Deering Seafood Festival

Deering Seafood Festival

March 31, 2019

By: Shayne Benowitz

When you attend the 15th 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 31, 2019 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.

Along the northern edge of Biscayne Bay, an elevated boardwalk extends for half a mile through salt marshes, mangrove forests and coastal tropical hardwood rockland hammocks where you might spot gray foxes, snakes, butterflies and squirrels. More nature trails wind through the property’s southern grounds.

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.

The Celebrity Chef Demos are a huge draw and chefs from years past have included Giorgio Rapicavoli of “Chopped” fame who is also executive chef of Eating House in Coral Gables and Glass & Vine in Coconut Grove. You’ll take home new recipes and cooking tips and tricks from some of the most talented and creative chefs in Miami. Not to mention, the demos are truly entertaining!

And speaking of entertainment, enjoy live music on the main stage, including the Caribbean reggae melodies of Steel Drum Paradise and the Caribbean Crew Steel Drum Band. 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 $7 for children ($10 at the gate). You can purchase them online. 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.

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