Ruskin Seafood Festival

By Kathy L Collins

Get set to feast on savory seafood at the 24th Annual Ruskin Seafood Festival on Saturday, November 3, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Sunday, November 4, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

This annual gastronomic festival hosted by the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce, will again be held at E.G. Simmons Waterfront Park, located at 2401 19th Ave. NW in Ruskin.

The Ruskin Seafood Festival attracts more than 18,000 people each year making it the biggest community event in Southern Hillsborough County. In addition to seafood vendors offering shrimp, lobster and oysters to grouper sandwiches and clam chowder, corn dogs and sausage are also available.

What’s a seafood festival set on a pristine stretch of beautiful Tampa Bay without music? You can sway to the rhythm of live island music and enjoy steel drums, reggae and beach music. Don’t forget to check out the arts and crafts, commercial displays and environmental displays. A festival on the water would not be complete without a boat display.

The Children’s area offers a full day of interactive entertainment line up including Jumbo the Clown.

Live entertainment on main stage, Featuring Steeldrum, Calypso plus Reggae Bands.  Health & Wellness vendors with onsite screenings. “Hands on” educational exhibits of the area’s unique environment & wildlife. Bryant Martinez, of Brandon, said, “It is a really fun event. I have attended with my family several times, and we all really enjoy the festival and look forward to it.”

As this is a family friendly event, children will enjoy the interactive kids’ area. With Jumbo the Clown, bouncy houses, dance performances and Mad Science. Pets on leashes can also attend.

Local businesses sponsor the festival and help make it a huge success. This year’s Premiere Sponsors are Mosaic and Tampa Electric. Other local businesses such as Kids ‘R’ Kids, South Bay Hospital and Wilhelm Heating and A/C and others contribute to the festival’s success.

Admission to the 24th Annual Ruskin Seafood Festival is $5 for adults. Children 12 and under as well as active military personnel are free. Group rates are available for $3 per person, but group tickets must be purchased in advance.

There is free parking with a complimentary shuttle to the park or you can pay $2 and enter E.G. Simmons Park directly. For more details, e-mail or call 645-3808. Also, visit


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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.