The 5th Annual Stone Crab Festival is set for Sat., November 5th and Sun., November 6th from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (and later at the restaurants) and it’s free! Word on the street – it’s one of the most widely attended events of the season and it happens in one of the only historic, working fishing villages in the state. Cortez – the little fishing village with a BIG presence.
Hosted by Swordfish Grill at 4628 119th Street off Cortez Road in the parking lot, the festival will feature a boatload of vendors selling fresh seafood from our waters, including the favorite of our crustaceans – our succulent, sweet stone crab.
“My favorite thing about this festival is that everything is local…musicians, art, vendors, seafood,” says Bob Slicker, manager of the Swordfish Grill & Tiki in Cortez and host of the amazing Stone Crab Festival held every year
It all started five years ago as a block party for the fisherman to kick off stone crab season and continue with mullet season. “This pays homage to our fisherman,” Bob said about the event. And as with all events Bob hosts, it benefits a charity – the local chapter of Fishing for Freedom.
“Sarasota Bay is the breeding ground for our local fish, and they (Fishing for Freedom) know it’s important to preserve it,” Bob said.
Local bands will be playing on the main stage with a tent-covered area for sitting and dancing and the Cortez Kitchen and Swordfish Grill stages throughout the day and into the evening. The line-up includes:
10 a.m. – noon Terry Helm
Noon – 2 p.m. Reid Frost
2 – 4 p.m. Koko Ray & The Keepers
4 – 6 p.m. The Jason Haram Group
10 a.m.– noon Terry Helm
Noon – 2 p.m. The Bottom Line
2 – 4 p.m. Twinkle and Rock Soul Radio
4 – 6 p.m. Nobody’s Fool
At Swordfish Tiki Bar, Tim Chandler will be playing both days from noon to 4 p.m.; Sarasota Slim will play Sat. from 7 to 10 p.m. and Kettle of Fish will play Sunday from 5 to 8 p.m. Taylor and Taylor will play at Cortez Kitchen’s stage on Saturday and Tropix plays on Sunday.
One regular attendee on Facebook says: “Oh, boy. Yay! Here we go. This is going to be so much fun. I put in for the next day off to sleep…”
With an expected 5,000 people a day showing up to celebrate, the festival will have golf carts running; the Island Monkey busses will be picking up at various points on the island; and free parking will be available at the FISH Preserve off 116th Street.
For more information call the Swordfish Grill & Tiki at (941) 798-2035 or visit the website at: www.swordfishgrill.com.
photos provided by Bob Slicker for The Sarasota Post