Lobster Lovers to Feast at Key West Lobsterfest Aug. 7-10, 2014 KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Melted butter is optional, but a craving for crustaceans is mandatory at the 16th annual Key West Lobsterfest scheduled Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 7-10. The festival commemorates the start of the Florida Keys lobster season with events that include an open-air lobster feast on Key West’s famed Duval Street. Florida lobsters, sometimes called spiny lobsters, are known for their sweet, tender meat. Unlike their northern cousins, the spiny specimens have no claws. Purists savor them steamed, with each bite dipped in melted butter. They also can be baked and stuffed, served cold in salads or incorporated into dishes ranging from bisques to fritters to omelets. The festival’s enticing “entrée” is the Key West Lobsterfest Street Fair, set for noon through 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, in the 100 through 500 blocks of Duval. Lobster lovers can sample dishes ranging from tempting appetizers to traditional lobster dinners with all the trimmings. Chefs from as many as 20 local restaurants are to prepare specialties featuring fresh crustaceans caught by Florida Keys lobster fishermen. Attendees also can browse and buy art, crafts and merchandise from dozens of on-site vendors. A free outdoor concert is slated to begin at 1 p.m. and continue until 10:30 p.m. from a stage at the intersection of Duval and Greene streets. Other Lobsterfest events include a Lobster Boil, Pub Crawl, Bruch & More! The crustacean celebration benefits a scholarship fund for Key West High School students.