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Marathon Seafood Festival Visitors and Guests,
ON THE COVER: Artist Tomas Flores created this original artwork specifically for the cover of the 44th annual Marathon Seafood Festival Guide. There’s a hidden twist, viewed with 3D glasses, the fish pop off the page. The piece will be on display, and up for bid, at the Keys Weekly booth on March 14-15 at Marathon Community Park, MM 49 oceanside. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Photo by BARRY GAUKEL/Keys Weekly
WHERE’S THE CATCH?
The festival serves as an economic boom for our local businesses, by bringing in thousands of people from around the world. It also puts our Islands of Marathon on the map as a premier destination by highlighting our seafood, amazing people, and Florida Keys and island lifestyle. All in all, the Original Marathon Seafood Festival is a win-win for everyone here in Marathon and the Middle Keys, as annual event proceeds typically top in around $75,000 which then find their way back to the pockets of local charitable organizations such as food banks, daycare centers, medical assistance, scholarships, youth sports, and many other worthwhile causes.
FRESH, SO FRESH
So enjoy the live music, unique gifts, art, boats, games and rides, and most importantly … the freshest seafood in the world. Come on over and visit us both Saturday and Sunday, March 14-15 at Marathon Community Park.
SPREADING THE LARGESSE
Beyond seafood and fun, the Marathon Festival benefits many in the Middle Keys.
Keys Fisheries receives the commercial fishermen’s haul and ships it around the world.
Take a gander at the menu that features fresh seafood plus dessert and more.
SHOP ’TIL YOU DROP
CHANGE IT UP
Art lovers will find plenty of sea-themed works ranging from tees to wall art.
Everything you love is still at the fest, but check out these new offerings too.
Upper Keys Office 91760 Overseas Hwy. Tarvernier, FL 33070 P. 305.363.2957 www.keysweekly.com
keysweekly.com | MMXX Keys Weekly Newspapers 9709 Overseas Hwy Marathon, FL. 33050 P. 305.743.0844 | F. 305.743.0866
Now in its 44th year, what began with local commercial fishermen in Marathon as a way to get together and celebrate the fruits of their labor, is an amazing event that attracts more than 16,000 people every year. From humble beginnings, The Original Marathon Seafood Festival has blossomed into an event that now has over 350 volunteers, more than 220 vendor booths and involves many local groups and agencies that help put the family-fun festival together.
2020 Original Marathon Seafood Festival
Key West Office 5450 MacDonald Avenue, #5 Key West, FL 33040 P. 305.453.6928 F. 305.509.7347
On behalf of the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, as well as our event co-organizers the Organized Fishermen of Florida (Marathon chapter), we hope you and your family have a wonderful time at the 44th annual Original Marathon Seafood Festival. Sea you at the festival! Sincerely, Daniel Samess, M.S. CEO, Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center email@example.com
GREATER MARATHON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & VISITOR CENTER 12222 Overseas Highway, Marathon FL 33050 P. 305.743.5417 F. 305.289.0183
www.FloridaKeysMarathon.com www.MarathonSeafoodFestival.com www.RelocateToTheFloridaKeys.com
BOOTH #8 & 9
The economics of the seafood festival
By Sara Matthis
If tourism and commercial seafood got married, the union would be the Original Marathon Seafood Festival. If they had babies, it would be all the organizations that reap from the partnership. Their grandchildren are all the living human beings in the Middle Keys who also benefit. Because a dollar spent at the festival isn’t just a dollar. It’s so much more. Consider this — the Original Marathon Seafood Festival requires about 300 to 350 volunteers to operate. That’s roughly 4% of the town’s population. Add about another 2 to 4% of the population for locals operating vendor booths — whether it be to sell some unique spice blends, or sell raffle tickets for a “cooler of cheer” to benefit the Marathon Rotary Club. There’s another segment of the local population that comes just for a good time. Oh, no, wait … that’s everybody. “It’s not uncommon for locals to show up for their ‘shift,’ and then stay to eat dinner or enjoy the music,” said Paul Lebo, a member of the Organized Fishermen of Florida (OFF). The festival is the joint effort of the Marathon Chamber of Commerce and OFF.
“We calculated that visitor spending directly tied to the Original Marathon Seafood Festival amounts to about $200 per day — including accommodations.” — Daniel Samess, Chamber CEO
2020 Original Marathon Seafood Festival
As part of the festival’s funding, the organizers are required to survey guests. In 2019, 400 guests were surveyed and the results are eye-opening. Almost 60% of festival goers are from outside the island chain and 75% report coming to the Keys just to enjoy the Original Marathon Seafood Festival. According to the survey results, extrapolated with a 5% margin of error, almost 3,000 attendees stayed in the Middle Keys overnight. The average group size is about 3.5 people (this is a family event, largely). “We calculated that visitor spending directly tied to the Marathon Seafood Festival amounts to about $200 per day — including accommodations — for a total of about $7.5 million,” said Marathon Chamber of Commerce Director Dan Samess. Samess said it takes the entire town’s cooperation to put on the festival and that includes enlisting organizations to put some muscle into it. The money spent at the festival trickles down to so many worthy causes.
THE TIP JAR The beer tent is staffed by dozens of volunteers — refilling souvenir beer mugs at a dead run to handle the demand. They are under the capable direction of Art Stephens, a commercial fisherman who wears a lot of other hats, too. All of the tip money is directed to various youth sports — equipment, travel and special workshops. “This is such a giving crowd,” said Stephens. “I regularly have one local that drops a $100 check in the tip jar at the Marathon Seafood Festival. He doesn’t drink, but wants to support our community.” The smoothie booth started 12 years ago and is operated by Freida and Lynn Landry. It’s staffed by high school students, or former Marathon High School students, who return year after year to help. The money is directed toward the school’s drama club to help stage productions. “I think that we kept asking OFF for money. Eventually they just told us to open a booth and raise our own funds,” said Lynn Landry, laughing. All over the festival, guests will find OFF and Marathon Seafood Festival tip jars — at the main lobster booth, near the french fries, etc. Every year they choose a different beneficiary. This year, the tips will go to classroom supplies for teachers at Marathon High School and Stanley Switlik Elementary School.
