35th Annual Seafood Festival in John’s Pass, Florida

My sister gave me major side eye: “Trace, did you just say a Seafood Festival?” she asked skeptically as we watched the fourth game of the World Series on our living room couch, discussing our plans for Sunday. “You do remember that Dad’s allergic to shellfish… Russell’s allergic to shellfish… you’re a vegetarian… and Mom doesn’t eat fish, right?”

And with that caveat, we made our way across the bay to Madeira Beach the next morning around 11 a.m. I assured my family there would be more than lobster and crab legs, and luckily I was right.

We found $10 parking across the drawbridge and weaved through the crowds of people, stopping to ooh and aah over local art, crafts, and $5 “Oakley” sunglasses. While Mom found a long-sought-after anchor purse, I explored a couple sights I had not seen before in John’s Pass, including Walt’z Fish Shack (closed at the moment):

“Walt reserves the right to close early, open late, or remain closed any day for any reason. This includes but is not limited to stormy weather, cold nights, exhaustion, spur of the moment vacations, or just a good day at the beach.” Can I make this my out of office message every day from now on?
Russell was dying to watch some Sunday Football, so he headed to the nearest sports bar (Hooters, if you’re wondering – he went there for the wings) while Kelli, Mom and I waited in a 10-minute bathroom line. Finally we made our way to the official entrance to the festival and secured a $4 beer (Dad) and $6 Jungle Juice (Kelli and me). Satisfied to start walk-shopping again, about 10 seconds passed before we heard a squeal from Mom and lost her in the crowds. Fortunately we came across the sign that surely lured her in just a few steps later, a poster advertising 3 tank tops for $5 and 3 sweatshirts for $10!

the tent madness
the tent madness

Showing off one of the three matching tanks we all snagged.
Showing off one of the three matching tanks we all snagged.
Nine items bagged and two jungle juices/a beer later, we moseyed down to the Life is Good store – another must-stop for my mom. But first, a photo opportunity:

I can never resist the giant chairs!

Russell met back up with us, a few beers in and toting a random ice cream cone.
Russell met back up with us, a few beers in and toting a random ice cream cone.
After one more round of jungle juices, we decided it was time for all of us to eat something substantial, so we said so long to the Seafood Festival and dragged my parents to Five Bucks Drinkery, a bar in downtown St. Pete that serves mac and cheese quesadillas. Also, giant drinks.

That night we toasted my our decision to spend the day at the Seafood Festival as one of the best ones all weekend. While we won’t go back next year just for the festival, it’s a good option for entertaining guests (and spending the day with beloved jungle juice).img_3417

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