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October Means Month-long Seafood Celebration in Destin

by S. Lynne on September 23rd, 2013

“The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” is counting down the days till the Destin Fishing Rodeo. Described as “the ultimate tournament for saltwater anglers of all ages,” the popular competition — a magnet for fishermen since 1948 — annually attracts more than 30,000 participants. The fishing is free for everyone aboard boats that are registered in the tournament. The fishing rodeo begins October 1 and continues daily for the entire month. Weigh-ins are held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day at AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar.

A popular lead-in to the tournament, the Destin Fishing Rodeo Kid’s Kick-Off and Wagon Parade, is scheduled for Saturday, September 28, at 1:30 p.m. This crowd-pleasing parade of children’s wagons decorated with nautical themes is always a hit with all ages. The parade starts at AJ’s and winds through HarborWalk Village. Refreshments, kids’ activities, and prizes for the best-decorated wagons add to the fun.

Other activities include a 5K run on Sunday, October 6, and a children’s fishing tournament on Saturday, October 19. All proceeds from the race, whose course runs along Choctawhatchee Bay, benefit the Miss Destin Scholarship Fund. You can register online at The fishing tournament begins at 9 a.m. at Okaloosa Island Pier and ends with lunch on the dock at noon. The cost of $10 per child includes the pier fee for the fisherman and his/her parents, a T-shirt, bait, a rod and reel (to keep), and lunch.

The fishing rodeo’s final weigh-in, on Wednesday, October 31, ends with Halloween trick-or-treating, followed by fireworks. Kids in costume eat free at AJ’s from 5 to 7 p.m. More than $100,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to the winning fishermen.

To sign up for a participating fishing boat and for more information about other tournament activities, visit

Not Just Good Fishing, But Good Eating, Too!

Held each year in conjunction with the Destin Fishing Rodeo, the Destin Seafood Festival showcases fresh local seafood. This is the 35th year for the festival, which takes place October 4, 5, and 6 at HarborWalk Village. Hours are 4 to 10 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free.

In addition to plenty of seafood provided by area restaurants, there will be live music on seven different stages and three kids’ fun zones featuring inflatables, rock-climbing walls, face painting, magic shows, and refreshments. To learn more, go to

For Destin vacation rentals, Destin restaurants, and other things to do in the area, visit and check out the links.

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