Remember that calendar of seafood festivals from Florida Rambler that I shared on Facebook back in January? I’ve been going to several of these. This weekend, the seafood festival calendar led me out to New Port Richey for the 17th Annual Cotee River Seafest.
Having never been to New Port Richey, I was particularly interested in the boat rides that would be running down the Pithlachascotee River (Cotee, for short) during the festival. New Port Richey used to be a popular destination for Hollywood stars in the silent film era (the 1920’s). Several purchased winter residences along the Pithlachascotee River, including Charlie Chapman and Gloria Swanson. If you take the Miss Daisy 2 hour boat ride, you can learn all about this. I learned quite a bit just from the 30-45 minute abridged version offered at Seafest.
After the boat ride, I partook in some fresh seafood from Hammerheads. They offered a large selection of seafood dishes, including jambalaya, paella, crab cake sandwiches, grouper sandwiches, coconut shrimp, and fried clams.
It was a beautiful day to sit out in Sims Park, eat some seafood, and listen to some music. As I munched on my Crab Cake sandwich, I listened to the sounds of the Lauren Mitchell Band, one of several local blues bands that performed during the Cotee River Seafest.
With the Suncoast Blues Society present, this festival reminded me a lot of Clearwater’s Sea Blues festival. I’m not sure when or how seafood & blues became a traditional Florida combination, but it’s a combo I love.