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The Festival of the Year Comes to Cortez, Florida on November 11 & 12

| Sheri Nadelman |

In the very unique village of Cortez, Florida, an event awaits that tantalizes the senses, celebrates local culture, and brings together seafood and music lovers from all walks of life. The Cortez Stone Crab and Music Festival, scheduled for November 11 & 12, is an emblematic showcase of what makes this coastal region so special.

At the heart of the festival is the Stone Crab, a delectable treat that’s indigenous to Florida’s Gulf Coast. As you walk through the festival, you’ll be greeted by the scent of freshly steamed crabs, drawing you to stalls where seasoned fishermen and chefs crack open the crustacean’s hard shell to reveal the tender, succulent meat inside. Dipped in a tangy mustard sauce or melted butter, every bite is a taste of the ocean, fresh and flavorful.

But this festival isn’t just about Stone Crab. It’s a symphony of coastal flavors. As you walk past vendors, your mouth will water at the sight of peel & eat shrimp, smoked fish spread, clam chowder, shrimp & grits and more. (menu subject to change)

While the food is a major draw, the entertainment is equally captivating. Cortez prides itself on its rich maritime heritage and vibrant arts scene. Local musicians grace the festival’s stages, belting out tunes, and artists showcase their creations, from intricate jewelry and pottery to breathtaking paintings capturing the essence of coastal life.  There are many more vendors who will be displaying their products.

Here is the music schedule:


For families, the Cortez Stone Crab Festival is an absolute delight. There is a “Kids Zone” which offers many activities for the young ones along with other kid friendly offerings.

The environment is an integral part of the festival. Cortez has always had a deep connection with the sea, and its commitment to sustainable fishing and marine conservation is evident throughout the event.

In essence, the Cortez Stone Crab Festival is more than just an event; it’s an experience. It’s where culinary delights meet rich cultural traditions, where the past intertwines seamlessly with the present, and where the promise of memorable moments beckons. Whether you’re a seafood enthusiast, a lover of the arts, or someone looking for a weekend of fun and festivity, Cortez invites you to join in this coastal celebration.

Thank you to our Colossal Claw Sponsors

The Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (BACVB):

The CVB plays a vital role in promoting Manatee County on both national and international scales as an attractive destination for both business and leisure travel. Additionally, the CVB manages key facilities, including the Bradenton Area Convention Center, the Powel Crosley Estate, and the Premier Sports Campus.

When seeking visitor information, the Convention and Visitors Bureau serves as a central resource for details about local beaches, attractions, events, and beloved spots throughout Manatee County. To kickstart your vacation planning for the Bradenton Area, we recommend exploring the CVB’s destination’s website, where you’ll discover a wealth of information covering everything from stunning beaches, exciting activities, and top-notch dining options to golfing, shopping, fishing, and various accommodation choices. You’ll even find suggested itineraries tailored to help you create your ideal dream vacation in our area. Visit: WEBSITE

Fun Boat Tours: 

Fun Boat Tours on Anna Maria Island offer an exciting way to explore the pristine waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the scenic beauty of the island. These tours typically focus on providing an up-close encounter with the local marine life, particularly dolphins. Knowledgeable guides lead the way, sharing insights about the area’s ecology and history while ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all ages. 

Visitors can choose from a variety of boat tours, ranging from dolphin watching to sunset cruises and even sandbar adventures. Many operators offer both private charters for a more personalized experience and group tours for a social and budget-friendly option. Life jackets and necessary equipment are typically provided, making it easy for everyone to join in on the fun. Reservations are advisable, especially during peak seasons, to secure your spot on these memorable island excursions. Don’t forget your camera to capture the stunning coastal views and playful dolphins along the way! WEBSITE

Anderson Dock & Lift:

Anderson Dock and Lift in Bradenton, FL, is a reputable provider of solutions for waterfront property owners. Specializing in the sales, service, and installation of boat docks, lifts, and other marine equipment, they cater to the needs of those looking to enhance their waterfront living experience. With a strong emphasis on quality and durability, Anderson Dock and Lift offers a range of products, from boat lifts and dock accessories to seawalls and custom installations.

Their team of experts brings extensive knowledge and experience to ensure the proper installation and maintenance of these structures. Whether you’re a boating enthusiast or simply seeking to optimize your waterfront property, Anderson Dock and Lift can help you find the right solutions to meet your needs. They’re dedicated to providing dependable, long-lasting products and services for waterfront property owners in the Bradenton area. WEBSITE

Ameris Bank: 

Ameris Bank in Cortez, FL, is a well-established financial institution that caters to the banking needs of the local community. Known for its commitment to providing personalized and reliable banking services, Ameris Bank offers a wide range of financial products, including checking and savings accounts, mortgages, loans, and investment services. 

Their team of experienced and friendly professionals is dedicated to building strong relationships with customers, offering expert financial guidance, and tailoring solutions to meet individual and business needs. Ameris Bank prides itself on being deeply involved in the Cortez community, actively supporting local initiatives and charitable organizations. Whether you’re looking to manage your personal finances or seeking financial solutions for your business, Ameris Bank in Cortez is a trusted partner that values community engagement and exceptional customer service. WEBSITE

And “thank you” to all of the other sponsors of our festival:

  • Anna Maria Banana Boat Rides
  • A. Shadow Designs
  • Big Storm Brewery
  • Blenker Boat Works and Marina
  • Cortez Bait & Seafood
  • Duncan Real Estate
  • Florida Fishing Fleet
  • Junk-It-Away
  • NE Taylor Boatworks
  • Sande Caplin & Associates Inc.
  • Spectrum Reach 
  • Suncoast Post
  • Swordfish Grill
  • Taylor High Pressure Washing
  • The Anchor Inn 
  • Weiffenbach & Reinhart Law
  • Wine Bow

So, mark your calendars for November 11 & 12, and get ready to dive into the unparalleled charm of the Cortez Stone Crab Festival. The village awaits with open arms, eager to share its treasures with you.  4628 119th St., Cortez, Florida

Visit the Website for more information!

Graphics from Cortez Stone Crab & Music Festival

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