Coconut Grove, with its quaint, tree-lined streets and bayfront vistas, is the perfect setting for a seafood festival. Which is why the announcement of the Coconut Grove Seafood Festival makes such perfect sense.
The inaugural festival is set to take place Sunday, October 20, from 11 a.m. till sundown in the Grove's Peacock Park -- just in time to celebrate the opening of stone crab season, which begins October 15.
In addition to plenty of stone crab claws, the family-friendly festival will feature seafood from around the world. Event organizer Tony Albelo from Social House Events (the people behind beer extravaganzas Grovetoberfest and Sprung!) promises a "world" of seafood, including delicacies from the Caribbean (Bahamian cracked conch and Jamaican jerk fish) and Latin America (paella and Peruvian ceviches), as well as Cajun (gumbo, jambalaya, and crawfish etouffée), Asian (sushi and sashimi), and, of course, local Florida lobster and fish caught in our own backyard. Close to two dozen Miami restaurants will be on hand to serve seafood lovers.
Albelo says he was surprised to learn there was a lack of seafood festivals centrally located in Miami, so he decided to fill the gap. The event takes place one day after Grovetoberfest (scheduled for Saturday, October 19). Albelo says that doing back-to-back events, though time-consuming, has its advantages. "We'll have the stage and the tents already set up from Grovetoberfest, so it makes good sense."
In addition to sampling an ocean of prepared foods, festivalgoers will be able to shop for fresh seafood to take home at the "Grove Wharf," an on-site farmers' market for all things under the sea.
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If you're going to eat seafood all day, you're going to want to have some cold beverages and listen to some chill music. The festival will offer both, so grab a cold one and a spot near the stage to enjoy some good island sounds by reggae and calypso artists, as well as Jimmy Buffett tribute band Island Escapism.
Admission to the Coconut Grove Seafood Festival is $15 per person, and tickets should go on sale in the next few weeks. We'll keep you posted.