What: The 36th Annual Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival
Where: Niceville, FL
When: October 19-21, 2012
If there’s one thing you won’t want to miss this weekend, it’s the 36th Annual Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival. Recently named one of the USA’s top 12 food festivals by Parade Magazine, this spirited fall festival offers something for everyone. Festival fun will include high-quality arts and crafts, a huge selection of clothing, jewelry and other goods, collectibles and merchandise, carnival rides and booths, kids’ activities, local and big-name entertainment, and more!
|Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival 1978|
The festival began back in 1976 in the town of Niceville, then a happy little fishing village known simply as Boggy Bayou. In those days, local fisherman poled flat-bottomed skiffs out into the bay at night, listed for the jumping mullet, and cast their nets. During the depression, mullet saved the Boggy Bayou area by providing pioneer families with the means to barter with regional farmers for needed goods and services, so this little town owes the mullet a lot.
Since its beginning, this annual festival honoring the mullet has grown to one of the South’s most celebrated festivals, gaining much recognition and notoriety nationwide. It has become one of the best-known country music events in the South.
For folks living in the area, it’s an event that brings the townsfolk together every year, allowing them to renew old friendships and celebrate with neighbors. For visitors, it’s an excellent opportunity to have some good old-fashioned family fun.
Throughout the three day festival, thousands of hungry mullet fans will consume up to 4 tons of this tasty fish. Of course, everyone who goes the Mullet Festival will have something to eat. Aside from fried and smoked mullet, a wide variety of menu options will be available including seafood, oriental foods, Cajun and country cooking, sweet treats and more. Just a few of these must-try items include shrimp, shark, alligator, crawfish, BBQ, shrimp tempura, fried vegetables, bratwurst, wings, chicken, burgers, funnel cakes, kettle corn, cotton candy, hot apple dumplings and ice cream!
Arts and Crafts
A large arts and crafts show will make for some truly unique finds. This juried show features only original, high-quality work. All exhibitors are eligible for the “Best of Show” Purchase Award. In addition, there will be tons of hand-made and/or decorated clothing available in the Boutique section.
As previously mentioned, the Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival has become known as one of the South’s best country music festivals. Known for featuring nationally-recognized country acts in a small, festival atmosphere, if there’s one thing there’s no shortage of at this event it’s entertainment. The best part? The festival’s low admission price INCLUDES all the entertainment. How awesome is that?
To see a complete schedule of entertainment Click Here.
Sunday, October 21 is Family Day at the Mullet Festival. Sponsored by Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital, this is the festivals only alcohol-free day. No sales of beer or any other alcoholic beverages will be permitted on this day. On Family Day, volunteers from Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital will be selling soft drinks on site to raise funds for the United Way.
The entertainment on this day is geared specifically towards a family audience. Children can enjoy rides, clown shows, cartoon characters, pony rides, magicians, face painting, and much, much more!
What’s A Mullet?
Black or striped mullet are a versatile fish that can be found throughout the world in warm, coastal marine waters and sometimes in fresh water. They are abundant in Florida Waters, especially in Choctawhatchee Bay and its bayous. Mullet are sometimes called jumping, or happy mullet because these fish leap right out of the water and skip along the surface in great exuberance.
Well known and held in high esteem for centuries, these fish were often included in the writings of the ancient Romans. Mullet, which feed on vegetation, algae and plankton, take on the flavor of their surroundings. In most areas, dirty or polluted waters render mullet inedible. For this reason, the mullet is no longer a prize delicacy in Rome because Italy’s canals and coastal waters became polluted.
Mullet taken from the Niceville’s sandy-bottomed waters are fat and clean. Their firm-texture has a mild, almost sweet, nutlike flavor. Don’t take my word for it, come out to the 36th Annual Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival and see for yourself!
|Check out this Mullet Festival T-Shirt|
Worn by the "Sam Merlotte" Character
on HBO's Popular TRUE BLOOD Series