The 36th Annual John’s Pass Seafood and Music Festival is a Fall favorite. The event will be held from Thursday, October 26th through Sunday, October 29th at John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk in Madeira Beach. Noted as one of the country’s largest Seafood Festivals, bringing four days of scrumptious locally sourced seafood, live entertainment, various nautical, artistic and beach lifestyle vendors. Monies raised during this four day festival will be donated, in part, to several community charities to include area schools, the Lupus Foundation and the American Heart Association. A special area by the bell tower will feature area charities to foster their causes. Giving back to the community is the foundation of this festival. This is a community event and that said, community volunteers are always needed and appreciated. Please visit the website to for volunteer inquiries and registration.
John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk is home to nearly 100 shops, restaurants and activities. Most of these businesses are small family businesses that have been serving the community and our visitors for generations. It is also these dedicated business men and women, along with the volunteers that make this festival such a family friendly and diverse weekend.
The centerpiece of the Seafood Festival has always been the seafood itself. The Festival includes seafood vendors from across the Southeast, including many outstanding local seafood restaurants. In recent years the Festival introduced cooking competitions. Awards were bestowed for “Best Grouper” and “Best Seafood Dish” by local celebrity judges. This year there will be a Junior Chef Competition in which our area high school culinary students compete. This will be the second year for the event and also ties in with bring our young chefs together with some of the areas best establishments including our resorts and restaurants along the beaches.
Each year the festival is also timed with the Halloween festivities – hosting Tampa Bay’s largest Halloween Block Party with $5000 in prizes on Friday night and a Children’s costume contest at 3 pm on Saturday afternoon. Trick or treating will be offered to kids 12 and under on Saturday & Sunday from 1 – 6 pm, just look for the orange pumpkin throughout the shops within John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk. New this year will be the Kid’s Zone located upstairs along the balcony beside the Alligator Attraction. There will be balloon artists, face painting, arcade games and even an opportunity to get up close and personal with a gator.
For those fisherman that enjoy catching their own seafood there will be the opportunity to participate in the annual Battle at the Pass Fishing Tournament (Inshore and Nearshore) hosted by Anglers Armory. For details / registration www.anglerarmory.com Saturday at 6 am begins the tournament. Hosts for Military personnel are being sought through the program “Take A Hero Fishing” program where service men and women from McDill are given an opportunity to participate with boats having space. This is a catch and release tournament. Weigh ins begin at 3 pm with awards at approximately 5 pm. Saturday is also the Johns Pass Seafood Fest 5K inaugural run beginning at 8:30 am with registration starting at 6:30 am. Runners may register at www.racehawk.com. Runners will receive a $5 discount coupon for the festival.
Sunday brings the attempt once again to break the World’s Largest Bloody Mary Toast, which for the past several years we have successfully won the title only to be challenged once again by Milaeger’s Great Lakes Farmers Market in Caledonia, Wisconsin who broke our 2016 record of 1300 with 1967 “toasters”. Our goal this year is to have over 2000 raised glasses on Sunday afternoon at 1 pm at the main stage. Participants must be 21 to toast but everyone is welcome to come cheer us on – so bring your friends, family and anyone else you can find to help us regain the title of the Largest Bloody Mary Toast on the Planet. Please plan on arriving early to avoid delays in parking that morning.
Parking is always a concern so if you can take public transportation such as the trolley, ferry or Free Beach Ride it would be greatly advised. There will be limited parking available at the John’s Pass for $20 for the day at the parking garage and in the back lot. There will also be parking and ferry service available from the Madeira Beach Marina on the Tom Stuart Causeway for $20 which includes the ferry and $10 parking from the Madeira Beach School which includes a shuttle service.
For complete details and links visit the official festival site at www.johnspassseafoodfest.com