Ancient seafood festivals began as an attempt to lure the elusive giant squid into sight with the promise of cotton candy and two-for-one raffle tickets. Set sights on marine life with today's Groupon: for $7, you get two adult tickets and two soft drinks at the Ormond Seafood and Blues Festival on May 14 and 15 at the Rockefeller Gardens Park on the Halifax River (a $14 value).
The Ormond Beach Seafood Festival immerses marine-eating enthusiasts in a bevy of culinary and musical selections. The festival creates a tidal wave of taste with seafood favorites from local restaurants including RiverGrille, Hull's Seafood Market, and SmokeShack BBQ, as well as Hershey's Ice Cream, which offers 48 hit flavors and a wall of candies. Festival-goers can also emulate sailor stereotypes by purchasing beer and wine from sponsor S.R. Perrott and then standing watch for hours and hours. Parents can steer their schools of human fish to the children's activity area, where kids can enjoy face painting and bounce houses.
With more than 20 musical performers playing on two stages, the festival accompanies the taste of the sea with the sounds of bluegrass, acoustic folk, classic rock, and a wide variety of blues traditions. Those who believe music, like aviation, is best left to amateurs can bring an instrument to the jam tent, and join the circle jam or participate in workshops throughout the festival.