By Renee Unsworth
Really, the only reason I need to attend to 30th Annual St. Augustine Lions Seafood Festival is the SEAFOOD! I’m a huge seafood fan and will eat ANY and ALL â€” shrimp, scallops, crab, fish, lobster, oysters â€” fried, broiled, blackened, grilled, and in chowder! The event is set for March 6-8 at Francis Field, 29 W. Castillo Drive, downtown St. Augustine. Go to www.lionsfestival.com or www.facebook.com/staugustinelionsfestival to stay updated.
And there are plenty of other perks to enjoy at this FUN St. Augustine festival. Here’s my Top 10 list:
- LOCAL CHARITIES BENEFIT: $124,000 was raised in 2014 at the Seafood Festival for AREA charities supported by the St. Augustine Lions Club, the event’s host. This year’s major corporate sponsor is Winn Dixie.
- SEAFOOD: More than a dozen vendors offering seafood dishes of ALL kinds â€” Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya, Crab Fritters, Grilled Scallops, Baja Fish Taco, Cajun Alligator Skewer, Maine Lobster Roll, Fried Oysters, Grilled Octopus, Lobster Nachos, Seafood Paella, and so many more delicacies!
- LIVE MUSIC: Big names in music include Nat King Coleâ€™s niece, Linda Cole (with the Bill Doyle Quartet) and the Christian Lopez Band (Lopez was a former American Idol contestant). Other well-known regional and local performers include the Florida Bluegrass Band, Sam Pacetti, Lonesome Bert & the Skinny Lizards,Â Collapsible B and The Flaming Pajamas. See the full entertainment schedule here.
- ARTS & CRAFTS: More than 100 arts & craft exhibitors will offer a wide variety of handmade creations including paintings, photography, wooden sculptures and carvings, glass art, jewelry, home and garden decor and more.
- RE-ENACTORS: A Spanish Landing and Pirate Village will feature re-enactors, magic shows, and family friendly entertainment such as live theatre shows by St. Augustine Youth Theatre.
- KIDS ACTIVITIES: Rides and games for children will include a moon bounce, obstacle course, rock wall, mini kiddie jet ride, bean bag toss, sword play with pirates, bungee jump, candle and sand art, face painting, balloon animals and so much more.
- LOW ADMISSION PRICE: Cost is only $3 at the gate for adults; FREE for ages 13 and younger
- BEER: Well, what’s a festival without BEER? Wine, soda, water, lemonade and other refreshments also are available.
- LOCATION: The St. Augustine Lions Seafood Festival is located at Francis Field, 29 W. Castillo Drive, across from the parking garage in downtown St. Augustine. If you have a ParkNow card from the City of St. Augustine, it’s only $3 to park in the garage. Very convenient!
- SEAFOOD CONTEST: I’ve been invited to be a judge at the seafood competition … sampling seafood dishes offered by the vendors! Find out which vendors are the WINNERS in each category and then try the award-winning SEAFOOD!