What Is a Seafood Festival?

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  • Written By: Laura M. Sands
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 18 September 2019
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A seafood festival is an event where people in communities gather in celebration of seafood. This type of event may be to support local seafood industries or simply to celebrate particular types of seafood that are popular in certain regions. Events dubbed as international seafood festivals are also organized although they are usually still held in a single geographic location. Activities common to a seafood festival include cook-offs and other contests, demonstrations, musical shows and exhibit viewings.

Many food festivals are held annually and last two or three days. These are generally held on weekends in an effort to attract as many visitors as possible. It is common for festivals to be advertised in local newspapers, on websites, radio and television and via social media. As annual festivals gain in popularity, some people plan special vacations in order to visit their favorite festivals and participate in the events offered.


The common theme of most seafood festival events revolves around food that was captured from the sea. Festivals are usually organized by a main group, such as a local civic group or a group of seafood business owners. Events are usually scheduled at an outdoor venue during warm weather seasons and are often near piers or in beach communities. These types of events do not have to be held outdoors, but such seems to be the preference of many coordinators. Wherever seafood festivals are held, however, vendors are invited to establish booths to sell their wares and advertise their services, many of which are seafood related.

Often, a seafood festival is organized in an effort to support local seafood industries. Many, however, are organized to celebrate a popular type of seafood that an area is famous for producing. Sometimes, a festival may be organized in celebration of a particular recipe or way of preparing certain seafood dishes. Whatever the reason for a seafood festival, organizers try to make an event as exciting as possible in an effort to attract local residents and visiting consumers.

Like other food festivals, a seafood festival usually features different contests and games. Contests to establish who makes the best seafood dish are common at these types of festivals, as are cooking demonstrations and family-style games in which prizes are awarded. Singing and dance contests, as well as live musical events may also take place at a seafood festival.


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