If you’d like to get a glimpse of “small town America” again and feel like you’re back in “the good ole days”, next year you must visit Everglades City for the blessing of the crab boats! As you may already know, most of the stone crab in this area comes from the commercial fishermen based in Everglades City, many of whom are second and third generation “crabbers”. Stone crab season begins October 15 and runs through April 15.
Held at the historic Rod & Gun Club in Everglades City on October 2, it was a festive event with church bake sales, raffle tickets for two giveaways (5lbs of the first stone crab of the season, and home-made Key Lime pies), a guava cake tasting contest, a terrific blue grass band, and the actual blessing of the boats which was done by Pastor Bob Wallace ofEverglades Community Church and Morris Dantin of the Chokoloskee Church of God. Even the Everglades City School Prom Committee had baked items for sale, trying to raise money for their Prom and yearbooks.
The energetic and organized person that put the event together was Tod Dahlke who has an eco tour business in Everglades City called Tour the Glades. Tod used to work in the television business in California with reality TV shows, so he really knew what he was doing!
Also, if you ever have the opportunity to hear the awesome bluegrass band that played, all young men from Naples, make sure you listen to the “Whole Tones.” They really kept everyone’s toes tapping.
Additional events in Everglades City worth attending are the Seafood Festival (held the first weekend in February), and Fourth of July fireworks (held the day before or after the 4th) complete with a parade and fabulous fireworks.