VIDEO SPECIAL: Pirates, Sharks Invade Port Canaveral Seafood & Music Fest This Weekend
By Space Coast Daily // February 26, 2016
ABOVE VIDEO: Ahoy Mateys, the pirates have landed on Port Canaveral. This weekend, kids can meet the pirates, tour the ship, hear stories and sing along to the favorite songs of legendary pirates. There may even be some treasure the kids will have the chance to discover. Port Canaveral Commissioner Wayne Justice decided to test the waters Thursday morning when he dove with LIVE sharks. Did he survive? Check out the video. (Zach Clark, Space Coast Daily Video)
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – Lobster, aka Maine’s red gold, is one of the gustatory stars of the Port Canaveral Seafood and Music Fest, a weekend jammed with great music and fantastic food.
From 5 p.m., Friday, Feb. 26 to the evening hours on Sunday, Feb. 28, the Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral will be the place for grazing on seafood and listening to top musical entertainers perform live on the Space Coast Daily Stage.
“King Lobstah” will be joined by shrimp, clams, oysters and other princes of the deep during this seafood extravaganza. For seafood lovers and music lovers, this will be a weekend to remember.
“We will have a terrific amount and variety of seafood on offer at the festival,” said Giles Malone, partner in Maverick Multimedia and Brevard Productions, publishers of Space Coast Daily and organizers of the festival.
“Top-class seafood vendors will join us from here at the Port and from all across the USA to satisfy every appetite. We thought of the landlubbers, too, and we’re also offering lots of great BBQ and other food choices.”
LOCAL FAVORITES TOO
Seafood vendors have been selected for the variety of dishes they bring to the festival table. Familiar faces in Brevard restaurant scene such as Fishlips Waterfront Grill, Milliken’s Reef, Rusty’s and Wild Ocean Seafood Market, will be dishing out their specialties.
Francine Grigley of Jersey Girl Superfoods with Attitude thinks she may don a pirate costume when serving her festival fare. At the recent Renaissance Fair on Wickham Park, she was decked out appropriately as the “Jersey wench” who served “ye old pub grub.”
A true Jersey girl, Grigley grew up in south Jersey, where seafood is beloved.
“One of my first jobs in New Jersey was working at Cap’n Cat Clam Bar,” said Grigley, who adds that she makes it a point to revisit the restaurant whenever she revisits her old Garden State stomping grounds.
For the Seafood Festival, Grigley plans to feature clam stew Jersey style, as in very traditional and very filling. Her food truck will also serve shrimp cocktails, prepared with fresh, still warm shrimp with lots of spices, cocktail sauce and drawn butter, just as she remembered from her Jersey days. Additional menu items, among others, include fish tacos and smoked whiting with drawn butter.
If all the mention of drawn butter brings images of high cholesterol, not to worry, for Grigley will also have non-seafood, healthy offerings such as broccoli salad and kale salad.
SECRET FAMILY RECIPE
From New Jersey is not too far to visit Maryland, at least by way of Willy T’s Crab Shack, home of Maryland-style crab cakes. For their legendary authentic Maryland-style crab cake sandwich, Willy T’s chefs start with generous portions of lump blue crab meat, to which is added the company’s “World Famous Secret Family Recipe” spices before being deep-fried to perfection.
The sandwiches are served on artisanal buttery brioche buns with lettuce and tomato on the side.
Willy T’s also features mini versions of the crab cakes and spicy shrimp sandwiches, as well as crab salad and shrimp and clam baskets.
Fans of the television hit “Shark Tank” may remember Portland, Maine cousins Jim Tselikis and Sabin Lomax, who wowed the “sharks” with their proposal for expansion of their Cousins Maine Lobster food trucks.
Orlando resident Kevin Anderson saw the show and was so impressed by what the cousins offered, he bought into their franchise.
“They grew up in the lobster business and know what they’re talking about,” said Anderson.
“Their recipes are so good, they couldn’t keep up with the demand.”
Anderson will bring his Cousins Maine Lobster food truck to the Seafood Fest to satisfy lobster cravings. Expect lobster rolls, lobster tacos, lobster quesadillas, Maine lobster tail, lobster bisque and lobster tots.
“This is authentic Maine lobster, shipped in several times a week,” said Anderson.
Does Anderson ever get tired of eating the leggy crustaceans?
“I never get tired of our lobster,” he said.
Golden Gate Seafoods, mainstays at outdoor events around the country, will present 150 feet of seafood delights, including crawfish, crab legs, alligator, calamari, lobster mac and cheese and seafood boil, and that’s just for starters.
From Jacksonville straight to the Seafood Fest arrives What’s the Catch, a super-cool retro Airstream brimming with Florida Keys attitude…and seafood.
Catch both amazingly tasty options such as Key West Grilled Grouper and pan-seared ahi tuna as well as some delicious deep-fried dishes such as the Blue Lava Shrimp Taco and island-style shrimp entrees.
These are just for starters, folks. There’s plenty of more seafood to discover by the Exploration Tower.
Because man lives by more than seafood alone, the festival features an international beer and wine pavilion, an arts and crafts show, a children’s activity zone and special events such as the Pirates’ Parade and Party,” when several pirate krewes, including the Brethren of the Space Coast Pirates’ Krewe, strut their stuff.
Pirate sword fighting demos, roaming pirate troubadours, pirate belly dancers and even a pirate balloon artist make for “aargh-mazing” entertainment.
After the parade, the pirates party hearty, with samplings from Code Rum, the festival’s official rum.
The festival also features the Shark Experience Pavilion, a specially designed aquarium that holds several sharks and fate-tempting divers.
The Shark Experience Pavilion is part of the Shark Encounter Exposition, the only traveling shark encounter exposition in America. The shark shows, as well as the pirate parade and party, are free with festival admission.
And then there is the music. Headliners include country legend Clint Black on Saturday, the Dirty Heads on Friday and the Original Wailers and Third World on Sunday.
The festival has also invited some of Central Florida’s best bands and entertainers, including General Eyes, Coastal Breed, Smokin Country and The Usual Suspects, to take to the WRRJ Waterfront Stage for nonstop music that begins at 5 p.m. on Friday and at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The festival’s ticket options are both affordable and flexible.
Daily tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. A three-day weekend festival-only ticket is $18.
Individual concert tickets begin at $26.50 for general admission to one concert and festival access, but why not enjoy all three days of concerts and a three-day pass to the festival?
FOR MORE INFORMATION, call 855-386-3836. For tickets, a complete list of events and performers, attractions and times, log on to PortCanaveralSeafoodandMusicfestival.com
The 2016 Seafood & Music Festival at Port Canaveral is sponsored by Cape Canaveral Hospital, Space Coast Daily, Florida’s Space Coast, Bright house Networks, Miller Lite, The Cove At Port Canaveral, SOAR, BioCellular Therapies, Rock Paper Simple, Giant Recreation World and Savings Safari.