Food & Dining

Bounty of the sea on menu Jan. 19

Fish platters are a popular choice at the Key West Seafood Festival, which runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19.
Fish platters are a popular choice at the Key West Seafood Festival, which runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19.

If lip-smacking, freshly-caught seafood is your idea of heaven, then welcome to the pearly gates at Key West's Bayview Park Saturday, Jan. 19.

The Key West Seafood Festival kicks off its sixth year with a bulked-up menu, live music all day and a Kid's Fun Zone that includes bungee jumping and a zip line.

Sponsored by the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen's Association, the festival features numerous seafood options, including grilled spiny lobster, fried fish, stone crab claws, pick 'n peel Key West Pink shrimp, smoked fish dip with crackers, fried clam strips, lobster bisque, and several conch recipes handed down by the wives of Keys commercial fishermen.

For those landlubbers who don't embrace the bounty of the sea, festival cooks will also be serving up hot dogs and hamburgers.

And there will be plenty of beverages available for sale, including cold beer, wine, water and soda.Anyone with a sweet tooth will also find something to satisfy, with desserts featuring such things as Estella's famous flan, key lime tarts, and soft ice cream.

Capt. Marlin Scott will emcee live music during the daylong festival, which kicks off at 11 a.m. and concludes at 8 p.m.

The musical lineup:

11 a.m. - noon - Bahama Village Music Program

noon - 2 p.m. - KeyRazy Band

2 - 5 p.m. - Sauce Boss

5 - 8 p.m. - The Rejects

The Key West Comparsa Dancers will also perform, with times to be announced.

Raffle tickets will be sold at the event and drawings begin after 2 p.m. between band breaks.

The festival will introduce new children's activities this year. The nearby ball fields on the corner of Georgia and Virginia streets will be transformed into a children's playground, which has been dubbed the "Kid's Fun Zone." That area will include a bounce house, giant slide, rock climbing, zip line and bungee jumping.

The Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen's Association, sponsor of the annual event, notes that the Jan. 19 Seafood Festival will take place, rain or shine.

Proceeds from the festival help fund scholarships awarded by the association to high school students who pursue careers in the marine industry and commercial fishing.

For more information, call Vicki Gale at 872-9026 or e-mail her at:, you can visit the association's website at: