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Cedar Key Seafood Festival reels in the crowds

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By Ada Lang

Although there was no official count,
the cars that lined the streets up to
Whiddon Avenue, the pedestrians carrying
their purchases and the half dozen tour
buses parked at the school were a testament
to the crowd of thousands that
swarmed Cedar Key this past weekend.
Saturday’s parade included everything
from pirate wenches and a marching
band to politicians and pageant queens.
The vehicles were as diverse — from fire
trucks and clam boats to horse trailers and
golf carts. Costumes were as varied as people
wearing them - “cats”, sea creatures,
pirates — even a drag queen. But, the most
imaginative may have been Kathy Fotteral,
dressed in a flowing “gown” made from
recyclable plastic grocery bags.
Several bands played in the City Park
gazebo and on Sunday, the shade of the City
Park pavilion became the scene of Dueling
Banjos ... Dueling Clams — a special musical
culinary event. Ocala-based band,
Backwater, played bluegrass with guest
banjo player, Mark Johnson after Chef Dean
Mac of Fort Lauderdale’s 3030 Ocean faced
off against Chef Peter Stefani, of the awardwinning
Island Room in Cedar Key.
Samples were available of Mac’s
Sebastian Inlet Clams BBLT and Stefani’s
Cedar Key Clams with Mustard Greens and
House-smoked Tasso Ham. No official
determination was made regarding what
recipe was most favored, though the fact that
there were no leftovers spoke volumes.