This weekend, there’s going to be a sea of people and waves of the aroma of shrimp drifting through the air in the seaside community of Port Isabel.

The Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce is going to host its annual Shrimp Cookoff and Seafood Festival on Saturday.

The decades-long tradition began 28 years ago to celebrate the shrimp industry and to highlight various seafood dishes from local restaurants.

Saturday’s event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Sutherlands’ parking lot in Port Isabel on Highway 100.

This longtime favorite cookoff and seafood festival is ready to serve up some good eats for Port Isabel residents and visitors.

Chamber personnel said dozens of professional and amateur chefs will be preparing their favorite recipes for thousands of festival attendees at a modest fee.

According to Chamber personnel, this year’s event will have expanded opportunities for contestants, food and merchandise vendors, as well as fun activities for the entire family.

Food vendors will be allowed to expand their menu selections and cookoff contestants will be able to prepare, serve and sell two seafood recipes.

One of the recipes must contain shrimp and be judged for the competition. Each contestant’s recipe will be judged on appearance, aroma and taste by a select panel of judges.

The second seafood dish can be their choice of any other seafood and will not be judged.

This year’s live entertainment will be provided by The Agency, a Rio Grande Valley-based six-piece veteran band that’s been performing throughout Texas since 1993.

In addition to featuring delectable seafood dishes and live entertainment, the Chamber has partnered with the Port Isabel Antique Flea Market to offer a wide assortment of products for sale to the consumers in 10 by 10 inch open air displays.

The adult admission fee is $5 for the day. Children 12 years and younger accompanied by an adult will not be charged an admission fee.

The festival will end with a presentation of cookoff awards scheduled to be held at 4 p.m.

Those wanting more or who aren’t able to attend Saturday’s Shrimp Cookoff and Seafood Festival will still have a chance to grab a bite of featured dishes after Saturday’s event.

From Nov. 7 to Nov. 12, participating restaurants will extend their samples at their restaurants.

A list of restaurants available during this period will be provided, as well as a site map for those who want to extend their experience at the home restaurants of participating chefs.

For questions or more information, contact the Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce at or (956) 943-2262.