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Fishing Festival

Get Ready for the 42nd Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival

| Suncoast Post Staff |

On February 17 and 18th Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (F.I.S.H.) will be holding its 42nd annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival. The festival this year will be held at the West End of Cortez Village along 46th Ave. W. in front of Star Seafood and  AP Bell. Two days packed with lots of art, great entertainment, food, and of course beer. 

The entertainment schedule for 2024 is full of great bands. The Eric Von Band, Doug Deming and the Jewel Tones,  Karen and Jimmy Band,  Billy Rice Band, and Jason Haram, along with special music by the Shanty Singers and the Music On The Porch Gang. The Festival will also feature its Fisherman‘s Fashion Show and the Long Line Photo Contest, as well as “DOCK TALKS” where you can learn about the Village of Cortez, it’s Commercial Fishing Industry and the environment on which it depends! 

Fishing Festival

For 42 years, FISH has held an annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival to raise funds which allowed the Organization to purchase a 95-acre parcel of land known as the FISH Preserve. Recognizing that very few of Florida’s traditional fishing villages have been able to retain their cultural integrity because of coastal development and the increasing costs and regulations associated with maintaining working waterfronts, FISH purchased the 95 acres of undeveloped land adjacent to one of Florida’s last true fishing villages: Cortez, Florida.

The FISH Preserve is sandwiched between Cortez Road and Sarasota Bay, and includes upland habitats, salt marsh lagoons and approximately 40 acres of mangroves. It is the last undeveloped parcel of land on North Sarasota Bay.

Fishing Festival

In addition to the FISH Preserve, F.I.S.H. owns and cares for FISHERMENS’ HALL (the old Church of God property), the old Cortez Volunteer Firehouse and the BoatWorks. All of these projects are supported by the proceeds from the Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival. 

Come join us at this Party with a Purpose! Help us protect and maintain one of the last true commercial fishing villages on the west coast of Florida. A special place, a small piece of old Florida which is fast disappearing!  

Graphics from F.I.S.H.

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