The eighth annual Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and will highlight fresh seafood, live entertainment, a smart car raffle and family fun. Admission is free.

The event lures seafood lovers of all ages to Santa Barbara’s harbor for one of the community’s most beloved and flavorful events. Timed to celebrate the opening of commercial lobster season, which was Wednesday, the event showcases an overabundance of delectable regional seafood specialties, in addition to cooking demonstrations, interactive maritime education, unique children’s activities, boat rides, live music, a tall-ship visit and more.

Festival-goers can enjoy continuous live music featuring Spencer the Gardenerand Fish and the Seaweeds. Nearly 50 arts-and-crafts booths will offer something for everyone, and limited-edition festival posters by local artist Janice Blair will be available at the festival’s poster booth.

Meet fishermen at the special seafood orders booth, where festival-goers who have selected fresh-caught lobster, crab and prawns right off the boat have it cooked to order. Other specialty food booths include an albacore barbecue, a fresh crab boil (thousands of pounds are served during the one-day event), Brophy Brothers’ legendary clam chowder and The Endless Summer Bar-Café’s rich lobster bisque. Seafood cooking demonstrations at Chuck’s Waterfront Grill will include seafood handling and preparation tips by chef John Pollock.

Expand your maritime education with docent-led Santa Barbara Maritime Museum tours, Spirit of Dana Point tall-ship tours and self-guided fish-walk tours that feature interpretive plaques detailing the nature and history of the harbor’s commercial fishing industry.

Representatives of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and National Park will be on hand with informational booths and displays, and the sanctuary will give guided tours of its working research vessel, Shearwater.

Children’s activities include a mobile reef touch tank, a remotely operated vehicle, children’s craft booths and assorted sing-a-long and storytelling activities.

The festival is presented by the city of Santa Barbara Waterfront Department, Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara Inc., the Santa Barbara Harbor Merchants’ Association and the maritime museum. Proceeds from the car raffle will benefit the museum.

Click here or call 805.897.1962 for complete event details.

— Brian Slagle is an administrative analyst for the city of Santa Barbara Waterfront Department.