By Anna-Marie Menhenott
PORT ST. LUCIE -- From sea-leery landlubbers to those who crave the most delicious ocean delicacies, this weekend's seafood festival in Port St. Lucie has something to satisfy the pickiest eater's palate.
"This year, we have more than 20 food vendors," said Laura O'Brien, Civic Center hospitality manager. "Dominicks is co-sponsoring the event, so we know that the food is going to be out of this world."
Not all of the festival's fare is deep fried.
"There will be a variety of food available. Many cooking techniques will be used in preparation for the event," she said. "Seafood selections will include scallops, gator, oysters, clams, calamari, shrimp and crab. These will not be all fried food. There will also be scallop, shrimp or fish tacos, seafood gumbo, blackened fish sandwiches and many more options. There will be at least one selection at each of 20 seafood booths. There will be other food booths for non-seafood enthusiasts featuring meatball parmesan subs, sausage and peppers meal and other items."
Those with children will be happy to know that the kid's zone has expanded and has lots to keep little ones busy. There will be six large features like bounce houses, plus activities like face painting. Armbands are $5 per child and are good for entry throughout the entire day.
Patrons who want to sit back, people watch and take things easy can relax in front of the stage and listen to live music which includes acts such as The Renditions at noon; Rockslide at 2 p.m.; Michelle Villa at 4 p.m.; Sweet Justice at 6 p.m. and Fresh Catch at 8 p.m.
Included in the day's activities are a chowder competition and an oyster eating contest.
Those who wish to test their oyster-eating ability can sign up at the event to participate in the 7:30 p.m. contest. Participants will be asked to eat as many oysters as possible in five minutes.
Any individual or restaurant may join the chowder competition, which will occur between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Anyone can sign up to be a judge before the event begins. Participants must bring enough chowder to give away small samples to judges. Advance registration requested, so call (772) 398-7015, Ext. 206.
There will also be a classic car show from noon to 6 p.m. and lots of arts and crafts to admire and purchase.
There is no charge to park or to enter the event.
The event will take place at the Port St. Lucie Civic Center on March 9 from noon to 10 p.m.
For more information, visit www.cityofpsl.com.