. . . Offered Great Food, Fun and Friends. January 27th & 28th the park started filling up around 6:00 AM with over 125 vendors. Around 8:00 AM Saturday morning the smells of cooking Fried local clam, steamed clams, clam taco’s, clam chowders, blackened salmon, steamed crawdads, pulled pork, seasoned jumbo shrimp, fresh local fish cooked in many ways, BBQ ribs & chicken, French fries, Latin dishes and so much more filled the air of the park. The two entrance gates started forming lines early. All of the ClamJam workers and community volunteers were ready, with the gates opened to the visitors at 10:00 am. The weather started out being very cloudy and a little cooler, but the people still came, by 11:30 am it turned out to be another beautiful day in paradise for all who attend ClamJam. Bluegrass Central started their set off with some great original songs. Music playing, food cooking, and vendors ready to showcase their wares. The people kept coming and in spite of the cool morning temperature. It crowds didn’t let up until 6:30 PM that night. There were over 125 arts and craft vendors from home made soaps to hot sauces, spices, fine arts, beef jerky, hats, t-shirts, insurance agents, dentist, jewelry, local fresh veggies and fruit and so much more…..something for everyone. After Bluegrass Central performed, the sound crew set up for Brother Love Three, a huge crowd pleaser. At lunch time, the clams were hot and ready and the visitors started lining up at the food vendor’s spots for some great local seafood. Hundreds of visitors sat on the concrete picnic tables, which surround the courtyard of the park, a beautiful area with large shade trees. They ate local seafood, right off the boats of our local fishermen and other great foods being served by our many food vendors, drank some cold adult beverages, being served by the staff of the German-American Social Club and enjoyed some kick-butt rock and roll. The sound crew was getting the stage ready for 24 Carat, a very popular rock band in the area. In between the bands playing, the crowds began to gather around the stage where Captain Terry Fisher from Fish Face Charter gave a boating and fishing lecture. 100’s were interested in what Captain Fisher had to say and where his secret fishing holes were and what fishing gear was required to get the big one. The event ended the first day of the event on a high note with the band 24 Carat playing, people eating and drinking and kids playing in the Kids Corner area. It was a great first day and looked forward to the second day. Sunday started out with a light misty rain in the early morning, but by noon the sun was out and the music was playing; on the stage was the great and humble, Jason Bonham. What a great performer. Jason will be a big part of our 2018’s show. If you didn’t get to see him in 2017 make sure to see him in 2018. Food was again cooking, with the smells of steamed clams, vendors ran out of the fried clam on Saturday, so Sunday’s special was fresh local fish, steamed clams, clam chowders, crab cakes along with Latin dishes, Smoked and BBQ pork, chicken and ribs, American foods, such as hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, fresh lemonade, flavored popcorn, homemade Pine Island Fudge and chocolate and so much more. On Sunday the crowds were down slightly, due to the cooler and damper morning weather, but vendor reported sales were up. Many of our 2017 vendors have already secured their spot for 2018. All who attended the ClamJam of Southwest Florida Seafood & Music Festival had a great time, enjoyed the entertainment, enjoyed and ate some great food and had a lot of fun. Vendors reactions: Paradise Gardens: “ Terrific job as always. Damn the weather. But we still sold out of many of our products and will be better prepared for next year’s event, …the event was well promoted, well attended and well organized. See you all at 2018 ClamJam of Southwest Florida Seafood & Music Festival.” Safety Harbour Insurance, Inc. : “Best event we have ever attended. Music was great. Great local festival. It started out a little cool but by noon the park was packed with visitors that seemed to be having a great time. As a vendor we did great. You and your committee did a great job see you next year.” Brigette Chandler: “Yes the weather was cool, but it’s January and anything goes. As a vendor I did well and looking forward to next year. Reserve my same spot please, great job with organizing…” The Chairman and her committee would like to thank all who attended the event; all of the volunteers who helped organize, worked hard and run the event in an orderly and fun manner. All the vendors who showcased their products and made ClamJam a huge success, see you all next year. Special thank you to the event sponsors who helped makes this event possible. Budweiser, CoveFarms, Honc Industries, Pine Island Eagle, Cape Coral Breeze, 93X, 94.5 the Arrow, 96.9 WINK FM, German-American Social Club, FLA. Inc., LWS Lightning Wireless Solutions, Inc. Olde Fish House Seafood Market, Hole In One Golf Carts, Allied Portables, Cove Systems, Inc. PineIslandNews.com and Ad&PrintCraft Marketing Co. Special thank you to the sponsored non-profit organizations that were a huge part of the event. The event chair and her committee were honored to have helped them at ClamJam. Pine Island Community Church (Haiti Recovery Team), Randell Research Center, GST’s Sun State Greyhound Adoption Org., Helping Paws Animal Sanctuary, Pine Island Boy Scouts Troop 20. The German-American Social Club, Matlahca Mariners and more. Pat and her committee will again be organizing and running ClamJam of Southwest Florida Seafood & Music Festival in 2018. She said “ even considering the cooler weather in January this is the best time of the year to hold the event; Getting more seafood vendors, more craft and information vendors and more fun for the entire family.” Check out the website www.ClamJamSWFL.com for 2018 dates and times to be announced soon. If you want to be a sponsor, vendor, entertainer, speaker, volunteer or visitor at next year’s event contact Pat at 239-443-4457 and she will get you all the required paperwork to be a part of the BEST LOCAL Seafood EVENT in the area. We had to turn away quite a few last minute vendor requests in 2017. Don’t wait; get started now, email pat for your paperwork so you will be guaranteed a spot in 2018. ClamJam of Southwest Florida Seafood & Music Festival offers an event were people can get off the couch, come out with family and friend and see our beautiful area. Eat some local seafood, drink some cold beverages and enjoy some live entertainment. Good quality family time. If you want to help with the organization of this wonderful local event next year or if you have a non-profit organization that would like to be included in our sponsored organizations: contact Pat or one of her committee people at 239-443-4457 or email to chair@ClamJamSWFL.com Check out the website at www.ClamJamSWFL.com or www.PineIslandNews.com also has a link. Pat would like to extend a special thank you to her family and close friends who helped to make ClamJam of Southwest Florida Seafood & Music Festival 2017 a HUGE Success. See you all in 2018.