By Michelle Colesanti

Every November, SouthShore residents look forward to not only the arrival of the cooler fall weather, but the anticipation of the flavor and fun of Southern Hillsborough County’s largest annual event, the Ruskin Seafood Festival, taking place Saturday, November 7 and Sunday, November 8.

Now in its 27th year, this year’s festival will bring about 25,000 people to the shores of beautiful E.G. Simmons Park in Ruskin. In addition to the many vendors who prepare seafood in almost every way imaginable, guests can enjoy many other specialty food items too. In addition to all the great food, this festival promises fun in a tropical paradise setting, including arts and crafts, health and wellness vendors, kids activities with interactive entertainment, and an even larger boating and outdoor sports area this year.

Executive Director of the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce Melanie Morrison said, “If you have attended the Seafood Festival in the past, we are confident you will return. If you have never been, come see what you are missing. SouthShore has the best businesses, residents and events.”

Festival goers will have the opportunity to enjoy the food court and Sand Bar while being entertained by Kozmic Pearl on Saturday at 10 a.m. and the Randy McNeeley Band at 12 Noon. For those who love music, the Ruskin Seafood Festival will keep the Clam Jam Stage jamming during extended hours on Saturday evening with Fleetwood Max, Tribute Band at 6 p.m. On Sunday, enjoy Joe Zuniga at 10:30 a.m. and Spy vs. Spy at 11:45 a.m.

The Ruskin Seafood Festival is a pet friendly event, and leashed pets are welcome.

Admission to the festival is $5 per person (kids 12 and under are free). Active military with identification will enjoy free admission, as well. The Ruskin Seafood Festival will be held at E.G. Simmons Park, 2401 19th Ave. N.W. in Ruskin. There is a $2 per car entry fee.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available for businesses that are interested in promoting products or services in one of the fastest growing areas in Hillsborough County.

Join in at the Ruskin Seafood Festival for a spectacular feast of food and fun. For more information about the festival, email or call 645-3808 or visit

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Michelle Colesanti
Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.