Deering Seafood Festival

Deering Seafood Festival

Oct 18, 2020
10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

$20+

This event has been postponed. Please check back for new dates.


By: Shayne Benowitz

When you attend the 16th annual Deering Seafood Festival on the Bay, you’re signing up for a fun-filled March afternoon indulging in the freshest seafood in Miami in a lovely setting on Biscayne Bay at the gorgeous Deering Estate in South Dade. Scheduled for Sunday March 29, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Deering Seafood Festival promises delicious seafood, as well as cooking demos, live entertainment, kids games, boat rides and educational activities.

Deering Estate History

Set on 444 sprawling bayfront acres, the Deering Estate is a nature preserve and historic estate once owned by wealthy industrialist Charles Deering, starting in 1913. But the property’s historical and archeological significance dates back 50,000 years with fossils and bones revealing remains of Paleo-Indians, Tequestas, Seminoles and Afro-Bahamians. In 1986, Deering Estate was added to the National Register of Historic Places and today, it’s lovingly maintained and operated by the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department on behalf of the State of Florida.

The Festival Grounds

The estate makes an ideal setting for the Deering Seafood Festival, one of the most anticipated events of the year. A paved path leads you to Biscayne Bay beneath a canopy of palm trees where you’ll find a picnic area at the foot of the boat basin. Stroll along the edge of Biscayne Bay and keep your eyes peeled for manatees, dolphins and other marine life. Just offshore, you’ll spy the small mangrove island known as Chicken Key.

The Deering Seafood Festival

The main attraction of the Deering Seafood Festival is known as Seafood Alley where local chefs and restaurants showcase the freshest seafood and their very finest recipes. Think, Key West pink shrimp, crawdaddies, oysters, stone crab, grouper, mahi-mahi and snapper, all presented by Golden Rule Seafood. You’ll also find vendors selling everything from wine to frozen drinks. The Lil’ Shrimp Kid Zone offers kid-friendly options to the seafood averse, from hot dogs to hamburgers.

A new addition to this year’s festival is the “Chef’s Table on the Bay”. Featuring Chefs Cindy and Ashley Hutson of Ortanique on the Mile, this event will be held on Friday, March 27th at 7 p.m. A three-course meal will be served by the chefs, who will demonstrate how to prepare the meal as well as pairing it with select wines and cocktails.

When not diving into a plethora of seafood selections, guests may enjoy chef demonstrations, with celebrated chefs from South Florida restaurants, plus the winner of the Johnson & Wales Student Culinary Competition. The chef demos take place throughout the day under the tent over the Deering Estate's historic courtyard, and each cooking demo is limited to 100 people on a first-come, first-served basis. Each attendee will receive a copy of the recipe and a free entry for a raffle.

And speaking of entertainment, enjoy live music on the main stage, with the festivities being topped off by Cutler Stew from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. You’ll also see Virgin Island Stilt Walkers and Bahamian Junkanoo bands dancing amongst the crowd. Don’t forget to cruise Artist’s Lane where you’ll find paintings, photography, jewelry and all kinds of crafts by local artisans.

At the Deering Discovery Cove, children can learn about the wonders of the world’s five oceans through hands-on activities and experiments, including bioluminescence, dissection, coral reef art and creating your own aquatic biome. In addition to food, the Lil’ Shrimp Kid Zone is a great place to burn off some energy on inflatable toys. There’s even a rock climbing wall and pontoon rides out to Chicken Key.

Tickets are $20 in advance ($25 at the gate) and children ages 4-14 are $7 ($10 at the gate). Tickets include entry to the grounds and estate, entertainment, activities in the Lil’ Shrimp Kid Zone and Deering Discovery Cove. Food, drinks, rock climbing wall and pontoon boat rides cost additional fees.

For those wishing to pedal to the festival, a courtesy bike valet is offered through Green Mobility Network. Free Park and Ride is also available at Westminster Christian School and Palmetto Bay Village Center, with continuous shuttle-bus service to the Estate.

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