SAFETY HARBOR — Hungry for a treat after a long week of work and also want to enjoy the springlike weather? Head over to the annual Safety Harbor Seafood Festival, where delicacies from the sea, live music and lots of family-friendly activities are expected to attract thousands today and Saturday.
Seafood restaurants and other food vendors will serve up their specialties. Arts and crafts vendors will show off their wares in more than 30 booths. A family area will offer a variety of activities, including crafts, face painting and inflatables.
There will be continuous music on the outdoor stage, starting at 5 p.m. today and at noon Saturday. The performances should satisfy a variety of musical tastes, with selections ranging from rock to reggae and blues to funk.
The setting for the festival is the quaint Safety Harbor Marina, located on Bayshore Boulevard beside the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa. There are expansive views of Old Tampa Bay from the marina, and festivalgoers can check out the city pier and veterans memorial. Main Street shops are within walking distance.
In past years the festival has been held on Saturday and Sunday. This year the days shifted to Friday and Saturday. City special events supervisor Joe Cooper said the shift saves the city some money because it doesn't have to call in city workers on Sunday. Public response to other city events held on Friday and Saturday has been good, he said, and the event loses only one hour of total time from the Friday/Saturday schedule.
Admission is free, but there is a charge for food and beverages. Costs will range from $2 for a hot dog to $14 or so for a seafood platter, Cooper said.
There is plenty of free parking available on nearby city streets and lots. Some private lots may charge for parking, he said.
Proceeds from this year's Seafood Festival will be split between the Safety Harbor Neighborhood Family Center and Tampa Thunder Power Soccer, a competitive wheelchair soccer team based in Safety Harbor.