Sarasota Seafood & Music Festival May 21-23

By Sean Mills

Put on your dancing shoes and tie on your bibs, because it’s time to get out and chow down. With pandemic restrictions lifting across the state, food and music festivals are reopening just in time for the spring and summer seasons to kick into high gear. The biggest festival of the year is the Sarasota Seafood & Musical Festival held at JD Hamel Park Friday through Sunday, May 21 to 23. General admission to the festival is free of charge for all comers of all ages. The festival kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday.

The seafood doesn’t come fresher than in Sarasota. The festival will be serving all tastes, from seafood fresh from the ocean to other meat and vegetarian options. All of the entrees will be cooked fresh onsite during the festival. A wide variety of side dishes and desserts will also be available, along with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
The reals stars of the show are the excellent lineup of musical guests ready to remind people what it’s like to be at an outdoor music festival. We’ve all been stuck at home for too long.
The Sarasota Steel Pan Band, Twinkle & Rock Soul Radio, and Brenda Watty & Her Peeps will open the festival Friday night for a mix of Caribbean, soul, R&B, and jazz. Saturday will see blues-rocker Mike Tozier take the stage, along with Kettle of Fish and Damon Fowler.

The final night of the festival will host Randy Stephens, Jack’d Up and bluegrass legend Dr. Dave Band to end the festivities. The Sarasota Seafood & Music Festival will also feature ongoing crafts and gourmet food shopping throughout the event. Special guests the Humane Society of Sarasota County will also be hosting their “Big Mac” mobile adoption center on Saturday where you can meet and possibly adopt a new furry friend.

Nearby, the annual St. Armands Seafood & Music Festival was unfortunately canceled this year. But still on track for June 12 is the 19th annual St. Armands Circle Craft Festival. Located just off the coast on the St. Armands Key, this will be a two-day craft fair celebrating the unique history and beauty of the region. Artists from across the state will be on hand selling their latest work, whether they’re longtime festival favorites or newcomers to the scene.

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