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Seafood Festivals

Updated on March 29, 2014

Seafood Festivals of the World

Seafood festivals are popular events for lovers of all kinds of fish, shellfish and other seafood delicacies.

Throughout North America, seafood festivals celebrate regional delicacies. American festivals are common from Maine to Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Pacific Coast.

Seafood festivals are popular in most fish and shellfish producing countries such as the USA, Canada, Norway, the UK, Austrailia and other regions.

Seafood Festivals

Seafood festivals are a great way to celebrate the seasons and enjoy a few hours of relaxation and of course, sample some great seafood. Some seafood festivals focus on one delicacy, such as lobsters, oysters, shrimp or crabs.

Other events will have a broader approach, with many of the local varieties of local seafood on hand. Often one price gets you in a festival with many items available for no further charge. Other festivals simply change an admission price and then provide an array of vendors who sell specialty seafood creations and other fun foods.

New England Seafood Festivals

Working Waterfront Festival

The Working Waterfront Festival takes place in New Bedford, America's largest commercial fishing port. This event showcases commercial fishing, America's oldest industry. The Working Waterfront Festival is held. The festival includes New England seafood as well as exhibits on the culture and traditions of the commercial fishing industry.

The Working Waterfront Festival is a project of the Community Economic Development Center of Southeastern MA, a non-profit organization. The FREE festival, a family friendly, educational celebration of New England's commercial fishing industry, features live maritime and ethnic music, fishermen's contests, fresh seafood, vessel tours, author readings, cooking demonstrations, kid's activities and more.

For more information visit www.workingwaterfrontfestival.org.

New Hampshire Fish & Lobster Festival

The New Hampshire Fish & Lobster Festival Celebrates 400 Years of local seafood harvests. Walk the decks of a local fishing boat, taste freshly landed local seafood prepared by top chefs, investigate the Gulf of Maine ecosystem, learn to identify and prepare local fish, sing a song and hear a tale or two.

This interactive festival celebrates 18 miles and 400 years of N.H. fishing communities and traditions. The festival is a made possible thru a collaboration between the Prescott Park Arts Festival, City of Portsmouth Fishing Industry Committee, UNH Sea Grant, Seacoast Local, Seacoast Eat Local, and Slow Food Seacoast.

For more information, visit www.prescottpark.org

Hampton Beach Seafood Festival

The Hampton Beach Seafood Festival showcases 55 of the Seacoast's top restaurants serving an abundance of mouthwatering New England seafood. The event features 39,000 square feet of covered tent space where 80 Arts & Crafts vendors offer locally made products. Local merchants offering end-of-the-season sales are located nearby.

The Hampton Beach Seafood Festival has become the largest non-spectator event held in the state of New Hampshire. The three day festival draws crowds of tourists and locals alike with attendance currently estimated as exceeding 150,000!

The Hampton Beach Seafood Festival has once again been honored with the prestigious award of being "One of the Top 100 Events in North America", by the American Bus Association in 2009. Award winners are chosen from hundreds of celebrations, festivals, fairs, commemorative events, and more that have been nominated by state tourism offices and local and regional convention and visitors' bureaus.

The Seafood Festival has been awarded the "Top 100" designation four times in the past, in 1996, 2001, 2003, 2006, and 2008. Being on the list brings an obvious boost in tourism in the area by increasing the exposure of the event as a designation for bus tours during the Festival.

For more information, visit www.hamptonbeachseafoodfestival.com

Maine Harvest on the Harbor

In 2008, Harvest on the Harbor was named one of the "Top Ten Seafood and Wine Festivals" by Coastal Living magazine and it was attended by more than 3,000 foodies from Maine and around the country.

Wellfleet OysterFest

The annual Wellfleet OysterFest takes place the weekend after Columbus Day, in Wellfleet, Cape Cod, Mass. This two-day street party celebrates the town's famous oysters, clams and shellfishing traditions and brings together locals and visitors alike for a weekend full of hometown flavor and big time fun.

Hatteras Village, NC Annual Day at the Docks Celebration

Festivities typically begin on the working waterfront at 10 a.m. and run until 5 p.m.

This festival features things like a chowder cook-off contest, seafood cooking demonstrations, commercial fishing boats, charter boats, and fishing gear displays and more.

Captains and crews demonstrate the tools and skills working watermen use at sea. Exhibits feature pound nets, gill nets, crab pots, tuna kites, long lines, and circle hooks. Watermen and festival-goers compete in a net hanging contest, an anglers' tug-o-war, and a concrete marlin competition.

