A variety of seafoods and different genres of music from 11 bands will greet visitors to the 18th annual Ohio Fish and Shrimp Festival this weekend at Freshwater Farms of Ohio in Urbana. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Contributing Writer
Photo: Contributing Writer

Ohio Fish and Shrimp Festival is this weekend, and pirates and mermaids get in FREE

Catch a wave this weekend and you’ll reel in seafood and music, maybe even together. You won’t need a boat or even a body of water, just an appetite and an ear for a tune.

The 18th annual Ohio Fish and Shrimp Festival will provide a variety of seafood from the title dishes to raw oysters and lobster fries and live music from rock to reggae and jazz to Celtic.

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Dock at Freshwater Farms of Ohio, 2624 N. U.S. 68, one mile north of Urbana, 4-10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

“We’ve got a large turnout of vendors, around 12 besides ourselves and probably the best music lineup ever,” said Dr. Dave Smith, president of Freshwater Farms of Ohio.

Part of the fun is playing it safe with fish and shrimp or go adventurous and try gator, which Smith describes as being comparable to pork, or go Cajun with jambalaya, while a couple of new vendors will keep things fresh. Seafood not to your liking, find other favorite foods far from the sea.

Smith went all out for the music, bringing in bands from as far as Pittsburgh and the three “C” cities of Ohio: Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati and elsewhere.

Fish and Shrimp Festival goers are reflected in a pond full of water lillies Sunday as they watch the fish under the water at Freshwater Farms of Ohio.
Photo: Bill Lackey

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Highlighting will one of the hit groups of the 2017 festival, the Bastard Bearded Irishmen, who could win the best-named band, but let their blend of traditional and contemporary Celtic music, mixed with punk, gypsy and high-energy rock ‘n’ roll do the work. They’ll perform at 8:30 p.m. Friday.

The Flex Crew will mix reggae with funk, rhythm and blues, soul and hip-hop at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, while another crowd favorite, Kick-n-Flava will bring in soulful ballads, dance music, smooth jazz and contemporary pop to round out the festival at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

Other performers and the participating vendors and menu items are listed on the festival website.

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“It’s gonna be a hot weekend and we’ll have our margarita machines and a lot of other cool drinks available,” Smith said.

The kids’ area will feature three different bounce houses and a new pirate shipwreck theme area that can be enjoyed for hours.

To make things even more fun, anybody who attends the festival in a sea-themed costume such as a sea creature, pirate, mermaid or something similar, will be admitted free. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for ages 3-12. Parking is also free.

“We encourage people to be a little crazy because we like to have fun with our festival,” Smith said.

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