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Lovers Key boat show, market and seafood festival set for this weekend

January 22, 2020
By NATHAN MAYBERG ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Friends of Lovers Key President Richard Donnelly is hoping the weather cooperates to make the organization's fifth annual boat show, market and seafood festival at Lovers Key State Park this weekend the success it has been in the past.

Last year's rains dampened the proceeds after the final day was washed out. The nonprofit will be counting on a good turnout to help boost its fundraising efforts to furbish a discovering and welcoming center at Lovers Key State Park.

The boat show and seafood festival will take place on the other side of the street from the beach at what is known as the Lovers Key State Park event field, Donnelly said.

Several boat vendors will show off their vessels from the smaller variety up to 36-feet long. There also will be a nautical market for boating and fishing equipment.

The seafood festival, which is co-sponsored by the Bonita Springs Rotary Club, features a vendor who "goes all over the country," Donnelly said. He and his staff will have an approximately 60-foot long table set up with the fish for sale.

"He cooks the stuff right there," Donnelly said.

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"There will be a great variety of delicious fish dishes. He does lobster, he does crab, a great variety of things," he said. People can buy fish sandwiches or a platter of fish.

There will also be music, a beer tent and dozens of vendors selling goods like shirts and sunglasses.

The boat show and seafood festival will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday Jan. 24-26. There will be "plenty of parking," Donnelly said.

The entry fee is $5 to get in. Donnelly said the proceeds will be split between the Friends of Lovers Key and the Bonita Springs Rotary Club. Donnelly said the event in 2018 drew about 3,000 people over the three-day event while last year attendance was down to the bad weather. He is hoping this year's event gets back to the 2018 numbers.

"A lot or most of the vendors keep coming back year after year. If we get good weather it should be a good turnout," Donnelly said.



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