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Seafood galore and more in Grant and the Port

Fri, Feb 28, 2014 at 6:35PM

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Port Canaveral Seafood Festival

The details: Festival times are 5 to 11 p.m. Thursday, 5 to 11 Friday, 10 to 11 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Cove on Glen Cheek Drive, Port Canaveral. The cost is $10 in advance; $12 at the gate. Children younger than 12 get in free.

The story: The seafood festival started about 50 years ago there, according to organizer Larry Mullin, who owns 888 Taxi Service, which covers The Cove at the Port, hotels along North State Road A1A, and parts of Merritt Island and Port St. John.

Several local restaurants are on tap to cook Saturday and Sunday. Entertainment is planned for tonight. Since businesses at the Port specialize in fresh catches, expect a lot of fresh dishes. “That’s how they used to do it,” Mullin said. “They’d filet it right there and cook it.”

A lot of businesses — from the taxidermist to Auddino’s Italian Bakery to the marinas — will pitch in.

“It’s a community thing,” Mullin said. “We decided about a year ago to bring the seafood festival back to Port Canaveral.”

In recent years, it has held at Space Coast Stadium.

“It was always a big success when it was at the port,” Mullin said. Even when it was on the cargo side of the Port, “it still drew about 35,000 people in a weekend.”

Friday night is country night, with Moonshine Southern Revival, and rock ’n’ roll on Saturday, with multiple bands. Molly Hatchet is a headliner on Saturday night. Sunday features Christian music.

The event also includes carnival rides, arts and crafts, kids’ zone and entertainment.

Call 321-514-8657 or visit portcanaveralseafoodfestival.com.

Grant Seafood Festival

The details: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at 4580 First St., Grant. Admission and parking are free.

The story: The 48th annual festival kicks off with its traditional fried fish dinners and more. At least 20 food booths will serve about 30 varieties of seafood.

“Every year, we try to introduce something new,” organizer Lori Chase said. In the past three years, those new items were seared tuna, a lobster roll and a grilled fish sandwich. “This year, we’re going to introduce crawfish. We’re excited about trying that and seeing how that goes over.”

On stage Saturday will be Bullet Theory, Vintage and Blue Stone Circle. On Sunday, it’s Hypersona and County Line Road, which also will play Runaway Country later in March.

Other features include arts and crafts, tours and children’s activities. Aside from the food and entertainment, festivalgoers might win something, too.

The Brevard Alzheimers Foundation will raffle off a classic car, Indian River Airboat Association will raffle off an airboat and IH Racing will raffle off a drag race car, Chase said.

Shawn Heflick, host of “Python Hunters” on National Geographic Wild, will bring an albino alligator for show.

Close to 30,000 people attended, and proceeds from the festival generated $45,000 in scholarships for residents last year, Chase said. “We hope to meet or exceed that this year.”

Some of most popular dishes? Chase listed the conch salad, fried shrimp, lobster roll, gator bites and deviled crab.

“They sell out of oysters just about every year, too. Steamed, raw or fried. It’s so nice that you can have them any way you like them.”

Call 321-723-8687 or visit grantseafoodfestival.com.

Contact Sangalang at 321-242-3630

or jsangalang@floridatoday.com.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @byjensangalang


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