THE SCHOLARSHIPS The folks cleaning the tables at the seafood festival are members, or friends of members, of the Marathon Elks Lodge. For their troubles, the club receives a $1,000 stipend plus tips from generous souls. They turn around and fund scholarships. “We give out scholarships to high school seniors,” said Wendy Bonilla. On average, she said, it’s about five students a year. From the festival proceeds, OFF gives about $5,000 a year to the children of commercial fishermen who are graduating high school, too. Some pursue business degrees in order to take over the family business. Others pursue education in related fields, like marine mechanics. It also uses proceeds for lobbying efforts that protect the fishery AND their livelihoods. The chamber uses festival proceeds to award $5,000 merit scholarships to seniors, another $5,000 to fund a Take Stock in Children scholarship and $10,000 a year for chamber members’ continuing education. GOOD WORKS The examples above, though, are just the tip of the iceberg. See those Boy Scouts parking cars? They put the money to good use, too. The Florida Keys SPCA cornhole game? Donations from that go to help care for cats and dogs and bunnies looking for forever homes. The list goes on and on. A dollar isn’t just a dollar.
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For those looking for what’s next, visit us at booth #48.
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44th Annual | marathonseafoodfestival.com
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A LOOK INSIDE THE FISH HOUSE Photos by Barry Gaukel Text by Sara Matthis Keys Fisheries (top) serves as a clearinghouse not only for commercial fishermen, but also the Original Marathon Seafood Festival. The fish house is responsible for delivering thousands of pounds of fresh seafood over the two days of the festival on March 14-15. The festival will have about 1,000 pounds of stone crab (bottom right) and the claws go fast. At the fish house, the crabs are cooked as soon as they reach the dock, then iced down and sorted the next day after a quick water bath. After the festival is over, Keys Fisheries’ Gary Graves (top right) will no doubt light a celebratory cigar.
The fish house and processing plant on the bayside of Marathon has a long and storied history, important to tell here — it supplies so much of the seafood prepared at the Original Marathon Seafood Festival, and always has. It’s a win-win partnership with the festival. “The Original Marathon Seafood Festival draws people to the Middle Keys,” said Keys Fisheries Vice President Gary Graves, “and, in turn, to our seafood.” Keys Fisheries handles more lobster in Florida than any other facility — a million pounds in a good year. (2020 is not a good year; more on that later). And, it’s probably first or second in terms of stone crab volume.
10 2020 Original Marathon Seafood Festival
Keys Fisheries handles more lobster in Florida than any other facility — a million pounds in a good year. And, it’s probably first or second in terms of stone crab volume.
“There are probably bigger fish houses on the mainland, but they are handling other fisheries — like snapper and grouper,” Graves said. In addition to collecting the bounty of the sea from local commercial fishermen, it also functions as a commercial kitchen. The operation is huge and surprising: it makes about 500 Key lime pies a day and about 500 gallons of soup — lobster chowder, stone crab chowder, shrimp chowder, lobster bisque. Oh, and it also prepares conch ceviche, too, and tartar sauce, mustard sauce, crab cakes and cocktail sauce. Keys Fisheries sells its products to wholesalers, like Whole Foods supermarkets, and restaurants big and small.
Temperature is everything when it comes to shipping live lobster, too. Keys Fisheries has one warehouse that’s filled with “swimming pools,” albeit shallow ones, that are piped with fresh bay water and filtered for sand and muck. The lobster stay in the pools until they are air shipped, said D’Agostino. “We have to control the water quality and temperature. We essentially put them to sleep and pack them in coolers,” he said, “and they wake up in China about 30 hours later.” China drives the live lobster market. In recent years, Florida lobster exports to China have ranged from $50 million to $75 million. But, since December, the spread of Coronavirus has had a disastrous effect on the market. Graves and D’Agostino press their lips and shake their heads when the topic comes up. The lobster season, they say, is effectively over even though it doesn’t officially end until March 31. When the captain’s cost of doing business is higher than the wholesale value of the lobster, the boats stay at the dock and the lobster are left to slumber for another year. Keys Fisheries’ diversification then, with the commercial production of seafood products, is invaluable to its bottom line.
Many of the recipes were developed by Keys Fisheries general manager Greg D’Agostino, a former chef, who has headed up this side of the business for about 15 years now. “And the Conchwurst, too,” said D’Agostino, “that was my invention.” It’s a sausage made of conch meat, available exclusively at the Marathon Seafood Festival as well as the restaurant arm of Keys Fisheries. (It’s good. Try it.) There are trucks coming and going from Keys Fisheries day and night; some of the raw materials such as eggs for the Key Lime pie are trucked in and the finished product is trucked out. The heart of the operation, of course, is the dockside facility that receives and weighs the catch. The stone crabs are cooked immediately, within an hour of reaching the dock. Then the crabs are flash frozen, then sorted on the following day by size. Why? Why are they cooked so quickly? It’s not about spoilage. “If it isn’t cooked immediately, the meat sticks to the crab shell. You can’t even scrape it out,” said Graves. “That’s why the fishermen in North Florida stop stone crab fishing during the winter months. If the uncooked claw gets cold, in the 50-degree fahrenheit range, it sticks.”
44th Annual | marathonseafoodfestival.com
(Top) Keys Fisheries supplies major super markets with fresh seafood prepared every day. Plus, it produces 500 Key lime pies and hundreds of gallons of soup daily. Keys Fisheries has threestory racks just to hold the various containers used to receive ingredients and ship prepared seafood to the mainland and beyond.
I know what kind of day it’s going to be based on the number of lobster tanks still stacked on the side of the building. If they’re all inside, I know it’s going to be a long day of hard work.
— Greg D’Agostino, on the lobster tanks pictured bottom left. They measure about 4 feet square and 4 feet deep.
