Annually our lobster festival is always a great party. Over the years I have been involved in various degrees to help this event further gain traction. Everything from writing about it to being on the events committee, to getting together with two other island bloggers (that no longer blog) and setting up and decorating a booth. That year (2008) was so much fun, we were all pleased that so many people thought we were an up and coming restaurant with our “Delucious” booth. We also won $500 for the best-decorated booth that year and set the bar for future decorating at lobster fest events. Aside from filling our booth with blow up lips, lobsters and cool retro signage, we also filled the party with crazy lobster hat heads – everyone wanted one 😀
Even after reading my fond recollection above, some of you may be thinking how can a lobster festival be life changing???
Well aside from celebrating the season-opening and making priceless memories, the original concept behind the San Pedro Lobster Festival was to create a successful and fun event that would run annually. Timing wise it was designed to give a big push for tourism at a time when the island really needs it – mission accomplished.
The following statistics from the 2017 Belize Tourism board clearly show that overnight arrivals for June have risen steadily for the last 7 years. Of course, some of it is random, and the other two lobster fests, however, a lot of it has to do with the hard-working team that makes it all happen mid-June rain or shine – Rebecca Arceo, Elito Arceo, Coqui Alamilla, Amanda Syme, Jackie, and Adam Feldman.
As you can see from the increasing stats above this great group of festival planners is partly (and I believe a large part) responsible for helping generate a big revenue push that helps carry businesses through the low season. That is no small thing and I am not believing without reason either I have proof.
The San Pedro Lobster Festival definitely boosts the events calendar for travelers (Halloween my other top party) and without a doubt is changing the face of tourism.
Many people like to hit all the good year-round events in their favorite places, and if they find a favorite, one they keep attending. (I used to do that in Yucatan Mexico before I moved to Belize). Because this celebration lands in the summer, it is perfect for family fun and group vacations. I know many people that have added June to their repeat list specifically due to this event.
One of my blog readers Terri Tabar, and her partner used to come in February every year. Once they attended a lobster fest, that was it they were converted to Belize in June. This year marked their 13th trip to the island and they brought their niece and nephew.
I asked her to write a short blurb for you about why they keep coming back for more.
It’s June which is my favorite time of year to visit Ambergris Caye, Belize. The Weather is always perfect and June 15th is the opening of lobster season. It is also the kick off of Lobsterfest which celebrates all things lobster in true Caribbean style. This event features a lobster crawl with daily and nightly venus in which local restaurants feature lobster dishes. There are many events to choose from during this week-long celebration from BBQ’s to fine dining. The crawl ends with a block party in the park, live entertainment, and local restaurants trying to outdo each other for the best lobster dish and event-themed cocktail. To avoid the lines and give a little back you can buy a chair for charity from the Rotary Club of Ambergris Caye. Tropical Caribbean destination, good times, giving back and of course lobster….awh, yes it”s June and you will find this girl in Belize – Terri Tabar
My friends Maureen and Tracey were also won over by San Pedro Lobster Festival way back and have designated June as their prime Belize vacation time. This year they came back with the UMC volunteer group (19 in total) to start a very important mission which you will learn more about soon. Here’s what Maureen had to say about why lobster fest captured their hearts n stomachs and what keeps them coming back with their volunteer crew.
We’ve been coming to San Pedro for several years and we’ve come at all different times of the year. After the first time of coming to San Pedro and lobster was out of season, I knew I had to book our next trip during lobster season. That next year, we were turned on to Lobsterfest. Since then, we have almost always booked our trips during the week of Lobsterfest and for the block party. From incredible food to the entertainment and the most imaginative cocktails, you won’t find a better street party. All of Central Park is full of vendors, musicians, school kids performing, local artisans and so much more. We also bring Mission teams to work on the island and book those trips around the San Pedro Lobster Festival as well. This gives the team members a chance to integrate even more into the culture that we have come to love and care for so much. Maureen Schulz Sowder
From the Organizers
A big thank you to everyone below and that attended this year’s event from the organizers: San Pedro Lobster Festival Committee San Pedro business association, Seduced by Belize Pedro’s Hotel & Caribbean villas, Sunrise Real Estate, Jackie & Adam Feldman of the Truck Stop.