Exhibits on fishing regulations, boating safety, and marine resource conservation and free skin cancer screening are other features of the event.

Special activities for children include a fishing contest, fish identification game, blue crab races, and saltmarsh seine net exploration.

Late in the day the local fishing fleet sails into the harbor for the Blessing of the Fleet.

FCF - CCCWF Meet the Fleet party

The Faces of California Fishing and the California Central Coast Women for Fisheries host an annual "Meet the Fleet" party featuring fresh, local, complimentary seafood to celebrate the real faces and stories behind California fishing.

The Faces of California Fishing is an initiative to promote the real stories and people behind California's fishing communities. Consumers can support them and get quality fish by eating safe, fresh local seafood.

Mendocino Crab and Wine Days

Mendocino Crab and Wine Days in Mendocino County California USA

The Mendocino Crab and Wine Days is said to be one of America's best Seafood & Wine Festivals. Events during the festival include: all-you-can-eat crab feeds, winemaker's dinners, wine competitions, crab cruises, cooking classes, family-style cioppino feeds and crab cake cook off. Events are held throughout the county. For more information and a listing of events go to gomendo.com or call 1-866-GoMendo.

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The Louisiana Seafood Festival

The Louisiana Seafood Festival celebrates extraordinary local cuisine. Starting with everything fresh from the water, famous local chefs cook shrimp, oysters, crawfish, crab and alligator. Mouth watering choices... grilled, boiled, fried and barbequed create a seafood festival feast!

Maryland Seafood Festivals

Maryland Seafood Festival

The Maryland Seafood Festival is a rich tradition in the State and has been held annually for 40+ years, with the most recent 30 years being held the weekend after Labor Day at Sandy Point State Park.

J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake in Crisfield Maryland

Held every year on the third Wednesday in July at Somers Cove Marina in Crisfield, this annual celebration is named in honor of Crisfield native, J. Millard Tawes - the 54th Governor of the State of Maryland. This event is an outdoor all-you-can-eat affair featuring crabs, clams, fish, corn on the cob, and watermelon and politicians.

Crisfield Waterman's Festival

The Crisfield Waterman's Festival serves steamed crabs, oysters, fried and on the half shell, fried fish, clam strips, grilled chicken and more. This October event is held on the Somers Cove Marina grounds.

St. Mary's County Crab Festival

The Crab Festival is a celebration of St. Mary's Crab Culture and Cooking. The event has steamed hard crabs, crab soups, crab cakes, and other seafood dishes available for purchase.

Worlds Largest Salmon Barbeque

The "Worlds Largest Salmon Barbeque" is held on the 4th of July along California's Mendocino Coast. The barbeque began in 1970 as a way to raise money for salmon restoration programs in Mendocino County.

The event is sponsored by the Salmon Restoration Association of California, a group of civic leaders and commercial fishermen. Proceeds from the barbeque go towards rebuilding salmon resources and funding projects that tackle such issues as in-stream flow, pollution, and land-use practices.

Great American Seafood Cook-Off

Accomplished chefs from throughout the United States gather in New Orleans for the Great American Seafood Cook-Off, which is presented by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board.

The event, which has featured both up-and-coming and celebrity chefs over the years, underscores the importance of cooking with domestic seafood and encourages the use of products from sustainable fisheries.

NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service, the event's chief sponsor, uses the cook-off to highlight to American seafood consumers the agency's management of the Nation's marine ecosystems.

For more information see: www.greatamericanseafoodcookoff.com

Virginia Seafood Festivals

Eastern Shore of Virginia Seafood Festival

The mother of all Virginia seafood feasts! This event serves oysters, clams, scallops and fresh fish served all-you-can-eat treat at Tom's Cove Campground on Chincoteague Island. For more information visit www.esvachamber.org

The fall festival in Chincoteague Island Virginia serves raw oysters on the half shell as well as steamed, single fried, and oyster fritters. Other food includes clams on the half shell, clam chowder, clam fritters, steamed crabs, cole slaw, potato salad, hush puppies, hot dogs and Pepsi. For more information, visit www.chincoteagueoysterfestival.com

Urbanna Oyster Festival

The Annual Urbanna Oyster Festival is held in November in Urbanna Virginia. The event is sponsored by the Urbanna Oyster Festival Foundation, a non-profit organization. Crowds for the two-day event number nearly 75,000. The event has over 125 food and craft booths and the Fireman's Parade features over 80 engines of every size and description. For more information, visit www.urbannaoysterfestival.com

Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival

The Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival is the annual celebration of the region's diverse bounty - the seafood, the maritime and cultural traditions and the breathtaking coastal environment.

