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The Award Winning & Best News on Anna Maria Island, FL Since 1992

"The Award Winning & Best News on Anna Maria Island, FL Since 1992"

Thursday, Apr, 24, 2014
Florida Press Assn. Award-Winning Web Site
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Held annually,on the third weekend in February, in the historic fishing village of Cortez Florida

Click here for details and driiving directions

Plan now to attend the area’s BEST festival!

10-6 • Saturday-Sunday Feb. 21-22, 2009

Live music, Fabulous Florida Seafood, Nautical Arts and Displays, Family Fun

Admission $2, kids under 12 FREE

www.cortezfishingfestival.org

4600 124th St. West, Cortez FL 34215

Admission $2, kids under 12 FREE

Proceeds benefit F.I.S.H. Preserve

Parking: Expanded parking east of  festival area (15-minute walk).
Remote Parking: Sugg Middle School, 3801 59th St. W. and at Coquina Beach Bayside. Round-trip remote shuttle service $2.

Advertising sponsor: The Islander

5404 Marina Drive • Holmes Beach

www.islander.org

 

Are you familiar with 'old' Florida?
Are you someone who can appreciate a different perspective on what’s important in life? Are you willing to spend a day amongst fishing boats, gear, fish houses and commercial fishermen?

 

 

 

 


If any of this sounds intriguing, it might be a good idea for you to join us at the annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival. This two-day event is held the third weekend of February every year.



And what a festival it is! In 1981 the first event drew 500 people to this small fishing village on Florida’s central west coast. They gathered to celebrate Florida’s commercial seafood industry - its past, its present and its future.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Since then the festival has grown from a one day event to two days with an average attendance of over 20,000. Considering that the entire village is less than 10 blocks, that’s a lot of visitors for this tiny community.



Why do so many people attend this event? Well, there are many reasons. The main one is that there are very few places left in Florida like Cortez. As you turn off the main road into the village it is obvious that you are stepping back in time. The houses are small cottages with collections of commercial boats and gear in the yards.


 

 

 

 


As you go two blocks down to the shoreline you discover a number of fish houses where local fishermen sell their catches. Cortez is located on the northern edge of Sarasota Bay and it might just be one of the most beautiful places on earth


 

 


And as if that were not enough, there’s more. In addition to the aesthetics of the community there is also the spirit of its residents. The people who live in this small village are also what make it so special. They possess an appreciation of the simpler things in life, whether it be a freshly fried mullet for dinner or sitting on the front porch watching the world go by.


 

 

 

 

 

 


So how does this all tie in with a festival? Just add great live music, nautical arts and crafts, children’s activities, environmental exhibits, more seafood than imaginable and, of course, beer, and you’ve got a party you won’t want to miss. You’ll also want to purchase one of the festival T-shirts which are designed each year reflecting a commercial fishing theme.



To find Cortez Village on a map, locate Bradenton which is about 50 miles south of Tampa. Find State Road 684, known locally as Cortez Road or 44th Avenue, and go west to the beaches. As you approach Cortez Bridge which leads to Bradenton Beach, you will turn left, or south, at 124th St. Ct. West, into the village.


 

 

 

 


Some parking is available in the village if you arrive early enough. There is additional parking at Coquina Beach on the island and at Sugg Middle School at 3801 59th Street West, just north of the intersection of Cortez Road and 59th Street West. Buses shuttle visitors from both of these locations to Cortez for $1 each way. Admission to the festival is $2 and children under 12 are free. Additional information will be posted at www.fishnews.org



The Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival is organized entirely by a volunteer committee of the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (FISH), a Florida not-for-profit corporation.

All proceeds from this event stay within the community.


 

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