I like butter, beer, seafood, sun, and most of all – having fun with my friends and family. The Original Marathon Seafood Festival returns to the Community Park next weekend and with the tons of Florida lobster, stone crabs, and conch fritters come some 18,000 visitors who will converge onto Marathon for taste of the world’s freshest seafood. Best part about the Fest? All your friends will be there.
Voted “Best Local Festival” for the third year in a row by the people of Marathon, the festival began with a posse of salty, local fishermen coming together for a neighborhood cookout.
With the men dragging coolers into the field of what is now Publix and Bank of America, the wives would bring their favorite desserts and a gigantic celebration of shellfish and togetherness would ensue.
Today, these same traditions continue, but on a grander scale. Senior members of O.F.F. who have forgotten more about seafood than Arthur Treacher could ever know will be zipping around the park in golf carts, while the younger guns sweat over steaming pots of lobster and clams. Gone are the coolers, replaced by a large refrigerated trailer (last year thirsty patrons guzzled nearly 100 kegs).
And the more-for-your-money lives on this year. The gate is only $5, so everyone will have more cash in their wallet to buy crab, soda, and some art or merchandise from any of the 100 plus vendors.
The weekend’s entertainment lineup includes a nearly complete list “who’s who” in the Marathon music scene with acts like Stormwatch, Mile Marker 24, Amber Leigh and many more.
Tips to make your Seafood Fest even more enjoyable:
• Put some wetnaps in your pocket. Plastic beer mugs slip easily from buttered fingers and Parks Director Jimmy Schmidt gets upset when people rub their hands on his grass.
• Arrive early for the ceviche. Always fresh and tasty, this is usually devoured by Sunday.
• Hit a local restaurant! We suggest eating three squares at the Fest, but this will also be the perfect weekend to enjoy one of Marathon’s finest establishments without waiting in line.
• Stop by every single booth. Deals are plentiful at the Marathon Seafood Fest and vendors are fun to haggle with.
• Bring an extra $10 to buy a t-shirt. Seafood is messy and butter does not wipe out of cotton.
• Bring an extra $50 on Sunday. There may be lobster left over on Sunday. Support your local fishermen!