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UPDATE: Destin Seafood Fest canceled
DESTIN -- DESTIN - Destin's biggest festival of the year has been cancelled because of the tropical threat. The Destin Seafood Festival was supposed to start tomorrow.
With record attendance last year, people were looking forward to seeing these boardwalks crowded with vendors and sampling lots of gulf seafood. The chairman of the festival says cancelling was not a choice they made lightly.
Instead of vendors setting up booths, boat dealers are pulling their inventory out of the water. Volunteers pick up orange barrels that weren't even used. The Destin Seafood Festival was created to showcase the best of the lucky fishing village. This year, it's not in the cards.
Capt. Jim Green "The best we have to offer in Destin is not torrential downpours and sixty mile per hour winds, tropical storms and hurricanes"
The festival is run entirely by volunteers from the Destin Charter Boat Association. Festival chair, Captain Jim Green, says nobody wanted to cancel after months of work, but there was no choice.
Capt. Green "To force an event to happen at such a critical time, when people's safety could be involved, and other people's well being, traveling back and forth to our town...it just wouldn't be responsible of us to do so"
Tim O'Malley heard the news when got back from fishing in the gulf.
O'Malley says, "We look forward to it every year. We're traveling commercial fishermen, chasing kingfish, and every year when we come through here it's really an excitement to us to go to the festival here in Destin"
O'Malley thinks cancelling was the right decision. Along with his dogs Radar and Dutch, he's headed for a safer harbor.
O'Malley "I'll take it up to Cinco Bayou, and anchor it off and stay on it and ride it out. I don't think it's going to be that bad, but I don't like leaving my boat"
The charter captains here will also be busy securing their boats, even though they'd much rather be running a festival. At this point, there's no talk of rescheduling.