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More details about the Sarasota Bay Water Festival

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Free Regional Festival to Feature Live Music, Wildlife Art for Sale, Food Trucks, Water Taxi, Plus Exhibits and Activities Promoting Bay Recreation & Bay-Friendly Stewardship

The Sarasota Bay Water Festival is set for Saturday, November 17 at Ken Thompson Park on City Island in Sarasota. The purpose of the festival is to celebrate the importance of Sarasota Bay to the region's environment and economy. The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) is the host sponsor and Triple 3 Marketing is managing and producing the festival. New prospective sponsors should contact Randy Moore.

Highlights include live music on the main stage featuring guitarist Ben Hammond and blues singer Lauren Mitchell; a Creative Arts Tent presenting a dozen wildlife photographers and artists selling art items; the winning submissions to the I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest (October 31 deadline); vintage boat displays; local food trucks; a beer and wine garden; and exhibits promoting boating, fishing, kayaking, paddle board sports, scuba diving, birding, wildlife protection, and more.

Festival organizers are seeking additional boats that celebrate the history of fishing and boating in Sarasota Bay waters. The first "iceberg" ever seen in Sarasota Bay will be unveiled at the festival thanks to the creativity of New College Sculpting Professor Rick Herzog. The award-winning Sarasota Ski-A-Rees Water Ski Show Team will perform at 4 p.m. Event guests can also gain free admission to the popular Mote Aquarium which is open from 10am to 5pm. Admission to the Mote Aquarium requires getting a stamp at the festival; come early if you want to enjoy the festival and a separate visit to Mote Aquarium.


Please carpool or use alternative transportation. Motorists coming to the festival with at least four individuals in their vehicle will received a free raffle ticket. The grand prize is a two night stay at Longboat Key Club & Resort valued at $900. A free water taxi between Marina Jack and the Sarasota Sailing Squadron has been set up with the support of the Freedom Boat Club. The water taxi schedule will be posted on the festival website in early November. Other transportation options include hourly visits by SCAT and the Longboat Key Trolley, a bike valet for cyclists, and a kayak valet. Click here for details.

Festival organizers will also unveil the Brita Hydration Station, a touch-free and sensor-operated water dispenser that provides filtered municipal water without the waste or cost of single-use bottles. Please bring your reusable water container for free water. Stainless steel and Nalgene bottles will also be available for sale.

Festival sponsors in random order include: Brita Hydration Station, Economy Tackle, Whole Foods Market, City of Sarasota, Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Freedom Boat Club, Solar Direct, Manatee County, Observer Media Group, Sierra Club, Sarasota County, HDR Engineering, Inc., Town of Longboat Key, Sun King Disc Sports, City of Bradenton, Janicki Environmental, Inc., WSRQ Sarasota Talk Radio, Sarasota Wind & Water Adventures, Caldwell Trust Company, Visit Sarasota County, New College of Florida, Scheda Ecological Associates, Inc., I Kayak Sarasota, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, Around the Bend Nature Tours, Save Our Seabirds, Reef Innovations, WSMR 89.1 with WUSF Public Media, Sarasota Audubon Society, Manatee Audubon Society, Nature's Academy, Friends of Sarasota County Parks, Stantec, Transformation Magazine, Sarasota Wildlife Art Festival, Science and Environmental Council of Sarasota County, Bobcat Disposal, Longboat Key Resort & Club, Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, Suncoast Food Trucks, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Sight & Sound Audiovisual, UF/IFAS Extension, and Triple 3 Marketing.

Most of the sponsors will have exhibits at the festival. Other exhibitors include Virus Boat Company, Longboat Key Turtle Watch, Florida Underwater Sports, Florida Maritime Museum, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 82, Save the Manatee Club, Stow It Don't Throw It, Sea to Shore Alliance, Oscar Scherer State Park, Canine Assistants, Myakka State Park, Florida Gulf Coast Traditional Small Craft Association, and the Old Salty Dog.

Randy Moore with Triple 3 Marketing is the festival director. The associate directors include Sherri Swanson with HDR Engineering, Bryan Moore with Triple 3 Marketing, and Sara Kane with SBEP. Other volunteers from Sarasota and Manatee County are helping with planning and festival promotion.