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Florida Keys Seafood Festivals: Join The Community For Some Fun

florida keys seafood festivals

Florida is renowned for its history of commercial fishing and its high-quality seafood offerings. Florida Keys seafood festivals are annual celebrations of the benefits of commercial fishing and seafood, which are held in numerous villages across the state. There are two major seafood festivals in the Florida Keys – one in Key West and one in Marathon.

The activities are geared toward families, and each community’s particular flavor is distinct. Each offers mouthwatering regional seafood, and many also provide live music, arts and crafts stands, rides for kids, parades, 5K runs and walks, cooking demonstrations, and competitions like oyster shucking. The seafood festivals are enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.

You can also enjoy local seafood delicacies at waterfront restaurants.

The Florida Keys Seafood Festival in Key West

florida keys seafood

Sponsored by the Florida Keys Commercial Fisherman’s Association, the Florida Keys Seafood Festival in Key West is held at Truman Waterfront Park between April 1 and 2. 

Enjoy The Fun Activities!

The Seafood Festival honors the community by bringing family and friends together in a joyous and enjoyable environment to sample the local catch. This fun-filled family event aims to highlight the freshest local seafood and the Keys’ commercial fishing industry. Try these:

  • Shopping and art
  • Children’s Eco-Discovery Zone with make your own slime station and lego wall
  • Adult beverages, beer, wine, frozen rumritas with First Legal Rum
  • Event t-shirts, koozies, and authentic lobster trap balls for sale
  • Fantastic entertainment all-day
  • Raffle to win $250 in seafood shipped to your home


Savor The Fresh Seafood Menu

Every year, the local fishermen and women take great pride in providing the neighborhood with a selection of seafood at affordable costs. You might have never tried some of them before. You can never go wrong with:

  • Fried fish baskets or platters with slaw and black beans & rice
  • Fried clams basket
  • Grilled spiny lobster platters
  • Stone crab claws with key lime mustard sauce
  • Peel and Eat Key West Pink Shrimp with cocktail sauce
  • Smoked fish dip with crackers
  • Creamy lobster bisque
  • Bahamian-style conch chowder
  • Conch Ceviche
  • Conch Fritters


Aside from seafood, the festival also offers…

  • Hot dogs
  • Hamburgers
  • Beverages (beer, wine, rumritas, rum runners, water, soda, and coffees)
  • Desserts (Estella’s Famous Flan and Natilla, Key Lime Pie, and other homemade treats, including gelato and Italian ice)


Meet The Vendors

Arts and crafts reflecting the fishing industry and sea life are available at vendor booths and other handcrafted goods made by regional artisans. Additionally, several conservatory groups have educational and marine life exhibits. Below is a list of some of the vendors and exhibitors you’ll meet at the festival:

  1. AER Art and Photography
  2. Reel Catch
  3. Bluewater Outfitters, Inc.
  4. Abaco Cottages
  5. Reel Fishy Apparel
  6. U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
  7. The Feisty Mermaid
  8. Splash Soap Company
  9. Seacamp
  10. Rewine Glassworks


Sponsors and Supporters

The annual Florida Keys Seafood Festival is a huge success because of the help and generosity of neighborhood businesses. The community’s fishermen admire and recognize the efforts they make to ensure the survival of the local fishing sector. 

  1. Low Key Fisheries
  2. Keys Fire Extinguishers
  3. Florida Keys Commercial Fisherman’s Association
  4. deBoer Propane
  5. Keys Weekly
  6. First State Bank of Florida Keys
  7. Sunbelt Rentals
  8. Lightship Maritime Inc.
  9. Key West Engine Service, Inc.
  10. Key TV

The Original Marathon Seafood Festival in Marathon

The Florida Keys’ flagship festival for delicious, fresh seafood and entertainment is the Marathon Seafood Festival.  With more than 20,000 visitors each year, it ranks as the second-largest event in the Florida Keys.

The Marathon Seafood Festival is the Keys’ first and oldest seafood celebration. Commercial fishermen founded it in 1976, and they catch and prepare all of the seafood there.

The festival is held at Marathon Community Park between March 11 and 12. Bring the whole family for two days of delicious food, fun, and entertainment!

Enjoy The Fun Activities!

  • Volunteer to work a booth and receive free admission and a free t-shirt!
  • Games, activities for children and adults (rock-climbing wall)
  • Boat show
  • Military tribute
  • Live music entertainment throughout the 2-day event
  • Over 200 vendors selling jewelry, clothing, art, crafts, and other great souvenirs, boat show, etc.
  • Raffle giveaways and other great prizes and games


*It should be noted that pets are not allowed unless they are registered service dogs. 


Savor The Fresh Seafood Menu

Through the festival, the commercial fishermen at Marathon enjoy the fruits of their labor. Fresh fish is fried and prepared along with:

  • Lobster tails
  • Stone crab
  • Shrimp
  • Oysters
  • Ceviche
  • Mahi-mahi
  • Conchworst
  • Lobster bisque
  • Crab cakes
  • Cuban croquettas
  • Hamburgers
  • Hot dogs
  • Sausages
  • Cheap beverages (cold beer, wines, & bubbly)


Meet The Vendors

Over 15,000 people travel to the lovely Florida Keys for the fantastic Marathon Seafood Festival. Visitors, Keys locals, families, fishermen, and boat lovers go with an eye for seafood and delectable fare, nautical goods and services, retail, and other things! Vendors can join this yearly event to promote their business, connect with visitors to their products and services, and improve the Marathon and Middle Keys community. Some of them are:

  1. Sea Tow
  2. Mobile Mountain
  3. Sunsmart America
  4. The Tubazaar
  5. The Green House
  6. Fish Bone Design
  7. Jessica Ann Art
  8. Custom Coastal Furniture
  9. Coco Plum Real Estate – Gables on the Go
  10. Pete Airbrush


Sponsors and Supporters

The Marathon Seafood Festival values its sponsors and supporters because, without them, the festival would not be able to host its biggest annual event. The event donates to neighborhood charities each year and gives scholarships to Marathon High School students who want to continue their studies in the area.

