MADEIRA BEACH – It may be early March, but plans are already underway for this year’s John’s Pass Seafood Festival Oct. 26-29 at John’s Pass Village.
After earning the distinction of being the nation’s largest seafood festival with more than 250,000 in attendance in 2016, Director Sonny Flynn and her staff are actively booking music groups and soliciting vendors for 2017.
Among the new wrinkles planned is day rental space for restaurants that can’t commit to all four days of the event. Four spaces will be available per day over the four-day festival.
Plans are also in the works for a king and queen pageant that will benefit Pinellas County Schools. The festival’s annual fishing tournament benefits the Lupus Foundation and the popular Bloody Mary Toast benefits the American Heart Association.
The 2016 Bloody Mary Toast set a Guinness World Record with 1,112 participants but that record was bested by the Racine County Farmer’s Market in Racine, Wisconsin, Feb. 5 with 1,967. Flynn hopes to get 2,000 or more to participate in 2017 to regain the record.
Music will again be an important part of the festival and Saturday will again be country music day. Other than that, no firm plans are set. Last year, festival organizers had three stages and 26 bands.