Ruskin Hosts 29th Annual Seafood Festival With 150 Vendors, Concerts & More

By Kate Quesada

Calling all seafood lovers, the 29th Annual Ruskin Seafood Festival will take place Saturday, November 4 and Sunday, November 5 at E.G. Simmons Park in Ruskin offering food, fun and entertainment for the whole family.

Last year more than 25,000 residents attended the water-front festival, coordinated by the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce, making it one of Hillsborough County’s largest community events.

“This is among the annual festivals you will look forward to every year and it’s not just because of the seafood, even though that is the main course,” said Chamber Executive Director Melanie Rimes. “There is a lot to do and see and eat, of course, and the waterfront atmosphere is so much fun.”

According to Chamber Membership Development Chair Leslie Bennett, 150 vendors have signed up for the event this year offering food, drinks, arts and crafts, educational displays, commercial exhibits and an entire area dedicated to interactive kids entertainment.

“Although seafood is the main focus of the event, we try to make sure there is something for everyone,” said Bennett who lists clams, grouper, mullet, shrimp and seafood chowder among the offerings.

Live music will take place at the event from 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday and 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday. Luis Garcia will kick the event off at 11:30 a.m., followed by America Song Box at 1:30 p.m., Kozmic Pearl and 3:30 p.m., Spy vs Spy at 5:30 p.m. and Soul Circus Cowboys at 7:30 p.m. Sunday’s lineup is The Hummingbirds at 11:30 a.m. and Randy McNeeley at 1:30 p.m.

The children’s area will feature hamster balls with racing, bull riding, various bounce houses and inflatable slides, a rock wall, a trackless train, pony rides and a petting zoo. There will also be entertainment on the Kid’s Stage and dance performances throughout the weekend.

The event is pet friendly, but all animals must be on a leash.

The festival will run from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, November 4 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday, November 5, but the entertainment will continue with the food court, Sandbar and Clam Jam Stage on Saturday until 9 p.m. The park is located at 2401 19th Ave. N.W. in Ruskin and can be reached at 671-7655. Admission to the park for the festival is $2 a car, but parking is free. Each adult will also need a $5 ticket for admission to the festival. Children under 12 and active military with ID are free. Group rates are also available in advance only.

For more information, contact the chamber at 645-1366 or visit www.ruskinseafoodfestival.org.