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Fresh off the Boat

For some time now, Key West has been in decline. Overcrowded by people and overrun by T shirt shops, the Conch Republic even seceded from the United States. The state’s ban on indoor cigarette smoking and deleterious changes in the nature of drug smuggling have depressed the party atmosphere. Commercial fishing took a huge hit July 1, 1995, when Florida passed a law banning certain types of nets: Incomes dropped, hours increased, there was even a sharp rise in divorces among couples who worked the aquaculture. More recently hurricanes have devastated boats and the habitat, making things even tougher. But Key West remains the best place in the world to enjoy fine seafood -- snapper and grouper, shrimp and lobster, crab and conch, chowder and fritters and salad. Today the Florida Keys Seafood Festival celebrates the oceanic delicacies and the people who harvest them. Games, music, displays, vendors, and fantastic food will be available from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Bayview Park, located at Truman Avenue and Eisenhower Drive. Admission is free.
Sat., Jan. 21, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.


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