A rainy start and record crowds at Seafood Festival
It is South Hillsborough's largest festival. Photo gallery below article.
By Mitch Traphagen
The 25th annual Ruskin Seafood Festival began on a damp note with steady rain falling into the afternoon, making for unusually short lines at the many food vendors for those braving the weather. By afternoon, however, the sun began peeking out just as the festival went into its first-ever evening run, with South County’s own LadyHawke taking the stage and food and beverage vendors staying open until 8 p.m.
Sunday dawned beautifully and with it came what some vendors described as record crowds. Although official numbers weren’t available at press time, an estimated 25,000 people were expected to attend this year’s event, held at E.G. Simmons Park. It is South Hillsborough’s largest festival and the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce’s biggest fundraiser of the year.
On Saturday during the festival, Shannon Brown of Kids R’ Kids South Shore was named Honorary Mayor of SouthShore, collecting approximately $7,000 of the $14,000 in total honorary mayoral race donations. The funds go to area charities and towards future chamber activities, from community events to assisting area schools. Brown was collecting donations for local youth athletic programs, a passion of her late husband who passed away from cancer. In her late husband’s memory, she created the Refuse to Lose Fund to help children who may not otherwise be able to afford to participate in area team sports.
Other charities included the VFW, the Firehouse Cultural Center and the Good Samaritan Mission, Inc.