Siesta Key, Florida’s premier beach, is treasured by Sarasota’s tourists and residents. The crystalline sand, the indigo skies, and gentle waves — all lead to a confluence of outdoor fun and relaxation. Last weekend, however, the area became a little more chill. The beach hosted the first annual Siesta Key Seafood and Music Festival.
The fest ran all weekend and attracted a large crowd of all ages. Parking was a little tricky, but after we found a spot, we headed to the various vendors selling merchandise and fresh seafood. Booths touted jewelry, art, hand-crafted furniture, photography, and sculpture. The stand displaying handmade signs drew lots of interest. I was tempted to buy one that read, “My back goes out more often than I do,” but my husband stopped me. Instead we headed to the food booths and loaded up on edibles. We purchased a couple of beers and browsed the offerings: ceviche, stone crab, shrimp, crab cakes, oysters, grouper, snapper, and sushi. Many of Sarasota’s finest seafood restaurants were represented, including Duvall’s and Walt’s Fish Market. We settled on a lunch of peel ‘n eat shrimp and ceviche. Dee-lish.
Different bands took the stage all day, ranging from the local talents of Twinkle & Rock Soul Radio to the popular Kettle of Fish. The music area had lots of seating available so people could sit and eat and listen — or dance if so inclined.
After awhile we wandered down to the water to walk the famous beach. We passed dozens of kids playing soccer, multiple beach volleyball games, kids building sandcastles with their grandparents, tourists looking for the perfect shell, and even an old hippie blowing massive bubbles into the horizon using ropes and a bucket of soapy water. Wow! With the music strumming in the background and a luminous sunset in the west, we counted our blessings to have landed in such a special place.
The Sarasota Spectator
Our Sarasota Spectator is Betsy Miller, a retired high school teacher and college professor. Originally from Columbus, Betsy has fallen in love with the Gulf Coast of Florida, especially Sarasota. Blogging about the area has been a creative outlet for the writer, opening up an avenue of exploration. You may find the bon vivant enjoying happy hour at a tiki bar, shopping on historic Main Street, or seated at a concert or show at a local theater. Chances are you also might find her buried in a book on one of our beautiful beaches. Asked to give one word about her feelings for Sarasota, Betsy replied, “Smitten.”