Probably the best indication of the facility’s scope is the three-story high racks where crates and pallets are stored. The sheer volume of containers empty containers, ready to be filled, is staggering. Forklifts zoom here and there. At the height of lobster season, Keys Fisheries employs 70 and operates almost around the clock. There are six flash freezers, each the size of a small office, and six ice machines each the size of a truck container. “We supply all the ice for the seafood festival, too,” said D’Agostino. “Any festival, really. Oh, and to the public after the hurricanes. We have generators and we’re also on the same electrical grid as the hospital, so we’re up and running quickly.” Keys Fisheries has come a long way since its beginnings in 1967. Back then, the fleet consisted of only six boats. “The whole office was only the size of a closet,” Graves said, “and our docks were only a third of what they are now.” Keys Fisheries is closed to the public, but the fruits of its labor are available just next door at the restaurant with the same name, the “Clawsablanca” waterfront lounge, and its own retail market stocked with the food it makes, all featuring the plenty of Keys waters.
2020 Original Marathon Seafood Festival
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h s e r f seafood 14 Seafood Festival 2020Marathon Original Marathon Seafood Festival 14 2016
CONCH CEVICHE / Ceviche is like a cold salsa made with raw fish. By the time it’s done marinating in the base of lime juice, however, the meat is considered “cured.” Ceviche also features a healthy dose of fresh cilantro and onion.
STONE CRAB / Stone crab meat is sweet and delicious and most commonly served with mustard dipping sauce. Did you know the fishery is completely renewable? Fishermen take only the claw before putting the crab back in the sea.
LOBSTER / Fresh from Keys waters is the Florida spiny lobster, nothing like its Northern cousin from Maine. Our “bugs” don’t have claws nor do they grow as large and the meat is a bit saltier, sweeter and a bit chewier than the Maine variety.
KEY WEST PINKS / Shrimp found in local waters can grow to enormous sizes — think small lobster. At the seafood festival, they are served steamed, sprinkled with spices and ready to peel or fried. The shrimp are sweet and plump and tasty.
MAHI MAHI / Mahi fish fillets will be the fish of the day on the heaping plates of fried goodness. Alive, the fish has a stunning iridescent coat of blue-green colors. Cooked, it’s a clean white meat with a mild taste and firm body.
nlike other Florida festivals that bill themselves as a “seafood” event, the Original Marathon Seafood Festival is the real deal. Forty-four years ago, the festival was organized by commercial fishermen. The same holds true today, in 2020, as the fishermen offer the bounty of the sea, prepared using time-tested recipes.
2,750 CONCH FRITTERS*
1,000 STONE CRABS
400 CONCH CEVICHE
300 SMOKED FISH DIP
1,200 MAHI MAHI CONCH FRITTERS / Conch is a shellfish, carefully harvested from gorgeous pinklipped shells. The fish is cut into tiny pieces, or ground, then tenderized. It’s added to the fritter batter and dropped into boiling oil, served piping hot with a side dish of red cocktail sauce. OTHER GOODNESS / In addition to the excellent seafood, the Marathon Seafood Festival has plenty of other good nibbles. Try some smoked fish dip, the Conchwurst sausage, conch ceviche, fried oysters, lobster chowder, clams in butter and garlic sauce and crab cakes. There’s also hamburgers and french fries, Key lime pie and croquettas. All the food is seriously good!
*This figure required a lot of math, not our strong suit; any errors are ours.
44th Annual | marathonseafoodfestival.com 15
GAMES & RIDES Adults come for the seafood and the music. Kids only have two things on their mind: games and rides. This year, the Marathon Seafood Festival will feature some old favorites and new fun. The rides fees range from 2 tickets (the slide) to 12 tickets (for the stunt jump). Tickets are $1 each, or $20 for 26 tickets, or $40 for 60 tickets. The games are set up in the southwest corner of Marathon Community Park. STUNT JUMP Climb up to a platform 25 feet in the air and then hurl yourself into the air to land land on one of those huge, inflatable “bags.” It’s good for adults, too (up to 250 lbs.). With 85.7% certainty, we can say this game will be the runaway hit of the kids’ corner. QUAD JUMP The Quad power jumps can only be called fun. Jumpers are set up in a state-of-the-art harness, connected to the patented bungee cords and raised up for a jumping good time. Cushioned by bounce pads, jumpers can get up to 32 feet high.
SHUTTLE SLIDE This inflatable, twostory slide, in the shape of a rocket has been coming to the Marathon Seafood Festival for, oh, as long as we remember. Kids enjoy the climb and then the thrill of barreling down to the bottom.
AXE THROWING This is also good for kids and adults. Axe-throwing is sweeping the nation and Marathon locals and visitors will have the chance to test themselves with a blade and wooden target. ROCK WALL Both kids and grownups gravitate toward the rock wall. At more than 25 feet high, it’s an extreme climbing experience. The safety features include a four-sided auto belay system that makes it safe. Look for bits of cash dangling way up high. Those who grab it, keep it.
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44th Annual | marathonseafoodfestival.com 17
1. How much is it to refill the collectible souvenir cup at the beer tent? 2. How much does it cost for the kids’ games and rides at the festival? 3. How many years has the Marathon Seafood Festival been running? 4. How many calories in a freshly fried conch fritter? 5. What is the record amount of beer kegs tapped during a Marathon Seafood Festival? 6. Who provides festival security? How much does it cost? 7. Is there craft beer at the festival? Where?
Mix-andmatch questions & answers about The Original Marathon Seafood Festival By Sara Matthis
A: Off-duty sheriffs and $13,000. B: Stock Island Nikes. C: 221 D: 161 E: 500 F: Yes. The Islamorada Beer Co. tent is located very close to the games corner for thirsty parents. G: $1 a ticket, $20 for 26 tickets, or $40 for 60 tickets. Rides range from 2 to 12 tickets per turn. H: Two ounces; it almost caused a riot. Calm down, everyone. That means one extra trip to the tent every seven beers. And, after seven beers, who cares?
8. What sold out first in 2019? I: The french fry boot. 9. What is the difference in sizes between the 2018 collectible beer mug and the 2019 collectible beer mug? 10. How many Key lime pies are consumed by hungry guests? 11. Where can you find Marathon’s favorite one-eyed man?
J: $4 K: 44 years L: Fried shrimp. The fishermen have doubled the order for this year. M: The fist is a Keys native, the second is seafood.
12. The nickname for the designer, ankle-high fishing boots. 13. What’s the difference between Conch and conch?
Answers: 1J; 2G; 3K; 4C; 5D; 6A; 7F; 8L; 9H; 10E; 11i; 12B; and 13M.
