The Santa Barbara Harbor Festival has been canceled for the second year in a row.
But the season opening of California spiny lobster, one of Santa Barbara’s leading sustainable fisheries, is still being celebrated.
The Santa Barbara Spiny Lobster Fest, a fundraiser for Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara, will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Maritime Museum’s outdoor front patio, with gourmet lobster dishes, music and live lobster for purchase from local fishermen.
Customers can come early that day to browse the fresh fish, crab, urchin and more available at the Saturday Fishermen’s Market on the docks adjacent to the museum, from 6 a.m. to noon.
For decades, the harbor festival has marked the start of lobster season, which runs October to March. It is also a major fundraiser for Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara, “a local nonprofit that is taking a hit” with the festival’s cancellations, according to a news release.
“Our spiny lobster has always been a hot commodity,” Kim Selkoe, co-founder of Get Hooked Seafood and executive director of CFSB, said. “In the 1800s, Santa Barbara’s ‘Lobster Kings’ started up exports — to San Francisco. Our port still has a thriving, sustainable, small-boat lobster trap fishery to this day, thanks to the abundant, productive waters of the Santa Barbara Channel. These are blessings that everyone in Santa Barbara should celebrate and enjoy!”
Space will be limited at the Oct. 23 event to maintain COVID-19 safety. To reserve tickets, go to tinyurl.com/lobsterfestSB and select an entry time. People also can put down a dispositive for live lobsters to take home and pre-purchase a meal of lobster paella and lobster bisque prepared by Uncorked Wine Tasting and Kitchen.
Food, drink and lobster tickets can also be purchased at the event while supplies last.
For more information visit tinyurl.com/lobsterfestsb or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.