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8th annual Blue Claw Crab Festival showcases Mastic Beach

Amiyha Schutte, 6, of Shirley, shows off her

Amiyha Schutte, 6, of Shirley, shows off her cat face at the eighth annual Blue Claw Crab Festival. (Aug. 26, 2012) Credit: Ursula Moore

Maria Zoine was looking for a relaxing way to spend her Sunday afternoon.

And she found it sitting at the marina eating crabs at the eighth annual Blue Claw Crab Festival in Mastic Beach.

“The crabs are very good,” said Zoine, of Merrick.

The annual festival hosted by the Mastic Beach Property Owners Association featured an assortment of seafood including the blue claw crab, clams on the half shell and steamed shrimp. Also on hand were nearly 60 vendors selling a variety of items such as T-shirts, handbags, sunglasses, handmade jewelry and children’s books.

Edward Merchant, of Mastic, found his comfort zone by eating vanilla chip ice cream.

“The weather is great and my ice cream tastes good,” he said.

The festival was started by Mastic Beach Property Owners Association president Robert DeBona, of Mastic Beach, because he wanted to showcase the beautiful marina.

“I want people to see how wonderful the waterfront is and to bring people together,” DeBona said. “Once people come out here, they love how beautiful and clean the marina is.”

Terrie Cicerelli, coordinator for the property owners association, said the blue claw crabs taste the best.

“The blue claw crab is succulent and most people compare it to lobster,” Cicerelli said. “It’s delicious.”

Cicerelli is thrilled by the thousands of people that attend the festival.

“People come from all over – Brooklyn, Queens. Every year, more and more people come to this festival,” she said. “We are happy to see other communities come here and see what a great place Mastic Beach is.”

Keyboardist Jimmy Osborne performed with his band Chain Reaction at the event and was impressed with the beautiful waterfront.

“This place is awesome,” Osborne said. “It’s a hidden gem.”

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