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Shrimp Festival 5k run returns to Beach March 15

By Staff | Feb 17, 2015

The Fort Myers Beach Lions Foun-dation 57th annual Shrimp Festival will offer its traditional activities, one new event and the return of another during the March 14-15 weekend.

Before the Parade and Queens Pageant on Saturday, the Beach Lions brings back a traditional 5k race on Estero Boulevard and over Matanzas Bridge with a tentative 9 a.m. start.

Called the Fort Myers Beach Lions 5K Shrimp Festival Run, the event is sponsored by the Cypress Lake High School Athletic Booster Club and Cypress Lake High School.

Entrance fee is $25 and registration and more information can be found website www.fortmyersbeachshrimpfesti-val.com/ or www.active.com/fort-myers-beach-fl/running/races/the-shrimp-run-presented-by-cypress-lake-high-school-athletics-2015 .

Cypress Lake High Athletic Director Liam Farrell, who grew up on the Beach, said he contacted the local Lions club in hopes of sponsoring and resurrecting the pre-parade race that was the staple of kicking off Saturday shrimp fest activities for many years. The format of the race will be the same as years’ past. Key Estero Shops marks the start and finish of the race.

“Cypress Lake Athletics are extremely excited to bring back the Shrimp Run 5k,” Farrell said “It’s a tough, beautiful, exciting and rewarding race that has been part of our community for years. With two trips over the Matanzas Bridge, you should start training right away!”

Matanzas Bridge will be closed at 9 a.m., so arrive early if coming from off-island.

Once the 5k is complete, the parade will follow from school street to Times Square with a 10 a.m. start. Afterwards, head down to the Lynn Hall Park, the site of the Lions festival grounds to visit the many vendors of the festival food, fun & Crafts Expo.

The 2015 Beach Lion’s Club Shrimp Festival Queen Pageant will start at 1 p.m. at the park pavilion. The crowned princess receives a $500 college scholarship.

For the second straight year, the Queen Pageant Master of Ceremonies is Eli Baldwin, a local actor and singer and graduate of Cypress Lake High Center for the Arts. He can be seen performing at Times Square on Fort Myers Beach.

On Sunday, the Beach Lions will hold the inaugural Fort Myers Beach Lions Shrimp Festival Shrimp Eating Championship with a tentative 1 p.m. start on the festival grounds.

Lions are seeking sponsors and eating contest entrants for the shrimp eating championship and participants for the race. World famous Lions shrimp dinners and shrimp fest memorabilia will be for sale all weekend long.

Go to www.beachshrimpfestival.com for more information.

Shrimp festival gear ready

As well as being offered on the festival grounds March 14-15, the 2015 edition of the Official FMB Lions Shrimp Festival t-shirts, tank tops, collared shirts and caps can be found at the following Beach locations: Sun Hardware, Gavin’s Hardware, Red Coconut RV Park on Saturdays and Bay Oaks Recreation Center.

Fort Myers Beach Lions Foundation receives 100 percent of proceeds from sales! Neither the Lions Cub nor any of the official sales outlets keeps any of the sales proceeds making your purchase a rewarding way to help your community and participate in the 57th Annual Fort Myers Beach Lions Shrimp Festival.

“Since our sales outlets are donating their efforts in selling these great items for charity, we ask the public to support them by purchasing other items from them when they can,” said Lion President Darby Doerzbacher. “These vendors have great community spirit and the Lions thank them.”