KEY WEST, Florida Keys — A hearty appetite for lobster is the main requirement for attendees at the 24th annual Key West Lobsterfest, set for Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 12-15. The event salutes Florida’s clawless crustacean at the start of the Florida Keys lobster season, which runs from Aug. 6 through March 31.
Festival highlights include an open-air street fair where fans can sample the Keys’ spiny lobster, known for its succulent and tender meat, served in ways ranging from grilled with hot melted butter to chilled in savory salads.
The flavorful festivities kick off at 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 12, when lobster aficionados can gather for a traditional lobster boil at The Roof above the Waterfront Brewery, 201 William St. As well as lobster, plates are to be piled high with jumbo shrimp, andouille sausage, corn on the cob and redskin potatoes. Live entertainment and libation specials are to round out the evening’s action. Space is limited and reservations are required.
Friday’s schedule features a lobster-themed pool party at the Havana Cabana Resort, 3420 N. Roosevelt Blvd., plus a lively nighttime Duval Pub Crawl. Featuring stops at establishments in Key West’s popular downtown and harbor areas, the crawl benefits Key West High School’s scholarship fund.
The festival’s “main course” is the Key West Lobsterfest Street Fair in the 100 through 500 blocks of Duval Street. From noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14, seafood fans can sample lobster specialties prepared by chefs from 16 local restaurants and bars. Attendees can choose from luscious appetizers, traditional dinners and innovative dishes dreamed up by culinary pros.
A free outdoor concert is slated for 1-10:30 p.m. with regional entertainers including Key West’s own Durtbags performing from a stage at the intersection of Duval and Greene streets. Other street fair attractions include art, crafts and wares from on-site vendors.
Lobsterfest ends Sunday after a mouthwatering lobster brunch at First Flight Island Restaurant & Brewery, 301 Whitehead St. Reservations are required.
Event, reservation and ticketing information: keywestlobsterfest.com
Fans can sample the Keys’ spiny lobster, known for its succulent and tender meat, served in ways ranging from grilled with hot melted butter to chilled in savory salads. Image: Carol Tedesco
Attendees can choose from luscious appetizers, traditional dinners, fresh off-the-grill bites and innovative dishes dreamed up by culinary pros. Image: Bob Care