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July 11, 2014

Something's fishy at Salem Willows

Seafood fest features lobster plunge, kids activities, lots of food

Tartar sauce or lemon?

Whichever you prefer, there will be plenty of dishes to try them on at the first Salem Willows Seafood Festival.

Twenty vendors will be visiting Salem Willows today through Sunday to serve chowder, lobsters and fish, in a festival that will also feature live music, street performers and several special events.

“We reached out to every single restaurant in Salem,” said Jude David of FestEvents of New England, which is organizing the festival. “The Adriatic will have lobster wraps and shrimp wraps. The Clam Shack will serve lobster rolls, lobster sliders and chowder, and Cindy’s Planet Pizza and Grill will have fried calamari, fried shrimp and scallop rolls, and fried Oreos.”

Visitors will find everything from full New England steamed lobster dinners, to meals for people who don’t like seafood.

“We have steak and cheese; hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken fingers for the kids; and lots of good desserts, too, like gourmet Belgian waffles, gourmet cupcakes and brownies, and fried cheesecake,” David said.

For anyone who needs to work off all that food, there will be a lobster plunge on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Salem Willows Beach.

“All you have to do is dunk into the water, and you get a free lobster hat,” David said. “These hats are so adorable, with the claws and the antenna.”

The event, which costs $5, is a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem.

Fireworks will be held tomorrow at 9:30 p.m., so anyone who missed them around the Fourth of July can enjoy a display.

Visitors can also watch nine people eat lobster rolls — as many as they can consume in 10 minutes — for a $100 prize tomorrow at 2 p.m. The contestants were chosen on the basis of how many “likes” they received on the festival’s Facebook page, after posting their “qualifications” for participating.

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