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41st Annual Original Marathon

March 11-12

since 1976

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2017 Marathon Seafood Festival

41st Annual |



Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center 12222 Overseas Highway, Marathon FL 33050 P. 305.743.5417 F. 305.289.0183

Visitors and Guests of the Original Marathon Seafood Festival:

8 Profile Fisherman, festival organizer is well-loved

30 Scholarship Kids benefit with generous scholarships

16 Food A peak at what makes the fest taste good

34 Shopping More than 200 vendors cater to ocean enthusiasts

18 Quiz Twelve startling facts about the event, fisheries

36 Profile The next generation is already on the water

26 Music Event doubles as two-day concert | MMXVII


The Weekly Newspapers 9709 Overseas Hwy Marathon, FL. 33050 P. 305.743.0844 | F. 305.743.0866

2017 Marathon Seafood Festival

Now in its 41st year, what began with local commercial fishermen in Marathon, as a way to get together and celebrate the fruits of their labor, is now an amazing event that attracts more than 20,000 people every year. From humble beginnings, the Original Marathon Seafood Festival has blossomed into an event that now has over 250 volunteers, more than 220 vendors and involves many local groups and agencies that help put the familyfun festival together. Each year more than $75,000 in event proceeds find their way back to the pockets of local charitable organizations such as local food banks, daycare centers, cancer research and medical assistance, scholarships, youth sports, and many more. The festival also serves as an economic boon for our local businesses by bringing in thousands of people from around the world. All in all, the Original Marathon Seafood Festival is a win-win for everyone here in Marathon and the Middle Keys. 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 11-12 at Marathon Community Park. 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 41st annual Original Marathon Seafood Festival. Sea you at the festival! Sincerely, Daniel Samess, M.S. CEO, Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center

Friendly Service & Free Advice Overlooking The Boot Key Harbor Waterway Dockage • Bait • Tackle Ice Cold Beer • Snacks • Ice Clean, Pre-Filtered & Computer Monitored Marine Fuel

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Marathon Seafood Festival

Toys for Tots Bike Donation

United Way Stuff the Bus

Amercican Cancer Society Making Strides


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Visit the sweet booth at the

Seafood Festival or stop by the branch.

1260 Overseas Highway (305) 289-5800

5601 Overseas Highway (305) 289-5824


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 41st Annual |


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2017 Marathon Seafood Festival

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2059 Overseas Highway, Marathon, FL

(305) 743-6341

By Sara Matthis

Marathon’s favorite fisherman retires from the festival

When I asked Bennett Orr for an interview, he responded with a very definite, “No.” I think I replied with something enigmatic like, “We’ll see,” as I mentally schemed to get this story done.

Because here’s the thing — Bennett Orr is an extremely private, humble person who deflects the spotlight like a prizefighter fends off fists. And here’s the other thing — everyone loves Bennett, and he’s done so much. There are few biographical details to share here. (The private thing.) He’s from Philadelphia by way “of everywhere,” before arriving in the Keys in the mid-1970s. He says he had long hair, a radical statement at that time in the Keys, and soon after acquired his young bride, Becky. They are still married and have two grown children and four grandchildren. In that era, commercial fishing was a generational affair of Conchs, almost a closed circle. Yet he found a way to make his own way, his own mark. Case in point: Bennett was present at the very first Seafood Festival forty-one years ago.


2017 Marathon Seafood Festival

“I didn’t know anybody,” he said, smiling. “They said, ‘Bennett, go for this; go for that. I was the ‘go-fer.’” Unasked, over the years, he became the official archivist of the festival. He kept one of each T-shirt; he took and preserved the photographs. Of course, he had a very active role as well. In most recent years, he was the money runner; collecting the take from the seafood booths and delivering it to the on-site bank. In other words, the most trusted man. Bennett has completely turned over the reins this year. “In 2017, I plan to pay to get in and pay to get out,” he joked.

"Bennett Orr is one of the few people in town (other than my wife) with permission to ream me out. He's, raw, unfiltered and speaks from the heart. I have learned a lot from Bennett — his passion for commercial fishing and our community is infectious. I strive to emulate Bennett and am forever grateful for having worked alongside him in Marathon's best and biggest annual event." — Daniel Samess, Marathon Chamber of Commerce The Marathon Seafood Festival is a joint project between the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce and the Organized Fishermen of Florida’s Marathon chapter. OFF has a dual purpose — to provide scholarships for the children of commercial fisherman and to lobby the state about fishing regulations while simultaneously protecting the fishery that provides a livelihood. For decades, Bennett has been the number one advocate for Marathon’s commercial fishing industry, as well as a tourism cheerleader. “The whole reason for this festival was because in September, when the festival was originally held, you could crawl across Overseas Highway with no worries about being hit by a car,” Bennett said. “This town was that dead. The seafood festival was to get tourists to Marathon.” He is still a fierce advocate of commercial fishermen and the sub-subject of the Keys economy. Although the tourism industry is huge in the Keys, he said, the commercial fishing industry is the most vital and steady stream of income in the Keys independent of travelers’ good opinion. With OFF, he traveled to Tallahassee to weigh in on regulations affecting Keys fisheries — often finding himself at the microphone, much to his surprised chagrin, yet willing because he recognized it as a responsibility owed to the people whom he fished alongside. With OFF, he crusaded for a new location every time the festival had to relocate. Over the years the festival has been held in the parking lot of Marine Bank (now Publix Grocery Store), the electric utility, and the Marathon airport, before finding a home at the Marathon Community Park. (Even that was a hard sell, he said, of the newly minted city concerned over the wear and tear on its brand new facility.)

