Seafood fans can celebrate the start of stone crab season in the Florida Keys with the fifth annual Stone Crab Eating Contest at noon on Saturday, October 17th. The annual event will take place at Keys Fisheries Market and Marina, located off U.S. Highway 1 on Marathon’s 35th Street gulfside. Individual participants and two-person teams can enter the contest. Fees are $50 per individual entrant and $100 per team.
The contest welcomes amateur eaters age 18 and over to compete in cracking, picking clean, and consuming 25 stone crab claws in the fastest time. If a tie occurs, a 10-claw tiebreaker will be held to determine the winner. The contest’s first-place individual winner will receive a complimentary night at Tranquility Bay Resort in Marathon. The first-place team wins a complimentary room for two nights at Marathon’s Holiday Inn Express & Suites. Other prizes for top contestants and teams include half-day backcountry fishing charter trips, gift certificates to local restaurants, a coral reef experience at Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters and a dolphin encounter at Dolphin Research Center. Click here to register to enter the contest.
Stone crab season runs from October 15th to May 15th each year. The Florida Keys are a top supplier of the delicacy to restaurants throughout the United States. Only the claws are harvested, the crab’s body is returned to the water to grow new claws. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the crustaceans are the state’s only renewable seafood resource.
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