For the past several years, the Coconut Grove Seafood Festival and seafood fans have relied on fresh fish from the Florida Keys. Fishing in the Keys is not just a lifestyle, but for many, their livelihood and lifeblood. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, the event organizers feel an urgency to support the Keys economy and lifestyle, to get them back to where they once were. It’s with that in mind that this year’s Coconut Grove Seafood Festival has partnered once again with Celebration of the Sea Foundation, and this year, they will be raising money and support for families in the Keys who need it the most via KEYSSTRONG.ORG. The initiative will additionally help to coordinate volunteers who want to support the families and efforts now underway to rebuild the Keys communities. A portion of all Coconut Grove Seafood Festival ticket sales will be donated to the Keys Relief effort.
This festival is the perfect way to kick off the Stone Crab Season – by enjoying the fresh seafood supplied by our partners in the Keys such as conch, lobster, and grouper. With over 25 seafood vendors, live Caribbean beats, a family fun zone, mojito bars, and more, there’s something for everyone. As years past, the Casablanca Fish Market will be the ideal place to stock up on stone crabs, grab some ceviche or seafood paella. The Shipwreck Bar & Lounge will be jammin’ with live acoustic music, crafted cocktails and plenty of lounge seating.
The Kitchen Lab presented by Macy’s will offer cooking demonstrations with Andy Bates, Poke 305, Phuc Yea and a Chopped Jr. contestant. In addition, on Saturday, there will be a “Clam Chowder Contest” with two seafood enthusiasts who will go head-to-head for a cash prize. On Sunday, there will be a “Battle on the Bay” contest series where local chefs will face off in a challenge to see who wins the title for: Best Ceviche and Best Paella.
Due to the popularity of last year’s Celebration of The Sea Eco-Discovery Zone, the event will feature a growing number of exciting and innovative environmental and educational hands-on activities, such as exhibits, games, touch tanks, stage performances, video displays, and inflatables while promoting new career opportunities and student pathways for ecotourism, and STREAM(Science, Technology, Recreation, Engineering, Arts and Math), which are critical to South Florida’s economy.
The activities are co-hosted with leading educational, scientific, and civic organizations including the NOVA Guy Harvey Research Institute, Wyland Foundation, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, the University of Miami, the Shark Whisperer, Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center, NOAA Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, MOTE Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center, Dolphins Plus and Florida Keys Marine Mammal Responder. For the Key’s relief initiative, Celebration of the Seas is working directly with leading Rotary and Chamber of Commerce officials throughout the Keys to provide support with 100% of all funding going directly to the families and businesses most heavily hit by Hurricane Irma. To find out more about how you can help support the keys please visit www.CelebrationoftheSea.org.