Crawlers finished their week long marathon around the island with a bang at the big block party for Lobster Fest 2014. The welcome speech was scheduled at 4:45, but that did not stop people from coming out early to watch booths being set up and be first in line for a multitude of delicious lobster treats.
After enjoying some world famous San Pedro spiny lobster, party goers kept going with delicious lobster themed cocktails and ice cold Belikin beer.
If you missed this year’s event and are thinking about San Pedro Lobster fest 2015 (like a few people I know), the 2014 block party line up on the San Pedro Lobster Festival facebook page will help convince you to start planning for next year. Some first timers come for part of the festival and do not book themselves on the island for the best part – the big street party. A quick glance at June 2015 calendar shows the block party will likely be Saturday, June 20th. Stay tuned to the official San Pedro Lobster Fest website for Lobster Fest 2015 dates and schedule of that weeks’ events. You can see more party pictures on the San Pedro Lobster Festival Facebook page photo stream and in press links below.
As soon as our table was set up, I was ready to get my lobster on. While waiting for my first choice booth to be open, I enjoyed some tasty lobster curry from Calientes. The melodic sounds of the Panerifix steel drum Band drew people in, and Central Park just kept filling up with people as the afternoon went on. As always the steel drum band was a big hit, they did several sets and played a great mix of island style and popular music.
A bit more about about the spiny lobster that is the star of our annual San Pedro Lobster Fest: A female spiny lobster can produce between 8,000 and 100,000 eggs depending on their size. Male lobsters are referred to as cocks, females as hens, and the lobster baby larvae are a more scientific sounding phyllosomes. A group of lobsters can be called one of 3 things; a shield, a deck or a pod.
Before long our official wrangler, Lara of Romantic Travel Belize was rounding up several of us that were lucky enough to be invited to the judges table – what a treat. One by one booths sent out fabulous food and delicious cocktails. We all enjoyed an ongoing artistic and sensory explosion. I really liked the style and salad wrap with a pesto lobster wonton of wood boat by Pineapples, but I could have enjoyed 2 of those to match the 2 plates of Casa Picasso lobster risotto I ate. The bacon wrapped lobster on the Coco Blanca plate was also on my favorite list, that is an award winning combination and everyone was raving over the heavenly buttery sauce that came with it.
We were privileged to sample lobster themed food and drinks from Carlo and Ernie’s, Casa Picasso, Calientes, Cayo Espanto, Coco Blanca, Elvi’s Kitchen, Fido’s Courtyard, Hidden Treasure, Jambel Jerk, Pedro’s Pizza, Pineapple’s, Pirates Treasure, and San Pedro Aids Commission.
It was fun celebrating in scrumptious style with the other judges. If I had been more motivated like Tamera and Rebecca, I would have packed a breakfast box. I decided not to, because I was happily in a lobster coma, but also sadly feeling like I pushed myself a bit too far with a few decadent delicious things that are not a match to the food map, which I should have been following.
Taking best food of the show for the second year in a row was Casa Picasso with their lobster risotto and best drink went to Hidden Treasure. Second and third place for best drinks went to Casa Picasso and Cayo Espanto. Taking second and third place for best lobster dish were Pineapple’s and Coco Blanco. Aids Commission won top booth design – they wowed us with a flame show too.
The evening part of the annual block party in the park is always fun with live music, dancing, great people watching, awards ceremonies and more. In addition to Panerifix from Belmopan, Supa G played and before him a surprise band came (which I never did catch the name of, but liked a lot). This was the first year of many I did not finish the night eating lobster pizza after midnight listening to Supa G.
One of the highlights of the evening was this year’s lobster crawl grand prize raffle – one lucky person’s crawl efforts won them all the fabulous prizes below. I know there were many people who were hoping to win and some people gave it their best shot, crawling long, hard and often for a chance. Congratulations goes to the winner Rose, you can see a pic of her below enjoying her prize at Seaduced by Belize Adventure Tours.
Fantastic raffle prize list:
Picasso Spirits – gift basket with 6 bottles
BOAZ golf cart rentals- 24 hour rental
Amigos Del Mar – Snorkel trip for 2 to the Great Blue Hole
Blue Water Grill – $100 gift certificate
Red Ginger Restaurant at the Phoenix Hotel – $100 gift certficate
Barb’s Belize – $100 gift Certificate at Ambar Jewelry
Xanadu Island Resort – 2 nights accommodation + 24 hour golf cart rental with Carts Belize
Serious Adventures – snorkel trip to Hol Chan & Shark Ray Alley for 2
Chuck and Robbies Scuba Diving & Instruction – 2 tank dive
Rendezvous Restaurant and Winery- dinner for 2 – worth $250.00
SeaDuced by Belize – Lamanai Jungle River Adventure for 2
SeaDuced by Belize – Caye Caulker day sail and snorkel trip for 2
Tropic Air – 2 round trip tickets to the International Airport/San Pedro
Ramon’s Village Resort – 4 nights stay for 2
Banana Beach Resort – 3 nights stay for 2
Ultimate Golf Cart rentals 24 hour golf cart rental
Casa Picasso Restaurant – dinner for 2 including a house bottle of wine
Fido’s Courtyard and Pier – Lunch for 2
Belize Chocolate Company – gift basket
Sew What – custom made hand bag
If you are hungry for more Lobster Fest pictures visit the following links – San Pedro Scoop Lobster Prepared Countless Ways Rocks at the 2014 San Pedro Lobsterfest Block Party and San Pedro Lobster Fest draws large multitude to the island by San Pedro Sun newspaper, Eat More Lobster at San Pedro Lobster Fest by Ambergris today.