  1. Marathon Veterinary Hospital
  2. SeaSquared Charters
  3. Eagle Brands
  4. Jolly Roger RV Resort
  5. Florida Keys Electric
  6. Rocket Cooling
  7. Ultimate HeliTours
  8. Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters
  9. D’Asign Source
  10. First Horizon Bank

Islamorada Seafood Festival & Art Show

Islamorada Seafood Festival & Art Show has remained firmly rooted in its original mission: to be a small, neighborhood event that caters to people looking for creative seafood from the Florida Keys and imaginative art.

The four years since this festival’s debut have seen tremendous growth. The festival was created by members of Islamorada Moose Lodge #2151 to highlight the fine handcrafts of local & regional artisans and the local seafood-centric cuisine of Islamorada area restaurants to raise money for local Moose Charities. It draws crowds of thousands from the Florida Keys, South Florida, and beyond.

Enjoy The Fun Activities!

The festival includes live performances by well-known artists like The Little Things, a street parade by a well-known Bahamian junkanoo band, local craft beers and libations, a well-liked Kid Zone, pet stations that welcome dogs, commemorative T-shirts, as well as events at the Islamorada Moose Lodge and all over the Morada Way arts district. Both adults and children can anticipate having a good time at the festival!

  • Enjoy the live music with DJs
  • Bahamian JunkaNew Band/Parade
  • Smoked Fish Dip Competition
  • 50/50 Raffle


Savor The Fresh Seafood Menu

The festival offers mouthwatering seafood samples from many Upper Keys eateries as well as unique goods made by hundreds of selected craftsmen.

  • BangBang Shrimp
  • Bacon wrapped scallops
  • Bacon shrimp sliders
  • Oyster shooters
  • Shrimp mac and cheese
  • Kickin Shrimp
  • Conch fritters
  • Seafood Stew
  • Calamari


Meet The Vendors

A wide variety of artistic minds who work in paint, metals, photography, soft goods, and more make up our roster of artists. Buy regional goods at the Islamorada Seafood Festival and Art Show.

  1. In the Sun Creations
  2. Annie Bond Pottery
  3. Tina’s American Jewelry
  4. Starfish Designs
  5. Donna Shones
  6. Finsart.com by Chris Howard
  7.  Jellyfish Daydreams
  8. Lionfish Jewelry & Accessories
  9. Eleanor McCandless
  10. Groovy Gurlz


Sponsors and Supporters

The Moose Charities are supported by the Islamorada Seafood Festival & Art Show. Islamorada Moose Lodge and Morada Way Arts & Cultural District are the hosts. Some sponsors are:

  1. Keys Weekly
  2. Saxe Veterinary Services
  3. Florida Keys Brewing Co.
  4. Islamorada Fish Company Restaurant
  5. Sharon J. Kelly Realty

Don’t miss out on a bunch of activities to do in the Keys while you’re at it. You can stroll around state parks and spend the day at beautiful beaches.

Watch this local news from Key TV to visualize the out-of-the-ordinary activities you can enjoy with the locals at a typical Florida Keys seafood festival.

Florida Keys Seafood Festivals FAQs

Without question, the Florida Keys provide excellent fishing all year long. If you come there solely to catch fish, there aren’t any exclusions. Many anglers do it. They happen to be in the Florida Keys and Key West for business or an impromptu vacation, and before they know it, they’re out on the water fishing with an expert fishing guide and are having a great year-round season.

Fishing seasons in the Florida Keys are related to when specific fish species pass through the Florida Keys, when they eat more effectively than at other times, or where they are more likely to be found.

You can refer to this fishing calendar to see what kinds of fish you’ll get in the Florida Keys during peak months.

The entertaining annual Key West Lobsterfest signals the start of Key West’s lobster season. Beginning in August each year, Key West hosts the largest party of the summer and free concerts, delicious cuisine, and other events to honor lobster.

Lobsterfest keeps growing and improving. August holidays in Key West are made even more exciting by the Key West Lobsterfest. There is no better time to visit Key West if you enjoy lobster and large gatherings.

The Florida Keys’ flagship festival for delicious, fresh seafood and entertainment is the Marathon Seafood Festival.  With more than 20,000 visitors each year, it ranks as the second-largest event in the Florida Keys.

The festival is held at Marathon Community Park between March 11 and 12. Bring the whole family for two days of delicious food, fun, and entertainment!

Nearly every restaurant offers a fantastic assortment of snapper, which is frequently presented as the day’s fresh catch and is caught in the deeper waters surrounding the Keys. Large groupers, mahi-mahi, yellow jacks, and tarpons are some of the other well-known fish in the Florida Keys.

When visiting the markets and restaurants in the Florida Keys, keep an eye out for the following:

  1. Stone Crab
  2. Conch
  3. Florida Fish
  4. Pink Shrimp
  5. Spiny Lobster
Author: Janelle

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