Discover Cortez: With its Annual Commercial Fun-Filled Fishing Festival

Discover Cortez: With its Annual Commercial Fun-Filled Fishing Festival

As the warm Florida sun glints off the gentle waves, the air is filled with the scent of the sea.

Nestled gracefully along the shores of Florida, the Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival is an annual two-day celebration along Florida’s coast that honors the area’s rich sea and fishing history. This lively event draws fishing fans, travelers, and locals to the shores of the small coastal village of Cortez. People are attracted to the festival to experience and learn about the town’s long-standing fishing heritage.

Opt for golf cart rentals at Anna Maria Island, and head down to the historic fishing village of Cortez on a perfect day for its Annual Commercial Fishing Festival.      

The roots of the Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival delve profoundly into the chronicles of antiquity. Sprouting an excitement of the ocean’s benevolence, the festival transforms into a cultural keystone for the local community. It not only pays homage to the seafaring chronicles of the region but also serves as a platform for sharing this heritage with the world.

Event Highlights

Get ready to put on your best comfortable footgear!!

The two-day lively festival transforms Cortez into a vibrant family fun with many activities, entertainment, and seafood.

From face painting to storytelling sessions, the event ensures that every member of the family finds something to enjoy. The festival transforms into a vacation destination, making it an ideal choice for families seeking both relaxation and entertainment.

  • Entertainment

The festival highlights an array of attractions with nautical-themed activities for all ages. You can watch talented anglers compete in offshore and inshore fishing tournaments. The young pirate princesses ride on colorful parade floats, witnessing the tremendous cheer from the audience. You can also shop at the arts and crafts booths for unique souvenirs like handmade jewelry with marine motifs, seafood packages, and more.

  • Food Galore

It wouldn’t be a Florida fishing festival without the amazing local seafood. Treat your taste buds to succulent Florida stone crab claws, grilled grouper sandwiches, and Key West pink shrimp tacos. There’s also smoked mullet dip, conch fritters, and key lime pie to complete the beachside feast.

  • Local Artisans and Craftsmen

While you explore the festival, take a moment to admire the village’s old Florida charm. Historic cottages and old-fashioned waterfront shops- line the quiet streets. Relax under the tree shade as local musicians play lively tunes. Breathing in the salty air will transport you back to Cortez’s past era as an old fishing town.

  • Interactive Workshops and Demonstrations

Indulge in the famous ‘Dock Talks’ to experience more about Florida fish. As the day ends, you can experience the region’s seafaring lifestyle that stayed for over a century. The spirit of Cortez and its people will inspire your sense of adventure.

What Else?

Cortez also has its glamorous side with luxury yacht tours, white tablecloth dinners, and live music under the stars. You can also rent a golf cart from Crabby Joe Cart Rentals and go to the Sarasota Bay, aboard a sleek catamaran and enjoy your time. Indulge in the view of dolphins leaping playfully as you sail into the golden sunset, toasting to the good life with chilled champagne.

For parking, the Boy Scouts and FISH will provide on-site parking at the Preserve (for a $5 donation), which is one block east of the village off Cortez Road. There will be golf cart rental service for the festival located at 123rd St. Ct. W. Take a rental golf cart from Crabby joe cart, golf cart rental company at Anna Maria golf cart rentals– stroll the island and nearby areas, and reach your destination having fun.

So, grab your hats and join this coming February to celebrate Florida’s one of the maritime traditions and amazing coastal cuisine at the Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival.

Don’t Miss the Dates for 2024

Planning to attend the Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival? Mark your calendar with the dates and make your way to the picturesque coastal village.

  1. Saturday, February 17, 2024

10:00 – 11:00 am: Shanty Singers
11:30 – 1:00 pm: Doug Deming & the Jewel Tones
1:00 – 2:00 pm: Introductions & Fishermen’s Fashion Show
2:00 – 4:00 pm: Eric Von Band
4:30 – 6:00 pm: Karen & Jimmy Band (KJB)

Dock Talks by Florida Sea Grant go on all day at Fulford Fish House

Festival Photo Contest Gallery Show at AP Bell Fish House

  • Sunday, February 18, 2024

10:30 – 12:00 pm: Soupy Davis & The Band
12:00 – 1:00 pm: Fishermen’s Fashion Show & Cloggers
1:30 – 3:00 pm: Billy Rice Band
3:30 – 5:00 pm: Jason Haram

Dock Talks by Florida Sea Grant go on all day at Fulford Fish House

Festival Photo Contest Gallery Show at AP Bell Fish House