Festival attendees can celebrate Stock Island’s culture and heritage, lively marinas and waterfront eateries while enjoying fresh-off-the-boat seafood and other island cuisine, history and art studio tours, live music, a bicycle trek, a day of family fun and even a lighted holiday boat parade.
Friday’s highlights include the Taste of Stock Island, a “moveable feast” scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Foodies travel by trolley between local restaurants, sampling small plates and beverages at each flavorful stop.
Friday also features a preholiday happening: the annual Stock Island Lighted Boat Parade beginning at 7 p.m. Participating vessels range from dinghies and schooners to local shrimpboats, decked out with holiday lights and decorations, staging a festive journey through community marinas. A preparade happy hour and post-parade parties at local hotspots round out the festivities.
Saturday’s centerpiece is “Discover Stock Island,” a daylong family-friendly event headquartered at the new Bernstein Park at 6751 5th St. Attractions are to include live music, food trucks, vendors’ wares, activities for kids, a Little Mr. & Miss Stock Island Contest and the seafaring-themed Stock Island Olympics. Attendees can even taste samples of roast pork and vote for their favorite in the Cuban Pig Roast Chinabox Challenge.
Saturday’s schedule also features a 5k walk/run and free trolley tours of local businesses, restaurants and galleries with “treasure” prizes.
Among Sunday’s highlights are a guided history tour by bicycle or van, a Stock Island art studio “open house” stroll and a traditional Florida Keys shrimp boil.
The festival schedule also includes food truck finds, brunches at Stock Island restaurants, values on watersports excursions and a Sunday “animal farm” experience for families.
Event information: ILoveStockIsland.org
Lower Keys visitor information: fla-keys.com/lowerkeys or 1-800-872-3722
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