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Florida Keys Seafood Festivals
florida keys seafood festivals

Florida is renowned for its history of commercial fishing and its high-quality seafood offerings. Annual celebrations of the benefits of commercial fishing and seafood are held in numerous villages across the state. In the Florida Keys, there are two major seafood festivals – 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 stand, 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.

The Florida Keys Seafood Festival in Key West

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
florida keys seafood
Author: Janelle