“He’s a dying breed of men who got out on the water by himself and went fishing by himself and prepared his traps in the offseason by himself. Bennett is the toughest person that I know.” — Art Stephens, commercial fisherman

I’ve known Bennett since he started fishing, when I was only 10 or 11 years old. He’s really more like family than a friend — there for anything or everything I’ve needed my whole life. And vice versa. He has a positive outlook on life and is a very humble person. — Karl Wagner, firefighter paramedic

There are a couple more things to say about Bennett, more eloquently said by his friends, but I count myself among them: He is an extremely hard worker. Better yet, he’s a smart hard worker — the kind of guy who will bring you the tool you had been blindly searching for with flailing motions behind your back. He is the man who hands out the most accolades. He doesn’t have a mean word to say about anybody, including his adversaries. He is extravagant with his praise. It feels GOOD to be around him. He is fierce. This humble, gentle, sweet man does not back down from a fight. He digs his heels in and battles for what he knows to be true. After it’s all said and done, though, he’ll crack a beer and joke with the people on the “other side,” although I doubt he recognizes them as such. continued on page 12

41st Annual |



Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Association, Inc.

Community Partner

Proudly serving as the hometown cooperative for the Upper and Middle Keys since 1940.

Progressive Employer

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FKEC consumers experience fewer power outages than the rest of the country.

Environmental Stewards

FKEC owns and operates grid-connected solar arrays and offers solar interconnectivity. The Co-op also holds several environmental designations and supports local environmental programs.

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10 2017 Marathon Seafood Festival

Bennett and his wife, Becky, were some of the first people I met when I moved to Marathon. They were so nice to my young boys. Of course, we worked side by side at the festival for many years. He’s just a nice person. He’s one of the best people that I’ve ever met. —Eddie Cordova Sr., commercial fisherman

Bennett is one of the guys who is going to do what needs to be done, as he has done with the seafood festival since Day 1. And he’s a gentleman. — Gary Graves, Keys Fisheries

He is generous to a fault. Regularly, after every seafood festival, he is the guy running around town passing out “extra” festival T-shirts to those that “should have them.” His friends know they can call and he will deliver; long hours are no obstacle.

Bennett has always been a key player in our chapter of OFF, an ambassador really. And he has always been one of our most important people in the festival’s organization and operation. We shoud all follow Bennett’s lead. —Justin Bruland, commercial fisherman

Last week, at the age of 82, he climbed up into his attic to drag out his photo albums for me for the umpteenth time and assured me it was no problem. In 1992, Bennett Orr survived a horrific, vicious accident at sea — the kind that would have killed a trained solider of war. But he did. It’s his tale to tell, but the locals who know the story don’t respect the fact that he survived. We respect the fact that it didn’t stop him. And it didn’t debilitate him. It didn’t define him. In the words of the Scots, “It made him feckin’ stronger.” And it didn’t make him turn his back on Mother Ocean. Bennett Orr is possibly the best archetype of a commercial fisherman that we know. So, when you lug away your heavy, delicious, sinfully good seafood dinner at this year’s festival, take a moment to appreciate the men like Bennett who made it possible from the very beginning. And in the words of Bennett’s beautiful wife, Becky, on the recorded answering machine at their home in Marathon: “God bless ya’ real good!”

12 2017 Marathon Seafood Festival

Left: Bennett Orr, pictured here with one of every festival T-shirt, is the official, unofficial archivist of the Marathon Seafood Festival. Middle: Bennett shows U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen how to pose with the catch — extend your arm towards the camera to make it look larger! Right: Monroe County Commissioner George Neugent and Bennett shoot the breeze.

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Around the corner is a location. And a state of mind. At BB&T, we believe a local approach to banking should never go out of style. For more than 140 years, we’ve been sharing the knowledge our clients need to move in a brighter financial direction. Supporting our schools, arts and sports programs. Helping businesses grow and families become homeowners. And seeing our connection to this community grow stronger by the year.

Lupe Marzoa, VP Cluster Market Leader 6090 Overseas Highway, Marathon, FL 33050 305-743-4105 •






Branch Banking and Trust Company is a Member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender. Loans are subject to credit approval. Only deposit products are FDIC insured. © 2016, Branch Banking and Trust Company. All rights reserved.

