2011 Destin Seafood Festival

A Party Down on the Docks

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Ocean Reef is pleased to announce that The 2011 Destin Seafood Festival kicks off its popular 33rd annual event on Friday September 30th from 4:00 to 10:00 pm. Last year over 30,000 people attended this exciting and delectable feast which comes complete with live musical entertainment over the course the three day extravaganza. Many more visitors are expected to attend this year's event perhaps setting records. That should come as no surprise however since this year's Destin Seafood Festival is being sponsored by the Destin Charter Boat Association with free admittance for all three days. Event hours besides Friday’s 4 to 10 run Saturday, October 1st from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm and on Sunday, October 2nd from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The first Destin Seafood Festival was organized by the Charter Boat Auxiliary back in 1978 to raise money for those boating angler families who might be in need. It originally was held on Destin Harbor on what was called “Kelly Hill” which is where the Lucky Snapper Restaurant stands today. For several years the event was moved away from the water  to interior parts of Destin due to major construction related to Harborwalk Village. Last year it returned back onto the harbor which is more in keeping with the traditional setting which celebrates Destin's local heritage. It also coincides with the kick off of the Destin Fishing Rodeo which runs throughout the entire month of October with thousands of dollars being awarded to lucky anglers with the largest catch in a variety of different categories. Since Destin has the largest private charter fishing fleet in the entire state of Florida and indeed anywhere on the Gulf of Mexico, tens of thousands flock here for this tournament alone. The marina and gorgeous Destin Harbor make for a perfect background for the Destin Seafood Festival since charter boats with lucky anglers on board unload their own fresh catches on the docks daily.

Over twenty one different food vendors will be serving up fresh delicious seafood including fried Southern, sweet Caribbean, spicy Cajun and Exotic Island styled entrees or hors d’oeuvres. The event grounds start at the Destin Marina and then extend past AJ's, Royal Melvin Heritage Park, Fisherman's Wharf, Dewey Destin's Harborside and The Boathouse Oyster Bar. Other restaurants will also be offering their own specials at Destin's adjacent Harborwalk Village including The Grand Vista Bar & Grill, Harry T's, Poppy's Crazy Lobster Bar, The Dancing Iguana and The Shed.

In addition to the seafood feast there will be live music on multiple stages which includes a main stage at The Harborwalk Village outdoor amphitheatre and another one in between Fisherman's Wharf and Dewey Destin's Harborside Restaurant. More live music will be played at AJ's on two stages as well as Harry T's, The Dancing Iguana, Poppy's Crazy Lobster and The Shed.  Musicians include local favorites Dread Clampitt, Heritage and The Forrest Williams Band. Dread Clampitt often plays at Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin and at The Red Bar in Grayton Beach with an eclectic sound that blends Bluegrass with Rock. The Heritage Band specializes in what they call Hawaiian Surf Rock which is quite fun and energetic. The Forrest Williams Band features “layered” acoustical guitars with a wild harmonica accompaniment playing everything from country soul to Rock n Roll. Performing musical artists and songwriters from Nashville will be performing as well including the rising star known as Andy Velo. This young man is originally from Suwanee, Georgia and specializes in classic country and new country music with an uplifting, high energy sound. He has recently released a new single hitting the nation's airwaves called Hank it Up This hit single includes an All Star lineup with guitarist Pat Buchanan, key board player Tim Lauer and drummer Paul Leim.

Harborwalk Village Destin
Besides great live entertainment and delectable seafood, there will be a lot of local artists and crafts people displaying their original creations. According to Events Coordinator Melissa Steffen, “there is going to be something for everyone” since this year’s planners have included a wider array of artists to join in the celebration. Expect to see a wide array of unique arts and crafts including unique jewelry, sculpture, glass, watercolors, oil paintings, mixed mediums, prints, hats and commemorative articles of clothing. There will also be fun stuff for the kids as well with some costumed characters and face painting.

Ocean Reef will be happy to accommodate you with hospitable quarters during your stay. Just check out our pictorials to find the perfect Destin vacation rental property nearby that will fulfill the desires of your family and friends. In the meantime get ready to “eat, drink and be merry” at this memorable, frolicking feast!