Hon. Minister Manuel Heredia & Belize Tourism Board, San Pedro town council, b & b beverages ltd. (Bowen companies), San Pedro Lobster Festival Committee and San Pedro business association.
Estel’s Dine by the Sea, cook inc., Madisco, Iguana Juan’s pop -up @ the commons
pirate’s treasure restaurant & bar, Amber beach bar & grill, Pirate’s not-so-secret beach bar & grill, the Dive bar, Iguana Juan’s restaurant & bar, Crazy Canucks, Camo Cantina & Island Op’s, Pineapple’s by the beach at Ramon’s village resort, Belize chocolate company,
Pedro’s Inn, 12 Belize gift shop, Rain restaurant at Grand Caribe, Palapa bar & grill,
the Truck Stop
Ramon’s Village Resort, Mata Chica Resort & Spa, Tropic Air ltd. and Victoria House & spa
Tropic Air, Ramon’s village, Sun Breeze Hotel, Ultimate Golf Cart rental, Diamond Lodge
Palapa bar, Chuck & Robbie’s, Belize Chocolate Company, Palmilla restaurant at Victoria House & Spa, El Patio Restaurant, Blue Water Grill, Seaduced by Belize, Wayo’s Beach Bar, Traveler’s Liquors, Amigo’s del Mar.
Atlantic Bank Ltd. Mayor Danny Guerrero, Debbie Spain, Renita Dellaca, Rebecca Arceo
Coqui Alamilla, Elito Arceo, Crawl Crew, Daisy Martinez, Sabrina Viana.
Big Block Party
Onto the good stuff …..
As always there was a lot to choose from. This year’s selection of booths: Caliente restaurant, Estel’s Dine by the sea, Nook Restaurant & Bartique, Camo Cantina & Island Ops, Aji Tapa’s restaurant, Ginger’s Garden Pirate’s Pizza, Crazy Canucks Beach Bar, Pirate’s Treasure Restaurant & Bar, Pineapple’s Dine by the Beach at Ramon’s Village, Pedro’s hotel, Amber Beach Bar & Grill, Dianita’s Fast Food, Mesa cafe & Coco Loco’s, Pier 366, The Dive Bar, and Iguana Juan’s Restaurant & Bar.
This year was the latest I have ever gone to lobster fest (7:00 pm). It was packed and in full swing. Our group of 14 quickly dispersed.
Food choices were made by location, for some reason, a few of us ended up gravitating to the northeast side of Central Park. This led me to start with some skewered bacon wrapped lobster bites at Aji and finish with an amazing lobster mango sushi tower. Once I heard the delight by Maureen on that one I went and ordered one immediately from Gingers Garden. They also did lobster pasta from Bella Vista and the lobster roll from Iguana Juans.
Thanks to Playa de Sala and The Phoenix Resort Instagram stories I caught everything I would have wanted to see food and entertainment wise from the start of the party.
Congratulations to all the lucky winners, enjoy the feeling that your hard work and creativity has paid off.
Lobster crawl raffle
Three Cheers for Kay Neal who took home the grand prize of a trip back for 2020 San Pedro Lobster Festival including accommodations, tours and more. Going for the gusto in this raffle definitely qualifies for hard work all that eating and drinking to get your passport stamped a couple of times a day 😀
As for creative, year after year local businesses bring their A game and work hard for a shot at making the list.
Best booth :
- Pineapple’s by the Sea at Ramon’s Village
- 1st place – Sandbar Beachfront Hostel & Restaurant – dish sous vide lobster with a lemon air & bell pepper coulis.
- 2nd place – Nook Restaurant & Bartique – dish Isla Bonita lobster pocket pita.
- 3rd place – Pineapples Dine by the Sea at Ramon’s Village – dish lobster zuppa toscana.
- 1st place – Nook Restaurant & Bartique – cocktail San Peezy squeezie.
- 2 nd place – Mesa Cafe & Coco Loco’s – cocktail tropical starlight.
- 3 rd place – Camo Cantina & Island Ops – cocktail miche-lobsta.
I will leave you with a few pictures from the night. Lots of people, colorful booths, and delicious food. In the last one, you can see 1st and 2nd place winner for drink and food, Nook booth was situated right in front of their restaurant. Drop by for a San Peezy squeezie.