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Seafood lovers delight over events in Ruskin, Brandon

Seafood lovers rejoice.

Whether it's deep-fried fish, battered shrimp or raw oysters, delicacies from the deep sea will be plentiful in the SouthShore and Brandon area at two annual events this weekend.

Start with the two-day Ruskin Seafood Festival, which runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (with a concert extending the day to 8 p.m.) and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at E.G. Simmons Park, 2101 19th Ave.

Now in its 26th year, the festival features a variety of food vendors serving seafood and other specialty food items, an arts and crafts show, boat displays and children's area with interactive rides and entertainment.

The SouthShore Chamber of Commerce also enhances the waterside vista with live music, including steel drum, calypso and reggae bands. Organizers bill the festival as SouthShore's largest annual event and expect to draw a crowd of 25,000.

Admission is $5 with a $2 per carload parking charge. Vendor food is sold separately.

Meanwhile, the Brandon '86 Rotary Club will host the 22nd annual Denizens of the Deep Fish Fry Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Rotary's Camp Florida, 1915 Camp Florida Road. The fundraiser benefits a number of Brandon charities and features back-yard games including a corn hole tournament, pie eating contest, drum circle, sack races and water balloon toss.

New to the event is the Monster Canoe Challenge. Teams will compete in crafts similar to dragon boats.

Advanced tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for kids 12 and over and $1 (or one canned good) for children 10 and under. Walk-up sales are $25 for adults, $15 for kids 12 and over. Admission includes all-you-can-eat fish with sides and beverages.

Times staff writer