41st Annual | 13

Earn Top Income Superior Maintenance Accepting rentals for 2017

Jim Willey , Property Manager Coco Plum Vacation Rentals, LLC 10875 Overseas Highway, Driftwood Plaza 305-390-2315

10875 Overseas Highway, Driftwood Plaza Marathon, FL 33050 • 305-289-2212

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19 Sombrero Blvd

(across from the Florida Keys Country Club)

305.600.4282 Takeout Available

14 2017 Marathon Seafood Festival

Proud of rs M e m b et e r Grea on Marath r of e b m a Ch erce Comm





1073 Long Beach Drive Big Pine Key

124 Sunrise Dr. Marathon

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$1,250,000 57652 Overseas Hwy. Grassy Key


27348 St. Vincent Lane Ramrod Key, FL 33042


6099 Overseas Hwy, 72 Marathon

Unlike other Florida festivals that bill themselves as a “seafood” event, the Original Marathon Seafood Festival is the real deal. Fortyone years ago, the festival was organized by commercial fishermen. The same holds true today, in 2017. 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 water. 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 and a bit chewier than the Maine variety. 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. 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. The shrimp are sweet and plump and tasty. 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. CONCH FRITTERS Conch is a shellfish, carefully harvested from gorgeous pink-lipped 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.

41st Annual | 17

1: How much is it to refill the collectible souvenir cup at the beer tent? 2: What is the biggest fishery in the Keys? 3: How much does it cost to ride the kid’s rides at the event? 4: If you climb to the top of the hard side rock wall, how much money is waiting at the top? 5: If you throw money into the tip jars located throughout the food and beverage stations, who benefits? 6: How many years has the Marathon seafood festival been happening? 7: How many vendors are participating this year? 8: What booth are tickets for the “wheel barrow of cheer” being sold at? 9: How many calories are in a freshly fried seafood festival conch fritter? 10: What is the record amount of beer kegs tapped at The Original Marathon Seafood Festival? 11: Who is helping clean all the tables? 12: How many scholarships did O.F.F. give to Marathon High School graduating seniors in 2016?

12 questions about The Original Marathon Seafood Festival By Kristen Livengood

A: 41 amazing years. B: Six. C: $50, but there is a time limit. D: Marathon’s American Legion and D.A.V. E: Marathon Chamber CEO Daniel Samess says 149. They are hoping to break that record this year. Challenge accepted. F: 200 vendors and a boat show. G: Spiny lobster brings in $55 million annually, stone crab comes is second at $35 annually. The Keys are the largest seaport in the state, and second largest in the nation. Statewide the Keys commercially harvest 85 percent of spiny lobster, 65 percent of the stone crab, and 95 percent of yellowtail snapper. H: 221 calories of pure deliciousness. I: Marathon’s AYSO soccer teams, and mostly, Coach Arno Silva. J: $3. K: $1 a ticket, $20 for 26 tickets, $40 for 60 tickets. $20 for an unlimited bounce house pass. L: Booth 155, The Rotary Club of Marathon.

Answers: 1J; 2G; 3K; 4C; 5D; 6A; 7F; 8L; 9H; 10E; 11J; and 12B.

18 2017 Marathon Seafood Festival



Keys Fisheries

Jass Tremblay, Re/Max All Keys • John J. Wolfe, PA • Brutus Seafood • SkipJack Resort • Keys Insurance • Jolly Roger RV Resort • Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club • Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters • Native Taxi • Design Center • JRC Pro Builders of the Keys • Island Skipper Fishing •  Overseas Pub & Grill • Marathon General Aviation • Kelly Electric • UPS Store • Marathon Electric • Marathon Lumber • Marathon Tire, Lube & More • DDAI • Marathon Lady of the Florida Keys • Homes & Land of the Florida Keys • The Johnsons Insurance Agency • Specialty Hardware • Aviation Consulting • Dot Palm • Terra Marine Park • Edward Jones - Sarah Cizmas • Royal Crest Builders • Keys Contracting • Fl Keys Contracting Assoc. • Keys Animal Hospital • Dana’s Air Conditioning

Special consideration paid for by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.



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ATM Festival T-Shirts Programs by

The Weekly Newspapers





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E v e n t p a r k i n g : 47th St. Ocean & Stanley Switlik Elementary, 3400 Overseas Hwy H O U R S : 10 a.m to 9 p.m Saturday • 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday A D M I S S I O N : $5 • Children under 12 free with paying adult

vendor directory 5CVWTFC[ /CTEJ5WPFC[ /CTEJ


Buck Naked's Inc Nautical Sand Sculptures Nautical Sand Sculptures Earlusion All Biz LuLaDipity LLC Jessica Ann Art Jessica Ann Art Saltwater Mermaid Bit-O-Beads Loose Lucys Sunstoppers of Put-in-Bay FAME Face Painting & Crafts Fishbone Charmed Sea Gear Performance Wear ZF Marine Loose Lucys Master Wood Carver Falbrecht Studios Shark Tested Optics Shark Tested Optics Nature Craft Jewelry Nature Craft Jewelry Nature Craft Jewelry

