Stone Crab Festival Offers Fun and Food

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Cool tunes from a live band, a motorcycle and car show, and a variety of vendors and activities for the kids were some of the attractions at the annual Stone Crab Festival in St. Marks.

But the focus of the day was the fresh stone crabs pulled right off the boats.

The Stone Crab festival director, Stanley West, says, "Today is the first big stone crab festival after the opening of the stone crab season, which is on the 15th of October. We always do the festival the following weekend to let people know that the stone crabs are right here close to them."

Folks around here say the trick to getting to the meat of the crab claws is to use one of these little mallets and to crack the claw right at the knuckle, and viola, perfect crab meat.

Although the stone crabs are the main attraction of the day, some folks who come from out of town say the festival gives them a reason to come home and see family and friends.

"My parents live here and I always come every year. I love the stone crab. I was born and raised here, so I figure why not? It's the stone crab festival and I can see my mom," says Shannon Tate, who comes home to St. Marks each year for the festival.

Family, fun and food are the ingredients for a successful festival. This is the eighth year of the Stone Crab Festival, and organizers say it grows larger each year.