Skaneateles' 17th annual Seafood Jazz Fest a hit with the community

The west lawn of the Sherwood Inn was jam packed Sunday with music lovers and seafood enthusiasts.

The 17th annual Seafood Jazz Fest kicked off around 1 p.m. with music from the Skaneateles High School jazz band, which brought parents out in droves to start the day.

As the afternoon progressed, groups of people seeking out their favorite sounds wandered beneath the large tent to get their groove on and dance away the hours.

Jim and Chris Bona of Auburn said they try to make it to Skaneateles every year for the fest, but they don't come to hear any specific bands. Though they don't particularly like the jazz genre, their love of music makes the trip over from Auburn worth it.

"We enjoy listening to good musicians," Jim Bona said.

The comfortable and casual atmosphere is also a big draw for the Bonas, and the fest is also the unofficial end of summer at the lake.

"It's a nice way to end the summer," said Chris Bona.

Joshua Dekaney of Grupo Pag n, a Latin pop band that was formed six years ago, said the band has played at the Seafood Jazz Fest two or three times, and this year it was a welcome relief to see a larger tent for the performers to play under.

"They have a bigger tent. That's a nice change," Dekaney said. He also expressed a hope that with the larger tent it would be an easier transition moving one band's gear out and another's in.

While a smooth blend of jazz and blues kept the crowd happy, the food table and raw bar kept their bellies filled and satisfied their palates with shrimp, clams, chowder and Cajun grouper, chicken and pulled pork sandwiches. To wash it all down, the "beer truck" had a variety of beverages to choose from -- wine to beer, water to soda.

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