2020 Original Marathon Seafood Festival
Marathon's Professional Commercial Fishermen
From our boats...to your table. Harvesting local seafood for Marathon and the rest of the world for more than 50 years. Proud sponsors and founders of the Original Marathon Seafood Festival. Dedicated to the preservation of Marathon's commercial fishing heritage and the protection of its commercial fishermen and their families. Paul Lebo, President Eddie Cordova JR, Vice President / Director Carlos Moreira, 2nd Vice President Rick Turner, Alternate Director Elizabeth Prieto, Secretary / Treasurer and the rest of the O.F.F. family
Over $200,000 donated to local scholarships.
Currently accepting applications for 2020. Available for children of commercial fishing families. See the Marathon High School Guidance Office for more info.
20 2020 Original Marathon Seafood Festival
44th Annual | marathonseafoodfestival.com 21
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Food So Good It’ll Make Your Tongue Slap Your Brains Out! Come by Car, Bike, Foot or Boat
1200 Oceanview Avenue (end of 15th Street), MM 47.5 Ocean 305-743-9204 • Open 11am – 9pm Daily 44th Annual | marathonseafoodfestival.com 27
SATURDAY, MARCH 14 Terry Cassidy & Mike Bailey Saturday @ 10am Singer and songwriter Terry helped form the Key Lime Pie Band, and the rest is history! Bluegrass and country influences power Terry’s command of guitar and banjo. He’ll perform with Mike, also an accomplished musician. Caribe Saturday @ 11am Yes, we got your salsa, merengue and hot movin’ music here! A must see, Rolando Rojas of Caribe is a local legend within the Hispanic music industry! Baila! I-Land Vibe Saturday @ 1pm The members of I-Land Vibe prefers to think of the group as a Caribbean band since reggae is not the only music from in the islands. Dan Furmanik & The Coconut Cowboys Saturday @ 3pm From Williams to Johnny Cash and Lynyrd Skynyrd to Guns-NRoses, the Coconut Cowboys are ridin’ the Florida Keys with their hi-octane style of entertainment!
The Rock Show! Saturday @ 5pm A performance by The Rock Show is akin to watching a modern rockumentary based on legendary music and bands from the late ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, including songs from The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Queen, Pat Benatar, Pink Floyd, Heart, Journey, The Rolling Stones and many more. They look as good as they sound.
Enterta The Rock Show!
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SUNDAY, MARCH 15 Tobacco Rd Band
Jade Storm Sunday @ 11am Led by singer/songwriters John Bartus and Adrienne Z, Jade Storm brings quite a variety of classic rock as well as John and Adrienne’s original songs from their CDs. Expect anything from quiet acoustic numbers to all-out rockers!
The Stone Crabs Sunday @ 1pm Recently voted Best Band in the Best of Marathon contest, the Stone Crabs are a perfect Saturday festival band. Ken Fairbrother, Mike Corvette, Luke Ptomey, and Tony Napoli join forces to combine into one cool groove! You’ll dance to their various influences of reggae, rock, folk, blues, hip-hop, and more! The Mojo Scoundrels Sunday @ 3pm to close Featuring the double threat of lead vocalist and multi instrumentalist Brett Brown, along with the seductive yet powerful lead vocals of Bryah Brown, The Mojo Scoundrels light the stage on fire with every performance!
ainment Tobacco Rd Band Saturday @ 7pm to close Tobacco Rd Band was formed by Eric Durrance, a Country Music Television artist and co-writer of Jake Owens top 10 single “Eight Second Ride.” The four-piece Florida hard rocking country band hit the ground running with their first single “Stiff Drink.” It received lots of airplay on country radio stations and soon the band was packing bars and clubs around the Southeast. The band has opened shows for Josh Turner, Jake Owen, Justin Moore, Jason Aldean, Cole Swindell, Brantley Gilbert and more. The band also teamed up with Colt Ford in the studio to record their smash hit “That’s Country.” In 2019, the band plans to continue pushing forward with their 5th studio album and plans to release the first single off the album this spring.
The Mojo Scoundrels
44th Annual | marathonseafoodfestival.com 29
FINALLY, MARATHON HAS A STATE-OF-THE-ART DENTAL OFFICE!
But not only that, it will be open five days a week. Their office can help with all of your dental needs. Dr. Buitrago is a master in dental implants. He is a faculty member in two AEGD programs in Florida, and has his own educational training facility in Miami for current dentists www.dtcmiami.com.
Dental Solutions of the Keys delivers the latest technology in implant dentistry. As an expert in L-PRF (leukocytes plasma rich in fibrin), Dr. Buitrago is able to give patients a beautiful smile when the patients bone quality is not the best, and in some cases where there is total lack of bone. Their CBCT digital radiography machine allows them to see jaw bones, teeth, and hard structures in detail, and in a 3D way, making the diagnostics very precise.
ALL PPO DENTAL INSURANCE ACCEPTED 11399 Overseas Highway â€˘ Marathon
FINANCING AVAILABLE ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED
JOIN US AS WE CELEBRATE OUR GRAND OPENING WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18, 5-7PM THE RIBBON-CUTTING CEREMONY 5:30PM REFRESHMENTS & HORS D'OEUVRES GIVEAWAYS | RAFFLES
If you have considered eliminating your dentures and want to have fixed teeth over implants, this is the place to go. Currently, the most popular treatment on the market consists of four implants with a denture attached to them. This is a thing of the past for Dr. Buitrago. The treatment offered at Dental Solutions of the Keys, is much more sophisticated due to the high level of aesthetics in the teeth that we create, which are not the regular, full and complete dentures.
One of the best services provided at Dental Solutions of the Keys, is that they have a full porcelain lab in house. This makes matching the color of your crown much more accurate. In most cases, with their digital technology, the patient doesnâ€™t have to suffer from those uncomfortable impressions, because they use a digital scan of your mouth instead. Furthermore, crowns delivered the same day are often possible. A common service offered at Dental Solutions of the Keys, is surgical extraction of teeth from simple to very complex cases. Wisdom tooth removal is part of their expertise.
