11 March 2013 ~ 1 Comment

Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival

Randy, Corey and Grandpa Johnny waiting for the parade to begin

Randy, Corey and Grandpa Johnny waiting for the parade to begin

This weekend, we had our first experience with the Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival. The Shrimp Festival, sponsored by the Lions Club, has been held each year since 1959 with all proceeds going to local Lions Club charities. The event has it’s own parade,  Shrimp Festival Queen and court, crafts expo and food booths with, shrimp (of course).  Since we were expecting a much nicer, warmer weekend, Randy and I decided we’d make a day of it on Saturday by seeing what the Shrimp Fest was all about and then stopping by the Lani Kai to take in the sights as Spring Break 2013 is ramping up.

The Calendar Girls danced their way down Estero Blvd. in colorful pink outfits

The Calendar Girls danced their way down Estero Blvd. in colorful pink outfits

Randy, Corey and I at the parade wearing our first few collected beads

Randy, Corey and I at the parade wearing our first few collected beads

Saturday morning, Randy, Corey, Johnny (Randy’s dad) and I set out on our bikes to ride down towards Times Square where the craft expo and shrimp would be. Our plan was to get near there and find a spot to watch the parade,  but we didn’t get that far since we got a late start. The parade was starting at 10am about 1 mile from the marina, so we were forced to stop along the way early to watch the parade. The parade had plenty of colorful and fun floats and participants that threw candy and beads to us as they went by. There was even a group of Segways in the parade and one of the men stopped to let Corey have a ride with him.

Corey got a free ride on a Segway

Corey got a free ride on a Segway

Corey received a great pair of shades from a clown

Corey received a great pair of shades from a clown

Bayshore Cloggers had an awesome toy-themed float with kids clogging

Bayshore Cloggers had an awesome toy-themed float with kids clogging

Not sure what this float was for, but it was interesting

Not sure what this float was for, but it was interesting

The Bayside Estates Kookie Band kazooed their way down the parade

The Bayside Estates Kookie Band kazooed their way down the parade

Not sure what this float was for either, but enjoyed the enthusiastic dancing of the firemen

Not sure what this float was for either, but enjoyed the enthusiastic dancing of the firemen

After the parade, we hopped on our bikes and headed down the beach toward Times Square where the craft expo and food court was. We met up with some marina friends, one of whom was exhibiting her glass jewelry, and headed over for lunch. The boys all lined up for some shrimp, while I bought a chicken hero sandwich (I don’t like shrimp).

After lunch, we grabbed our bikes and rode on over to the Lani Kai. The Lani Kai is a Fort Myers Beach landmark for spring breakers and excellent place to grab a rumrunner and do a little people watching. We grabbed a round of rumrunners and a table near the stage where reggae band, Tropical Breeze, was playing. It was a gorgeous day on the beach and was nice to take in the crowd and listen to the band while Corey played on the playground and checked out all the boats. The Lani Kai has various contests on the hour during spring break, like water balloon toss, limbo, strongest man/woman and a booty shaking contest that ends the day.  We stayed long enough to watch the strongest man/woman contest, water balloon toss and limbo contest which Randy ad Corey participated in. Needless to say, Corey outdid his Dad lasting 1 or 2 rounds longer was was beaten by a young girl in his age group. After the Lani Kai, we all got on our bikes and pedalled down to Junkanoos to grab a bite to eat before heading home.

The crown at the Lani Kai

The crown at the Lani Kai

The infamous green building of the Lani Kai

The infamous green building of the Lani Kai

Even at the Lani Kai, there's pirates

Even at the Lani Kai, there’s pirates

Randy takes his turn at the limbo contest

Randy takes his turn at the limbo contest

Corey ducking under the limbo pole

Corey ducking under the limbo pole

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