Published: Apr 25, 2013 8:27 AM EDT
Updated: Apr 25, 2013 1:23 PM EDT

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. - The 18th annual Taste of the Beach will be held on Sunday, April 28.

Sponsored by the Greater Fort Myers Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, the popular food festival is expected to feature 20 local restaurants, which will provide samples of their signature dishes. The event will take place on Old San Carlos Blvd., from Third to First Streets.

The Festival gates will open at 11:00 a.m. and food will be served until 6:00 p.m. Tickets will be available on site. Admission is $5 for adults and children over 12. Children under 12 will be free. Food tickets are $1.00 each, with the average plate costing around $5.

Live on-stage concerts by country rock recording artists Craig Campbell, Brett Eldridge and the Grayson Rogers Band will be featured at this year’s event. Sun Coast Beverage Sales, Gator Country 101.9,, and Island Food Group are sponsoring the food festival, including the live music hosted from 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Local restaurants participating and competing for various awards include Bayfront Bistro, Beach Pierside Grill, Big Game Waterfront Grill, Chucks Last Stop American Grill, Doc Ford's, Matanzas Inn Resort, Nauti Turtle, Nervous Nellies, Parrot Key, Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina, Pinchers Crab Shack, Royal Scoop, and Yucatan Beach Stand.

Taste of the Beach honors will be awarded in several categories, including Best Appetizer, Best Entrees, and Best Dessert. A panel of celebrity judges will provide the judging. Winners will be announced from the stage at 4:00 p.m. Balloting for the People's Choice Award will be conducted by the Office of Lee County Supervisor of Elections, Sharon L. Harrington.

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