A look inside the inaugural Baltimore Seafood Festival, happening this Saturday

Many of the best new restaurants in the city will descend on Canton Waterfront Park, along with many established favorites, to serve up some seafood dishes at the first Baltimore Seafood Festival on Sept. 20 from noon to 6 p.m.

Menus featuring shrimp, scallop, crab, rockfish, lobster, octopus, mahi mahi, and a few other types of fish will emerge from some of the best kitchens in Charm City to be sold for $2 to $7 at stands around the festival. Newbies like Aggio, Barcocina, and Nickel Taphouse will serve alongside mainstays like Cafe Gia, Heavy Seas Alehouse, and Jimmy's Famous Seafood.

Dishes range from more simple preparations like crab balls, shrimp tacos, and shrimp and grits to the more daring like a catfish corndog or cured rockfish with spicy plum jam. Go light and try a blackened catfish taco with pico de gallo, or get decadent and chow down on a rich lobster lasagna with bechamel sauce.

For those interested in the actual preparation of seafood dishes, local chefs and cooks will be on hand around the festival giving cooking demos, including Bryan Voltaggio, Scott Hines of Heavy Seas Alehouse, and Jerry Pellegrino of Waterfront Kitchen.

We all know that nothing pairs better with some sun and seafood on the Baltimore waterfront than some adult beverages, and this event delivers. Drink stations abound, including a Smirnoff Crush Bar (grapefruit and orange), Peligroso Tequila Bar, and a wine bar (sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, sparkling malbec, and pinot noir). In the mood for a brew to wash down the goodness of the sea? So far, the list ranges from selections from the likes of local Full Tilt to craft brew Brooklyn Lager as well as Boh, Red Stripe, and Bud Light.

Worried about parking? The Baltimore Water Taxi is offering a special discount and there are over 120 bike racks available.

Tickets range from $29-$75 in advance, with $35 tickets available at the door. For more information, check out the website at: baltimoreseafoodfest.com.

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