Dental Solutions of The Keys
Booth: H&G | jessicaannart.com This Keys native paints with fluid acrylics in bright, vibrant colors. The booth will feature a smattering of her work — originals on canvas, prints and fishing shirts. The festival is just in time to introduce her newest collection — In the Reef. The artist also has a gallery in Islamorada on Morada Way.
The Art of Sea & Seafood Anglers will find plenty to shop for at the annual Marathon Seafood Festival beyond fishing gear and apparel. The event features many, many artists of all varieties who all manage to incorporate the ocean and marine sports into their work. Here’s a smattering below.
Booth: 118 | mokieburns.com Mokie Burns creates beautiful and intricate art using her wood burning skills. While the technique might be old school, the images are very detailed and fluid. Look for the one-of-a-kind pieces, leather patch hats, coasters, and clever magnetic bottle owners that make it seem like the tarpon is snatching bait (the bottle cap).
32 2020 Original Marathon Seafood Festival
Booth: 1 | Facebook Lavender Blue Home and Garden specializes in a unique type of “living” art. Although the mosses are preserved, the artist incorporates lots of natural items into her work — driftwood and cork, for example, and also shells. She’s bringing tabletop pieces, wall pieces and a few hanging pieces to the festival.
N O E L S K I BA PA I N T S AWARD WINNING KEYS COLORS
Painting on location from Key West, Big Pine, Islamorada to Mackinac Island Galleries, Shows & Events
616-951-2524 616-309-6413 firstname.lastname@example.org Come watch me paint awesome art! www.NoelSkiba.com
Booth: J | migdaliapace.com This will be Migdalia’s first trip to the Marathon festival. She’s bringing shirts, pens, framed art, prints, stickers and other regalia emblazoned with her outstanding designs — a mix of Mexican sugar skill and mermaid art. It’s very creative and like nothing else we’ve ever seen.
God Bless You
An important message from
Florida Keys Contractors Association
Peace of Mind is important during Hurricane Season.
Booth: A | chefbucknaked.com Chef Buck Donnelly likes to create special spices just for the Marathon Seafood Festival. “In fact, the peppery lime garlic was spawned (pun intended) at the festival,” he said. Most of his spices are designed around bringing out the flavors of local seafood such as the Reef Rub and the Seafood Seasoning. Available in all sizes.
Be sure to hire a licensed and insured contractor to get your home and business ready during storm season. After the storm: Be sure to hire licensed contractors to repair storm damaged structure. Ask your contractor
Visit us at Booth #163 & #164
• Do you have a Monroe County License? • Do you have general liability & workman's comp insurance? • Are you familiar with Monroe County Building Regulations? • Will you pull a permit if my work requires it? • Have you done this type of work before? • Are you self performing the entire project? • Will you supply releases of liens for your subcontractors & suppliers?
Work that requires a licensed and insured contractor Aluminum • Landscaping • Masonry • Roofing • Shutters • Windows & Doors • Seawalls & Docks and more...please call for more information.
Florida Keys Contractors Association
Florida Keys Contractors Association 305-743-9409 Admin@FKCA.org www.FKCA.org
44th Annual | marathonseafoodfestival.com 33
Sliding Glass Doors Hard To Open? ar 3 Yea n t y ! r Wa r
IT CAN BE REPAIRED! Roller Maintenance Track Maintenance Security Pins Door Alignment Security Locks & Handles
PROFESSIONAL - RELIABLE - INSURED
Sliding Glass Door Maintenance
Take a walk back in time...... Crane Point Museum & Nature Center 5550 Overseas Highway • Marathon Mile Marker 50 at the stoplight • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Museum of Natural History Nature Trails Wild Bird Center Touch Tank Lagoon Fish Butterfly Garden Historic Adderley House Trolley Tours Scenic view from the Point Picnic in the courtyard Gift Shop Kayak Tours Bee & Pollination Center for Viewing Site of Historic Train Geocaching Headquarters STIP Nursery Fish Pedicure
Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon-Sat Noon to 5 p.m. Sundays www.cranepoint.net
Museum & Nature Center
PROUD SUPPORTER OF THE ORIGINAL MARATHON SEAFOOD FESTIVAL
34 2020 Original Marathon Seafood Festival
THE ORIGINAL MARATHON
SEAFOOD FESTIVAL PRESENTED BY:
Aileen Galvan for Tax Collector • All Keys Concrete • Craig Cates for BOCC Dist. 1 • Cruise Planners - Diane Scudder • Design Center • Dot Palm Homes & Land of the FL Keys • Jolly Roger • Kelly Electric • Keys Contracting Services • Marathon Aviation Associates • Marathon Lady Our Island Fun • Overseas Pub & Grill • Regan Insurance • Sea Level Spa • Sparky's Landing • Specialty Hardware • Terra Marine Park • The Manz Law Firm • Native Taxi • UPS Store • Blue Native • Keys Car Wash • Danger Charters • Discount Rock & Sand • Edward Jones - Sarah Cizmas Florida Keys Air Conditioning • Florida Keys Electric • Professional Plastering Designs Inc. • Sweet Savannah's • Keys Animal Hospital
Special consideration paid for by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council. 44th Annual | marathonseafoodfestival.com 35
COME SEE US AT BOOTH #105
Personal Injury • Criminal Law • Hurricane Claims • Real Estate Residential Property Damage • Business Property Damage Condo Units/Association Property Damage Family Law (divorces) • Probate • Bankruptcy • Foreclosure Defense
ice cream cupcakes candy toys+gifts books custom cakes gluten free OPEN
Sun - Thurs 11am - 9pm Fri & Sat 11am - 10pm
36 2020 Original Marathon Seafood Festival
No Located at 8919 Overseas Hwy in the southwind plaza
Immediate Availability! Licensed and Insured License #CGC1516588
- Pylon Installation - Seawalls - Sheet Driving - Hurricane Repair
- Dock and Pier Construction - Dredging - Shoreline Repair and Reconstruction - Army Corps. & FDEP Permitting Services Offered
VISIT US ONLINE TO LEARN MORE! WWW.LPS-CONTRACTING.COM RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL MARINE CONSTRUCTION
Call or Email Us Today for Your Free Estimate!
PRIVATE CAPITAL LOANS COMMERCIAL LOANS MADE EASY...
