Destin Seafood Fest returns

Matt Algarin
Destin Seafood Fest returns.

With the 34th Annual Destin Seafood Festival just weeks away, festival organizers invite the community to join them for a pre-party Sept. 22 at the Tipsy Turtle.

“If you love the seafood festival and you love your community, this would be a great way to come out and support the seafood festival, while having a great time,” said Mike Eller, co-chairman of the Destin Charter Boat Association and festival organizer.

As part of the Seafood Festival’s inaugural Meet & Greet, partygoers will have a chance to purchase their official festival t-shirt and posters, meet Miss Destin, Callie Caltz, and have their pictures taken with Sandy the Swordfish, the festival’s official mascot.

Toni Dineen, who won the festival’s poster contest for the past two years, will be on hand to sign the posters that boast her design.

The Destin Charter Boat Association will be holding raffles and giveaways, featuring festival gear and art. Destin Prints will have festival shirts as well.

Local musician J.B. and Friends will be playing live on the docks along the harbor boardwalk, and home-cooked barbeque, boiled shrimp and all the fixings will be on the menu, courtesy of Halperns. The team at Destin Prints will be cooking up the feast with the help of two true Cajuns, Eller said.

“We are offering it up for donations,” Eller told The Log, adding that proceeds support the Destin Seafood Festival.

If you are a fan of the Seafood Festival’s t-shirts, Eller says you shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to pick one up early, as they had sold through about two-thirds of their shirts by Saturday last year.

The Meet & Greet pre-party will be held Sept. 22 at 4 p.m. at the Tispy Turtle, which is located on the boardwalk immediately east of Galati Yacht Sales and west of Dewey Destin’s.

“We thought before all of the craziness of the Seafood Festival and the Fishing Rodeo, it would good to have everyone meet the staff and enjoy this community event,” Eller said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”


Friday, Oct. 5: 3 p.m. – 10 p.m. 

Saturday, Oct. 6: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 7: 11a.m.  -  5 p.m.


When the 34th Annual Destin Seafood Festival kicks off Oct. 5, the free festival will stretch along the Destin harbor from HarborWalk Village to Dockside and The Boathouse.


With multiple stages throughout the venue, the emphasis is on local talent. This year’s musical lineup will feature Heritage, Cadillac Willy, Bouku Groove, Season Ammons, Cheryl Jones & Company and Forrest Williams, The Sauce Boss and Wild Country Blue, just to name a few. There will also be live music along the boardwalk, at the Tipsy Turtle, AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar and the Boathouse Oyster Bar, Crab Island Cantina, Louisiana Lagniappe, Elmo’s Grill and the Back Porch. All concerts are free on two stages of entertainment, the Destin City Stage and the Harborwalk Village stage. For a complete lineup visit the Destin Seafood Festival’s Facebook page.   


Capt. Mike Eller, co-chairman of the Destin Charter Boat Association and festival organizer, said this year’s festival will also include 80 arts and crafts vendors that appeal to all, featuring a wide range of glass artists, handmade jewelry, wood sculptures, photography and festival/Caribbean arts, signs and other goodies.


It wouldn’t be the Seafood Festival without seafood, so this year’s gathering will include local fare from Harry T’s, AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar, Rotolo’s, the Fisherman’s Wharf, Boathouse Oyster Bar, Crab Island Cantina, Louisiana Lagniappe, Elmo’s Grill and the Back Porch.


Festival parking will be in the vicinity of the event, Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village, the city of Destin's parking lot at Marler Street, and at the Destin Community Center. Free shuttles and Pedi Cabs will be offered. Shuttles pick up locations are the Destin Commons and The Track.


Anyone interested in volunteering at this year’s Seafood Festival can contact Mike Eller at