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A party with a purpose! Mark your calendars for the 2018 Cortez Fishing Festival

Florida Sea Grant Agent Angela Collins educates festival goers about some of the local fisheries.

Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival February 17th & 18th, 2018

This year marks the 36th anniversary of the Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival! Every February for almost four decades, people have gathered in one of Florida’s last true fishing villages to celebrate the cultural history of the region and honor the men and women who supply us with fresh local seafood on a daily basis.

In addition to sampling a plethora of delicious local seafood, visitors can get their groove on with local musicians, feed their hunger for nautical arts and crafts, get up close and personal with local marine-life, and listen to fish facts from Florida Sea Grant biologists walking the fish docks during “Dock Talks.” History buffs can tour the Florida Maritime Museum and the lovingly restored Cortez Cultural Center.

And you can be “shore” that this party has a purpose!

All proceeds from the festival are funneled directly back to restoration and conservation of the land upon which Cortez depends. In 2000, a community wide effort spearheaded by the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (F.I.S.H.), purchased almost 100 acres of land adjacent to the village that became designated as the F.I.S.H. Preserve. The F.I.S.H. Preserve encompasses mangrove, wetland, and upland habitats along the shoreline of Sarasota Bay and protects a stretch of coastline that is critical to many of the species upon which Cortez depends. It is one of the largest undeveloped stretches of land on Sarasota Bay. All proceeds generated by the festival go to restoration and conservation of this land. So you can party ’til the fish swim home and know it’s all for a good cause.

The Festival is an annual celebration of the Cortez way of life – the “real” Florida – and allows you to experience a place that is truly unique. Take a trip back in time and wander the working waterfront that is Cortez. Be proud to be part of an effort to protect habitat and an important piece of Florida’s history.

2018 Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival Details:

When: February 17th & 18th, 10am-6pm
Where: 4415 119th St. W., Cortez, FL 34215.
Admission $4.00, kids under 12 free. All proceeds go to the FISH Preserve.
More Info: cortez-fish.org