Being situated along the Gulf makes Tampa a seafood lover’s paradise. While we’re home to some incredible seafood restaurants, there are also several fun and unique ways to get your seafood fix throughout the year without sitting at a table or making a reservation.
Tampa has some amazing festivals throughout the year, from art fests to music and food fests. A few times a year, locals and visitors can also catch several seafood festivals around town. Here are a few annual ones that you’ll definitely want to add to your calendar starting with summer and going into 2024. Make sure to keep checking back for updates and new dates.
Summer Rum & Seafood Festival
When: June 3, 2023 from 4pm-10pm
Where: Tampa Premium Outlets, 2300 Grandt Cypress Dr, Lutz, FL
Indulge in free rum sampling from local and national distilleries and enjoy a selection of signature rum cocktails at the exclusive rum cocktail bar. Feel like a true pirate as you take part in crab races, pirate ship photo stops, and meet Captain Seb, nationally-acllaimed Jack Sparrow lookalike! If you’re a music lover, get ready to be blown away by live performances from some of the best local bands, including the Best of Both Worlds – Van Halen/Sammy Hagar tribute band.
This event is perfect for anyone who loves seafood, rum, and a good time. Celebrate the flavors of summer with over 12 seafood vendors and several local Wesley Chapel restaurants.
Cost: $10 General Admission for adults 18+ (children under 18 are free). VIP passes are $70 and include express entry, commemorative re-usable rum bucket for larger drinks, fast pass VIP entry to distillery bar, Gold Pass access to VIP tent with seating, tables, cooling fans, and private restroom.
5th Annual Siesta Beach Seafood & Music Festival
When: December 1-3, 2023
Where: Siesta Key Pavilion, 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key, FL
Head down to Sarasota for this delicious annual event! The event takes place Friday, December 1 from 12pm-9pm, Saturday from 11am-9pm, and Sunday from 11am-6pm. Bring your family and friends to enjoy fresh seafood and outstanding live musical performances.
This event will offer a variety of seafood, cooked fresh on site using fresh, local and sustainable ocean resources right from the Florida Gulf Coast. Guests cna choose from meat and vegetarian offerings and a diverse menu of side dishes and desserts. Alcoholic, non-alcoholic and fruit drinks will be available.
There will also be a marketplace with arts, crafts, and select fine products and food items.
42nd Annual John’s Pass Seafood Festival
When: January 19-21, 2024
Where: 12902 Village Blvd, Madeira Beach, FL
The historic John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk in Madeira Beach will once again become a venue for a large celebration of fresh gulf seafood. The three-day outdoor event features hundreds of local vendors offering a plethora of seafood, an arts and crafts show, live music, and various family and friends activities.
Cost: Free admission. Food prices vary.
8th Annual Sarasota Seafood & Music Festival
When: January 26-28, 2024
Where: JD Hamel Park – 199 Bayfront Dr, Sarasota, FL
Get outdoors and enjoy a weekend full of pure relaxation, great food, and wonderful live music. The festivities and relaxation begin Friday evening from 4pm-10pm, continuing Saturday 11-10 and Sunday 11-6. The event is produced by Paragon Festivals, hosted by the Downtown Sarasota Enrichment Association with the Humane Society of Sarasota County the event’s Special Guest.
Choose entrees (seafood, meat and vegetarian) cooked fresh onsite. Select from a diversity of side dishes, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and of course – scrumptious desserts!
Relax to live musical performances by some of Florida’s top musical talents in such genres as R&B, blues, jazz, rock, soul and more. Scheduled performances last year were from Christal Shawanda, Dirty Byrd, Kara Nally, Randy Stephens & the Grove Makers, Kettle of fish, Twinkle, K-Luv and United Funk Foundation, One Night Radio, Sarasota Steel Pan Band, JP Soars & The Red Hots, and Gas House Gorilla.
There will also be a marketplace of arts and crafts along with gourmet food items and specialty products. Enjoy shopping during the breaks between band performances!
Cost; Admission is free. Food prices vary.
Annual St. Petersburg Seafood & Music Festival
When: TBD (typically held in February)
Where: North Straub Park, 400 Bayshore Dr, NE, St. Petersburg, FL
Select from delectable foods cooked onsite incorporating the freshest ingredients. A variety of seafood entrees and vegetarian dishes will be available along with an array of side dishes and desserts, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. While you’re enjoying your food, sit back and relax and enjoy the live on-stage performances by local and regional artists.
Bring your friends and family to enjoy the food, music, and beautiful views of downtown St. Pete. As an added bonus, there will also be a marketplace of arts, crafts, and other fine products.
Cost: $5 admission
53rd Annual Cedar Key Seafood Festival
When: October 21 & 22
Where: Beach-side City Park
When you’re ready to slow down to island time to bond with your fellow foodie, spend a few romantic days in Cedar Key to enjoy the Annual Cedar Key Seafood Festival. This charming, sleepy village town — which has just about 800 full-time residents — comes to life when its historic 2nd Street boasts over 100 arts and crafts exhibitors, live music by local musicians and, of course, plenty of seafood and downhome fare.
Pro tip: get the clam chowder! Because, surprisingly, this little gem of a place shines in the commercial clamming market. Who knew, right?
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