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42

Hammerhead Sports Apparel Capt Pips Marina & Hideaway Dutch Hill Pottery Domestic Abuse Shelter The Mango Tree Corrado's Gifts Reel Fishy Apparel Hip Klips Mini Purse City of Marathon R3each/Aquarium Encounters Keys Decks and Docks Keys Decks and Docks D'Asign Source D'Asign Source Chris Bryk Photography Cool Guy Stuff Florida Detroit Diesel-Allison Florida Detroit Diesel-Allison Florida Detroit Diesel-Allison Hook'd Up LLC Hook'd Up LLC Hook'd Up LLC Coral Construction Company Tidewater Boat Lifts Dolphin Research Center Coastal Furniture Coastal Furniture SALT Service, Inc. Marathon Marina EZ Hang Chairs Noel Skiba Paintings The Last Resort Ministry Coastal Docks, LLC Coastal Docks, LLC Oceanic Gear Oceanic Gear Middle Keys Marine Association/MKMA Middle Keys Marine Association/MKMA Southeast Marine Southeast Marine Ofishulz Ofishulz

BOOTH - VENDOR 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110

Perry H. Hodies Photography Florida Keys Window Tinting Chainsaw Scotty Aljoma Lumber, Inc OnBoard Band-it Sunbelt Rentals Lularoe Promotions Guy Hawks Cay Resort Gypsy Lures Gypsy Lures Nature's Treasures Blue Marble Concepts US Coast Guard Aux Keez Beez, LLC grateful~being Tarpon Harbour Novelteeze Novelteeze TerriLynn Demca Demo The Closeout King Florida Keys Mosquito Control Reel Native Anatolian Towels Bodysense Health Care Products Jewels by the Sea Touch of Key West Jewelry Junction Relay for Life/First State Bank Coral Restoration Foundation Oriental Nursery Farm Born Knotty, Inc Castaway Customs Pete Airbrush Cashbrook Family Product LLC Re/Max All Keys Pigeon Key Foundation Keleri Art Studio Amber & Christimas Ornaments FKSPCA 30 Fathom Doormats DC's Etched Glass Decals Stingray Steve Island Images Resort Furniture Asalted United Way of the Florida Keys K Pugh Designs Keys Federal Credit Union Eddie Forbes Art Eddie Forbes Art Go Green with Bamboo Pillows & Sheets Simply Savory Gourmet Blends Simply Savory Gourmet Blends Pirate Hat Apiary TH20 Roadshow TH20 Roadshow Seashell Designs by Dorothy McQueen Saltwater Angel Sandbar Studio Stingray Steve Nature's Artistry Fun-Key Junk CHI Marathon Health Center Gold To Be Cash Fish Skinz Marion Artwork Overseas Outfitters

BOOTH - VENDOR 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174

One Stop Hats Tees by Bo Tees by Bo Florida Keys Aeration Wesley House Family Services Jeanne Storeim A Spice Above Rusty's Bamboo Art Anne's Feather Art American Legion Auxiliary 154 DB Reality Rocks Robin's Letter Art Florida Keys National Marine NOAA Artistic Bead Creations Rhineland Cutlery Splittin Hairs Outdoors Jennifer Seeley Art Celeste Helminski Key West Soap Company RAW RAW Keys Boat Furniture BJ Royster Ocean Gallery TM Jewelry Mang, LLC An Elegant Touch Starfish Designs Splash Soap Company White Waters Paradise Men Pa'w Gourmet Hot Sauces Key Colony Beach Realty Inc Crushable Hats Inc Florida Keys Television TV 88 Salty Scales Surf & Earth Designs Florida Keys Contractor's Assoc. Florida Keys Contractor's Assoc. Laura Moore Designs Hudson River Inlay Unique Arts Tropical Wine Mix Marathon Community Theater Seaglass Creations by Cornelia Rotary Club of Marathon Dee's Name Rings Old Crow Custom Metal Art Old Crow Custom Metal Art Seacamp Association Inc Marathon Wild Bird Center Marathon Wild Bird Center Crane Point Nature Center Keynoter Publishing Mastercraft DTU Inc Kip Kennedy Florida Keys Island Salts Fossil Lamps Fossil Lamps Stuff 4 U Designs by Hollie Raymart Raymart Raymart

Boats Marathon Boat Yard Boats Unique Marine Boats Riva Motorsports

Take a walk back in time...... Crane Point Museum & Nature Center

5550 Overseas Highway * Marathon Mile Marker 50 at the stoplight

Straight talk from someone who knows you

* * * * * * * * * * *

Sound financial advice means only making recommendations that line up with your goals and risk tolerance. Thoughtful guidance: It’s how we make sense of investing.