OPTIONS FOR INVESTORS AND BUSINESS OWNERS
Dive into something new By Sara Matthis
Everything (and everyone) you love and care about is still there. But, each year, organizers of the Original Marathon Seafood Festival trot out some new features. Here they are for 2020:
Cell: 321.914.5159 Office: 305.290.1376 email@example.com PROPERTY TYPES Multifamily | Mixed-Use | Office/ Retail | Warehouse | Light Industrial | Self-Storage Automotive | Daycare Center | Restaurant/Bar COMMERCIAL LOANS TO PURCHASE Rate/Term Refinance | Cash-Out Refinance with greater flexibility No Doc Streamline Program... less documentation (No tax returns, bank statements, leases, rent roll, or historical operating statement required) *Commercial Borrowers will be required to submit a purchase contract for transactions involving a real estate acquisition. *Note* appraisal companies may require property documentation to assess final value.
As seen on “Chevy Insider Fishing Report” Wrap your favorite reels with your own logo, boat name or image! We also sell customizable koozies, shirts, and other good stuff.
REEL COVERS • APPAREL ACCESSORIES • KOOZIES
BLOODY MARY BAR In 2019, organizers added a fantastically popular feature — the frozen drink drinks tent. Now, the offerings will also include all the “fixins.” That means you can get a Bloody Mary and dress it up with celery, pickles and special spices. The booth also serves margaritas on the rocks and rum runners. It’s also the place to get your wine. All the mixed drinks are wine-based and guests can order an extra shot for $4.
CUSTOM REEL COVERS FOR EVERY TYPE OF ANGLER... TOBACCO RD BAND This is the first time these young men from West and North Florida have played the Florida Keys, and the first time most of them have ever visited the islands. They play some hard-rockin’ country music and have the chops to back it up — Eric Durrance is a Country Music Television star and co-wrote Jake Owen’s hit “Eight Second Ride.” Listen for “I Wanna Hear Some Steel” and “Stiff Drink.”
38 2020 Original Marathon Seafood Festival
CUSTOM ARTWORK AT AUCTION For the first time, the Marathon Weekly Newspaper is featuring an original piece of artwork, specifically created for the cover of this magazine, in honor of the festival. Artist Tomas Flores created a 36-by-48 inch airbrushed painting of Keys sea life ... with a twist. Viewed with 3D glasses, the fish pop off the page. The original will be on display in the Keys Weekly booth, located next to the entrance of the park. Interested parties can put in a bid. The proceeds will benefit the Big Kahuna fundraising efforts of Upper Keys Weekly editor Jimmy McCarthy to support the Good Health Clinic.
PROTECTING PETS IN PARADISE
OUR DOCKS ARE OPEN! COME BY BOAT, BIKE, FOOT OR CAR!
OPEN FOR LUNCH, HAPPY HOUR & DINNER 7 DAYS A WEEK! 11AM â€“ 10PM DAILY
VOTED BEST HAPPY HOUR 11 YEARS IN A ROW! ALSO VOTED BEST MARGARITA!
COME CHECK US OUT FOR THE BEST HAPPY HOUR IN MARATHON OR LISTEN TO SOME GREAT LIVE MUSIC AFTER THE SEAFOOD FESTIVAL!
SATURDAY & SUNDAY Regular Menu Available and BRUNCH items including Chorizo Breakfast Burrito, Guava, French Toast, Crab Benedict and BOGO Mimosas and Glasses of Champagne 11am - 4pm
JOIN US FOR
YAPPY HOUR AT THE LIGHTHOUSE GRILL
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Happy Hour 4-6 Fried Green Tomato BLT Wood-Fired Pizzas
LIVE MUSIC WE ARE SHOWING ALL COLLEGE BASKETBALL GAMES!
THURSDAY MARCH 19, 5-7PM!
DOGS WELCOME & 15% OFF ALL SALES BENEFIT THE FKSPCA! KEY WEST CAMPUS 5711 College Rd | Key West | 305.294.4857 MARATHON CAMPUS 10550 Aviation Blvd | Marathon | 305.743.4800
www.fkspca.org www.facebook.com/fkspca WE WIL COOK YOUL R CATCH! FISH or LOBSTE
www.sparkyslanding.com 305-363-2959 MM 53.5 Overseas Highway, Marathon, Florida Waterfront Location Adjacent To Holiday Inn Express
44th Annual | marathonseafoodfestival.com 39
Scholarships By Holly Houser
Proceeds from the Marathon Seafood Festival serve a very important purpose — funding scholarships for local kids. Both the Marathon Chamber of Commerce and the Marathon chapter of the Organized Fishermen of Florida select graduating Marathon High School seniors and award them grants to pursue higher education. The Keys Weekly checked in with some of the students to see how they are faring: “I love it, it’s definitely rewarding,” he said. “I’ve already been able to buy a house and become really stable. Without the scholarship I received, I wouldn’t have been able to go to the school I wanted. And without that school on my resume, I probably wouldn’t have made it to the place I am now.”
industry and move to a big city like New York, Chicago or D.C., following graduation.
Teddy has been happily working for Duke Energy for about a year and a half.
Abigail’s ultimate dream job would be to work in genetically engineering cells for cancer research and treatment. The scholarship she earned from the Marathon Chamber of Commerce is one of many elements that will help her get there.
TEDDY VIOLISSI III 2017 Marathon High School graduate Teddy Violissi III is working his dream job and says his scholarship played a significant role in getting him to where he is today. “Going through that scholarship program and attending the school I did are probably the only reasons I’m able to do what I am now,” said Teddy, who used his scholarship money towards a three-month Georgia trade school, Southeast Lineman Training Center, in power-line work. Through a Southeast Lineman Training Center apprenticeship, he is now living in South Carolina working for Duke Energy.
40 2020 Original Marathon Seafood Festival
“Early in my career, I’d love to work on an oil rig because it’s two weeks on and two weeks off,” she explained. “I could just travel and cross off my bucket list before really settling down.”
