PITTSBURG -- They savored food that comes from the ocean and food that doesn't -- things like alligator-on-a-stick and funnel cakes -- at the opening day of the popular Pittsburg Seafood Festival.
The event, which pays homage to the city's seafood past, was held under sunny skies as bands played music on Railroad Avenue and merchants staffed booths that sold clothes, hats, soap, and arts and crafts.
But, as always, the food is the main draw at the event, which is now in its 28th year.
And the booth with the longest line, had nothing to do with seafood.
"It's good with the hot sauce," said Doug Edwards, a Pittsburg resident, as he nibbled on alligator-on-a-stick after purchasing one from a busy vendor.
This was the first time Edwards attended, but his wife, Carol, has been three times.
"I'm embarrassed to say I'm having chicken-on-a-stick," she said. "This is my starter. I work my way between the booths."
Holly Berg of Pittsburg wasn't ready for alligator-on-stick.
"My boyfriend just got one. I'm not that brave. I went with the basic chicken," she said.
"It really is good," said Berg's boyfriend, John Pacheco of Pleasant Hill, adding the obligatory alligator tastes like chicken comparison.
"That's what they all say," said Berg. "I keep looking for shrimp-on-the-barbie, but haven't found it yet. We keep perusing around. Fortunately, we can walk off what we did."
Jeff Eisenman of Antioch is
Eisenman and his wife, Yvette, have attended the festival since 1998.
"It's the food and the people," Jeff Eisenman said of what brings him back year after year. "It's good family fun ... It's a place to try stuff you normally wouldn't try."
"We get a variety of music, food and drink. The shopping is good," said Yvette Eisenman.
The party of four had sampled alligator-on-a-stick, corn-on-the cob, ribs, pancit noodles. gyro, chicken salad, fish and chips, pizza, calamari, cheesy oysters and crab cakes.
"The only thing we haven't tried is the funnel cake," said Yvette Eisenman.
So just what is funnel cake?
"It's a big fried doughnut, "said Dianne Delcampo in describing the base of fried dough topped with powdered sugar, whipped cream and fruit as she worked the funnel cake booth.
"It's really good. We've tried just about everything else," said Wayne Jackson of Antioch after buying the dessert.
The festival's final day is Sunday.
Reach Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her on Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.
WHAT: 28th Annual Pittsburg Seafood Festival
WHERE: On Railroad Avenue in downtown Pittsburg
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
PARKING: $5 at Third and Harbor streets
COST: Adults, $10; children under 15, $5; seniors over 62, $5
INFO: www.pittsburgseafoodfestival.com or 925-432-7301