Ocean Reef Resorts is gearing up for the arrival of many vacationers who are ready to enjoy a tasty annual tradition! The Destin Seafood Festival celebrates its 32nd annual event of delicious, delectable fun on Friday, September 17th thru Sunday, the 19th. The three day seafood extravaganza comes complete with live entertainment, arts and crafts venues as well as activities for the kids.
This Destin tradition started back in 1978 as members of the Charter Boat Ladies Auxiliary decided to create a festival to celebrate and aid local fishermen. To this day, portions of the proceeds are donated to the Destin Fisherman's Fund to help those in need. It began as a one day festivity on “Kelly's Hill” which overlooked Destin Harbor and is the current site of HarborWalk Village. It coincided with the Destin Fishing Rodeo and was always held during the month of October. The event was a huge success and was turned over to the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce in 1980 who expanded it to cover three days. Over twenty thousand have attended in recent years. This year, for the first time ever, the seafood festival will be held as a prelude to the Destin Fishing Rodeo which runs through the entire month of October.
The Destin Harbor location for this event provides the perfect backdrop as it overlooks the marina and the gorgeous emerald green waters of the Gulf and beyond. All the local Destin restaurants will be serving up their best seafood specialties on the docks extending up to the site of the new Royal Melvin Heritage Park and to Fisherman's Wharf. Beer, wine and other beverages will help you cool off as you stroll from one sumptuous sampling to another. A variety of arts and crafts people will be on hand displaying their unique wares of jewelry, hats, clothing, sculpture, glass, watercolors, oil paintings and even seafood festival T shirts. There is also a kid's play area which will be available for the toddler set as well as some organized children activities.
Throughout this Destin event there will be some fantastic live entertainment on stage, which is included with the simple price of admission. The gates open at 4pm on Friday with an official, formal opening ceremony at 6pm with Mayor Sam Seevers and the new Miss Destin officiating. Immediately afterwards, Black Eyed Blonde will be performing on stage playing everything from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Led Zeppelin to The Beatles! At 8pm, we are fortunate to have play many of their greatest hits. These songs will include golden oldies from Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship as well as today's new releases. The event concludes at 10pm.
On Saturday, gates are open from 10am to 10pm. Live entertainment begins at 6pm with the Forrest Williams Band. This group specializes in a special type of “layered” acoustical guitar and a “mean” harmonica. The range of their sound covers everything from country and soul to good old Rock n Roll. At 8pm the big, party rock sound of Loverboy hits the stage. This Canadian group provides a very high energy show and will be playing their multiple Gold and Platinum hits from the 80's thru today!
On Sunday, the gates open at 11am and close at 4pm. The casual, light musical fare for a marvelous afternoon starts with the Sal Salaz Project at noon. Starring Stephanie Pettis and Rio, this group plays a variety of Brazilian tropical music, light jazz, reggae as well as some blues. At 2pm, Destin's own local favorite, Jones and Company will be playing. They have been voted the Best Band on the Emerald Coast in local surveys. This passionate group has great vocals and some awesome sax sounds as they perform blues and reggae as well as party dance tune, fun nostalgic classics and some new tunes.
Tickets for this three day event may be purchased in advance at the Destin Chamber of Commerce for a total of $15. Tickets at the gate are only $5 Friday and $10 on Saturday and Sunday. Ocean Reef Resorts will be glad to help you make reservations to come on down to Destin, joining others who attend this on-going seafood tradition. Just get ready for some great feasting, frolicking and fun!