(By Lions Club President Drew Yelle) So what can I say about the weekend? Oh man what a roller coaster. All in, it worked out to be a very successful weekend for all involved. If not for the midday weather on Saturday, this may very well have been a record breaker for charity and the expo venders.
The 5K race (thank you Betty Rodriguez!) and Parade (thank you Diane Clifton!) went extremely well and all participants and watchers really enjoyed it all. The crowd was huge and Parade Marshal Alex King really made an impression in his shrimp hat (and on the Lions with his generosity. The weather held off late enough to avoid any interference, amazing luck.
The Princess pageant was interrupted by the weather, waterspout and 30mph wind will do that! But, to the credit of the amazing Pageant committee (Lara Stam, Chloe Stam, Tracey Gore), contingency plans had been arranged ahead of time. So, the princesses quickly adjourned to the welcoming Beach Baptist Church to finish the final stage and award ceremony. Lilleigh Putt was crowned our 2022 Shrimp Queen.
So many folks diving into beautiful Pink Gold boiled gulf shrimp dinners all weekend. Some visitors were claiming this was the best shrimp they’ve ever eaten. We are not surprised . Many Thanks to Darby Doerzbacher for making it happen and Erickson and Jensen for providing that wonderful shrimp.
Speaking of Shrimp, the Eating Championship on Sunday led by the incredible Jisel Alonso was our most successful ever! The most contestants, the largest crowd, and expected to be the most money raised for this event. Joel, once again, was our winner.
The weather was a notable participant, as well. The rain was not at all bad, but three hours of gusty wind made for a trying afternoon. The festival go-ers would not be deterred so easily though. When the weather calmed, a lot of hungry folks rolled back in to eat! Sunday morning started chilly but warmed up nicely into a great day to shop and eat. The weekend finished strong and busy right up to the buzzer with folks were streaming in past the 5 o’clock closing time. The Expo vendors did very well, and a hearty thanks to Bernard McGarvey for all his work throughout the year in preparation. No detail too small!
And of course and big THANK YOU goes out to all our volunteers pitching in to help make it all possible. What a great community. Some first timers, some 20+ year veterans and some flying in from out of state to help us out at the Fort Myers Beach Lions Club Shrimp Festival!
Fort Myers Beach Lions Club
Shrimp Festival shirts sold out quickly this year, however, if you are interested in ordering one you can e-mail Diane Clifton at email@example.com
Save the dates. The 65th annual Shrimp Festival weekend will be held March 11th and 12th 2023.