With Turkey Day just around the corner, you may be itching to get a head-start on your holiday shopping. Look no further than ! Franklin County is home to an array of charming boutiques, antique stores and art galleries brimming with rare treasures, handmade goodies and one-of-a-kind gifts.
Don’t plan to dive into holiday shopping until after Thanksgiving? We’ve got you covered. On Saturday, November 30, Franklin County shops will be participating in the Small Business Saturday campaign. This is the perfect time to come on down to the Forgotten Coast for a seasonal shopping spree.
All across our communities, from Carrabelle and Eastpoint to St. George Island and Apalachicola, you’ll discover great deals on everything from art and jewelry to food and apparel to home décor and fishing gear. Find the perfect gift for everyone on your list without fighting crowds at the mall—all while supporting small, locally owned businesses.
December 5 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Celebrate the season at St. George Island’s Lighthouse Park on Thursday, December 5 and enjoy the festive display of holiday lights on the Cape St. George Lighthouse, Visitor Center, and along Franklin Boulevard. There will be a games for kids, face painting, carolers, hotdogs & cookies, visits with Santa plus lighting of the palms around dusk.
Do you know what an estuary is and why it is so vital our economy and way of life? Join the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve this Fall as we explore the estuary we depend on. Participants will learn about the habitats and creatures that make up our estuary and how the river and bay are intricately connected. We will see these habitats up close aboard the Reserve’s research vessel the Henry Lee.
The class cost is free to attend but you must get tickets before class on our eventbrite page, as spaces fill up fast. Please be sure to bring weather appropriate clothing, and eat lunch in advance.
Fall is finally here, and y’all know what that means: The world-famous Florida Seafood Festival is right around the corner! The 56th annual festival will be held on November 1-2, 2019 in Apalachicola’s beautiful waterfront Battery Park. Featuring fresh local seafood, arts and crafts exhibits, live entertainment and tons of family-friendly activities, this year’s event is certain to be absolutely unforgettable.
Save the Date
2019 Florida Seafood Festival
Friday & Saturday, November 1 & 2, 2019
Battery Park in downtown Apalachicola
(At the foot of the John Gorrie Memorial Bridge on Bay Avenue)
The oldest maritime event in the Sunshine State, this 56-year-old festival draws thousands of visitors to the hip and historic port town of Apalachicola every year. Here are just a few of the fun-filled events, sights and activities in store for this year’s festival.
Blessing of the Fleet
Head down to Battery Park Friday afternoon to witness one of the Florida Seafood Festival’s most important traditions: The Blessing of the Fleet. Several clergymen bless the parade of passing fishing, shrimping and oystering vessels as well as recreational vessels from across the country.
King Retsyo and Miss Florida Seafood are also present for this blessing ceremony. King Retsyo (oyster spelled backwards), son of Neptune, is the guardian of inland waters, bays and estuaries, and he protects our local seafood industry. Each year, the Florida Seafood Festival board selects a new king.
The Florida Seafood Festival Parade
This delightful parade kicks off on Saturday, November 2nd at 10 am EST. Featuring bands, floats and dignitaries from throughout the region, the lively procession winds eastward down U.S. Highway 98 to the Apalachicola River. This event is a treat for visitors of all ages, particularly the little ones!
The 2019 Florida Seafood Festival will showcase a variety of memorable musical acts. The tunes crank up around noon on Friday, and it keeps on rocking until the park closes. There will be more live acts all day Saturday, leading up to the main musical event that night.
This year’s music headliner will be Parmalee, the quintessential American Country band from North Carolina. This talented band’s 2013 breakout single, “Carolina,” rose to a Platinum-certified #1 hit, and their debut album landed in the Top 10.
If you’re hankering for fresh Florida seafood, swing by Food Row. This is seafood lover’s paradise, where vendors serve up delicious delicacies from fresh oysters on the half shell to smoked mullet and everything in between. If it’s caught in our local waters, you’ll find it here—along with tons of tasty non-seafood dishes.
At the south end of the festival grounds, discover a delightful world of kid-friendly fun! This colorful carnival features a variety of thrilling rides and games to keep you and the whole family busy for hours.
Arts and Crafts Exhibits
The Florida Seafood Festival features up to 90 arts and crafts booths, where you can purchase hand-made gifts and unique local items. These booths are lined up across beautiful Battery Park throughout the festival.
Red Fish Run 5K
Ready to race? Don’t miss the annual Red Fish Run on Saturday, November 2nd. The historic Gibson Inn in downtown Apalachicola is the starting line for this scenic 5K. Racers then wind their way through the streets of the charming historic district and along the banks of the Apalachicola River and Bay. Registration starts at 7 am on Saturday, and the race begins at 8 am.
