The week began at the Castaway with a German-themed Oktoberfest brew-ha-ha. For months, proprietor John Mirabella has been threatening to install the biggest draft beer selection in the Keys and pulled it all together for the Conchtoberfest Nights kickoff.

Patrons enjoyed 28 varieties of brew and the culinary delights of Mirabella’s childhood buddy and owner of the Pumpernickle’s Delicatessen in Titusville, Fl.

“Best night in September we ever had,” Mirabella said the next day.

More than a year ago, former Chamber of Commerce President Britt Myers hatched the idea of a local warm-up party to build excitement for the inaugural Conchtoberfest to be held at Hawk’s Cay Resort on Duck Key. With weekend action taking place ten miles from the heart of Marathon, Myers and Chamber CEO hatched an idea to bring a revolving party to Marathon establishments.

“We are fortunate to have so many great local restaurants on our islands,” said Samess. “The difficult part was only having four nights to work with!” 

On Tuesday, the party moved to Chef Lupe & Michelle Ledesma’s Lazy Days at the Marathon Marina for a Mexican Fiesta trimmed out with enchiladas, tacos, chimichangas, and margaritas. A raffle was organized by the Marathon Chamber of Commerce and several hundred dollars was raised for local scholarships.

“Yeah it was great. We were slammed,” said Sparky’s owner Matt Anthony. One dude even showed up with his bagpipes and played for a plate of corned beef.

The Carlson/Goss Scholarship Fund was the beneficiary of “St. Practice Day” at Sparky’s Landing on Key Colony Beach. Instead of waiting until March, Matt and Carolyn Anthony boiled up hundreds of pounds of Irish staples like corned beef, potatoes, and carrots to accompany the green beer, Irish Car Bombs, and Irish whiskey.

Conchtoberfest Nights wrapped on the beach at Cabana Breezes for a Hawaiian Luau. Owner April Tracy partnered with the Domestic Abuse Shelter while serving roasted pig, and Hawaiian themed drinks.

This weekend marks the first ever ConchtoberFest at Hawk’s Cay Resort on Duck Key. Admission is only $5 and plenty of parking is available to visit the more than 60 vendors lined up for the event.

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