“Receiving this scholarship definitely helped me get everything I need to be successful,” she said. “I was able to buy a new computer, which I needed, and get everything for my room to help feel comfortable and settled in. It’s helped me feel like I have a place to go and people to support me. It’s helped make Gainesville home, which will allow me to find success and thrive.” ABIGAIL FRANCK A first-year University of Florida student, Abigail Franck has big ambitions. Studying chemical engineering with a minor in biomolecular engineering, her goal is to go into the petroleum or pharmaceutical
“These past three semesters, I haven’t had to pay anything in tuition and it’s because of all the scholarships the community of Marathon offers students at Marathon High School,” she said. “Thank you for being so willing to help all of us grow past our high school selves and start our future.”
ALYSSA TURNER Alyssa Turner is a Florida State University biology student on track to graduate this fall with aspirations to be a professor, do field research, or, her ultimate goal, work on the Great Barrier Reef. Alyssa believes growing up in the Keys environment with a father who is a commercial fisherman helped shape her interests.
ORIANA MENDEZ Oriana Mendez graduated from Marathon High School in 2019 and left shortly thereafter for her first summer semester at University of Florida. Studying business administration, Oriana is keeping her options open but says UF has a lot of programs to help students figure out their correct career path.
A 2017 Marathon High School graduate, Alyssa received scholarships from both the Chamber of Commerce and Organized Fishermen of Florida. She attributes these scholarships to her ability to join clubs and begin research work at the beginning of her college career.
Oriana is very close to her family and said moving from the Keys, where she’s lived her entire life, to Gainesville was an adjustment, but through her classes and organizations, she’s found her people and her place, having created a home away from home.
“Thank you to those who gave me my scholarships – they’ve really helped me explore my college interests early on,” said Alyssa. “Because of the scholarships, from the very start I could focus more on academics, join the lab, and not worry about having to get a job my first year.”
In addition to involvement in her sorority, Sigma Kappa, Oriana is a part of the Heavener Leadership Development Program and a member of clubs Florida Women in Business and Global Business Society.
Since her freshman year, Alyssa has been a member of FSU’s WIMSE program – Women in Math, Science and Engineering – a living-learning community designed to promote support among women in STEM and help them get involved in research.
Oriana says the scholarship she received from the Chamber of Commerce alleviated the financial burden of buying books and tuition.
BENJAMIN RYDER Marathon High School Class of 2018 salutatorian Ben Ryder is now a University of Florida sophomore studying material science engineering and minoring in chemistry. Ben has taken complete advantage of the offerings at his school. He competes with the UF Rock Climbing Team, a hobby that takes up a good part of his time. And last year, he conducted research with an aerospace professor on material strength testing of different 3D printed materials – an experience he considers “very neat.” Ben is also on a bladesmithing team. Over the next year, Ben and his teammates will design a blade, make it themselves, and conduct specific heat treatments and more to ultimately get the desirable properties for the blade in time for the competition deadline.
44th Annual | marathonseafoodfestival.com 41
Scholarships Ben says he really appreciates the local scholarships and support given to Marathon high schoolers every year. “I am in my fourth semester of college and because of my Bright Futures and local scholarships, I haven’t had to pay anything out of my own pocket,” he said. “It’s really hard to thank somebody for giving you such a valuable gift as a college education.”
Thanks to her professor, Ted Bridis, whose investigative reporting uncovered Hillary Clinton’s private email server, Sarah is inspired to pursue investigative journalism as a possible career path. Keeping her options open, she’s also considering radio and aspiring to be an editor. She says earning her pilot’s license is additionally in her future and potentially becoming a flight instructor. Sarah is a member of music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota. She believes the scholarships she earned gave her the opportunity to explore extracurriculars. “Receiving my scholarship from the Chamber of Commerce was a blessing – I was able to get this far without taking out loans,” she said. “Not having to work freshman year helped me acclimate and get involved instead of worrying about money.”
SARAH MANDILE Marathon High School 2018 graduate Sarah Mandile considers Marathon home despite being raised in Pennsylvania. “Marathon has a special place in my heart,” she said. “I only lived there for four years before coming to University of Florida, but it’s where I did most of my growing up.” Now in her second year studying journalism at UF, Sarah is a metro news staff writer for the Alligator, a student-run Gainesville newspaper – something she calls an “incredible learning experience.”
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AARON TIPSWORD Graduating from Marathon High School in 2019, Aaron Tipsword is now studying aerospace engineering at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Aaron says finances can significantly impact a student’s capability to attend college. For Aaron, receiving his scholarship helped relieve some of that financial burden, giving him the opportunity to attend a school that propels him one step closer to his ultimate dream of working for NASA in test flight.
“Having that peace of mind and weight off my shoulders of how I will pay for everything opens up room to focus on other important things like classes,” said Aaron, who also explained he’s been very school-focused (with a little bit of gaming) since coming to Embry Riddle last semester. Among other things, he’s enjoyed learning how to code. Aaron’s plan following graduation involves working his way through the engineering ranks, getting to test flight, and earning his pilot’s license.
COUPON EXPIRES MAY 31, 2020
COUPON EXPIRES MAY 31, 2020
COUPON EXPIRES MAY 31, 2020
COUPON EXPIRES MAY 31, 2020
SNORKELING · JET SKI’S BOAT RENTALS · PARASAIL ROOM RENTALS 1480 Overseas Hwy - MM 47.6 Bayside - Marathon
DOLPHIN RESEARCH CENTER. This facility offers visitors a variety of ways to enjoy dolphins. There are several exhibitions daily, plus packages to interact with the dolphins more closely. The center has about 20 dolphins, three sea lions and a splash park for kids. MM 59, gulfside / dolphins.org / 305.289.1121 FLORIDA KEYS AQUARIUM ENCOUNTERS. Guests submerge in huge, saltwater tanks with a variety of reef fish and creatures, plus feed larger fish (like sharks!) through a small opening. Sting ray and nurse shark encounters are offered, plus a lagoon swim. MM 53, gulfside / floridakeysaquariumencounters.com / 305.407.3262 HISTORIC PIGEON KEY. Once used as a camp for workers constructing the 7 Mile Bridge, the tiny island in the center of the span is now a marine science camp, research facility and historical monument. Visitors can take a ferry from Faro Blanco Resort. MM 47, oceanside / pigeonkey.net / 305.743.5999 TURTLE HOSPITAL. This Middle Keys facility does many things — it rescues injured sea turtles, rehabilitates them and returns them to the wild when possible; and educates visitors about the animal and its plight. Visitors can tour the turtle pens and the hospital to learn about sea turtles indigenous to the Florida Keys. MM 48.5, oceanside / turtlehospital.org / 305.743.2552
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CRANE POINT HAMMOCK, NATURE CENTER. The museum features several exhibits, nature path to the gulfside shore, gift shop and a restored Conch home available for tour. It is also home to the Marathon Wild Bird Center. MM 50.5, gulfside / cranepoint.net / 305.743.9100
OCEANFRONT PARK. Marathon’s newest passive park features a kayak launch and oceanfront boardwalk with information panels about our native habitat and marine life. It’s a perfect spot for fishing or simply enjoying an ocean breeze, plus there’s a fenced dog park, too. It’s located behind City Hall between 98th and 99th Street Ocean.
