Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival spices up weekend

Seafood, other cuisine and libations complement a noted musical lineup.
 CLEARWATER — The Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival at Coachman Park is known for bringing nationally known musical performers to the Tampa Bay area for this free event. But there’s more to sea-blues than the blues.
Attendees at this weekend’s eighth annual event can enjoy seafood like spicy Cajun shrimp and crab cake sliders, plus other culinary options like Louisiana crawfish, prime rib hoagies and fried gator-on-a-stick.
Local eateries such as Rumba Island Bar & Grill, Hammerhead’s Seafood & Grill, Abe’s Place Grill & Tap House and Pipo’s will offer their specialties. Also available will be standard festival favorites including kettle corn, churros, hot dogs and Dippin’ Dots.
New this year is the Florida Brewers Craft Beer Garden. It will feature craft beers from Cigar City Brewing of Tampa and Florida Beer Company of Melbourne, plus Dunedin Red Head Ale by Dunedin Brewery, People’s Pale Ale by Intuition Ale Works of Jacksonville and Toasted Coconut Porter by Orange Blossom Pilsner of Orlando. In addition, New Belgium Brewing Company will serve its Fat Tire, Ranger, Snapshot, Sunshine Wheat, Shift and Spring Blonde varieties throughout the park.
Another addition to this year’s Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival is Abe’s Lounge, a tent filled with high-top tables and chairs where attendees can eat, drink and relax while listening to the music.
Co-headlining Saturday’s slate is Vintage Trouble, which recently performed for the third time on “The Tonight Show.” The band currently is appearing in a national television commercial for Honda. Vintage Trouble shares the bill with the five-time Grammy Award-winning Robert Cray Band.
 On Sunday, longtime British rock-blues group Savoy Brown featuring Kim Simmonds will headline the musical lineup. A complete list of performers is available at
To kick off the festival on Friday, downtown Clearwater will host the Third Annual Blues Walk on Cleveland Street. Live blues music will be performed at area establishments from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Restaurants will offer “sea-blues” themed food and drink specials.
Gates at the park behind the city’s main library off Osceola Avenue open at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For full details or to purchase reserved and VIP tickets, visit the festival website.
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