For over 40 years, the affordable foodie fair has attracted seafood lovers and Florida Keys families who gather at the Marathon Community Park, mile marker 49 oceanside.
Local fishermen-turned-chefs, their families and scores of volunteers provide generous plates of indigenous mahi-mahi (dorado), Key West pink shrimp, spiny lobster, stone crab claws and smoked fish dip, a Florida Keys favorite.
Conch is served up as ceviche, chowder, golden-fried fritters or bun-hugging sausages. Landlubbers can choose from hamburgers and hot dogs with sides of baked beans, coleslaw, hush puppies and French fries. Diners can top off the meal with the Keys’ famous Key lime pies, baked goods and cakes, cool smoothies and icy treats.
Local commercial fisheries and markets catch, clean and cook the feast, comprising nearly 15,000 pounds of fresh seafood that also involves preparing bushels of oysters and bags of clams from the west coast of Florida.
Live music performances are slated all weekend, ranging from reggae to trop and classic rock, country, folk and groove. The 2019 entertainment lineup can be viewed at marathonseafoodfestival.com/category/entertainment-lineup/.
Other attractions include a boat show, games for kids, prizes and a raffle giveaway featuring items including a fully stocked cooler of fresh Keys seafood. Over 200 vendor booths span the park offering a variety of wares such as nautical items, tropical apparel and accessories, plants, home and outdoor décor, flowers and information from Keys nonprofit organizations.
Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 per adult and free for children under age 12 when accompanied by a paying adult.
Co-sponsored by the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce, the festival has contributed over $80,000 in members’ continuing-education programs and scholarships for Marathon High School students through the Marathon chapter of the Organized Fishermen of Florida, a statewide group that represents the interests and well-being of the commercial fishing industries.
Event information: marathonseafoodfestival.com
Marathon visitor information: fla-keys.com/marathon or 1-800-262-7284
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