CURRY HAMMOCK STATE PARK. This state park is more popular among kayakers and paddleboarders than sunbathers. It’s within paddling distance of several beautiful mangrove islands and a pristine white sandbar. The park features a playground, restrooms and picnic pavilions. And, it’s been discovered by kiteboarders. Crawl Key, just north of Marathon, (near MM 56).
MARATHON COMMUNITY PARK. This city-owned park features a playground, ball fields, a skate park, basketball and tennis courts. It also has an amphitheater and is the site of town festivals, such as the The Original Marathon Seafood Festival. It’s located at U.S.1 and 36th Street.
ROTARY CHILDREN’S PARK. Kids love the Thomas the Train climbing apparatus plus all of the other multilevel climbing, swinging and sliding equipment for children of various ages and abilities. It features a shade pavilion and a restroom. It’s located on U.S. 1 between 75th and 76th streets.
SOMBRERO BEACH. This city-owned beach is the jewel of the Middle Keys. It features a long, white beach, clear blue waters, restrooms, a playground, picnic pavilions, fishing pier and volleyball courts. Sombrero Beach Road (near MM 50).
COCO PLUM. This oceanside beach is left almost entirely in its natural state and facilities are minimal. It’s popular among dog owners and shell collectors. It has fewer visitors than other area beaches and is often deserted. Coco Plum Drive, Marathon, (near MM 54).
Dates • March 5: “How to Succeed in Business” opens at Marathon Community Theatre; runs through April 4.
• March 17: Key Colony Beach St. Patrick’s Day Parade starting at 5 p.m. from Sunset Park to First Street and East Ocean Drive.
• March 14-15: Original Marathon Seafood Festival at Marathon Community Park.
• March 19: A Mosaic of the Keys Connection Project opening reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Royal Furniture, Marathon. • March 28: Seven Mile Bridge Run.
DISCOVER HISTORIC From Key West to Key Largo
SEWER CONNECTIONS YARD, DEBRIS CLEARING DEMOLITION, REPAIR WORK
FLAGLER RAILWAY MUSEUM SNORKELING (equipment not provided)
PICNIC GUIDED HISTORY TOURS
Catch the ferry boat at Hyatt/Faro Blanco
SCENIC FERRY BOAT RIDE UNDER THE ICONIC 7 MILE BRIDGE RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED
305.743.5959 per person
531 107th Street Marathon, FL 33050 305.289.2070 www.allkeysdiesel.com
FACTORY AUTHORIZED SERVICE: For Every $1 of Maintenance, You will Save $8 of Repairs Down the Road
MARINE â€¢ INDUSTRIAL RV DIESEL ENGINE & GENERATORS 1,000-HOUR SERVICE & MAINTENANCE SERVICE PROGRAMS 44th Annual | marathonseafoodfestival.com 45
WE ARE LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED FOR OVER 15 YEARS UPPER KEYS
DISTRIBUTED KEYS - WIDE
TROPICAL LIVING MAGAZINES (over 30 magazines annually)
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS
THE BEST OF MARATHON THE BUBBAS - Key West People’s Choice
PREFERRED PROGRAM PARTNER OF: MARATHON SEAFOOD FESTIVAL / NAUTICAL FLEA MARKET / OCEANFEST KEY WEST SEAFOOD FESTIVAL / MONROE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS and more… A HOMETOWN PAPER YOU CAN BE PROUD TO CALL YOUR OWN Key West 5450 MacDonald Ave, Suite 5 305.453.6928
Marathon 9709 Overseas Highway 305.743.0844
Tavernier 91760 Overseas Highway 305.363.2957
CoastalDocks Courteous, Reliable & Responsive
LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED FOR OVER 14 YEARS
LICENSE NUMBER CBC1258789
COASTAL DOCKS LLC MARINE & GENERAL CONSTRUCTION 13371 OVERSEAS HWY • MARATHON • 305.743.0827 COASTALDOCKS@GMAIL.COM • WWW.COASTALDOCKS.COM
Marathon Garbage Service, Inc. 305-743-5165
Recycle Right in the Florida Keys Recycle the following items Plastic Bottles & Containers #s 1 - 7 Plastic lids and caps are OK!
Paperboard Boxes Office Paper Newspapers Magazines Catalogues Phone Books Aluminum & Metal Cans Clean foil and foil containers Paperback book Junk Mail Cereal Boxes Corrugated Cardboard Paper Milk, Juice and Soup Cartons Glass Bottles & Jars
(green, brown & clear only – no lids)
11th - 30th Ocean Side 12th- 52nd Gulf Side
48th St Ocean - 74th St Ocean Side Wednesday 60th, 61st, & 70th Gulf Side 75th - 117th Ocean & Gulfside Behind Airport & Aviation Including Stirrup Key
Sombrero Beach Road
Sombrero Blvd & Flamingo Island
Vaca Cut- Coco Plum
Grassy Key, Duck Key, & Conch Key
Key Colony Beach
Long Key - Layton
(emptied and rinsed)
Let’s Keep the Keys Clean!
orters Proud supp inal of the Orig Marathon l stiva Seafood Fe
These items will not be accepted
Paper Plates • Plastic Bags • Aerosol Cans Window Glass • Toys • Tires • Hoses • Dishes Styrofoam • Ceramics • Oil Containers