, and features wine from local and
nationally recognized vineyards.
Bring a lawn chair or a blanket for
Advanced tickets start at $15 per person per day. Children
12 and under are free. Parking is $5 per car per day.
Annual Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival
Hours: Friday, Oct. 16 at 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 17 at 9 a.m.,
Sunday, Oct. 18 at 10 a.m.
Festival Grounds, State Road 85 North at College Blvd., Niceville
main attractions for this fishy weekend are mullet and music,
especially fried mullet, and country music by this year’s
headliners, Blake Shelton, Chuck Wicks and Billy Ray Cyrus.
after the mullet, a fish found in abundance in the local waters, the
Boggy Bayou Mullet festival features an arts and crafts show, a
juried art show and handmade and decorated clothing in the Boutique
Additionally, more than 40,000 hungry mullet fans will consume
up to 10 tons of this humble fish during the three-day festival along
with seafood, international foods, Cajun and country cooking.
Admission is $10 per person and includes all entertainment. Children
11 and under are free.
Annual Mexico Beach Art & Wine Festival
Saturday, Oct. 17, 2 – 10 p.m.
Inn, 2105 Highway 98, Mexico Beach, 850-648-8196
sleepy gulf coast town of Mexico Beach comes alive with fine artists
and fine wine at the annual Mexico Beach Art & Wine Festival.
Over 30 artists from across the country display their artwork and vie
for over $2,000 in prize money.
Patrons enjoy live entertainment
while they peruse the artists’ works, sipping great wines and
sampling great food from local restaurants.
Tickets are $10 per
person and all proceeds go to Special Events of Mexico Beach.
of The Beach
Events at various times and locations over four days
newest of the Northwest Florida food festivals, Taste of The Beach is
like a progressive dinner, stretching through three gulf coast
counties over a four day period.
Southern Wine & Spirits is the
exclusive distributor for Taste of The Beach. They and their
suppliers provide the wine for this culinary and cultural charity
fund raiser which offers wine dinners and walk-about food events in
It all starts on Thursday, November 5 with Taste
of The Destin Harbor, located at the Emerald Grande overlooking East
Pass and the harbor in Destin.
From there progress to Taste of Bay at
Pier Park in Panama City Beach, Seeing Red Wine Festival in Seaside,
and Taste of The Beach & Charity Auction at the Hilton Sandestin
Beach in Miramar Beach. Also included is the Telluride MountainFilm
on Tour festival at Watercolor.
Ticket prices vary by event and
proceeds benefit regional children’s advocacy and medical
Annual Florida Seafood Festival
6 & 7, 2009
(Eastern Time Zone) Friday, Nov. 6, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday,
Nov. 7, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Park, downtown Apalachicola, 888-653-8011
first and oldest seafood festival, established in 1963, the Florida
Seafood Festival takes place in downtown historic Apalachicola at the
mouth of the Apalachicola River.
The highlight of the two-day event
is the Oyster Shucking Contest followed by the Oyster Eating Contest. Some participants have been known to eat as many as 300 oysters in
the allotted 15 minutes of time.
Mounds of seafood prepared by local
residents, arts and crafts, live music, blue crab races, a parade,
the blessing of the fleet, and the crowning of Miss Florida Seafood
Festival, make this piece of forgotten Florida a don’t-miss event.