Blue Crab Races
During this crab-tastic event, kids get to race their very own clawed competitors! Up to 20 children can participate at a time. We provide the blue crabs and the fun. This event is free for children under the age of 12, and everyone who participates receives a prize. Be sure to sign up early because slots fill up fast.
Oyster Shucking Contest
If you decide to stop by and watch this fast-paced contest, don’t blink! With their oyster knife in hand, each gloved contestant stands over a tray of 18 world-famous Apalachicola Bay Oysters. Usually within two short minutes, one competitor thrusts his or her hands into the air, signaling completion. But the fastest shucker isn’t necessarily the champion. When all the contestants have finished, the judges inspect their work, and competitors are penalized or even disqualified for shoddy shucking. The winner goes on to compete in national oyster shucking championships.
Oyster Eating Contest
During this must-see contest, contestants guzzle as many oysters as possible in a 15-minute span. The big, juicy oysters are shucked in advance, counted and placed in paper cups so the competitors can quickly shovel them down. The catch is that they have to keep them down—a rule that many participants end up breaking.
The Oyster Eating Contest will be held on Saturday around mid-day. A dozen or more men and women usually compete in the contest, which draws thousands of cheering spectators. Some of the top eaters consume more than 250 to 300 oysters during the competition!
A Historic Treasure on Florida’s Forgotten Coast
On Friday, October 21, 2005, the Cape St. George Light collapsed into the Gulf of Mexico. On Monday, December 1, 2008, the reconstructed lighthouse was opened to the public. First built in 1833 and rebuilt in 1848 and 1852 on what is now Little St. George Island, the Light finally succumbed to beach erosion and pounding waves. Working with state and federal government support, the St. George Lighthouse Association spearheaded the effort to salvage the pieces of the Light. Volunteers cleaned the mortar off thousands of the old bricks. The original plans were obtained from the National Archives in Washington, D.C. and the lighthouse was reconstructed on St. George Island, using as much of the original materials as possible.
Construction of a replica of the original keeper’s house was begun next to the lighthouse in the fall of 2009. The two story brick building was opened in the summer of 2011 and houses a museum which tells the story of the lighthouse and its keepers and a gift shop that offers visitors the opportunity to take home a memento of their visit to the historic lighthouse
Please browse the accompanying pages to read about the Light’s history and to see photos of the Light through the years. Take a look at our volunteer and membership opportunities, and the calendar of upcoming events. And come visit and climb the 92 stairs to the top of the Light. Your continued support of the Cape St. George Light is important to help maintain our historic lighthouse for future generations!
The Cape St. George Light is located at 2B East Gulf Beach Drive, St. George Island, FL 32328.
In the month of August, The Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum, on The Forgotten Coast, will feature a special exhibit on the science and history of the atomic bombs used by the Allies to end the war. On August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima. A second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9. What made these bombs so destructive, and how were they kept secret? Come and learn about the people, the places, the science and the aftermath of this significant event that ended WWII.
Due to public interest, the current exhibit on the role of women in WWII will be expanded and extended to August 31. Both of these exhibits include photographs, vintage film footage, artifacts and models.
Searching for pet friendly Florida beaches and other doggone good fun? Look no further than Florida’s Forgotten Coast! With tons of dog friendly beaches and pet friendly restaurants and shops, Franklin County gets the paw of approval from all of our four-legged guests.
When it comes to pet friendly activities, Franklin County is chock-full of furry fun! There are pet friendly beaches, shops and restaurants all across our coastal communities that welcome dog and cat guests with open arms.
See below for a full list of pet friendly restaurants, shops and beaches across Franklin County. Our furry visitors give all of these hotspots two paws up!
Aunt Ebby’s Ice Cream St. George Island
BJ’s Pizza & Subs St. George Island
Hole in the Wall Apalachicola
Lynn’s Quality Oysters & Raw Bar Eastpoint
Café con Leche Apalachicola
The Station Apalachicola
Pesky Pelican Eastpoint
Tamaras Café Apalachicola
Apalachicola Seafood Grill Apalachicola
Apalachicola Chocolate Company Apalachicola
Red Pirate Family Grill and Oyster Bar Eastpoint
Family Coastal Restaurant Eastpoint
Doc Myers’ Island Pub & Sports Bar St. George Island
Half Shell Dockside Apalachicola
Paddy’s Raw Bar St. George Island
Blue Parrot Oceanfront Café St. George Island
Up The Creek Raw Bar Apalachicola