From the whimsical “funny money” to the pounds and pounds of shucked clams and oysters to the delectable seafood dishes from some of the area’s most in-demand restaurants, this year’s Montauk Seafood Festival promises to be another satisfying romp by the sea.
The festival, now in its fifth year, is planned for September 9 and 10 at Montauk Harbor. Hosted by the Montauk Friends of Erin and the East Hampton Kiwanis, it will bring together 18 different restaurants plus East End craft breweries and wineries for two afternoons of fine food and drink.
Last year, about 10,000 people attended the two-day festival.
“We just enjoy doing it,” said Kenny Giustino, the event coordinator and a Friends of Erin member. “It’s one of the three fundraisers we have each year, and it’s family friendly. There’s such a great crowd that attends it. It’s a lot of work, but very rewarding.”
Different this year will be the tent structure. Instead of smaller tents at two locations, the festival has been condensed under one larger tent. More food vendors have been added, including Ruschmeyer’s, John’s Drive-In, The
Market and Red Hook Lobster. Children’s entertainment has also been added.
Feast upon dishes like blackened Ahi tuna sliders, coconut shrimp sandwiches, crab cakes, smoked blue fish and more. For those who love food festivals but might be hesitant to try fish, Giustino recommends starting with Tauk Restaurant’s seafood crepe, Red Hook Lobster’s lobster roll or the fried fish slider that the Friends of Erin will be cooking up. There’s plenty to
try, and if seafood is not your thing, don’t worry — there will also be burgers, hot sausage, French fries and local grilled corn.
And then there’s the “funny money.” The St. Patrick’s Day parade grand marshal, Eddie Ecker, and Captain Frank Tuma Sr., the Montauk Mercury Grand Slam Fishing Tournament’s “Fishing Legend of the Year,” will be two of the faces featured on the fake bills that festival-goers will need to buy food at each of the food vendors. A third “funny money” face will remain a surprise until the weekend of the festival.
“Twenty percent [of the proceeds] goes back to the charities and the other money goes to the vendors,” Giustino said. “We get a great response from people. …Everybody wins.”
The Montauk Seafood Festival is September 9 ad 10 from noon to 5 p.m. both days. Admission is $2, cash only. The festival location is 543 West Lake Drive, across from Uihlein’s Marina. No dogs will be permitted under the tent. For more information, visit montaukseafoodfestival.com.