The winning submissions to the I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest will be showcased at the Sarasota Bay Water Festival Saturday, November 17 at Ken Thompson Park on City Island in Sarasota. The first, second and third place winners in three age divisions will be displayed along with select finalists. The deadline for submissions is 5pm on October 31.
The contest rules and guidelines are posted at sarasotabaywaterfestival.com. Visitors to the free festival will have an opportunity to vote on a special People’s Choice Award. Most of the photo submissions will be focused on coastal waters, habitat, recreation, and all forms of wildlife including birds, mammals and aquatic specieis.
Other festival highlights include a Creative Arts Tent sponsored by the Observer Media Group that will showcase a dozen of the area’s top wildlife photographers and artists selling art items in time for the holiday season, live music on the main stage, local food vendors, and many exhibits and activities promoting boating, fishing, paddle board sports, scuba diving, birding, and more.
Florida’s first “iceberg” will be unveiled thanks to the creativity of Rick Herzog, a Sculpting Professor at New College of Florida. The Sarasota Ski-A-Rees Water Ski Show Team will perform at 4pm. Event guests can also gain free admission to the popular Mote Aquarium which is open from 10am to 5pm. Admission requires obtaining a stamp at the festival.
The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) is the host sponsor and Triple 3 Marketing (T3M) is managing the festival. SBEP is one of the 28 National Estuary Programs in the U.S. and a long term advocate of a healthy Sarasota Bay with its major partners and allied organizations. T3M is the same leadership team that produced the E-Fest Green Living Music & Arts Festival in 2007 and 2008.
Event sponsors in random order include: City of Sarasota, Save Our Seabirds, Solar Direct, Observer Media Group, Sierra Club, Manatee County, Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Whole Foods Market, Economy Tackle, Sarasota County, Freedom Boat Club, WSRQ Sarasota Talk Radio, HDR Engineering, Janicki Environmental, WSMR 89.1, Town of Longboat Key, Visit Sarasota County, City of Bradenton, Sun King Disc Sports, Mote Marine Laboratory, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Stantec, Caldwell Trust Company, New College of Florida, Scheda Ecological Associates, I Kayak Sarasota, Around the Bend Nature Tours, Reef Innovations, Sarasota Audubon, Nature’s Academy, Longboat Key Club & Resort, Friends of Sarasota County Parks, Science and Environmental Council of Sarasota County, Sarasota Wildlife Art Festival, Transformation Magazine, and the UF/IFAS Extension with Sarasota and Manatee County.
Some of the sponsor contributions will support SBEP education and volunteer programs benefiting Sarasota Bay. Details about sponsorship and exhibiting are posted on the event website at sarasotabaywaterfestival.com.