Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival

California's lobster season doesn't begin until October, so just what are over 12 tonnes of lobsters - soon to be cracked with greasy butter fingers and tender flesh consumed by upwards of 50,000 hungry seafood fans - doing dockside at LA's Ports O' Call village?

The answer lies with Jim Hall, the producer of the Port of LA's annual lobster festival held in San Pedro this weekend, which he claims is now the biggest in the world.

A native of Maine, Hall introduced the seafood fest seven years ago, and now flies in over 22,000 lobsters fresh for the occasion.

"Maine lobster is probably the most well-managed fishery in the US. Most of all we serve fresh, American-bought and processed lobster, and not the foreign-caught and over-fished lobster. We fly 'em out, 12 tonnes at a pound and a quarter each."

Evidence of Hall's hard work is not hard to find, from efficient service and short lines at the main marquee serving the steaming, red sea crustaceans, to the well-managed and convenient parking shuttle bus, to the high standard of music entertainment on offer over all three days.

 As Hall says, dad can enjoy the beer tens while the kids enjoy the fair sideshows and mom shops for crafts. Meanwhile, everyone can enjoy a plate of fresh lobster for a more-than-reasonable $17.

"Ah it's a great day," said Jesus Romero, originally from Mexico but now of Los Angeles, as he and his family enjoyed their cobs of barbecued corn. "It's busy though, and we need a place to sit down and enjoy our food."

First-class tickets are now a great way to enjoy the fest, providing two days' access to the festival, with lobster meal optional, at a reduced price and with exclusive seating included.

Some 25% of Friday night's gate receipts, Hall confirms, are being donated to various Hurricane relief projects, among other charitable organizations.

The Port of LA lobster festival therefore remains a worthy and tasty treat for all Californians who just can't wait until October to get their buttery hands on the so-called King of Sea.


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