22 June 2023
STOCK ISLAND, Florida Keys — Just across Cow Key Channel from Key West, Stock Island is the heart of the Florida Keys’ commercial shrimping industry, alive with colorful marinas, eclectic arts emporiums and inviting waterfront bars and restaurants. The island’s seafaring spirit, culinary diversity and creative offerings are to entice attendees to the annual I Love Stock Island Festival scheduled Wednesday through Sunday, July 12 to 16.
The family-friendly fest includes the “I Love Stock Island Festival for the Family” main event on Saturday with music, entertainment, games, raffles and an artisan market to be held 2-8 p.m. at Bernstein Park, located at 6751 5th St. Activities are to raise money for the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association.
Festival goers can enjoy self-paced mural art and food truck tours throughout the five-day event.
Among Wednesday’s activities are multiple kayak-based marine debris clean up excursions and a land-based clean up, hosted by CoastLove and Oceans Edge Resort and Marina, 5950 Peninsular Ave., from 5-7 p.m., with a trash weigh-in and cold beverages from 7-8 p.m. In addition, during ShrimpStock, attendees can savor fresh local shrimp prepared multiple ways, presented from 6-8:30 p.m., overlooking the water at The Perry Hotel, 7001 Shrimp Road.
On Thursday, “An Evening with Caymus” is a wine-tasting event at Oceans Edge Resort and Marina, 5:30-7:30 p.m. On Friday, “The Taste of Stock Island Trolley Tour” features a culinary tour of Stock Island’s favorite restaurants from 4 to 8 p.m. departing from The Perry Hotel. Chefs and owners are to be on hand to welcome participants with small plates and beverage pairings.
Saturday ushers in the first day of the inaugural Key West Lionfish Derby, hosted by Finz Dive Center and Hunter Sportfishing. Multiple divisions include smallest, largest and most fish. In addition, father-son haircuts are featured at Beards and Brews Barbershop & Bar, where a son gets a complimentary cut when accompanied by a paying dad.
Among Sunday’s activities at The Perry Hotel’s event lawn are the “F45 Bootcamp Workout,” from 7:30-8:30 a.m., and “Yoga on the Lawn,” 9-10 a.m. In addition, guided one-hour van tours spotlight the unique history that underlies Stock Island’s appeal. The Key West Lionfish Derby weigh-in is at 3-5 p.m. at Finz Dive Center, 6003 Peninsular Ave., followed by poolside awards at 6 p.m. at Oceans Edge Resort & Marina.
Event information, prices and ticketing: ilovestockisland.org/stock-island-art-stroll/festival/
Lower Keys visitor information: fla-keys.com/lowerkeys or 1-800-872-3722
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