The John’s Pass Seafood Festival is an annual festival held every October in the John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk in Madeira Beach, FL. It has become one of the largest seafood festivals in the nation.
John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk is a shopping village consisting of 89 businesses located on Gulf Boulevard next to John’s Pass. This is so much more than a festival to us—it is a tribute to the rich history of John’s Pass Village and the fishing community.
The Festival was founded by the Association in 1980 to celebrate the abundant fish of John’s Pass and to honor the fishermen who work those waters. The objective of the Festival, the first of its kind in Pinellas County, was to attract people to the area and introduce them to the spoils that John’s Pass has to offer in the fall. Today the tradition lives on with the John’s Pass Village Association serving as the lead organizer in conjunction with the City of Madeira Beach.
The Festival usually includes live music, arts and crafts, and activities for children. Many previous Festivals included a fishing tournament, an event that the Village Association reinstated in 2015.
Of course the centerpiece of the Seafood Festival has always been the seafood itself. The Festival includes seafood vendors from across the Southeast, including many outstanding local seafood restaurants. In recent years the Festival introduced cooking competitions. This past year awards were bestowed for “Best Grouper” and “Best Seafood Dish”.