The third Sarasota Bay Water Festival is set for Saturday, November 1 at Ken Thompson Park and City Island. The fun outdoor event celebrates the importance of Sarasota Bay to the region’s environment, economy and quality of life. It’s the region’s largest outdoor event focused on the welfare of Sarasota Bay and its recreational amenities.
Highlights include live music, artists and photographers selling unique gift items, dragon boat races, a display of submissions from the I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest, panel discussions focused on bay-friendly living, food trucks and local restaurants, fun activities for kids, vintage boats, and hands on exhibits promoting recreational boating, fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, scuba diving, and other activities. A free boat taxi service provided by Freedom Boat Club will operate for the third year between Marina Jack in downtown Sarasota and the Sarasota Sailing Squadron next to Ken Thompson Park.
New for 2014 is a Pet Zone featuring select pet-friendly exhibitors selling products and services, and the official after event party at a separate location featuring live music and the original “aqua-garde” fashion show.
The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) is the Founding Sponsor, HDR, Inc. is the Community Sponsor and Sea to Shore Alliance is the Host Sponsor for 2014. The three major sponsors represent government, private industry and the nonprofit sector respectively. SBEP is one of the 28 National Estuary Programs in the U.S. celebrating its silver anniversary in 2014. HDR is an employee-owned business supporting Florida-based clients focused on coastal restoration, fisheries, water conservation, and the protection of natural resources. Sea to Shore Alliance is a Sarasota-based nonprofit focused on research and conservation in support of manatees, sea turtles and right whales.
Other sponsors include Sarasota County, Freedom Boat Club, Sarasota Sailing Squadron, City of Sarasota, Mote Marine Laboratory, Manatee County, Save Our Seabirds, High Five Dragon Boat, WUSF Public Media, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Town of Longboat Key, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, City of Bradenton, Around the Bend Nature Tours, Anheuser-Busch, UF/IFAS Extension, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, Friends of Sarasota County Parks, SUP Sarasota, Friends of Disc Golf, and Sun King Disc Sports.
Organizers are seeking additional sponsors. The festival offers a unique marketing opportunity for area business and groups that value Sarasota Bay. Randy Moore welcomes sponsor inquires at email@example.com. An exhibitor application is also on the website with early bird discounts for approved exhibitors.