Crowds began pouring into Phillips Park shortly after the gates opened for the annual Kiwanis Club of Greater Pine Island Taste of Pine Island Saturday.
"I think it's going great," Kiwanis Club President Tonya Player said Saturday afternoon. "Everyone seems very happy. The entertainment is awesome and the food is delicious."
This year the island restaurants who participated included Waterfront Restaurant, Olde Fish House Marina, Barnhill's Seafood Spot and Red's Seafood House & Tavern.
Red’s Fresh Seafood House & Tavern Chef Matthew Marud sets bacon wrapped sea scallop onto a baking sheet.
In addition to the food, many vendors and entertainment, the two-day event also featured a lot of activities for children.
"I'm very impressed," Player said of the youth activities.
The entertainment included Whole Tones, Strange Arrangement, Kip and Trailer Park Barbie, Pine Island Steel and Pine Island Dance.
The event attracted many returning guests, as well as first time visitors to the Taste of Pine Island.
Cape Coral resident Lee Spencer attended for the first time this year. He said he thought the event was great.
"It's really nice," he said.
Spencer said he was shocked with the crowd when he first arrived at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
"It was full," he said of the parking.
After trying all of the food that was offered, he said Red's Fresh Seafood House & Tavern bacon wrapped scallops was the best.
"It was delicious," Spencer said, adding that he eats at Red's all the time.
He said he decided to attend the event because it would give him something to do Saturday, as well as try different seafood.
"I will definitely come every year," Spencer said.
Irvan Sievers also attended the event for the first time this year.
"I like the entertainment and the red snapper," he said. "I think it's great, I will come again."
Another first time attendee, Bonita Springs resident Pat Hughes, said she was disappointed with the event.
"I though it would have more food choices and not so many vendors," she said. "I wanted something like a meal. I paid to get in and then you are starving."
The atmosphere, food and entertainment was the reason many individuals have attended the annual Taste of Pine Island every year.
Basil Woodfork, an Indiana resident, said he has attended the event for the past seven or eight years.
"I have a couple of friends down here and we kind of get together," he said of attending the Taste of Pine Island.
This year his favorite dish was the fried red snapper.
"As long as the weather is good, it's just the place to be," Woodfork said.
Bob Best, a Bokeelia resident, said he has attended the Taste of Pine Island for six years.
"It's a great time," he said.
Best said although his favorite part of the event is the chowder competition, he wishes there were more competitors.