February 24, 2011

Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival

Coastal Cottages vacationers had a fun opportunity  last weekend to celebrate one of the last remaining working fishing villages in Florida. The 29th Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival took place this year on Feb. 19th and 20th.  It's just a short drive over the Cortez bridge from Anna Maria Island.  

The two-day fishing festival gives visitors the opportunity to learn more about coastal commercial fishing and its history. The town offers two working fish houses providing grouper, mullet, stone crab, baitfish and other seafood to local and international markets.
Other activities included live music, nautical arts and crafts, kids' games and famous Cortez seafood. Proceeds from each festival support the purchase and restoration of 95 acres of mangrove wetlands immediately east of the village, the FISH (Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage) Preserve. More than 50 arts and crafts vendors, as well as participants offering boat rides and sponsoring marine life and fishing exhibitions.
This year, the event  was moved to the eastern end of the historic fishing village, next to the Florida Maritime Museum ( a restored 1912 schoolhouse).  The new location  was a hit.  Lots of shady spots and bay front breezes cooled down visitors to the festival which was held under sunny skies in the '70's.
The festival menu featured the freshest seafood in the area. Coastal visitors enjoyed live music, fabulous Florida seafood, arts and museum displays, and a day of family fun. A good time was had by all!

For more photos and info check out their site at:

Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival

For more information:  contact your vacation specialist at