What makes the Cedar Key Seafood Festival special?
First, it takes place in Cedar Key, Florida, which has been voted one of America’s coolest small towns.
Cedar Key is a charming little town with fewer than 1,000 permanent residents and a fascinating history. (It’s Florida’s second oldest town!) Cedar Key is about 60 miles west of Gainesville, so its out-of-the-way location has helped keep it authentic.
Second, you may think of New England when you think of clams, but Cedar Key is actually one of the nation’s top source of farm-raised clams. “Cedar Key Sweets” are the Northern quahog variety and are mostly sold in the 2- to 2.5-inch size, commonly called “littlenecks.” The bite-sized and tender meat is perfect for pasta and chowders—or for just plain steaming.
Third, the Cedar Key Seafood Festival is one of the only times you can tour historic Seahorse Key, three miles from Cedar Key. A shuttle boat from downtown takes visitors to tour the island and its lighthouse, which was built before the Civil War. Seahorse Key is now part of Cedar Key National Wildlife Refuge.
During the festival, be sure to check out the Clam Bag Races and also the Seafood Fantasy Parade on Saturday at 11am.
What: 53rd annual Cedar Key Seafood Festival
When: October 21-22, 2023
Where: Cedar Key City Park (188 2nd st, Cedar Key, FL)
Time: 10:00 a.m. until sold out
Cost: Free entry