By Natalie Strom
The 41st Annual Everglades City Seafood Festival is just around the corner — then another three blocks down, take a left and you’ll see it straight ahead another two blocks. That’s what you’ll hear if you get there late, that is. The spectacular line-up of seafood, music, arts and crafts, rides and games draws thousands to historic Everglades City every year for this fabulous festival.
The weekend-long event will take place on Friday, Feb. 7-Sunday, Feb. 9. Festivities begin on Friday night at 5 PM and end at 10 PM. Saturday runs from 10 AM-10 PM, and the fun on Sunday begins at 11 AM, closing down the festival at 6 PM.
Seafood vendors (and some non-seafood) travel from near and far to feed the masses. Crab cakes, fried fish, stone crab claws, Indian burgers, soft shell crabs, hot dogs, burgers, italian beef and so much more create an aroma that leaves mouths salivating as they walk past the food tents.
A delicious meal calls for a delicious drink. Water, soda, fresh squeezed lemonade and beer will be available for purchase. Buy a beer and get a complimentary Seafood Festival mug.
Then there’s the music. Big name bands will perform throughout the entire festival. People are welcome to stay as long as the music plays. Casey Weston, the Grayson Rogers Band, The Gladezmen and Jimmie van Zant are only a sample of the well-known Florida musical acts to perform throughout the festival.
Art and craft booths line the streets selling just about anything one could need. Peruse through the aisles of clothing, jewelry, purses, wallets, knives, belt buckles, flowers, paintings, signs and many one-of a kind items.
Kids and kids-at-heart will enjoy the rides and games brought in for the weekend as well. Ride the bucking bull; win a goldfish; shoot some hoops; ride the tilt-a-whirl; and take your best squirt gun shot to bring home a big stuffed animal souvenir.
The Everglades City Seafood Festival has something for everyone. Proceeds from the family-friendly event go back to the historic city to keep it as beautiful and maintained as it ever was. Take a ride down SR-29 by way of I-75 or US-41, and see why the festival is now 41 years strong. Learn more at www.evergladesseafoodfestival.org.
Seafood Festival Musical Line-up
Friday Night the Fun Begins!
• 5:45 PM: Houston Brown
• 6:50 PM: The Dance Company (LaBelle, FL)
• 7:30 PM: Let’s Hang On
• 9 PM: Tim Elliott
• 10 AM: Opening Ceremony
• 10:30 AM: The Dance Company (LaBelle, FL)
• 12 PM: Grayson Rogers Band
• 1 PM: Them Hamilton Boys
• 2:15 PM: Brad Anderson
• 3:30 PM: Casey Weston
• 4:30 PM: Parmalee (Nashville)
• 6:30 PM: Angela Marsaglia with South 41
• 7:45 PM: Tim Elliott
Sunday Stars Sparkle!
• 11 AM: Opening Ceremony
• 11:30 AM: The Gladezmen
• 12:45 PM: Wendell Ray
• 2 PM: The Tim Charron Band
• 3:15 PM: Tim Elliott
• 4:30 PM: Jimmie van Zant
Feel like staying the night? A slew of hotels are available:
Captain’s Table Hotel 239-695-4211
Everglades City Motel 239-695-4224
Everglades Historical Bed & Breakfast with Spa 239-695-0013
Ivey House Bed & Breakfast 239-695-3299
Rod & Gun Lodge 239-695-2101
Chokoloskee Island Park and Marina (Campground & Hotel) 239-695-2414
Parkway Motel & Marina, Chokoloskee 239-695-3261
Outdoor Resorts (ORA) Motel & Marina, Chokoloskee 239-695-2881
Port of the Islands (East Naples on US-41) 239-394-3101