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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hot day, hot crowd for Seafood Festival

Saturday was all about the drinkers at Grovetoberfest, Sunday was all about the foodies as people crowded Peacock Park two days in a row for two spectacular events. I do have a problem though with events charging people to enter and then expect them to pay as they go. $25 at the door, $15 online was a bit much when you are then expected to pay for everything inside; $7 for smoothies and up to $49.99 per pound for stone crab claws seemed high. Some claws sold for $5 each, which I suspect comes out to the same price.

I don't think they sold as many stone crabs because of the pricing, but I did see a lot of ceviche selling and there was a very long line for lobster rolls, which always reminds me of New England. I am trying to eat raw, so the ceviche was perfect for me, I had a couple of them.

I do have one request for future events in the park -- shade. It felt like 150 degrees on Sunday and there was no comfortable place to eat and drink, I left early because of that and many others may have, too. The event itself was great. It brought out a lot of people. Most of the crowd were not from the Grove at the seafood festival. Yesterday, a very large percentage of the Grovetoberfest crowd were locals. Not sure what they says about Coconut Grove, but that's interesting.

I was told by one friend who works in a restaurant, that the overflow after the beer festival Saturday night, from Peacock Park, into the restaurants was great. After all that drinking, people stayed in the village to eat.

More photos of the Seafood Festival here.

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Anonymous Deborah Crisp said...

I am so tired of events in the Grove that charge high admissions, then ask you to pay again, for what they are offering. It sure keeps me away! If I want good seafood, I'll go to Captain's Tavern, e.g., pay my bill, and NOT a $25.0/pp surcharge for the privilege. If I want a pumpkin, I'll go to Milams or the Boys and Girls Club, and not have to pay a premium for it. Peacock Park is a great venue, in which to spend a weekend afternoon, but... many people are deterred by the admission fees. So sad. Come to the King Mango Strut instead, where there's no admission fee, but there is joy, laughter, live music, dancing in the streets, and a myriad of bars and restaurants in which to spend your hard earned money, while supporting our local businesses!

October 20, 2013 5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You made this event sound good when in reality it was very bad.everybody in my group was very upset and will never return.its no wonder the grove is suffering.greed is a very bad thing!!!!!!!!!

October 20, 2013 6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Coral Gables Free Bike Day was an amazing event. And everything was FREE!!! How does the Gables always always always out do Coconut Grove in every event! On event days in the Gables they offer Free Parking and a Free Trolley!!! Maybe the Grove can learn something from the Gables. Or maybe the Grove should look into succeeding from the City of Miami! We will have lower taxes and better services.

October 20, 2013 6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 6:57, how does succeeding from the City of Miami guarantee lower taxes & better services?

October 21, 2013 8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

$25 at the door? The Deering Estate seafood festival costs about that much. Good thing about it is that you don't have to pay for parking and there's complementary shuttles from the parking areas. Either way, $25 at the gate is too much. There's seafood festivals in the Keys that charge only $5 to get in. The Everglades Seafood Festival is a much bigger event and its free.

To the previous 2 posters, I believe the word you are looking for is "secede" / "seceding"

October 21, 2013 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seceding from the City of Miami to Coral Gables guarantees lower taxes and better services. City of Miami has a higher tax rate than Coral Gables, Pinecrest, South Miami, Key Biscayne and anywhere in South Florida. We have no Community free events, No Community Center offering low cost services, classes and events for all ages. It's simple before you write do your research!

October 21, 2013 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually think we ought to put a stop to events like these which monopolize our parks and our precious parking spaces.

I guess I am rather strange around here. I am a single parent who believes parenting is a priority and has a very, very moderate income as a result.

Events like the Seafood Festival are entirely beyond the realm of conceivable for me.

I have to park my car. That's about $10 or $15 depending on what the lots think they can get. Then with two just barely teens, admission would have been $75! We're now up near 100 bucks and we've just entered.

$7 smoothies?! $5 per stone crab leg (perhaps they should have nixed the helicopter and used a local purveyor)?! Anyway, I've just spent another $40 and that really isn't a big lunch. God forbid should anyone's stomach growl or somebody get thirsty thereafter!

