Despite the seafood crisis in Franklin County, the 49th annual Florida Seafood Festival in Apalachicola will go on this weekend as scheduled and, yes, there will be seafood.
Organizers are expecting a huge crowd for what is the oldest seafood festival in the state.
They are expecting as many as 10-thousand visitors for the two day event, which will be a big boost to an economy that is suffering.
A few months ago, oysters began disappearing from Apalachicola Bay.
Shrimp and fish soon followed.
Despite the crisis, organizers say they will have plenty of seafood this weekend.
"They're selling oysters on the 1/2 shell, and they're Apalachicola oysters that we caught yesterday,” said John Solomon, the president of the Florida Seafood Festival. “Things are slim right now but we do have oysters in the bay. It's just harder to get to them. It takes a lot more work to get them in.”
The festival will still stage some of it's signature events, like oyster eating and shucking contests, the big parade and the blessing of the fleet.
13 non-profits set up booths to raise money for their organizations.
"All these people are raising money so that way our kids can go somewhere, or our citizens can be safe, get outreach for god, get clothes on their back. In this economy we need that,” said Jennifer Favaloro with the Franklin Co. Food and Nutrition Association. “So, we need to stick together."
For many they are hoping this weekend's festival will take people's minds off of the current seafood shortage, and promote the area's number one industry for the comeback they are sure is only months away.