STOCK ISLAND, Florida Keys — Vibrant arts emporiums, a fast-growing culinary scene and a colorful working waterfront characterize Stock Island, the Florida Keys community on the outskirts of Key West. Visitors can explore the eclectic island — headquarters of the Keys’ commercial shrimping industry — during the I Love Stock Island Festival set for Wednesday through Sunday, June 16-20.
Attractions during the Father’s Day weekend festival include fresh-off-the-boat seafood and other island cuisine, history and art tours, live music and even a family fishing tournament.
Among the opening events Wednesday are a self-guided tour of Stock Island’s enticing food trucks and a free 8 p.m. “dive-in movie” at Oceans Edge Resort & Marina, 5950 Peninsular Ave.
Subsequent offerings include Thursday’s ShrimpStock, where attendees can savor fresh local shrimp prepared 10 ways. Presented at the Art Shack, 6404 Front St., the 6-10 p.m. gathering also features live music.
Capping Friday’s schedule is the 4-7 p.m. “Taste of Stock Island Food Tour.” Traveling via trolley, guests are to stop at selected Stock Island restaurants to savor small plates and beverage pairings.
Both Friday and Saturday, festivalgoers can enjoy a stroll through the Stock Island Arts District discovering working studios, one-of-a-kind galleries and talented members of the area’s lively creative community.
A traditional pig roast is to be held Saturday night at Lost Beach at Island Farm, a laid-back enclave and honey farm tucked away at 7000/7200 5th St. The quintessential “old Keys” experience also includes a sunset campfire and live music.
Father’s Day brings activities for dads and kids, highlighted by a family fishing derby headquartered at Stock Island Yacht Club & Marina, 6000 Peninsular Ave. Both dock and charter fishing are to be offered, and rules call for lines in the water from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The angling action and a 4 p.m. weigh-in are to be followed by awards, a fish fry and live music on the beach.
Alternatively, kids and dads can have a family “photo op” and then craft a frame for their image from reclaimed lobster trap wood at Damon Designs at the Art Shack.
The festival also features a pool party, dinner and brunch experiences, a land-and-sea cleanup and happy hour, guided Stock Island history tours and live music performances dubbed “LiveStock on the Rock.”
Event information and ticketing: ILoveStockIsland.org
Attractions during the Father’s Day weekend festival include fresh-off-the-boat seafood and other island cuisine, history and art tours, live music and more. Image: Michael Blades
A colorful working waterfront characterizes Stock Island, the Florida Keys community on the outskirts of Key West. Image: I Love Stock Island