What Happens in Cortez, Florida Doesn’t Always Stay in Cortez, Florida!

What Happens in Cortez, Florida Doesn’t Always Stay in Cortez, Florida!

Last night in our wonderful fishing village of Cortez there was an overflow, an overflow of LOVE. And, it almost did not happen. I felt compelled to share some of the events that lead up to last night.

For the past 4 years the Swordfish Grill & Tiki has a private fireworks display on the 4th of July for their friends and patrons. It was always orderly, peaceful and oh so loving. This year changed. On June 12, 2019 the local Fire Marshall and Police were contacted by an anonymous person that fireworks were being stored at a house in the Village of Cortez. Both the Fire Marshall and Police came to the house where they were stored. After discussion and consultation, the fireworks were removed. A process was put into motion to make things right!

The plan was going smooth to make sure that the show would still take place. Things got a bit dicey when a local newspaper “The Islander” decided to wait until July 2, 2019 (almost 3 weeks) to post a story, “Pallets of fireworks found, removed at Cortez residence”. I found it troubling that they waited until 2 days before the 4th to share this public information. Well, thankfully the show went on July 5th!


On June 12, owner of the Swordfish Grill & Tiki, John Banyas and General Manager Bob Slicker hired legal counsel, and worked with the Fire Marshall’s Office and County Commissioners and went through the process to make sure all required paperwork was in place to do the show. They were given permission to “go on with the show!” But there was still one more hitch. At about 6:30 pm last night a reporter from the “Islander” sent a private text message to Bob Slicker questioning the validity of the event. Bob immediately contacted the Fire Marshall and again they said it was okay to proceed with the show!

Fireworks at the Swordfish Grill & TikiAnd, oh what a show. 30 minutes of some of the best fireworks that I have ever seen. The love on the deck at the Swordfish, from people watching from their boats and on the shore was overwhelming. Tears were flowing. There was hugging, kissing, singing patriotic songs… it was a patriotic love fest!  Ted Stevens & the Doo Shots had the fabulous crowd up and dancing!

So, in closing, wouldn’t it be better if we all worked together to help share the love instead of sharing the negative?

Thank you to the entire team at the Swordfish Grill & Tiki, all of our wonderful friends and family who were there and to the folks who helped with the paperwork to make this all happen.

Oh, wait until you hear what is planned for next year!

Link To Photos

Photos by Sarasota Post


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Bob Slicker, Cortez, Fireworks, Florida, John Banyas

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