The culture of oyster farming and cultivation runs back to Roman times in France and England. Oysters have been the favorite seafood of many people around the world over the generations. To celebrate the love for this historic but eternally loved delicacy, there is a day called National Oyster Day falling on 5th August every year. Many festivals are organized to celebrate the oyster and this is a hint to choose where you should hit to explore a new flavor of oysters.
Florida Seafood Festival is a paradise for all seafood enthusiasts as it presents the freshest and most delicious products from the locality. The old long tale of Franklin County, especially Apalachicola, is enriched with the resources that it is blessed with by nature. The abundance of versatile resources has flourished the life of the people along the shores for generations.
The Florida Seafood Festival is an event that annually attracts thousands of visitors to the famous historic town of Apalachicola of Franklin County. The Festival is held close to the scenic Apalachicola River in the shades of the bid old oaks of the Apalachicola’s Battery Park.
This festival treats the festival-goers with delicious seafood, arts and crafts exhibits, seafood-related contests, musical entertainment. The signature events at the Florida Seafood Festival include Oyster Eating and Oyster Shucking contest, Blue Crab Races, Photo Contest, Parade, 5k Redfish Run, The Blessing of the Fleet, History of the Festival Exhibit, and Tonging For Treasure.
If this grand celebration of oysters and seafood impresses you, you can visit it this year, and here is all you should know about it.
5th November 2021 – 10 am to 10.30 pm
6th November 2021 – 7 am to 11 pm
Battery Park in downtown Apalachicola.
- Oyster eating contest
The goal of the oyster eating competition is to find the winner who can eat the most number of oysters in 15 minutes. This is all about taking a shucked oyster and slurping it in as fast as possible. The meaty and fresh oysters will be shucked in advance and will be placed on the plates after being counted. The contestants must sit down while eating the oysters and if they stand up during the contesting period they will be disqualified. Many men and women usually compete in the Saturday mid-day event which will have thousands of people cheering them. Surprisingly, some contestants consume more than 250 to 300 oysters during the competition.
- Oyster shucking competition
Before the Florida Seafood Festival’s oyster eating contest, there will be the oyster shucking contest so the shucked oyster can serve their purpose as soon as possible. Shucking happens in a moment of a blink and judging becomes a harder game to play.
A tray filled with 18 of the World Famous Apalachicola Bay Oysters will be offered to the contestants who are dressed in gloves and equipped with oyster knives. It will take two minutes or so for all the oysters to be shucked by an experienced shucker who has the gasp of it. The fastest shucker isn’t necessarily the champion. Hence, the judging will not be started till everyone finishes shucking their tray.
Camping spaces are available on a first come first serve basis and most of these slots are located near the Apalachicola River. The Spaces are priced at $30 a day starting Thursday plus an additional $5.00 for any occupants on Saturday. There are other places to stay such as lodges and nearest places are published under accommodations on the official site. https://www.floridaseafoodfestival.com/
Thursday, November 4th, 2021
- 9:00 am – 5:00 pm – Vendor Setup – park only open to vendors
- 6:00pm – 11:00 pm – Carnival Midway open to public access thru the Water Street gate entry only
All other parts of The Florida Seafood Festival will not be open until Friday 10:00am
Friday, November 5th, 2021
- 10:00 am – Park Opens (No Admission Charge), Booths Open
- 3:00 pm – 7:45 pm – Christian Musical Entertainment
- 4:00 pm – Blessing of the Fleet
- 4:15 pm – Arrival of King Retsyo & Miss Florida Seafood
- 4:30 pm – Opening Ceremonies (Information Booth)
- 8:30 pm – Headliner Christian Entertainer
- 10:30 pm – Park Closes
Saturday, November 6th, 2021
- 7:00 am – Registration for Redfish Run (Front Steps of Gibson Inn)
- 8:00 am – Start of Redfish Run
- 10:00 am – Gates Open ($5.00 admission, children under 12 free)
- 10:00 am – Parade Starts (Hwy 98)
- 1:00-5:00 pm – Blue Crab Races (at the top of each hour, children under 12)
- 1:00 pm – Oyster Shucking Contest
- 1:15 pm – Oyster Eating Contest
- 3:00 pm – 7:00pm – Musical Entertainment
- 8:30 pm – Headliner Entertainer
- 11:00 pm – Park Closes