Now in its 22nd year, the festival celebrates the bounty of the Florida Keys lobster season that opens Aug. 6.
Famous for its sweet and tender meat, the Keys’ spiny lobster often is served steamed with drawn butter, paired with a seasoned stuffing or in innovative dishes conceived by local chefs.
Festival events are to kick off at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, when lobster aficionados can gather for a traditional lobster boil at The Roof, 201 William St. at the Waterfront Brewery. As well as lobster, plates are to be piled high with shrimp, andouille sausage, crawfish, corn on the cob and new potatoes. Other attractions include live entertainment and libation specials. Reservations are strongly suggested.
Friday’s schedule features a “Reef & Ritas” catamaran sail and snorkel trip beginning at 1 p.m., plus a lively nighttime Duval Crawl with stops at establishments in Key West’s popular downtown and harbor areas.
The festival’s anticipated highlight is the Key West Lobsterfest Street Fair in the 100 through 500 blocks of Duval Street. From noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, seafood fans can sample local chefs’ and restaurants’ lobster specialties from tempting appetizers to full dinners. Offerings feature fresh crustaceans caught by Florida Keys fishermen.
A free outdoor concert is slated for 1-10:30 p.m. with Alphonse, Cool Breeze and The DurtBags performing from a stage at the intersection of Duval and Greene streets.
Other street fair attractions include art, crafts and merchandise from a wide variety of vendors.
Lobsterfest is to end Sunday, Aug. 12, with a lobster brunch buffet at First Flight Island Restaurant & Brewery, 301 Whitehead St. Reservations are suggested.
Event, reservation and ticketing information: keywestlobsterfest.com
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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