A Seafood Festival snapshot: Food, music, weather, parking

Matt Algarin
The 35th annual Destin Seafood Festival is expected to bring in tens of thousands of people, but weather could be a factor as a possible tropical depression may be taking shape in the Gulf of Mexico.

UPDATE: Due to the formation of Tropical Storm Karen in the Gulf of Mexico, Destin has been placed under a hurricane watch. The 35th Annual Destin Seafood Festival has been canceled. Tropical Storm Karen is expected to make landfall in Northwest Florida this weekend. For Seafood Festival updates please see www.destinseafoodfestival.org.


Friday, Oct. 4 - 4 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 5 - 10 a.m.  to 10 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 6 - 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


The 35th annual festival will stretch 1.5-miles along the Destin harbor from HarborWalk Village on the west to Harbor Heron on the east. The festival is free, but donations will be accepted at the door.


Seafood Festival organizers are closely monitoring the weather. On Wednesday they posted: "We want to let everyone know that as of right now, we are still a go for the Destin Seafood Festival."


The festival will feature a mix of both local and coastal musicians, playing everything from rock and reggae to country and tropical music along the harbor.

This year's festival will feature six different stages located throughout the festival grounds. Live music locations are the Destin City Stage (Main Stage), Heron Harbor Stage, HarborWalk Village Stage, Harry T's Lighthouse, Coyote Ugly, AJ's Seafood and Oyster Bar (Tiki Stage downstairs and Club Stage upstairs) and Boathouse Oyster Bar

Artists include local favorites Chronic Jester, Season Ammons, Heritage, Chris Alvarado, the Coconut String Band, the Owsley Brothers, the Forrest Williams Band, RED 423, Jones and Company, Cadillac Willy, Jacob Moore, Scott Rockwood, Wes Heath, Ronnie Satterfield, Ike Bartley, J.B. Dyess, Bill Garret, and Parker James Willingham. Headliners at HarborWalk Village include the rising country music sensation Andy Velo Band and Louis Prima Jr., son of the famed American singer, actor, songwriter, and trumpeter. 

CLICK THROUGH THE SEAFOOD FEST: Your guide to the vendors, music and food


The festival will feature 80 arts and crafts vendors for attendees to browse through. An array of products will be on display as vendors offer everything from hats and jewelry to ceramic pieces, paintings and home decor. DETAILS


As the seafood festival, one can't forget one of the main stars — the food. With 25 food vendors and local restaurants represented there will be no shortage of tasty tidbits and fresh seafood. This year's festival will feature the culinary creations of AJ's Seafood & Oyster Bar, Crab Island Cantina, Fisherman's Wharf, Dewey Destin's, The Boathouse Oyster Bar, Tucker Dukes, Deep South Sno Treats, Travinia Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar and plenty of others. So whether you are looking for some fresh fish or a funnel cake, visitors are sure to find what their taste buds crave.


Festival parking will be in the vicinity of the event at HarborWalk Village, Heron Harbor, the Destin Community Center, the Destin History and Fishing Museum, the city's Marler parking lot and other participating harbor front businesses. A shuttle bus will also pickup festival goers from the side parking lot at Lively Cinemas.


The family friendly festival will feature three separate kids’ areas with activities and games for all ages. One highlight will be Capt. Davies "Pirate Village on the Boardwalk" at Heron Harbor with free face painting and pirate tattoos, free magic shows and Molly the Mermaid.


While strolling along the boardwalks, watch the fishing boats unload their catches daily. Or settle in on the bleachers behind AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar and watch the daily weigh-ins at the 65th Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo.