This past weekend I attended the 34th Annual Destin Seafood Festival along the Harbor.
I have lived in this area since 1969 and have attended this festival practically every year as it has grown.
The festival was initially started in 1978 as a fund raiser for the local fishing fleet and to help bring people to Destin in the fall. It is held during October of every year during the World Famous Destin Fishing Rodeo, which runs from Oct 1-Oct 31.
The fishing rodeo has been in existence since 1948 and is a great time for the serious fisherman as well as the novice.
Food. Crafts. Fun!
The Destin Seafood Festival began to attract vendors from all around the country. Some shared with me that this is the one event they do not miss.
There are food booths from several local restaurants that not only include the usual seafood but also items like alligator. From shark bites to shrimp and grits to boudin balls and jambalaya…not to mention the funnel cakes! There is no lacking of food that is for sure.
There are also lots of vendors selling their unique handmade wares and often will be creating something right there for you to watch.
I fell in love with the metal artwork of various sea life. I really enjoy speaking with the vendors and listening to their stories on how they came up with their ideas. I am amazed at their creativity, especially since I lack in that department.
Did I mention the music??? This 3 day event has loads of musical entertainment spread out among the entire 3 days and at different locations in the festival.
I walked that festival several times and never found there to be a lull in some great music. No matter what your musical preference there was something for everyone.
The festival is held in the Harborwalk Village area and is about a mile stretch along the harbor and the docks that house the Destin Fishing Fleet. You can walk all along the boardwalk and see the boats coming in with their catch and even observe the weigh-in for the fishing rodeo.
I never tire of looking at the fleet as there are so many different boats with their unique personalities, and some have been around for decades. There are benches along the way to rest on and just enjoy the view.
No festival would be complete without rides and entertainment for the kids. There is an entire play area for the kids to work of some of that energy and the parents can rest.
I loved watching the kids in the “hamster balls” that float on water. They were hysterical to watch as they tried to stand up and stay standing while rolling the ball. The kids loved it and it had to be the most popular as the line never seemed to go down.
If you stay late enough you will get to view to the fireworks show over the harbor which is beautiful. I find people of all ages love to watch the fireworks show…that includes me. The harbor is gorgeous on its own but when the fireworks light up the area it is truly spectacular.
I hope that if you come to visit our lovely area during the Fall you will get a chance to experience the Destin Seafood Festival.
For those of us long time locals it is a ritual that we began as kids and now take our children and grandchildren to enjoy. So come on down and see what all the fuss is about!