KEY WEST, Florida Keys — A hearty appetite and a passion for lobsters are mandatory during the 15th annual Key West Lobsterfest, a celebration of Florida’s clawless lobster set for Friday through Sunday, Aug. 12-14. The event salutes the start of the Florida Keys lobster season, which runs from Aug. 6, 2011, through March 31, 2012.
Often called spiny lobsters, the Keys’ clawless crustaceans offer sweet and tender meat. Commonly served steamed with melted butter, they also can be baked and stuffed or used in savory recipes.
Lobsterfest’s kick-off party is set for 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, at Rick’s/Durty Harry’s Entertainment Complex, 202 Duval St. Attendees can rock to live music at Durty Harry’s, or join local radio station WEOW FM 92.7 for a 10 p.m. live broadcast upstairs at Rick’s.
Also Friday night, the annual Lobsterfest Duval Crawl is set for just after sunset on Key West’s famed Duval Street.
The weekend’s “main course,” the tastebud-tempting Key West Lobsterfest Street Fair, is to take place noon through 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, in the 100 through 500 blocks of Duval. Lobster lovers can savor dishes ranging from appetizers to traditional lobster dinners, all featuring crustaceans caught by Keys fisherman and prepared by chefs from local restaurants.
A free concert by top regional bands is slated for 1-10:30 p.m. on a stage at the intersection of Duval and Greene streets. Scheduled acts include Alphonse, Cool Breeze, C.W. Colt and Techno Dread.
Other attractions include booths of arts, crafts and even lobster-themed merchandise.
Lobsterfest concludes with an 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday lobster brunch at the Doubletree Grand Key Resort, 3990 S. Roosevelt Blvd. For reservations, call 305-293-1818.
Events benefit a scholarship fund for Key West High School students.
Event information: www.keywestlobsterfest.com
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY