Top 9 Seafood Festivals You Can’t Miss

by Nikolai Nikitenko September 08, 2017

Top 9 Seafood Festivals You Can’t Miss

Top 9 Seafood Festivals You Can't Miss

We love seafood in America. Sweet, salty, briny, and delicious--these tasty morsels from the waters off our coasts have sustained our society for centuries. It’s time we paid a little tribute to these wonderful ocean delights. Around the country, towns and regions have celebrated the foods of their local area. Top seafood festivals in the US are the perfect way to demonstrate the love of the culinary treat and show pride in the community. Here are the Top 9 Seafood Festivals You Can’t Miss around the United States.

Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival


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A visit to Amelia Island is a step back into the old Victorian charm. Going on its 55th year of celebration, the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival occurs each year in May. Northeastern Floridians and Southeastern Georgians flock each year for a family-oriented celebration of the shrimping industry that has shaped this area.

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Kick off one of the top fish and shrimp festivals in the US by wearing your best pirate wear as the fest begins with a pirate parade. Watch the parade of decorated shrimp boats and become part of the living history of Amelia Island. The festival features musicians, crafts, antiques and wares, and of course plenty of shrimp prepared in a variety of delectable ways.

  • Gumbo
  • Shrimp Fritters
  • Shrimp Pie
  • Tequila Lime Fried Shrimp
  • Crab Caviar

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Location: Fernandina Beach (Amelia Island), Florida
Date: First weekend in May (2018: May 4th - May 6th)
Ticket Price: Free admission

Chowder, Blues & Wine Walk


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As October rolls around, the Oregon coast is boasting fabulous weather and an opportune time to partake in some truly delicious chowder. The Chowder, Blues and Wine Walk is a good old fashion cook-off, where contest competitors enter their masterful chowder recipes in hopes to be crowned king! 

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Come and sample the entries and vote for your favorite to be awarded the People’s Choice Awards. If the thought of creamy rich chowder wasn’t enough to draw you in, you can also look forward to the abundance of microbreweries and wineries aimed to satisfy your thirst and blues artists ready to entertain you with northwest flair.

Location: Florence, Oregon
Date: First weekend in October (2018: October 7th - October 8th)
Ticket Price: Free admission

Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival


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More than crab, the Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival is a tribute to maritime traditions, aquaculture, and agriculture that continues to transform this area of the Olympic Peninsula. The star of the festival is of course--Dungeness Crab and boy are these guys huge, no contest! Whether you prefer catching your own or just enjoying the tasty crab concoctions the vendors create, you are sure to find plenty of ways to eat crab, salmon, shrimp, and all other types of delicacies from the sea no matter the time of day.

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Don’t miss the annual Crab Feed that takes place each night of the seafood fest. In addition, festivities include a crab chowder cook-off, crab derby, local wine and beer selections, fresh smoked salmon, live music, and a variety of vendors. You may even want to brush up on your own cooking skills with the live cooking demonstrations from professional chefs that will inspire you to take a few live ones home and give it a go yourself.

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Location: Port Angeles, Washington
Date: First Saturday & Sunday in October (2018: October 6th - October 8th)
Ticket Price: Free admission (donations accepted)

Lobster Fest


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What goes better with lobster than beer? That’s the theme of Lobster Fest NYC. Just down the way from the famous Belmar Seafood Festival, dozens of restaurants and vendors line the streets of New York City to show off the best lobster dishes known to man. Lobster rolls, grilled lobster, lobster "caviar", lobster on a stick, and much more await the masses that visit this annual seafood fest. 

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Lobster Fest NYC highlights include live music performances, the latest and greatest microbreweries, and of course, copious amounts of mouth watering lobster. The kids love visiting the arts & crafts area to make take home hats and other swag making this an excellent family-oriented fest. Avoid the crowds of the Belmar Seafood Festival by coming to Lobster Fest NYC. It’s fun events for all and a true treat for your tummy.

