After Hurricane Hermine, Cedar Key Gets Boost From Seafood Festival

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Amid continuing recovery efforts from Hurricane Hermine, the Cedar Key community gathered to hold an event that some might not have thought possible.

Despite millions of dollars’ worth of property damage, the Cedar Key Seafood Festival still took place on Saturday and Sunday in the small coastal city, six weeks after the storm.

About 15,000 attended, including John Mungenast, who has returned three years in a row.

“Some people probably didn’t anticipate that it would be back up and running again,” he said.

The theme of the 47th annual festival was “A Working Waterfront,” and this year, in addition to food and entertainment, the festival hosted a non-profit section.

The event proved to be an accomplished that required hard work from the people of the city.

“If you’re working [on the] waterfront … you’re used to disaster, and you just know to pick it up and clean it up,” said Sue Colson, a city commissioner for the city.

The festival is important to the city, which produces up to 95 percent of the Florida’s clams, and attendees had plenty of fresh ones during the event.

“Obviously, that’s the reason you come here,” Mungenast said.

The festival was the second event since the hurricane, and members of the community said that it helped in their efforts to get back to normal. It also helped bring money to the community and assisted in recovering from the damages.

“It’s a huge impact for the town, and it’s a good promotion of what we do have,” Cedar Key resident Richie Cook said.

The people of Cedar Key hope to see it grow even bigger next year.

“This is a working waterfront,” Colson said, “and we’re still working.”

WUFT News Reporter Amalie Batchelder contributed to this report.

About Daniela Hurtado

Daniela is a reporter for WUFT News and can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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