Franklin County's economy is set for a boost this weekend as it hosts the Florida Seafood Festival, and every piece of seafood you eat makes a difference in more ways than one.
"Last year we had attendance of about 30 thousand people," said Seafood Festival President John Solomon. "We're expecting more this year because of the weather and the atmosphere and the entertainment."
That atmosphere includes everything from arts and crafts, to rides, to the festival's main attraction - the food. About a dozen non profit organizations had booths set up, the majority of them with food plucked right out of the bay.
"We catch it, we sell it, and it's prepared the way we like to eat it which is the best way," Solomon said.
The organizations were all looking to better the community in their own way. From allowing kids to take the trip of a lifetime, to creating a better situation for less fortunate students, to raising money to support volunteer firefighters.
Church groups are also looking for funds for outreach - outreach that is needed in the community during difficult economic times.
"We give away a lot of funds and help a lot of folks," said Pastor Robert Kimberling with Eastpoint Church of God. "We're glad to do it."
As deteriorating bay conditions continue to hurt the economy, they are doing what they can to raise money, while keeping fishermen working. By getting their food directly from that still valuable source, these groups are making sure that the community that fishes together stays together.
"It at least boosts morale, and shows that there's a need for oysters and seafood and that this is a large part of our culture," said Adam Cannon with the Cooperative Parish.
The festival lasts through Saturday, November 3rd. Here is the schedule of events.