This weekend, Poquoson welcomes the world to its annual seafood festival.
Begun as a small community event 35 years ago, the festival has grown into a major regional attraction. City estimates suggest that more than 50,000 people will descend on this small city during the three days.
As in past years, the festival pays tribute to local watermen and the city's coastal heritage with a display area featuring dozens of exhibits. Seafood vendors, entertainment and an arts and crafts show are the main components at this popular outing.
Here's some tips and basic information to help you enjoy the festival:
What: Poquoson Seafood Festival.
Location: Poquoson Municipal Park, 830 Poquoson Ave.
Hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
Admission: Free, though food costs and $5 parking fee.
Almost two dozen vendors will feed the crowds this year. The list includes American Legion Post 273, Captain Harrell & Sons Seafood, Deep Fried, Inc., Farm Fresh, Graham & Rollins, Inc., Hammerheads Seafood, Laughing Crab Catering, Leisure Time Concessions, MacBrand Foods, Inc., Mr. Potato, Orient-Bowl, Pennsylvania Dutch Funnel Cake, Poquoson Exchange Club, Poquoson Kiwanis Club, Smoke BBQ, Sherri's Crab Cakes, Strawberry Street Event Concessions, Surf Rider, We-Are-Nuts, Wild Bill's Old-Fashioned Sodas and Yorktown Frozen Assets/Ben & Jerry's.
Performances take place at the Municipal Field and Food Pavilion stages. Guests are encouraged to bring beach chairs and blankets to enjoy the Municipal Field acts. Here's the schedule:
Municipal Field Stage
Friday — Slapnation (6 p.m.)
Saturday — TRUSSBAND (10 a.m.), Excess (12:30 p.m.), The Heather Edwards Band (3 p.m.), Bad Ace (5:30 p.m.), Soul Intent (8 p.m.)
Sunday — Kasey Meeks (12:45 p.m.) and The Deloreans (3:30 p.m.)
Food Pavilion Stage
Friday — Poquoson High School Band (5 p.m.), Poquoson Islanderettes (5:45 p.m.) and L.F. Edwards Band (6:45 p.m.)
Saturday — Rainbow Puppets (10 a.m.), Ryanhood (11:30 a.m.), The River Gypsies (1:45 p.m.), Poquoson Art League Arts & Crafts Awards (3:30 p.m.), Brent Shepard (4:15 p.m.), Eric Insley (6:15 p.m.) and The UnXpected (8:30 p.m.)
Sunday — Rainbow Puppets (12:30 p.m.), Lite Bru (1:45 p.m.) and The Super Jazz Band (4:15 p.m.)
In addition, Monroe the Magnificent will perform at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday for the kids on Municipal Field.
Arts & Crafts Show
The festival sponsors one of the largest juried shows in the state. This year about 155 artisans are expected to exhibit paintings, woodwork, ceramics, photography and other media.
Directions & Parking
Take Victory Boulevard into Poquoson. Follow signs for festival parking. $5 parking fee for all areas.
No coolers, dogs or skateboards are permitted on the festival grounds.
David Nicholson can be reached by phone at 757-247-4794.