Blissfully hangover free, I met up with the Tacos, Cindy and other assorted bloggers for another hearty breakfast at Estel's. My brother in law, Dave, another early riser, joined our group as we soaked up some sun and made plans for the remainder of the day. Lobsterfest booth preparations have been in the works for months now, with many AmbergrisCaye.com message boarders and other frequent fliers bringing down trinkets and decorations galore in their suitcases. This year, a flashy casino bar has been planned, complete with mardi gras beads, devil ducks, glitter glasses, lobster hats and all manner of fun prizes for the players. Proceeds from this year's booth will go to support Holy Cross School in the San Matteo district, just north of the toll bridge. Good news! Cindy would be manning the bar, serving up several of her trademark toxins including watermelon jello shots. There's always room for jello!!
Early arrivals for breakfast on the beach enjoy the only sun of the day.
Stage preparations taking shape. Check out the ominous clouds overhead!
Tents and tables ready to go.
After breakfast, Laurie took several of us over to Middle Street to check out the Rum, Cigar and Coffee Shop. Here we were treated to free samples of their homemade brews all made with local rums. We sampled the "Jankunu Rum Cream" which is made with eggs and cream and tastes much like the "Rompopo" we found in Guatemala. Another favorite was the "Campesino Coffee Liqueur" which blows away Kahlua both in flavor and potency. Starting off the day with a "Panti Rippa" brought back horrible flash backs of my last trip to Caye Caulker but the guys at the shop were super nice and their concoctions were delicious. I particularly appreciated that all of the products they offer are packaged in recycled plastic bottles and coffee containers. If you are planning a visit to San Pedro, do make a point of stopping in the shop for a cup of coffee and tasting the products. I passed on the cigars but they do have a nice temperature controlled vault for you afficionados.
The clouds let loose late in the afternoon, about a half an hour before the event was scheduled to begin, with the wind whipping the rain into and around the booths and generally slowing the progress of our crew. I braved the weather to take some pictures of set up time and tried to take up as little space as possible under the tent and keep my camera dry. There were a few folks wandering among the stalls getting an early, albeit wet, start on the festivities, but for the most part the festival grounds were quiet until almost 7pm. Slowly, the wind abated, the rain stopped and the fairgrounds were set upon my a deluge of hungry
The main attraction: a Caribbean lobster.
Laurie and her organized chaos!
Place yer bets ladies!!
A break in the rain.
Sunset Grill getting a late start on an ambitious booth.
The girls from Lime setting up the S.A.G.A.
booth. "Slime Cocktails" anyone?
Walter setting up for Pirate (Pedro's) Pizza.
Tacoboy, Rob and Pedro....early in the evening.
More cocktails please!!
San Pedro visitors enjoy a couple of grilled lobsters.
See? Respectable and well-behaved.
Glen Harris and new friend Judy.
Rob with the Carbunkle Trumpets, Shauna and John.
Tacoboy helps out behind the bar.
Damn sexy in those lobster hats and glasses!
The Direct Abundance girls and Alexis.
In all, there were about 15 booths representing San Pedro restaurants, bars and local non-profits. Despite the early rain, island residents and tourists came out in droves to enjoy the various lobster dishes, live music and clever themed cocktails! Rob and I did our best to sample as much as we could before most of booths ran out of food. Fido's lobster rangoon was delish as was the lobster stew from posh Red Ginger. The biggest surprise for us was the simple grilled lobster tail offered by the legendary Elvi's Kitchen. To b honest, we were not thrilled with the lobster we were served at the Lobsterfest in Placencia last season. I had resigned myself to believing that Caribbean lobster was dry, rather tasteless and almost chalky, not at all comparable to the succulent Maine lobster we are used to from the northeastern United States. Well, Elvi's absolutely proved us wrong serving up good sized, juicy tails, grilled in foil with butter. Oh my lord, they were good! Elvi's had so many tempting crustaceous creations, I was disappointed to have filled up before trying them all! I guess that just means a trip back next season. Yippee!!
Homemade tortillas in Elvi's booth.
The girls from Fido's did a brisk business all night.
The ladies from Sweet Basil served up a chilled shrimp cocktail, something for the lobster-averse.
Clever cocktails served up at the swank Rojo Lounge, winner of the "Best Booth" category.
It's not GAMBLING Mom. It's late night math tutoring...right?
Red Ginger's lobsterman with Rob and what's left of the menu.
Despite the rain and the apparent lack of involvement from the local government, San Pedro's 3rd annual Lobsterfest was a huge success. The organizers, the San Pedro Business Association and all the participants and supporters deserve a lot of credit for successfully pulling off an event of this scope in such a small village. In just three short years, this community based festival has grown into one of the world's most anticipated events.
The funds raised by all this running around and craziness will go a
long way to continuing the efforts of the administrators and educators
who dedicate so much of their time and energy to the children at Holy
Cross School. Our friends, Laurie, Paul and Cindy all wrapped up the night vowing "Never again!". Yet, somehow, I think after a long hot shower, a good night's sleep and a thorough accounting of the proceeds from the bar/casino, they will rethink this decision. You can bet we will be there again next year!
San Pedro, consider yourself warned.