And there's nothing really special event. It's not like Jon Stewart is the emcee or One Direction is playing.

I guess my point is that these things take up space and public resources and are not by any means "must do events". So why would I think of spending $300-$400dollars all in? And why can't I just go to Peacock Park for free on a fall Sunday to throw the Frisbee with my kids?

I don't know what people are thinking.

October 21, 2013 9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What was the event planner thinking? You want people to come and eat but do not provide tables and chairs and the few that they did have were in the hot sun. There has to be shade and places to sit. I thought some people were going to stroke out. Its too hot to be standing in line and sitting on the ground to eat.

When I eat seafood (most of the time), I want wine not beer. The only option to drink was beer. For the price to get in, there should be options.

I had high hopes for this event and was really disappointed. Hopefully, the promoter will make changes for the better next year.

October 21, 2013 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 10:55, why have another one next year? How's about leaving the park open and free to let people have a place for relaxation and play.

October 21, 2013 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you mean I could have spent $25 p/p plus parking plus food $ (Easily $150-$200 total for my family) to eat and enjoy mediocre music in the sun? What are you people thinking? I actually had plans to go to Peacock but once my math skills kicked in I chose to go to THE CLEVELANDER ON THE BEACH. I watched the Phins game on a jumbotron TV and ate with the fam for under $65 (+ $5 dollar parking). ON THE BEACH for christ's sake! The promoter's of this thing are idiots!

October 21, 2013 1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with most of the posters. Grovetoberfest charges an entry fee but then you have free beer samples all day. I can get behind that, however the Seafood Festival was awful.

My husband and I spent about $70 dollars on a couple of claws, a "lobstah roll" (which was terrible)and an order of conch fritters. The beverage line was so long in VIP that we bought two bottles of water and two beers also (which was included with our VIP tickets). I wouldn't mind paying $50 a pop if food samples were included but it was hot and not nearly as fun as I would have liked.

October 21, 2013 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Lois said...

Until event promoters and organizers stop charging admission, expect low turnouts. As another poster wrote about Coral Gables events, admission is free as are trolleys.

Adding insult to injury is charging $5 a claw and $7 for a smoothie. As a Groveite, this embarrasses me and only contributes to the decline in perception of Coconut Grove.

Just as we are standing up to save the waterfront, we need to stand up in protest for admission fees and price gouging.

I sent an email to the Grove Seafood Festival organizer last Friday that charging admission was insanity the cost of which would be a decline in attendance.

A $25 price tag, no tables or shade relief, extorted prices for food and drink and what's the result? Negative reviews and unhappy people. No winners here.

October 21, 2013 3:38 PM  
Anonymous Kent Tate said...

Kent Tate
Why would anyone pay $25.00 to get in and then pay for the food on top of that. $5-10, maybe, but I would have turned around and gone to Scotty's Landing and had a grouper sandwich, with some shade.

October 21, 2013 4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


October 21, 2013 5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad I didn't go. I've been gun-shy after the Pumpkin Patch debacle. I agree with most of the other commenters that these money grubbing festivals aren't helping the Grove's image. While I still look forward to events like Taste of the Grove, I plan on boycotting events that charge ridiculous entrance fees while taking up our public spaces for the day.

October 21, 2013 6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to the gate of Grovetoberfest and made a 180 degree turn after seeing the $45 basic entrance fee. What happened to Goombay festival this year?

October 21, 2013 10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think my comment of a week ago has been vindicated.

"Seafood flown in on a Tuesday, for an event the following Sunday, w/ no visible ice in the cooler, (and delivered by a newcomer fat guy who can't button his jacket), ...something doesn't smell right."


October 22, 2013 8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goto sandbar, their octoberfest was only $25 all you can drink and they have great lobstah tacos !!

October 24, 2013 3:52 PM  
Blogger Fab C. said...

I know the city gets a good chunk maybe that's there excuse for such high prices but there is no cause associated so it seems a purely money making endeavor.Its like paying for a concert then having to pay again for each band you view.

October 28, 2013 10:47 AM  

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