Monday, April 24, 2017

Carabelle Riverfront Festival, 4/22/2017

After seeing advertisements about town for the 27th Annual Carrabelle Riverfront Festival we decided to check it out on Saturday. The event this year was held Friday, April 21 from 4 to 8 pm, and Saturday, April 22, 10 am to 6 pm with most of the activities occurring along Marine Street (closed to traffic during the event). 

Here is a schedule of events, many of them are held each year so it is a good reference for the event next year. 

The community event featured live entertainment, Gullet's Cove (food court), Pet Parade (sorry that we missed this!), Avenue B (information about culturalhistoric, and natural resources in the area), the Forgotten Coast Cruiser Vintage Car show, the popular Fishy Fashion show, and lots of arts and craft vendors

First we strolled along Marine Street to check out the vendors. There were lots of interesting items for sale. 

Avenue B had exhibits about nearby state parks and forests, local flora and fauna, and other educational and cultural information. Rangers and volunteers from Ochlockonee River State Park demonstrated animal snare making and had an exhibit of Native American arrowheads found there. 

In the first photo below is a gopher tortoise shell and loggerhead sea turtle shell and skull. The next one is a model of a loggerhead sea turtle nest. And the third showcases the skulls of a sea turtlebottlenose dolphin, and alligator. All of these animals are indigenous to the area. 

Meet Moonlight, a great-horned owl, and his keeper. He was brought to the FWMA when he was just a few weeks old with a permanent wing injury (making him unreleasable). He now serves as an educational ambassador

We enjoyed chatting with the people sharing information about the local theatre community. The Panhandle Players ( recently presented a comedy, 12 Incompetent Jurors, at the Chapman Auditorium in nearby Apalachicola, FL. They are currently preparing for a play (based on a true story), 1766Shipwrecked on Dog Island. It will also be performed at the Chapman Auditorium and is scheduled for May 26-27. Unfortunately, we will not be in town or we would definitely go! 

The young man shown above will be in the Shipwrecked show in May, but also has a role in crossing jordana musical. It is a children's show at Chapman Auditorium scheduled for April 28 @ 7 pmApril 29 @ 2 pm, and April 30 @ 2 pm. It is free to the public. We may go as we are strong supporters of local community theatre groups. 

One of our favorite stops at the Festival was the Sea Mobile. It is a mobile unit from the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab (located in nearby Panacea, FL). It is a traveling aquarium providing education on marine life. There are multiple "touchtanks, as well as seven "no touch" aquariums with some fascinating local specimens. 

This spider crab is the "wolf" of the tank preying on the most vulnerable specimen in the tank with him. Below you can see him eating a mollusk. John picked up this large Florida horse conch...such bright colors! There was also a tank with two horseshoe crabs. A representative from the lab told us that kids (like 3rd graders) put them on their heads for a nice scalp massage (yikes!) Apparently, they will not harm you. 

Also in the tank were the following: calico crabknobby starfish, large whelk conch, a gastropod mollusk turning his crown conch shell over. 

Not sure what he was doing at the festival, but this pony was enjoying his lunch behind the animal shelter tents. I think he was a pet.

The Governor Stone is a wooden, 65', two-mast, schooner that was built in 1877. On board tours were also available of this historic landmark

There is a large shelter with picnic tables along the riverfront where lots of folks where enjoying the shade and snacks/lunches from the food vendors.

These two sculptures add to the lovely ambiance of the area. Sadie liked the sea turtle playground as well. 

The 11th Annual Fishy Fashion show was a hoot. It was held at the performance stage and there was standing room only! 

The creative fashions were made using washed up relics including oyster sacks, sea netsspongesshells, repurposed beach umbrellas, and other discarded "treasures." Both of the colorful skirts worn in the first photo were made from cloth from beach umbrellas. The master of ceremony (and creator of many of the outfits) was accompanied by a local musician. It was great!

As we were walking along Marine Street to return to our car, we saw several local commercial fishing boats. We stopped at one and bought a pound of jumbo shrimp for $8. They made for a fantastic dinner.

We always enjoy learning more about the communities that we visit. This event was really a lot of fun. Don't miss it if you are in the area around this time next year. For additional information about this annual event, check out their website at

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