What do you get when you combine fresh seafood, live local entertainment, cooking demonstrations, casting classes and costume contests? All come together at the inaugural Key Largo Stone Crab & Seafood Festival set for Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 30-31, at Rowell’s Marina, mile marker 104.5 bayside.

The festival, sponsored by Key Largo Fisheries and Key Largo Merchants Association, presents a delicious weekend chock full of family fun, while showcasing fishing and food from the sea. Arts and crafts, vendor booths, a Junkanoo band, fireworks and a car show also are planned.

Saturday’s scheduled highlights include a magic show, little mermaid contest, fishing tent to host a kids’ fishing “tournament,” how-to demonstrations and a casting contest. Foodie fun is centered under a cooking tent featuring grilled oysters, coconut mahi-mahi, other favorite Keys recipes and cooking demonstrations.

Sunday, festival attendees can learn how to make (and eat!) conch egg rolls, crab cakes, lobster and conch seviche or join in a shrimp-eating or Key lime pie-eating contest. “Black Caesar” and his pirate crew are planning an invasion amid the weekend-long live music backdrop.

Seafood booths are to feature a tempting array of delectable and seasonal stone crab claws, homemade fish dip, conch fritters, chowders, fish tacos and more. Landlubbers are to have plenty of chicken and beef choices too.

Festival hours are 11 am to 8 pm Saturday, and 11 am to 4 pm Sunday. Admission is $7 per adult and $5 per child age 12 and under.

Proceeds from the event are to benefit Florida Keys Youth Sports.

For more information, visit

Visitors can stroll among and view native plants and lush landscaping while getting ideas for tropical gardening during the annual Garden Walk presented by the Upper Keys Garden Club Friday, Feb. 26, from 10 am to 2 pm.

The Garden Walk is to include seven private, resort and public gardens located in Key Largo, Islamorada, Matecumbe and Plantation Key between mile markers (MM) 92.5 and 104.4.

In addition, an open house is planned from 10 am to 4 pm at the Francis Tracy Garden Center at MM 94 bayside. Attractions are to include garden design ideas, a plant sale, live music, and a garden tea party with home-baked desserts, arts, crafts and jewelry booths as well as a show by the Purple Isles Art Guild.

Tours of the private gardens are self-guided, although at most locations the owners will be on hand to share information. Visitors are welcome to stay at each location as long as they desire.

Not all garden displays are close together, so some driving is required.

Tickets with a map of featured garden locations are available for a $20 donation to the Upper Keys Garden Club.

Tickets can be purchased by calling Key Largo Floral and Gift Shop at (305) 451-3702, Key Largo Chamber of Commerce at (305) 451-1414, Shear Paradise at (305) 451-7110, Kona Kai Resort at (305) 852-7200, and Islamorada Chamber of Commerce at (305) 664-4503 or Cover to Cover Books at (305) 853-2464.

For more information, contact Dee Dee Barreto of the Upper Keys Garden Club at (305) 332-0535.


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