Visitors throng to E.G. Simmons for seafood, music and more

LOIS KINDLE PHOTOS Sidney Szymanski, 6, of Apollo Beach, was one of many children who rode the new mechanical shark this year at the 29th annual Ruskin Seafood Festival.

Postcard weather. Scenic venue. Large crowds. Great food and music. The 29th annual Ruskin Seafood Festival is a wrap.

Hordes of folks from all over Tampa Bay turned out Nov. 4 and 5 for the SouthShore Chamber-sponsored event, which drew thousands of visitors to E. G. Simmons Regional Park in Ruskin. By all accounts, it was a huge success.

With its laid back, family-friendly atmosphere, the festival appealed to people of all ages. Many enjoyed hanging out with friends and neighbors noshing seafood and all kinds of festival fare, drinking cold beer and listening to continuous live music. More than 100 different vendors sold jewelry, artwork, T-shirts and more or provided information on their services. And youngsters had a field day busying themselves riding ponies and mechanical sharks, petting small animals, climbing rock walls and listening to Silly Sam the Music Man in the kids’ area.

Lois Kindle

One of the offerings prepared by the Seafood Market of Clearwater vendor at the 29th annual Ruskin Seafood Festival was this one, which included mussels, shrimp, crawfish and clams.

Andrew Kim, of the World Champion Center in Riverview, gives an 8-year-old child a piece of balloon art he made especially for her at the 29th annual Ruskin Seafood Festival.

Artist Margit Redlawsk, of Ruskin, showed her colorful watercolor paintings and paintings on glass at this year’s Ruskin Seafood Festival.

Organizers paid tribute to “Mullet Man” Steve Fagan and longtime chamber supporter and festival volunteer Ron Simpson at this year’s Ruskin Seafood Festival. Both men passed away earlier this year.

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