What is Scallop Season Really All About?

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PORT ST. JOE - The Annual Scallop Festival in Port St. Joe is one of the city's main attractions.

Next weekend will be their 17th year to hold the festival, which will feature non-stop live music, local vendors, arts and crafts, games for the kids, and of course scallops cooked every way you could imagine.

Organizers of the event say the festival doesn't serve scallops straight from St. Joseph Bay because there is only recreational scalloping in their area - not commercial.

So, the festival has become a means of celebrating the tradition of recreational scalloping that Port St. Joe has been able to offer all these years.

Port St. Joe is the most northwestern city in Florida where you can go scalloping.

Spokesmen for the Gulf County Tourist Development Council say tourists and locals alike flock every summer to to catch the clam-like critters, and this season has been no different.

Two extra days were added to the scallop season this year, which usually runs from July 1 through September 24.

Saturday, hundreds of people were out in their boats to catch the famed scallops.

"The one thing I love about scalloping is you don't have to be an expert, and you don't have to go with an expert. Anyone can go scalloping. You can go out into the bay by foot, you can wade out. Just park your car on highway 98 and get your scallops, get your dinner," says
Michelle Perrin, the Marketing Manager for the Gulf County Tourist Development Council.

Perrin explains that the sport is a simple, fun time to spend with family and friends, and encourages anyone to come out and try it.

The festival will be August 2-4 at the George Core Park in Port St. Joe.