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Dive into fun at Saturday’s downtown Columbus seafood festival

Trust us, it’s not too hard to convince picky eaters to attend Saturday’s Seafood Festival Celebration.

Sure, there will be entrees like oysters, shrimp and fish sandwiches.

But the outdoor event — hosted by downtown Columbus seafood eatery The Market — also includes elements like a wine tasting and big-screen SEC football viewing.

An underlying goal? Altruism.

“Our hope is to raise awareness for a lot of things,” said Jamie Gruber, executive chef at The Market. He’d like to make the seafood festival an annual event.

Proceeds benefit a variety of causes. Some money will support the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment’s memorial wall. Other funds will go toward An UPtown Market Thanksgiving, a program that feeds the less fortunate. The final cause is Save the Gulf.

The first-time event is open to guests of all of ages and features child-friendly components such as ice cream and face painting.

Expect live music from Ed Cox, Kevin Vannoy and The Soul Providers and Peggy Jenkins. Vendors will showcase items ranging from woodworking to jewelry.

Then, there’s the food.

“We’re going to have a lot of different seafood,” Gruber said. “We’re trying to keep it affordable.”

Most entrees won’t cost more than $8 and guests can enjoy some non-seafood items, including $1 mini hot dogs.

The festival will offer alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The wine tasting will cost $10 for 10 pours.

Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at ssorich@ledger-enquirer.com or 706-571-8516.

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