The seafood industry has been a vital part of the Gulf Coast economy for generations. Today, a celebration of one creature's contribution.
At the 16th annual Scallop Festival, fun for kids seemed to revolve around rides and face paint. For the adults, it seemed music and fresh seafood was more their speed.
Michelle Perrin is the Interim Director of the Gulf County Chamber of Commerce. She says the Scallop Festival is a tradition and the largest event in Port St. Joe. Eight to ten thousand visitors are expected to attend this year's festival. "People can scallop out in our bay, try it first hand if they've never done it before, and it's just great for people to learn more about Port St. Joe and Gulf county," says Perrin.
For those who would rather stay off the boat but still enjoy the shellfish...they could purchase 5 pound bags of scallops at the festival. And for those who didn't want to cook the shellfish themselves...there was plenty of made to order scallops to sample as well. "They're grilling it, frying it, sauteing...they're making all kinds of scallop dishes I've never even had before," says Perrin.
Shawn Winchester and her family are in town to go scalloping tomorrow but enjoyed the made to order shellfish available at today's event. "We've had the scallop cocktail, scallop ceviche, and fried scallops are coming," says Winchester.
Although the party is ending, seafood lovers can enjoy this sweet delicacy for a while longer. Scallop season ends September 25th.