FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. – Take the flavors of Southwest Florida, mix in our million dollar views, and you get a unique festival more than half a century old.
For 57 years, pots have been boiling on Fort Myers Beach full of shrimp, shrimp, shrimp, and you guessed it, shrimp.
But, it didn’t first start out this way. “We didn’t sell shrimp, which was crazy, “ said Lions Club member Peter McCagg. “Finally one of our members said ‘ya know, if it’s a shrimp festival. lets sell shrimp.’ We used to barbeque chicken out here.”
McCagg has been a Lions Club member for 60 years. Shrimp fest was his idea. “I sold the club on the idea.”
Ever since, the event has been booming. Something that businesses up and down Estero Boulevard welcome.
“We’ve been doing prep for the past two days,” said Lauren Houk, the general manager of Citrola’s Time Square Grill. “We over stock everything. Beer, food, dough in the back.”
Big bucks rolling in all because of these small shrimp, but cooking them is no easy task.
Crews spend painstaking hours prepping in the kitchen, but they say helping out an organization like the Lions Club makes it worth it.
“The Lions Club, gives back to this community so much,” said, Randy Rickard, a cook with Shrimp Shack. “It just helps keep this all alive for the future generations.”
Those future generations already know the difference this organization can make. In fact, they even come here to volunteer.
“It’s very rewarding,” said Jeremy Kresch. “It’s very fun being out here supporting the lions club and helping them out.”
This is the largest fundraiser for the Lions Club. It runs from Saturday through Sunday. Over the two day festival, they hope to raise $50,000.