FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- The Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival is taking the spotlight for the weekend! It's one of the beaches biggest events of the year, giving people the chance to come and taste some of the best shrimp straight from the Gulf.
"It is our way of paying tribute to the men and woman that shrimp and to the industry that has held fast here through thick and thin," said President of the Lion's Club, Darby Doerzbacher.
The Lion's Club Shrimp Festival has been a success for the last 55 years. The tradition honors an important industry on both San Carlos Island and Fort Myers Beach, the shrimping industry.
"We believe we feed Southwest Florida. We provide something very important that they can't get everywhere," said Doerzbacher.
Straight from the Gulf of Mexico, people come to enjoy some of the pink gold.
"We produce some of the world's best shrimp and you can't deny that."
This year Lion's Club President Darby Doerzbacher says the catch resembles mini sea pearls. Darby has 1,198 pounds of shrimp ready to boil for the festival.
"You sit down, you peel them, you eat them, the juice dribbles down your chin and that's what eating good food is all about," Doerzbacher told WINK News.
But, Darby says she has to make sure enough shrimp was brought in from the Gulf waters to feed the thousands who flock to the island for the two day affair.
"The goal is to run out on Sunday just about the time we are closing down."
And an increase in visitor traffic means money for local businesses like Nemos on the Beach.
"It's a party weekend, we are going to make a lot of money, people are spending money, it's one of the better weekends to be down here," said Nemos Manager, Ashley Galassi.
All of the proceeds will go to the Lions Club, where they distribute the money to various causes and charities. The Matanzas Pass Bridge will be closed from 9 tomorrow morning until noon for the parade.