11th Annual Deering Seafood Festival

It was another perfect weather day for the Deering Seafood Festival. Over 7500 people jammed the grounds of the Deering Estate in Palmetto Bay to take in the incredible food, drink, sights and sounds of what has become a staple of South Florida spring.

“We love how the community comes together to support us. Every year it is bigger and better and today is no exception,” exclaimed Deering Estate Foundation Executive Director Mary Pettit, "We started this eleven years ago and really allows us to share this wonderful location on Biscayne Bay with the world."

Throughout the day, in the Stone House Courtyard, Whole Foods presented Celebrity Cooking demonstrations. With Chefs from Ocean Reef Club, DJM Restaurants, Ortinique on the Mile, 3030 Club and Haven South Beach, it was impossible not to pick up some great tips on how to prepare mouth-watering meals. Bridgette Young, the 2015 winner of the Johnson & Wales student seafood competition, even gave away a few of her secrets.

Premiere sponsor Golden Rule Seafood’s Marketing and Operations Director Courtney Reeder explained, “We served up more than 4500 meals today including plenty of old favorites and Fish Tacos and Fried Oysters making their debut this year.”

Owner of Sports Grill, Eric Haas, joking pointed out, “We’re the only landlubber here today, but we’ve done this every year since it began. We are a great seafood alternative.”

Besides dozens of food vendors, there were arts and crafts booths, a giant Kids Zone and free tours of both the Deering buildings and grounds.

Music played a big part in the day’s event, with the Bahamas Junkanoo Revue strolling the grounds with their highly spirited musical performances, involving not only costuming but dance-like body movement.

The relaxed island tunes continued on the main stage with great acts like Fourth Dimension Reggae Band and Caribbean Crew.

Mr. Nice Guy closed the event with a blistering set of great classic rock that really got the crowd going. Mary Pettit remarked how the band was part of the origins of the Seafood Festival and how happy she was to have them continue to be a part of it.

Palmetto Bay Mayor Eugene Flinn remarked, “There’s nothing better than a day like this right here in our own backyard.”

First-time attendee Nina Coletta (from Broward) summed it up best, “It’s been a fabulous time, the weather is perfection, the food is excellent and the art is very interesting. I’m definitely coming back next year!”