How does this sound? You’re sightseeing in downtown Marquette when suddenly; blues music rises up from the harbor. A distant crowd cheers and laughter unfurls into the evening.
Interest piqued, you stroll down to see which festival is going on this weekend (Marquette has festivals abound) and just as you sneak a peek at the band, a blend of delectable scents pull you toward the food tent.
And… wait a minute… was that guy eating Lobster? Ten minutes later you’ve got a Keweenaw Brewing Company beer in one hand, a few crab legs in the other and you’re swaying to the sounds of the Flat Broke Blues band. Life is good!
Yes, I’m talking about Marquette’s annual Seafood Fest, put on by the Marquette West Rotary.
It had been years since I’d been to Seafood Fest, but I adore seafood and love all the Marquette harbor festivals. So my wife, daughter and I took a cruise up to Marquette to check out this year’s festival.
Hungry, we shot straight to the food tent and with stomach’s growling, stared at the nearly twenty menu options. (You know how you get when you’re really hungry and just stare blankly at the menu because you can’t seem to make a decision? It was like that)
We made hasty decisions with promises of more food later and placed an order for scallops, shrimp, cheddar biscuits, coleslaw and a couple soda’s. No beer for me because I was driving (sigh).
With food in hand and a band blasting music from the stage (The blues got going later, we were there early), we turned to find tables. And… they were full. At least for the most part. There were a few tables open by the band but it was really loud. And we’ve got a baby, so…
So we hauled our catch to one of the many picnic tables scatted throughout the park. And while noshing on deep fried scallops, I noticed a bunch of kid’s jumpy thingies by the lakeshore. That’s good, I thought, kids love those jumpy thingies. I know I did.
And as I looked past the jumpy thingies, I saw a whole friggin’ car show going on. I clearly hadn’t done my research. This was a full on family affair! Car show, jumpy thingies, food, music, beer. All bases covered!
With our daughter in the stroller, we rolled up and down the aisles of vintage chrome for a while then retired to a nearby pavilion for ice cream.
And then we went back for seconds. (Oh, the things I do for you guys)
I had the crab legs and mussels and my wife had corn on the cob. Our favorite food items of the day were the deep fried shrimp and the mussels. However, I heard a few people raving about the trout, and the whitefish looked pretty tasty, too. But alas, I’m no longer a growing boy and need to draw the line somewhere.
We had fun this year, but look forward to going back when our daughter is able to take advantage of some of the kids’ stuff and/or we get a sitter and make a night out of it! With the Landmark Inn rubbing elbows with the park and so many terrific restaurants and bars within walking distance, it’s tough to beat a downtown Marquette festival!
To see more photos of Seafood Fest, check out the “Seafood Fest” photo album on my Facebook page.
Bottom Line: Seafood Fest is one of the big events of the summer in Marquette. And any festival that hugs the shores of Lake Superior is tough to beat, really.
Time required: 1 hour to several hours
Location: Marquette’s lower harbor park
Other notes: Free admission. Tickets need to be purchased for food and drinks. Extra tickets can be refunded. Always the weekend before Labor Day. Put on by the Marquette West Rotary.
Map: To see a Map of Marquette’s Lower Harbor on my map of the U.P., click here.