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Thursday, January 17 , 2019, 7:36 am | Fog/Mist 59º


16th Annual Harbor & Seafood Festival Comes to Santa Barbara Saturday

The Santa Barbara waterfront is all about seafood this weekend.

The 16th annual Harbor & Seafood Festival on Saturday celebrates focuses on the importance of regional seafood caught off the Santa Barbara coast while offering kid-friendly activities, culinary and maritime education, live music and arts and crafts booths, said Dominique Samario, a Santa Barbara Waterfront Department spokeswoman.

“The event is unique because you can interact and meet local fishermen, and learn tips and guidance from them,” Samario said.

“There truly is something for people of all ages. It’s an enjoyable time to hang out outdoors and with friends and family, and also have the opportunity to taste a variety of seafood in one place and one day.”

It celebrates the local fishing industry and the Santa Barbara Channel’s harvested seafood with oysters, mussels, crab, clam chowder, fish tacos, seafood paella, sea urchin, and more.  

The free festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and is expected to attract some 14,000 visitors from across California to the Santa Barbara Harbor area.  

The gathering is sponsored by the city of Santa Barbara Waterfront Department, Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara, Inc., the Santa Barbara Harbor Merchants’ Association, and community partners and volunteers.

Visitors can enjoy free dockside tours of the Tall Ship Spirit of Dana Point and the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Blackfin.

The Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol fire boat will also hold free demonstrations.

The Santa Barbara Sailing Center’s Double Dolphin and Azure Seas are providing free harbor boat rides.

For a complete list of activities, click here.​

The festival offers an interactive day while reminding visitors and local residents that the Santa Barbara Harbor is active with more than 100 fishermen harvesting approximately 10 million pounds of seafood each year, adding $30 million to the local economy, according to the city. 

“This festival represents everything there is to do at the Santa Barbara Harbor all year long,” Samario said. “It’s fun to remind people that we have this amazing resource in the community.”

Admission to the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Way #190, and its Children’s Gallery is free Saturday.

During the festival, the SBMM will hold a local wine and seafood pairing from noon to 3 p.m., and the event features Central Coast wines with seafood dishes prepared by local chefs.

Advance tickets and SBMM members are $35 and tickets at the door are $45. To purchase tickets in advance, click here

Samario said there will be no road closures in the surrounding area of the event. 

Free parking is available at Pershing Park, 100 Castillo St. There is $5 all day parking at Santa Barbara City College’s La Playa Stadium parking lot.

Saturday’s weather forecast calls for sunny skies, with temperature highs in the mid-70s to mid-80s, according to the National Weather Service.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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