Sarah A Cizmas, CFP®, AAMS®, CRPC® Financial Advisor Member SIPC



11400 Overseas Hwy Ste 220 Marathon, FL 33050 305-743-6121

Museum of Natural History Nature Trails Wild Bird Center Historic Adderley House Scenic view from the Point Bird-watching Picnic in the courtyard Trolley Tours Gift Shop Paddle Boarding to Kayak Tours Pet Friendly


Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon-Sat Noon to 5 p.m. Sundays


Museum & Nature Center



CGC 1515665 • CFC 1428730

New Constructions Remodels/Additions Kitchens/Bath Impact Windows

Spalling repairs Plumbing Foundations Modular Homes

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Concrete Pools & Spas


Residential & Commercial 24 2017 Marathon Seafood Festival

305-735-4042 6677 Overseas Hwy

EC 13005589

Residential & Commercial

Marathon's Professional Commercial Fishermen

From our 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 $190,000 donated to local scholarships.

Currently accepting applications for 2017. Available for children of commercial fishing families. See the Marathon High School Guidance Office for more info.

SAT. 10 A.M.: JOHN BARTUS solo acoustic – Celebrating his 33rd year of playing music in the Florida Keys, the elected councilman kicks off this year’s festival with versions of songs from his “Keys Disease” and “Live From the Florida Keys” CDs along with new originals and acoustic classics including Pink Floyd.

SAT. 1 P.M.: I-LAND VIBE – Not just reggae, ‘mon.’ I-Land Vibe plays a great mixture of reggae, soca, calypso and other island ‘riddims.’ For the last decade, this group of talented players has been the resident band at the world famous Holiday Isle in Islamorada. I-Land Vibe has serious fun on stage, and the fun is as contagious. SAT.

ENTERTAINMENT SAT. 5 P.M.: JADE STORM – Fronted by singer/songwriters John Bartus and Adrienne Z, this powerhouse band features Glenn Faast on drums (one of the best anywhere), the talented Rob Garza on bass, and the amazing Steven Miller on guitar (a SoFlo legend and top band veteran). Jade Storm will play originals and classic rock.

26 2017 Marathon Seafood Festival

SUN. 11 A.M.: TERRY CASSIDY & GARY HEMPSEY — Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, singer/songwriter Terry made his way to Key West for a vacation in 1979 and never left. Bluegrass and country influences power Terry’s command of guitar and banjo, and he will perform with Gary Hempsey, also an accomplished musician.

SAT. 11:30 A.M.: TIM DEE & JIM HILL – Tim and Jim perform acoustic rock from the ’60s and beyond, while showcasing their harmonies with covers of favorites such as the Beatles, Eagles, and others, along with Tim Dee’s original island-inspired tunes. They are heavily influenced by the likes of Jimmy Buffett and Bob Marley.

SUN. 12:30 P.M.: STONE CRABS – Recently voted Best Band in Marathon, the Stone Crabs are a perfect Sunday festival band. Ken Fairbrother, Mike Corvette, Luke Ptomey, and special guest guitarist Myles Mancuso join forces to play reggae, rock, folk, blues, hip-hop, and more! It’s an eclectic array of music.

SUN. 2 P.M.: SAMANTHA RUSSELL – National recording artist Samantha Russell first started singing at the tender age of 5. Since then, she went on to open for various country acts such as BlackHawk, Travis Tritt and the Marshall Tucker Band. Her single “You Should Go” climbed all the way to No. 37 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Her band was voted the No. 1 Top Live Country Band in SoFlo.

SAT. 3 P.M.: IGOR & RED ELVISES – They are your favorite band! In 1995, Igor Yuzov dreamed that Elvis Presley came to him and told him to start playing rock and roll. Igor and his Russian friends became Red Elvises and the music has been labeled “Siberian Surf Rock” with humorous lyrics and grooves that force his audience to dance.

SAT. 7 P.M.: THE REGS – Modern Rock, Metal/Punk, Alternative Metal, Classic/Heavy Rock – simply put, the Regs rock! Have you seen Little John front this band and rock the crowds? Have you seen Scotty play guitar better than just about anyone? Have you felt the pure primal force that is the Regs’ rhythm section?

SUN. 4 P.M.: MAGGIE BAUGH – Multiinstrumentalist and singer/songwriter Maggie Baugh is a young, South Florida-based country music sensation. At 16 years old, she has a publishing deal, and is a Nashville recording artist, guitarist, and dynamic fiddle player. (She’s fiddled “Devil Went Down to Georgia” with the Charlie Daniels Band!)

41st Annual | 27

Buying or Selling in the Keys, Give Me a Call!

Karen Raspe 305-393-9010


With the Purchase of Any One (1) Entrée Present this ad to your Server

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Happy Hour!


