The fun begins at 10 a.m. on Friday, November 6th, when the booths open at Battery Park in downtown Apalachicola for what is termed “Florida’s Oldest Maritime Event,” the Florida Seafood Festival. If it swims in Florida’s waters you’re likely to find it somewhere in the park, all prepared and served by local non-profit groups.

The highlight, of course, are the renowned Apalachicola oysters, served raw, fried, and stewed. There’ll be mullet as well, smoked or fried. You’ll also have the chance to feast on local shrimp, crab, lobster, and crawfish. In the Oyster Shucking Contest, participants must cleanly shuck 18 oysters – the quickest complete the task in about two minutes. Those participating in the Oyster Eating Contest have 15 minutes to consume as many pre-shucked Apalachicolas as possible (and they must keep them down). The winners typically consume upwards of 250 of the delectable creatures!

Speed-shucking oysters is a real skill. The best will shuck their 18 oysters in around two minutes.

Speed-shucking oysters is a real skill. The best will shuck their 18 oysters, without mangling the flesh or leaving bits of shell, in around two minutes.

There will be plenty of live music, presentation of the king and queen (Friday), a blessing of the fleet (Friday), a parade (Saturday), and a 5000 meter Redfish Run (Saturday). Blue crab races take place Saturday afternoon, as do the shucking and eating contests. The carnival will feature rides and games and the park will be filled with arts and crafts booths. The festival closes Saturday night with country music from Tyler Farr. See the festival website for all the details.