DUNEDIN – Get a plate full of stone crab and barbecue, sip on a craft brew and listen to some good music on an autumn day on the waterfront.
That’s the gist of the third annual Stone Crab, Craft Beer and Barbecue festival Friday, Oct. 18, and Saturday Oct. 19, from 4 to 10 p.m., at Edgewater Park.
The Olde Bay Café will present the event, with proceeds going to two charities.
Stone crab season opens Oct. 15, so attendees can be assured that there will be plenty of fresh crab on hand.
“It’s just kind of a thank you for the great support we get from people we have in town. We put on this free concert and have great vendors and have another great day in downtown Dunedin,” said Walt Wickman, a co-owner of the restaurant.
Pulled pork sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, chicken and smoked mullet will be served.
“We are going to have some other restaurants involved. I’ll be doing barbecue,” Wickman said.
Wickman has obtained a 50-foot long hydraulic grill for the event.
“It’s the baddest thing you have ever seen,” he said. “You can feed 5,000 people with this grill.”
Craft beers made by the Sweetwater Brewing Co. will be available on Friday. Several local beers, including some made by the Tampa Bay Brewing Co. and Florida Avenue, will be offered on Saturday. In the restaurant, beers brewed by 7venth Sun Brewery and Cigar City will be featured.
On Friday night She’s that Dude, a rock band, will perform along with the Black Honkeys, funk and blues. On Saturday, the New Rulers, rock, and Thomas Wynn and the Believers, southern rock, will perform.
Proceeds will go to Cure On Wheels, which raises money for the Moffitt Cancer Center, and the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance.
Wickman said that he became involved with Cure on Wheels through a former employee and friend who had prostate cancer while he was in his late 50s. When he recovered, he got together with a group of people who like helping others through bicycle races and other fundraisers.
Friedreich’s ataxia is a debilitating, degenerative neuro-muscular disorder.
Wickman was introduced to the alliance through a group of people who are active in the restaurant industry. One of the FARA area representatives is Paul Avery, the president of Outback Steakhouse.
“It’s near and dear to his heart. It’s a great cause and we try to raise as much money as we can.” Wickman said.
Wickman and his wife, Jane, have operated the Olde Bay Café for three years. The co-owner is Dennis Doyle, of Safety Harbor.
“I have been cooking for 20 years. My uncle used to own this business, and I used to cut fish here, right out of high school,” Wickman said.