Daily Lunch & Dinner Specials

Vicki L Tashjian Property Manager

Wood Fired Pizza | Specialty Island Dishes | Tropical Drinks MARATHON, FL KEYS • MM 53.5 OVERSEAS HWY • 305-289-1332 Waterfront Location Adjacent to Holiday Inn Express Hours: Bar Daily 11am-11pm Lunch & Dinner 11AM-10pm •

Visit Henry Flagler's Historic Pigeon Key History • Environmental Education • Research 305-395-4370

P.O. Box 522693 Marathon Shores, FL 33052

Daily Historical Tours At 10am, 12pm, & 2pm Environmental Education Programs • Summer Camps • Research (305) 743-5999 • 28 2017 Marathon Seafood Festival

1497 Copa D'Oro

1495 Copa d'Oro

Exceedingly well constructed 2 bed/2ba 1927 sq.ft. home w/office & screened porch. Sunken living/dining room w/vaulted beam ceiling. X-Large downstairs workshop & storage room. Deep water dockage & boat lift. $795,000.

2 bed (3rd bed is a loft) 2bath home w/extra 1/2 lot. Beautiful walk-around porch, screened in swimming pool. Just bring your clothes. This is completely turn key. Deep water dockage & boat lift. $725,000.

327 North Anglers Drive

VERY SPECIAL, BIG BOATER'S DREAM PROPERTY IN BEAUTIFUL SOMBRERO 2913 Sombrero Boulevard, Marathon • Approx. 345' of concrete seawall on deep water canal accommodates the larger boat • Rare cut-in covered boat slip • Fabulous property with over 1/2 acre of beautiful trees, plantings & walkways • Fenced and gated • Across from the Sombrero Golf Course Offered at $1,525,000

Remodeled 2 bed/2ba w/beautiful kitchen, new appliances, flooring etc. Screened porch overlooking deep water canal & sunning deck right on canal. Just a short walk to Sombrero Beach. $595,000.

Lindsay Rabito-Leonard


OFF awards annual scholarships; Children of fishermen reap rewards

Funds raised during the weekend long festival go right into the college funds of hardworking fishermen’s children and grandchildren. Since the inception of the Marathon Seafood Festival 41 years ago, more than $175,000 has been donated to the community, including the Organized Fishermen of Florida, Marathon chapter scholarships. Six scholarships were given to Marathon High School graduating seniors last year. Here’s an update on a few of the recipients.

By Kristen Livengood





“I am so grateful for the opportunity to have been chosen to receive this scholarship,” said Selena Gonzalez, whose grandfather Diego Cordova, Sr. started fishing in the Keys in 1978. Her uncle is currently a commercial fisherman. “I am so honored to be able to use this scholarship in hopes to receive my degree and return home to give back to the community that has done so much not only for myself, but many others.”

Amanda grew up enmeshed in the commercial fishing industry, helping her dad, Raymond, and brother, Justin, during the summers at the trap yard. “To watch them be so dedicated to the fishing industry helps me want to be dedicated in whatever I am doing,” she said. She is currently attending Tallahassee Community College and plans on majoring in elementary education. “The scholarship helped me so much with the first semester, to pay tuition and buy books. I am so grateful.”

Grandpa Billy Tyner, a.k.a. Capt. Kingfish, was one of the patriarchs of the Marathon fishing community and one of the original founders of the Marathon Seafood Festival, so Sydney Konrath grew up to love and respect the waters around her. “He taught me that people have to work hard and put in a lot of hours to be successful,” she said while attending University of Miami. She is studying exercise physiology and minoring in chemistry, while pre-med. “Financially it made it easier to attend because it is very expensive,” she said of the O.F.F. scholarship.

Seth is attending the University of Miami and studying biomedical engineering. “I didn’t even think I would be able to attend here,” he said. “Quite frankly, without the help of the community and scholarships like O.F.F., I wouldn’t be here.” Landry’s parents have commercial fishing licenses for lobstering, and his family is neighbors with Paul Lebo, president of Marathon’s Organized Fishermen of Florida. “I’ve learned so much from him about the fishing community,” he said.

30 2017 Marathon Seafood Festival

e We’rk! c a B

Original Owners from 1999

Daily & Nightly Specials 20 TV's • Beer on Ice Friday Nights Big Ass Prime Rib is Back!!!

Everything Made To Order Lunch & Dinners Tuesday-Sunday Open at 11 AM M.M. 59 Gulf, Grassy Key (next to Dolphin Research Center)

(305) 517-6484 | To Go orders available

Specialties Ahi Tuna, Gator Bites, JUMBO WINGS, Hand Breaded Coconut Shrimp, Frog Legs, Oysters on the Half Shell, Cajun-Smoked Salmon, Catfish, Mahi, Calamari, Beautiful Salads, Baby Back Ribs, Hand-Cut Steaks, ½ lb. Certified Black Angus Burgers & Our Famous “2-Beer” Bob’s Key Lime Pie.

