Since Key West’s earliest settlement in the 1820s, the island’s cuisine has been based around the bounty of the sea.
Seafood lovers can feast on fresh local lobster, fin fish, shrimp, stone crab claws and more during the Florida Keys Seafood Festival set for Saturday and Sunday.
The festival is to take place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Key West’s Bayview Park, Truman Avenue and Jose Marti Drive. The family-friendly gathering was conceived to showcase regional seafood and generate interest in the history and significance of the Keys’ commercial fishing industry.
Admission is $5 per adult including entry into a raffle for $250 worth of seafood. Children under age 12 are admitted free.
Those attending can purchase offerings that typically include grilled Florida spiny lobster, fried fish, stone crab claws, smoked fish dip, pick-and-peel Key West pink shrimp and more, all caught, cooked and served by Keys commercial fishermen and their families.
The menu also includes favorite dishes such as conch salad, chowder and fritters prepared according to local recipes, as well traditional flan and Key lime pie. Soft drinks, beer, wine and cocktails are to be available for purchase.
Plans also call for call for continuous live music, arts and crafts booths showcasing handcrafted wares, raffles, educational marine-life exhibits and a Fun Zone for kids. Proceeds from the festival benefit the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association and scholarships for college-bound students from Key Largo to Key West.