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The Eat Beat Dining around South Florida
with Mike Mayo

Inaugural Boca Raton Seafood Festival coming to Mizner Park Feb. 10-11

Seafood will be the star, and live bands and art vendors will round out the lineup at the inaugural Boca Raton Seafood and Music Festival Feb. 10-11 at Mizner Park Amphitheater.

“We’ve had great response everywhere we’ve done this, and the folks at Mizner Park and the city of Boca Raton have been very welcoming, very amicable,” says Bill Kinney, event director for Paragon Festivals.

The Sarasota-based outfit began staging seafood and art festivals in 2016 and plans on holding 10 events this year, mainly on Florida’s west coast. The Boca Raton event will be the company’s first foray into South Florida. Kinney, a former rock music promoter, says he expects a crowd of 8,000 to 10,000 over the two days.

Admission will be $5 at the gate, with food and drinks available for additional cost. Tickets will not be sold in advance. The festival will take place 10 a.m.-6 p.m. each day. Kinney says Paragon’s inaugural festival in Englewood, near Sarasota, on Jan. 27-28 drew huge crowds, with a long traffic backup on the two-lane road leading to the venue.

“It should be easier getting to Mizner Park,” Kinney says. He says the event will be held in the grassy area to the right of the amphitheater, and Paragon will build its own stage for performers. Kinney says the menu emphasis will be on fresh Florida seafood, including shrimp, grouper, mahi-mahi, stone crabs and Apalachicola oysters, and that meat and vegetarian options will be available. He says food will be cooked onsite by local restaurants and vendors who regularly travel the festival circuit. Beer, wine, mixed drinks, juices and soft drinks will be sold along with desserts.

Offerings will include jambalaya, paella, lobster, shrimp and grits, coconut shrimp, bisques, chowders, seafood gumbo, alligator chili, fish tacos and macaroni and cheese with crabmeat. Kinney says local restaurants and food purveyors interested in taking part should contact him by email at

The musical lineup includes Oigo, Hard Luck Society, Nostaliah and the Lee Boys on Saturday, and Birdman’s Clambake, Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’Blues, Juke and the Spam Allstars on Sunday. About 40 artists and crafts vendors will take part, he says.

Kinney says previous events have been beneficial to surrounding businesses, and that restaurants around Mizner Park in Plaza Real could see a spillover effect for dinner on Saturday and Sunday because the festival ends at 6 p.m.

“We have some people who don’t eat festival food who come for the music,” Kinney says. “We’ve done surveys after other festivals and have found that [nearby] restaurants see anywhere from a 15 to 150 percent increase in business.”

The inaugural Boca Raton Seafood and Music Festival will take place 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Feb. 10-11 at Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real, in Boca Raton. General admission is $5 per person, with tickets available at the gate., 954-356-4508. Follow my food adventures on Instagram: @mikemayoeats. Sign up for my weekly dining newsletter at

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