The Sarasota Bay Water Festival (SBWF) on Saturday, November 17 at Ken Thompson Park in Sarasota will showcase vintage boats acknowledging the history of boating and fishing on Sarasota Bay. The free regional event celebrates the importance of Sarasota Bay to the region’s environment and economy.
The Florida Gulf Coast Traditional Small Craft Association will display three boats including the Sallie Adams, a 21-foot 1890’s design Cortez mullet boat, the Esperanza, a 15-foot Cuban refugee boat, and a 14-foot Cortez poling skiff used for fishing. The Florida Institute of Saltwater Heritage (FISH) associated with the Cortez Fishing Village is also supporting the effort to display vintage boats celebrating the history of Sarasota Bay.
Please email Bryan Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org if your club, group or family is interested in displaying a vintage boat at the Sarasota Bay Water Festival.
The theme of the water festival is Enjoy the Bay and the event is organized around three areas: Bay Recreation, Bay Creative Arts and Bay Science & Education. Highlights include a Creative Arts Tent showcasing some of the area’s top wildlife photographers selling art items, the winning submissions to the I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest with three age divisions, non-profit groups focused on conservation and wildlife protection, and displays promoting boating, fishing, paddle board sports, scuba diving, birding, and other fun activities.
The free event will also showcase live music, local food vendors, and a 4pm show by the award-winning Sarasota Ski-A-Rees Water Ski Show Team. Visitors can also gain free admission to the popular Mote Aquarium which is open from 10am to 5pm. The free access to the Mote Aquarium requires that visitors obtain a stamp at the festival.
The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) is the host sponsor and Triple 3 Marketing (T3M) is managing the event. SBEP is one of the 28 National Estuary Programs in the U.S. and a long term advocate of Sarasota Bay. T3M is the same leadership team that produced the E-Fest Green Living Music & Arts Festival in 2007 and 2008.
Festival sponsors in random order include: City of Sarasota, Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Freedom Boat Club, Solar Direct, Manatee County, Whole Foods Market, Sarasota County, Economy Tackle, Sierra Club, Observer Media Group, HDR Engineering, Inc., WSRQ Sarasota Talk Radio, Janicki Environmental, Inc., Town of Longboat Key, I Kayak Sarasota, City of Bradenton, Caldwell Trust Company, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Stantec, Visit Sarasota County, New College of Florida, Sarasota Wind and Water Adventures, Sun King Disc Sports, Scheda Ecological Associates, Inc., WSMR 89.1 with WUSF Public Media, Save Our Seabirds, Sarasota Wildlife Art Festival, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, Around the Bend Nature Tours, Reef Innovations, Inc., Sarasota Audubon Society, Nature’s Academy, Friends of Sarasota County Parks, Science and Environmental Council of Sarasota County, Longboat Key Club & Resort, Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, Transformation Magazine, and the UF/IFAS Extension in both counties.
Event organizers are seeking additional sponsors and exhibitors. Some of the sponsor contributions will support SBEP education and volunteer programs benefiting Sarasota Bay. The deadline for exhibitor applications is October 10.