Job well done to the event organizers and everyone who supports lobster fest in any way to keep the celebration going strong, it takes a lot of grains of sand to make the beach 🙂
San Pedro Branch’s very first youth agents for change street beat core activity went over very well. We had one group of 4 led by Hector and Mike, and two groups of 3 led by Joy and Omar. The public was receptive to Red Cross Youth volunteers, who spoke with and handed out brochures with condoms in them to 80 people in 2 hours – great teams. Everyone that engaged our volunteers was given an informational brochure with condoms in it and a Red Cross pin as a thank you. The pins are also handed out to help the groups could identify who was already spoken too.
When he was not out educating the public on safe health practices, Omar (also a national AIDS commission island committee volunteer) was a star back at our booth, talking to everyone that walked by and helping get donations. A total of $313.15 was raised and the San Pedro Red Cross appreciates everyone’s contribution to help us grow. Thanks to Jeromy Timrose at NEMO for sending us 2 volunteers to help at our table. You can see more pictures in NAC / CCM Island Committee Facebook photo album Lobster Fest outreach with Red Cross. Don’t forget to like their page to show your support.
More details on Friday’s training and what was learned coming soon.
At our table we also provided some health education materials along with male and female condoms. The Red Cross table also had informational brochures on first aid, youth agents for change and hurricane season preparations including family emergency plans in both English and Spanish.
San Pedro Belize Red Cross recognizes many pets are part of the family, so this year we created a Hurricane Pet plan for the community on what to do with their pets during a weather emergency. Thanks goes to SAGA Humane Society for volunteers for guidance and fact checking. Visit SAGA Humane Society websitepage for more information.
Do You Have a Hurricane Pet Plan in Place?
Hurricane planning and preparation will enable you to evacuate with your pets quickly and safely.
Advance planning: At the start of every hurricane season (June 1st – Nov 30th) :
– Make sure all dogs and cats have collars and up-to-date identification and a backup set.
– Contact hotels in and outside your immediate area to see who accepts animals and their policy.
– Prepare a waterproof, portable disaster supply and first aid kit for your pet and keep it in an accessible place. Include a backup leash, collar and ID tag, copies of your pet’s registration information, adoption papers, vaccination documents and medical records.
– Along with your emergency supplies, keep a list of pet friendly places, including contact information, with other travel and disaster information, as well as a recent picture with you and your pet. A picture of you and your pet together will help you document ownership and allow others to help you identify your pet should you become separated.
– A basic pet first aid kit should include cotton bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors; antibiotic ointment, flea and tick prevention, latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol, saline solution, and a pet first aid reference book.
– If you are planning to evacuate your pet in an emergency situation, get a sturdy, safe, comfortable crate or carrier ready at the start of hurricane season. Carriers should be large enough for your pet to stand, turn around and lie down. Include some form of litter box option, paper towels, hand sanitizer, newspapers, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach to provide for you and your pet’s sanitation needs.
During an Emergency:
- Local people shelters will not take animals.
- If you plan to take your pets off the island, make travel arrangements right away. Once emergency evacuation begins, animals are no longer able to travel on public transportation because the space becomes people only.
- If you are planning to take your pets with you when evacuate, make sure that you have their rabies vaccination certificate. If you plan to leave Belize with pets, you must have a health certificate issued by a vet up to 10 days before travel.
- Dogs should be securely leashed and cats transported in carriers. Keep in mind that animals react differently under stress, do not leave them unattended. Even the most relaxed pets may bite and scratch, panic, try to hide or escape.
- Keep all pets in the house so that you won’t have to search for them if you have to leave in a hurry.
- Attach to your pet’s collar, the phone number and address of your temporary shelter, or of a friend or relative outside the disaster area.
- If you have no option but to leave your pet in the house while you are gone, make sure it is in a safe place. Also, leave a window sign that specifies how many pets are in the house, what type of pets they are and any important information. If you must leave an animal outside, do not leave them tied up.
- Have food and water for at least 7 days.
- Familiar items and favorite toys can help reduce stress for your pet.
Tropic Air policy states owners of large pets that requires kenneling must evacuate pets during the hurricane watch phase. No space will be available for pets during the height of a Hurricane warning and emergency evacuation (same for water taxis). Price is dependent on size of kennel and space availability. They may have to purchase 1, 2 or even 3 seats.