The annual St. Marks Stone Crab Festival is planned for October 27, 2018. St. Marks is the southernmost town in Wakulla County, just a few miles south of Florida’s capital, Tallahassee. St. Marks, and neighboring Panacea, have long been vibrant commercial fishing hubs, specializing in both crabs and fin fish.
Here are a few words about the festival from VisitWakulla:
Enjoy fresh crab claws prepared by local culinary experts
There is plenty to see and do at the festival, but it is a stone crab festival after all. You’ll have the opportunity to taste many different stone crab preparations using fresh crab claws prepared by talented local chefs who know their crab. The flavor of the meat in the crab claws is mild and slightly sweet, and it pairs perfectly with a variety of different flavor profiles. These crabs have been caught fresh from the Gulf of Mexico, so there’s no better way to experience them than this!
Participate in a full day of family fall fun outdoors
Now you know all about the crabs, but there’s so much more going on at the St. Marks Stone Crab Festival that makes it a must-see event. There will be live music and entertainment taking place all day long, and many different local vendors will be selling arts and crafts to commemorate the arrival of stone crab season. There are a variety of activities, games, and educational opportunities for kids, and because the festival is so close to Halloween there will likely be plenty of people donning their costumes as well.”
Florida’s stone crab season begins on October 15, and this year’s crop will likely be a blockbuster. That might mean that normally very expensive stone crab claws are a bit cheaper, but to many Floridians, they’re worth any price. Stone crabs are harvested all along Florida’s coastline. There’s a significant amount of effort to get the claws to market and to your table. First, only one claw can be taken from crabs, mostly caught in baited crab traps. Then, claws are sorted by size and steamed within just a few hours of arriving at port. Claws are always sold cooked, and can be eaten immediately or heated by a quick trip into boiling water. Stone crab claws also freeze well for a few months. While large, jumbo and colossal size claws look great, I recommend medium claws as the best value.
With 12,000 visitors, last year was a banner year for this signature event. The weather was perfect, as it usually is towards the end of October. There were plenty of fresh-from-the-Gulf Stone Crabs, all kinds of local delicacies, and vendors selling everything from custom jewelry to handcrafted furniture. Come and enjoy the live music and fun for the whole family! Sorry, no pets allowed on festival grounds.