41st Annual | 31


Break the vicious cycle! Set yourself free from continuous concrete repair

CGC 1515665 CFC 1428730

305-735-4042 6677 Overseas Hwy

Now Located at 8919 Overseas Hwy in the southwind plaza

Gift Shop Toys, Gifts, Books apparel & Candy

Aw K ar





Open 11am-9pm Daily

im innin eP g ie

Custom Cakes Weddings, Showers Birthdays 305-743-3131

3988 Overseas Highway, Marathon

Great US 1 Exposure Mixed Use Zoning.This property would be perfect for many types of businesses.Three offices total, 2 up & 1 down plus large retail area with bathroom. All offices wired with phone/fax & cat 5 Cable. All concrete floors downstairs. Additional storage over offices upstairs. 20 Ton Heavy Duty Truck Lift with 200 AMP Service. Loading Dock off the Highway,fenced in the rear of the building.Access to building from US 1 & from the rear of the building with a large roll up door for large equipment & Truck or Trailer.This building is a working man's dream. MLS 572503 $750,000

Clara Mayette, GRI 305-395-2095




98880 Overseas Highway Key Largo (MM 98.8) (305) 451-0060

88539 Overseas Highway Tavernier (MM 88.5) (305) 664-8885

10055 Overseas Highway Marathon (MM 52) (305) 735-4095

410 Caroline Street Key West (305) 296-1400

Give our team of “Florida Keys Island Experts” a call to get your home SOLD! Combining local knowledge and global exposure through our RE/MAX International network, we get the job done. RE/MAX is in 96 countries with over 100,000 agents working together to sell your home. Stop by any of our locations and talk to an expert today. We are in a rising market and if you are seriously considering selling, this is the time!


SHARK TESTED OPTICS Not just any eye gear will do in a saltwater environment. Take the Native Eyewear sunglasses for instance — they reportedly block more infrared light then their brethren, provide better UV protection, and reduce blue light. So, yes, take these fishing. Shark Tested Optics also sells Bushnell binoculars, favored by hunters everywhere. The accessories are sold at booths U&V.

Just add water Find this gear for sale at the Marathon Seafood Festival


HOOK’D UP There’s a reason the dry-fit, long-sleeve T-shirts are favored by sailors and fishermen — they provide superior sunblocking. When the fish are biting, or the wind is blowing, or the spear-gun game is hot, most watermen won’t take a break from the sun. Plus, these shirts, shorts and hats come with really exceptional outline graphics that make a fashion statement. Find them at booths 20-22.

34 2017 Marathon Seafood Festival

You know that smell that — no matter what — stays on your hands after catching a fish? Here’s the answer: Florida Keys Salt Scrubs. The exfoliation from the local salt and soothing lime smells can take even the fishiest hands and make them smell so fresh and so clean again. Many local commercial fishermen and charter boat guides around town swear by the stuff, and their wives thank them. The Keys Salt Scrub at booth 167.

ON BOARD BAND-IT Marathon High School graduate and On Board Band-It owner Josh Gratton came up with the idea for the spearfishing fix kit after too many of his speargun bands broke while out on the boat. The kit can save a spearfishing trip, and the On Board Band-It swag (like “portable shade devices”) is very popular. They’re at booth 47.

Harbor View

Café & Bar LUNCH: 7 DAYS DINNER: Tues - Sat

Tuesday Dinner – All You Can Eat Snow Crab Buffet Wednesday Dinner – All You Can Eat Italian Buffet Thursday – All You Can Eat Seafood Buffett Friday – Prime Rib & Full Menu Saturday – Full Menu, Live Music Featuring Fresh Florida Seafood

Every Friday and Saturday!


Booking Now for Weddings and Special Events

Open For Golf and Tennis The course is now open on Monday too! Now offering Golf & Tennis Lessons. Cafe: 305-809-7210 Pro Shop: 305-743-3433 4000 Sombrero Blvd

Clearance Sale!

at the Pro Shop

60-Ton Lift • Dry Storage • Bottom Painting

305-289-0432 13900 O/S Hwy. Marathon (Entrance at Coco Plum, Oceanside Access) 41st Annual | 35

The lobster doesn’t fall far from the trap

By Kristen Livengood and Sara Matthis

On the same wavelength, J.C. Carlson and brother Austin have grown up on the water, helping dad Jack bring the fish in on the charter side of the fishing industry. Austin, 21, is a charter boat captain out of Hawks Cay Resort already making serious money.

Kids learn the ropes early Most kids spend their summers and weekends sleeping in, relaxing, maybe working a part-time job, and hanging out. Then there are kids like commercial fishing cousins Demi Stiglitz and Peder Bidonne, and charter boat first mate J.C. and Capt. Austin Carlson, who have their alarms set pre-dawn to make sure they’re out on the water before the sun peeks over the horizon. Stiglitz and Bidonne, 15 and 16 years old, work their 500 lobster traps and 800 stone crab traps each season. Dad/Uncle, Richie, drives them to Keys Fisheries bright and early as long as their grades stay good. Neither has any interest in video games. “We only think about going out on the boat,” said Stiglitz. “In the off season, we are fixing traps, working on the boat, and maybe running to the sandbar and spearfishing.” When they graduate from high school, Stiglitz hopes to go to college for marine mechanics; Bidonne has his eyes set on the open water. The two trade off pulling traps and captaining their 24-foot boat “Catch-N-Like Crazy.” “They are true watermen,” said Richie, who doesn’t worry about them on the

36 2017 Marathon Seafood Festival

At just 12, J.C. is a first mate when he’s not in school. “He works whenever he can. The charter clients enjoy his company and tip him out at the end of the day,” said Jack. “He’s doing something he loves.”

