Everglades City is this really small town, tucked away by the Everglades National Park. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows everyone. Literally. The historic city, which is located about 30 miles outside of Marco Island, has a population of 411 people and a total area of 1.2 square miles.
But once a year, over a three-day stretch, Everglades City is met with droves of hungry visitors. Thousands of people make their way to the tiny town (with a big personality) for the coveted Everglades Seafood Festival.
The festival was founded back in 1970. Long has it been a cherished tradition for the people of Everglades City and it’s surrounding areas. For over 48 years, people have traveled to the town for the fresh shrimp, stone crab, crab claws, jambalaya, lobster, and of course the fried gator bites the festival has to offer.
Despite setbacks from Hurricane Irma, which devastated the area back in September, the festival took place as planned. The three-day event featured live country music, carnival rides, craft beer, local vendors, and of course, a plethora of fresh seafood.
This year R&B/rock artist and American Idol alumnus, Nadia Turner, performed at the fest. Other musicians included soul singer Lauren Mitchell and country music artist Tim Elliott. Rock and roll group Electric Lipstick, Gator Nate, Them Hamilton Boys, Tim Charon Band, The Lost Rodeo, Charlie Pace, and Let’s Hang On, a Frankie Valli Tribute also performed during the three-day event.
The Betterment Association of the Everglades Area, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, hosts the free event each year. Proceeds from the seafood festival go to local charitable causes and scholarship funds.
For more information on the Everglades Seafood Festival visit www.evergladesseafoodfestival.org.