The mega 3-day beach party like, no other in Belize is the boast of Placencia Lobsterfest organizers! Having witnessed first-hand the events of June 28, 29 & 30th 2013 we have to agree, after all they have been running this show for 15 years now.
We arrived in Placencia on the 26th and plans were already well under way, a huge marquee covered the forlorn huge concrete pad, which sits seemingly forgotten for the majority of the year. The wide sand corridor beyond, sprouted exotic fungi, as if the steel tubing had taken over and sprouted at will.
The excitement built as people poured into the village, already an eclectic mix of people, the population swelled with tourists and locals from other parts of Belize. As the population swelled so did the music, no mere toe tapping tunes here, if your hips aren’t swaying you may want to check your pulse…….
Festivities started with a Big Bang! Oops should that be Big Band! Actually no, a Big Bang is exactly what it is, every band we have seen is heavy on the drums and they know how to use them. Check out the folks in the nifty blue and white outfits and pity Mikes tortured ear, as the trumpets go by.
Brass bands, steel bands, skin drums, traditional songs, bands, bands and more bands played into the wee hours. Performers and audience alike, slaked thirsts with copious amounts of Belikin Beer and the local rum, discarded prickly and hot bottle caps soon became a hazard to all those bare feet.
The star of the show and the reason for this frenzy is the re-opening of lobster season. These spiny critters have had a short respite from the on-going demand for their tender tails; the moratorium on harvesting is to give them time for a little romance and a lot of procreation.
Lobster grilled, fried and stewed, in soup, balls and pizza is everywhere. Discarded shells, heads and legs spot the beach and overflow from the trashcans. For those not into the spiny crustaceans other options include chicken and sausages on sticks. Also on sticks, electric blue candyfloss for the sweet toothed.
Aside from the bands, lobster and beer, local craftsman and vendors set up to sell their wares. The carved bowls, masks and carvings are exceptional, painstakingly carved, sanded and polished by very talented hands. Complementing the entire assemble is a smattering of local charities, businesses and environmental groups (wearing a shark outfit in that heat is true dedication to the plight our fearsome friends face). Be sure to bring cash with you and take your chances at the raffles and games who knows you might win the round trip airline tickets to the states or win the Tuna Toss! (Not a real wet slippery Tuna only the heavy stuffed mascot from a local bar).
If you get the chance to visit this charming, sleepy, little fishing town next year we suggest you arrive early and watch the transformation. Be sure to reserve a room though.