First ever Lobster Classic in Vero Beach helps local charities

VERO BEACH – Sunday afternoon had perfect lobster eating weather, as crystal cool and breezy as a summer day in Bar Harbor. Ocean Drive was the sight of the first Lobster Classic, put on by the Treasure Coast Rotary Club, with proceeds benefiting a number of local charities.

There was something for everyone, including some bluesy rock by Gatorblues, homemade pies and cupcakes, massages, and bounce houses for the tots, in Humiston Park.

“It’s a really fun day,” said Rotarian Todd Darress. “We have all kinds of contests, lobster flipping, lobster stacking, and corn shucking.”

Darress was one of the coordinators for the day celebrating all things lobster.

By 2 p.m., as the crowd steadily increased, Darress was moving from booth to booth, attempting to see how much of the good stuff was left.

“Only 20 rolls left,” yelled Darress. “We’re low on bisque, too!”

Rotarian Georgia Irish was thrilled with the turn out.

“The crowd is amazing, in light of the fact that there’s an arts festival in Sebastian, the Frog Leg Festival in Fellsmere, and it’s game day!”

Larry the Lobster wandered through the crowd of residents and tourists purchasing tickets for lobster bisque, lobster rolls, lobster dinners, and beer. Kilwin’s was there, offering mouth watering sundaes for dessert.

Maine lobsters were served, as opposed to the skinny spiny Florida lobsters people here are used to, so the $35 ticket for a dinner was a bargain.

The lobster itself was big enough to feed two, according to Vero Beach resident Patricia Harvin’s keen eye.

“And the proceeds go right back into our community,” she said excitedly. “We had the bisque and the lobster rolls,” she said. “My husband liked the City of Vero Beach’s bisque, but I preferred Joey’s.”

Several teams were in the bisque competition, including Jack Baker’s Lobster Shanty and Joey’s Bistro. Megan Longwell-Raasveldt, a Barrier Island resident, said that her favorite bisque was the City of Vero Beach’s as well. “It’s because they roasted the lobster shells for a long time.”

Rotary International strives to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.

Some of the local charities reaping the benefits of the first annual Lobster Classic include Dollars for Scholars, Adult Literacy Services, Youth Literacy Initiative, and the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

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