Monday, March 16, 2015

16/03/2015: Video: Shrimp Fest brings big crowds to Fort Myers Beach, Florida, US

Over the weekend,  the 57th annual Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival had steamed, fried, and grilled shrimp aplenty!

The two-day event raised money for college scholarships, charities for the blind and other local causes, Fox 4 News reports.

The event, hosted by the Lions Club, brings in millions of dollars to Fort Myers Beach, and members said tourists plan their vacations around the festival and book their hotels early.

The Festival is a way to raise funds for a good cause, boost the local economy, and of course, enjoy some of that amazing seafood.
The Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival brought in folks from all over for the just-caught, local shellfish.

"I've got crawfish, cajun shrimp, and grouper" JR Ruiz said while pointing to his plentiful plate of food from the Shrimp Shack stand.

Saturday was Ruiz's second year at the Shrimp Fest, and he said he loves seeing the locals and tourists come together.

"It's excellent to see everybody having a good time and all the good food," he said.

And seafood wasn't the only tasty treat on the menu: there was Italian sausage, gyros, lemonade, and funnel cakes, too.

Nearly one hundred handmade craft vendors also set up shop.

On the other side of the grill at the Shrimp Shack stand, Pedro Jones showed off the variety of pickings they had to offer.

"We got some grouper, we got mahi, salmon in the back, shrimp, crab legs, some clams over here, some mussels, and we have the mud bugs from Louisiana!" Jones said.

He said the shrimp fest is a big booster for the local economy.

"Local shrimp is better shrimp," Jones said.

And even though Shrimp Fest seems to be all about the shrimp and seafood, the Secretary of the Lions Club Diane Clifton said it's more about making a difference.

"We usually make around US$50,000 with this two-day event," Clifton said.

The club does that by selling half pound, peel-and-eat shrimp straight from the Gulf.

Watch the video HERE.

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