The festival's featured crustacean, the Dungeness Crab, was named after the village of Dungeness (near Port Angeles), Washington.

Florida Seafood Festivals

Florida Seafood Festival

The Florida Seafood Festival is a two day event annually drawing thousands of visitors to the historic town of Apalachicola in scenic Franklin County .The Festival is held at the mouth of the Apalachicola river under the shady oaks of Apalachicola's Battery Park. The festival features delicious seafood, arts and crafts exhibits, seafood related events, Musical Entertainment. Some of the notable events include Oyster Eating and Oyster Shucking contest, Blue Crab Races, Cooking Contest ,Parade, 5k Redfish Run and The Blessing of the Fleet.

Sebastian Clambake and Lagoon Festival

The Sebastian Clambake and Lagoon Festival celebrates Florida farm-raised clams with educational exhibits, concerts, a carnival, historical re-enactors of early area settlers and plenty of Florida seafood. The non-profit event chooses a local charitable or public-purpose project to benefit from the proceeds each year.

Ruskin Seafood Festival

Ruskin's Annual Seafood Festival, held at E.G. Simmons pristine waterfront park right on Tampa Bay, features sun, fun and seafood. The seafood festival is Hillsborough County's largest community event with over 18,000 in attendance. Feast on lobster, oysters, clams, grouper, mullet, shrimp and much more.

Grant Seafood Festival

The Grant Seafood Festival features delicious seafood freshly prepared by the local community. What sets this seafood festival apart from others is that it runs through a 100% volunteer effort! All preparation , whether it be on the grounds or with the purchasing, cooking or serving of the various menu items is accomplished by volunteers of the community.

Florida Keys Seafood Festival

The Florida Keys Seafood Festival is put on by the Florida Keys Commercial Fisherman's Association. The festival features seafood including fried fish, lobster, shrimp, stone grab, golden grab, conch chowder, conch fritters and other local foods such as key lime pie. The event also has marine exhibits, arts and crafts exhibits, and displays from local non-profit groups.

Cedar Key Seafood Festival

The Annual Cedar Key Seafood Festival is held at Cedar Key City Park. The festival celebrates the area's fishing heritage with two days of seafood, music, and fun. During the festival, groups, clubs, nonprofits, and seafood associations serve fresh grouper sandwiches, oysters, clams, clam fritters, crab cakes, smoked mullet, and other Florida seafood. The festival also features arts and crafts exhibits, live music and other events.

CATCH - The Nova Scotia Seafood Festival

CATCH is a premier showcase of Nova Scotia’s seafood products to be celebrated over the first weekend of the summer. The festival features special events and activities including celebrity food guests, culinary competitions, seafood and wine pairing events.

Galway Ireland Oyster Festival

Held in Aras Failte, Galway, Ireland

The Galway Oyster Festival has evolved from very modest beginnings. In September 1954, 34 guests attended the very first Oyster Festival Banquet. The idea presented itself when in 1953, Brian Collins, manager of the Great Southern Hotel was facing a bleak September with a deserted hotel.

Brian was mulling over the challenge of filling his hotel by extending the tourist season into September when the head chef recommended that oysters be included on their menu as they had just come into season. Eureka! Therein born the idea of celebrating the opening of the oyster season with a festival and the creation of what is now regarded as one of the most celebrated and longest running festivals in the world.

Australia Seafood Festivals

Queenscliff Seafood Feast

The annual Queenscliff Seafood Feast is Australia's biggest culinary celebration with the freshest of seafood available, with all proceeds going to the Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal.

Held on Good Friday, the event is recognized by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority as the largest and best seafood event in Australia. The festival attracts thousands to this family friendly feast in search of fresh seafood.

What is your favorite seafood or seafood festival?

Festival Feedback

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    • biminibahamas profile image

      biminibahamas 5 years ago

      Fun lens! Be sure to stop by the Everglades seafood festival if you are eve in SW Florida ... it is a crazy good time, LOL!

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      oystereater 6 years ago

      love seafood festivals, great page!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      These sound like a lot of fun - and made me rather hungry for seafood.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Sea food is quite tasty and is nutritious also. Rich in vitamins and nutrients it has low cholesterols.