The Sarasota Bay Water Festival encourages photography enthusiasts of all ages to prepare entries for the I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest. The winning submissions will be displayed at the regional festival on Saturday, November 2 at Ken Thompson Park in Sarasota. In addition to first, second, third place, and honorable mention prizes for four age divisions, Festival visitors will have an opportunity to vote on a People’s Choice Award.
The photo contest celebrates the beauty and importance of Sarasota Bay. The deadline for submissions is Monday, October 21; guidelines are posted at sarasotabaywaterfestival.com.
“Photography is an important way to express the emotional connection many people feel about Sarasota Bay and its wildlife,” said Randy Moore, the Water Festival director. “Many of us are inspired by photos of birds, aquatic life and other wildlife as well as images showing people enjoying water sports and recreational activities.”
The contest winners from 2012 included Makeala Frankford of Sarasota, Mary Lou Johnson of Longboat Key, Victoria Holcomb of Sarasota, Kristina Carreras of Bradenton, Caroline Griffith or Sarasota, Larry George of Lakewood Ranch, Dick Plaff of Sarasota, Ronald Hecox of Parrish, and Terry Frankford of Sarasota. Makeala is Terry’s granddaughter.
Other Water Festival highlights include the bay’s first ever dragon boat races, live music on the main stage from noon until 7pm, fine artists selling unique gift items, panel discussions on bay-friendly living, food trucks and local restaurants, vintage and new boat displays, a display of the winning submissions to the I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest, fun stuff for kids including dip netting and nature walks, and more than 75 exhibits focused on boating, fishing, kayaking, paddle board sports, scuba diving, birding, protection of wildlife, bay-friendly living, unique gifts, fine arts, and wildlife photography.
The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) is the Presenting Sponsor and HDR, Inc. is the Host Sponsor for 2013. Other sponsors in random order include Sarasota County, Freedom Boat Club, Economy Tackle and Dolphin Paddlesports, Sierra Club, City of Sarasota, The Old Salty Dog, Hotel Indigo, Whole Foods Market, SUP Sarasota, Nature’s Academy, Manatee County, Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota Wind and Water Adventures, Suncoast Food Trucks, West Coast Inland Navigation District, Caldwell Trust Company, Stantec Engineering, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Florida Underwater Sports, Scheda Ecological Associates, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, Town of Longboat Key, City of Bradenton, Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, Save Our Seabirds, Around the Bend Nature Tours, High Five Dragon Boat, Suncoast Waterkeeper, Sun King Disc Sports, Hotel Indigo, Friends of Sarasota County Parks, University of Florida IFAS Extension, and Triple 3 Marketing.
Media sponsors include the Observer Media Group, WUSF Public Media / WSMR 89.1 Classical Radio, WSRQ 1220 Sarasota Talk Radio, Sarasota Day (The HuB), Top10 Sarasota, and Transformation Magazine.
Vintage Paws of Sarasota is the nonprofit partner for 2013. All of the profits from the sale of beer and wine will go to Vintage Paws to support their mission to provide a sanctuary for unwanted senior dogs. The Water Festival is pet-friendly, but don’t forget your six-foot leash and doggie bags. Learn more about the sponsors and event highlights at sarasotabaywaterfestival.com.