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A Fintastic Seafood Sampling Experience in Southeast Florida

Once the hub for commercial fishing in South Florida, Port Salerno has grown into a relaxing destination complete with miles of beaches, unique restaurants, and activities for all ages. While the commercial fishing industry has waned, the local fishing fleet still supplies fresh seafood to a variety of can’t miss local restaurants such as Gettin Crabby, The Twisted Tuna, Pirate's Loft, King Neptune's, and Manatee Island Bar & Grill. All visitors should check out the Port Salerno Waterfront District, which features community events, shops, clubs, and more.


The Port Salerno Seafood Festival has been showcasing local seafood and raising awareness for this historic fishing community for 12 years, and it will take place January 27. Attendees will have the opportunity to try a variety of locally sourced seafood dishes such as fried oysters, fish tacos, shark bites, seared tuna, and more. Patrons will also have the chance to listen to favorite regional bands like Blackfoot, The Remainders, and Jupiter Narrows play live music on three stages. More than 200 local arts and craft vendors will sell a variety of unique handmade items, and many local organizations will host booths informing and educating the masses about their causes. The Kids Fun Zone is perfect for all ages and features activities like bouncy houses, an obstacle course, games, and more. The event's proceeds will go to helping maintain and repair the local fishing docks, as well as a spectrum of local non-profits such as House of Hope, the Martin County 4-H Club, and more. interviewed Event Coordinator, April Price, to learn more about this annual celebration of seafood and the community.


RAL: How long has the event been running?

AP: This is the 12th Annual Port Salerno Seafood Festival.


RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?

AP: We usually see around 30,000 participants.


RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?

AP: This is a family event, and it attracts a mix of patrons from the local community and beyond.


RAL: What makes this event unique?

AP: Our Seafood! The local fisherman and their families will prepare the majority of the seafood available.


RAL: Take me through a day at the event. What can I expect as an attendee?

AP: Here is a breakdown:

  • Complimentary Trolley and Water Taxi

  • Free Kids Fun Zone Including a Touch Tank from Harbor Branch

  • Three Stages of Live Entertainment

  • Over 200 Community and Arts & Craft Vendors

  • Cold Beer and the "Best" Seafood on the Treasure Coast


RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?

AP: Some local radio and television personalities will make an appearance.


RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?

AP: Aside from our great selection of delicious seafood meals, there are four different onsite restaurants which all have indoor dining during the festival.


RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

AP: Due to this festival taking place at the height of the tourism season for this region, lodging options may be limited. Pirates Cove Resort & Marina is onsite; however, they already have a waiting list for the 2018 festival. Please visit the Martin County website for additional lodging options.


RAL: What does this event mean to the community?

AP: This one-day festival brings more than 30,000 patrons to the humble fishing community of Port Salerno to celebrate the heritage of commercial fishing.


RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?

AP: Yes, folks come from all corners of the country to exhibit, volunteer, or to just have some good old fashioned fun.


RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?

AP: The funds raised at this festival are used to repair and maintain the commercial fishing docks in Port Salerno. In 2018, the festival also gave an additional $20,000 to 15 different community nonprofits who had volunteers assisting at the event.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

AP: For our Seafood and our people! Come early -- although we are dedicated to improving the festival experience, we have been known to run out of some of our more popular dishes. It’s a beautiful waterfront setting with a casual atmosphere. Our prices are reasonable -- just $10 at the gate (online tickets $7) and children 12 and under are free.


For more information about the Port Salerno Seafood Festival, please visit the event website.


Photography Credit: Michael Lee