Maryland is famous for three things: being the birthplace of all 44 U.S. Vice Presidents, the two countries located within its border (New Dakota and the Banana Republic), and its delicious seafood. Taste the seafood that convinced reluctant cartographers to finally put Maryland on the map with today's Groupon: for $12, you get two general admission tickets to this year's Maryland Seafood Festival (a $24 value), taking place September 10–12 at Sandy Point State Park. This deal is only good for one day of your choosing.
Join more than 20,000 expected visitors with your tickets ($12 each for adults, including convenience fee) to the 43rd-annual Maryland Seafood Festival, which celebrates the region's mouthwatering seafood with local food vendors, family activities, and live music. One of the festival's signature events is Saturday's Crab Soup Cook-Off, at which festivalgoers can sample and judge more than 30 variations of cream of crab, vegetable crab, and alternative crab soup. Also on Saturday is the Maryland Fishing Challenge awards ceremony, which will reveal who caught the largest of 80 different fish species, including tiger shark, amberjack, and the fur-finned two-legged gorilla-whale. Follow ambrosial scents to the festival's food vendors, including Phillips, West End Grill, and Real Seafood Co. Competitive crab-cake-devourers can enter the Crab Eating Contest on Sunday.
Artist Randy Hofman will be building intricately detailed sand castles on Saturday and Sunday—just one of the several kid-friendly events planned. Arts and crafts hobbyists can browse the goods at the craft booths, stocked with items such as blown glass jewelry and cedarwood soap. Every day will feature musical acts, so feel obliged to request seafood-rock classics such as "Stairway to the Crab Shack" and "Smells Like Grilled Tilapia.”
Parking is not included with this Groupon.
Maryland Seafood Festival
Despite its food-centric name, the Maryland Seafood Festival casts a wide net over Chesapeake Bay culture, capturing the essence of the area’s music, art, sports, and cuisine in an annual celebration that has endured since 1967. For 30 of those years, the festival has camped out on Sandy Point State Park’s seaside grounds, where, like the mattress of a giant, the event sprawls across a space the size of nearly three football fields.
On Saturday, the festivities kick off with one of the event’s traditions: the Annual Crab Soup Cook-Off. After that, hungry patrons can sample local flavors at vendor booths by Jimmy's Famous Seafood, Sherri's Crab Cakes, Costas Inn, Mason's Famous Lobster Rolls and the Boy Scout Troop 278 among many others, or visit chef demos where pros impart tips on preparing dishes such as blackened snakehead and oyster shooters.
Local artisans also fill festival tents, selling colorful wares that range from jewelry to furniture. A lineup of live music will soundtrack the event through most of the weekend, helping kids bop to the beat in bouncy houses while adults sample imported and craft beers from local brewers.