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Location: New York, New York
Date: Labor Day
Ticket Price: Free admission

Maine Lobster Festival


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The biggest and best food festival has to include Lobster Fest! With over 30,000 spectators flocking to this festival each year, it’s definitely worth taking notice. Rockland's Harbor Park sets the scene for their mega crustacean events. Behold the crowning of Miss Maine Seafood and watch the parade that generates the largest crowds in Maine each year. 

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A festival to celebrate lobster has got to include plenty of tasty eats for the lobster connoisseur, and if that’s you, you will not be disappointed. Lobster served every which way along with other festival goodies like--funnel cakes, fries, doughnuts, and more. Stay for the cooking competitions, games, and unique lobster inspired artists and vendors.

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Location: Rockland, Maine
Date: First Saturday and Sunday in August
Ticket Prices: Opening Day - $1 tickets, every other day - $8 for adults, $2 for kids

The Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival


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Local eats with plenty of charm is served up annually at The Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival. Over 70 years of history! This fish and shrimp festival honors the people who worked and continue to work the shrimping and petroleum industries that have been the lifeblood of this community.

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This festival boasts a grand procession of shrimp royalty, parades, live entertainment, and enough chow to satisfy ever shrimp craving you could imagine. Find shrimp prepared so many ways, it could make even Forrest Gump’s head spin! Other tasty local eats are available like jambalaya, gumbo, fried alligator, and grits. 

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Location: Morgan City, Louisiana
Date: Labor Day
Ticket Price: Free admission

The Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival


A celebration of the famous and iconic southern favorite--shrimp and grits. Each year The Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival reminds us why we love this comfort food so much. Brought together with family-friendly fun--artist and craft booths, live musicians, craft beer, live demonstrations, and plenty of fun for the kids are just a few of the reasons this festival is worth checking out.

Join passionate grits lovers and sample the cool of the cool at this fish and shrimp festival. Local restaurants and chefs, many who've won awards, and home cooks are ready to serve you their signature creations, as well as share tips and fascinating dishes. Vote for your favorite and partake in the excitement. If all the shrimp and grits have your sweet tooth craving something more, there’s plenty of vendors serving up everything from frozen yogurt to deep fried sweets. 

Location: Jekyll Island, Georgia
Date: Third Saturday and Sunday in September
Ticket Price: Free admission

Chesapeake Crab & Beer Festival


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Maryland is known for its love of crab and is the largest of Baltimore’s crab festivals. Serving up over 30,000 crabs each festival. It’s an all you can eat and drink feast for the price of admission, and it couldn’t be more worth it. Over 20,000 people come each year and if you’re a serious crab aficionado you simply must go!

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Come rain or shine, the people want crabs and the festival is ready to provide. So rest your arms and get ready to start cracking. Nearly every tent will be filled with tables and crab crackers for you to get sloppy with. This festival feast is all about eating with your hands. Enjoy a variety of sides too--corn on the cob, coleslaw and potato chips at one of the best crab festivals in America.

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Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Date: Last Saturday in June, Third Saturday in August
Ticket Prices: $89 All You Can Eat & Drink, $59 All You Can Eat

Port Clinton Walleye Festival


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Celebrating the gifts from the blue waters of the earth include fish too, and the Port Clinton Walleye Festival centers its focus on the gifts of the Walleye on the shores of Lake Erie. This tasty freshwater fish is so versatile making this festival the perfect way to enjoy it served up a variety of ways. 

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Kicking off its 38th year, the festival highlights the start of summer with family fun and good eats. Come for the live music, carnival rides and games, fishing derbies, parades, and more. Delicious fish tacos and sandwiches--grilled or fried as well as other tasty seafood bites like crab cakes, and shrimp platters. 

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Location:Port Clinton, Ohio
Date: Memorial Day
Ticket Price: Free admission

No matter where you are in your travels, one of the top seafood festivals in the US aren’t far away. All across the country, professional and amateur chefs are preparing crab, lobster, shrimp, oysters, clams, and everything delicious food in between fascinating visitors of all ages. Celebrating a town or a region, almost all seafood festivals are a huge economic boon to their area. There’s never been a better time to get out there and nosh on the food of the sea!




Nikolai Nikitenko
Nikolai Nikitenko

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