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Boca Raton Seafood and Music Festival rocks & reels in crowds

Karen Harwood was among the estimated 10,000 people to attend opening day of the first-ever Boca Raton Seafood and Music Festival at Mizner Park on Saturday, and she was eager to conduct her own taste test.

“I’m a New Englander and I wanted to see if they would have Maine lobster and sure enough they do,” she said, as she cracked open a tail. “It’s delicious. Lobster is my favorite thing in the world.”

Her husband Ted tried crawfish for the first time. “It’s like mini-lobsters,” he said. “They’re awesome but they keep your hands busy, that’s for sure.”

There was indigenous seafood from Florida’s coastal waters as well as meat and vegetarian dishes, beer, wine, a variety of drinks, and a selection from the dessert menus prepared by local restaurants and special event vendors like Justin Sattler.

“This is doing pretty well for a first annual event,” he said. “Usually it’s a little hard to get things kicked off for the first [time].”

Festival producer Ron Soto expects the two-day event will attract about 20,000.

“People seem to be having a good time,” he said. “It’s definitely a family affair.”

Not everyone was there for the food. Florida Panthers broadcaster Randy Moller and his wife Cathy had their eyes on some sand sculptures.

“What we really like is the local jewelry and the artwork,” he said. “We buy certain stuff to decorate our pool area and to support local [businesses].”

And, you can eat to the beat. Live concerts featured both local and regional performers including soul, rock, R&B, jazz, reggae, Caribbean and other music.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5. Children 12-years and younger are free. No pets are allowed inside of Mizner Park.

“We’re glad they’re supporting the local [community],” said Cathy Moller. “If you put it on, people will come. It’s awesome.”

wkroustan@sunsentinel.com or 954-356-4303 or Twitter @WayneRoustan

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