Demi Stiglitz, front, and Peder Bidonne head out to throw traps.

water. “They grew up on these waters, and all the local fishermen watch out for them out there.” Their 11-year-old brother Dominick is also learning the ropes of the business – he spent all summer helping Capt. Bucko Platt commercial bullynet the Marathon flats, a form of lobstering that happens after dark from the topside of the water. “It’s just in his blood,” said Platt. “He’s a diehard little kid and his young eyes can spot them. His dad was always looking out for me when I was a kid, so this is just a way to pass it along to the next generation.”

J.C. is just one of two junior pro members of Pelagic, the international sports gear company. “He’s already making a name for himself as a tournament fisherman,” Jack said. J.C. Carlson, right, often mates for ex-NFL player Warren Sapp.

䴀愀爀愀琀栀漀渀 䜀爀椀氀氀 ☀ 䄀氀攀 䠀漀甀猀攀

䔀愀爀氀礀 䈀椀爀搀 匀瀀攀挀椀愀氀 㐀倀䴀ⴀ㘀倀䴀 䔀瘀攀爀礀 䐀愀礀

䈀甀礀 漀渀攀 攀渀琀爀攀攀 最攀琀 琀栀攀 猀攀挀漀渀搀 ᰠ漀渀 琀栀攀 栀漀甀猀攀⸀ᴠ

倀爀椀洀攀 刀椀戀 䘀爀椀搀愀礀

匀琀攀愀欀猀 匀攀愀昀漀漀搀 ☀ 倀愀猀琀愀 䠀愀瀀瀀礀 䠀漀甀爀 吀眀椀挀攀 䐀愀椀氀礀 㐀㨀   倀䴀ⴀ㘀㨀   倀䴀 ㄀ 㨀   倀䴀ⴀ䴀椀搀渀椀最栀琀

伀瘀攀爀 ㄀   䌀爀愀昀琀 䈀爀攀眀攀搀 䈀攀攀爀猀 匀甀爀爀漀甀渀搀 匀漀甀渀搀 ㄀  䠀䐀 㘀 ᴠ 匀挀爀攀攀渀猀 41st Annual | 37

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 / 305.289.0002 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 also offered, plus a lagoon swim. MM 53, gulfside / 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 Knights Key. MM 47, oceanside / 305.743.5559 TURTLE HOSPITAL. This Middle Keys facility does many things ó 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 / 305.743.5999

38 2017 Marathon Seafood Festival


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. MM 50.5, gulfside / 305.743.9100

PARKS Marathon Community Park. This cityowned 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 in Marathon.

BEACHES 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, Marathon, (near MM 50)

Oceanfront Park. Marathon’s newest passive park features a kayak launch and oceanfront boardwalk with information panels about our native habitat and marine life. A perfect spot for fishing or simply enjoying an ocean breeze. 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. Recently, it’s been discovered by kiteboarders. Crawl Key, just north of Marathon, (near MM 56)

Events • Marathon Community Theatre’s “Cabaret”: Through April 8 • 11th annual Sombrero Beach Run: March 4 • 38th Annual Marathon House & Garden Tour: March 5 • 60th annual Key Colony Beach Days: March 5 • Original Marathon Seafood Festival: March 11-12 • 7 Mile Bridge Run: April 1

• Marathon Games Pentathlon: April 22 • Marathon Community Theatre’s “Bathroom Humor”: May 4-20 • Marathon Offshore Bull & Cow Dolphin Tournament: May 5-7 • 4th of July Fireworks: July 4 • Keys Lobster Sport Season: July 26-27 • Marathon International Bonefish Tournament: Sept. 21-24

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. Adjacent to the kids’ area, is a fenced dog park where visitors and locals let their fourlegged babies play. It’s located on U.S. 1 between 75th and 76th streets.

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)

191 Lafitte Road, Oceanfront Lot Little Torch Key $499,500 Castillo Del Sol Three Oceanfront Units Available Key Colony Beach


Do It Yourself Installation! 480 10th Street Key Colony Beach $599,000

Phone me, Charly Farritor, REMAX All Keys Real Estate • 520-271-5518




SAMPLES with this ad MSF 2017

CUSTOM CHOCOLATES private logo molds o’s K e y L a r gp l a c e wedding/party e favors f av o r i t c r e a m ! e or ic Chocolate dipped f wine bottles

MM 100 1/ 2 BAYSIDE • 305-453-6613

SERVING RESIDENTIAL FLORIDA Aluminum Construction 1,100 lb. Capacity Delivery & Installation Available


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)


Pick-Up Day

Knights Key


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

Marathon Seafood Festival  
Marathon Seafood Festival