What’s happening Valentine’s Day and President’s Day weekend? There’s a lot going on in the area and crowds and traffic congestion are assured. Go early, leave late but you’ll have to be patient. Take the shuttle bus to avoid hunting for a parking spot for your vehicle but expect to be at the mercy of slow traffic.
Compared to some of the more exclusive keys along the Gulf Coast, Anna Maria Island is often referred to as the friendly island, where visitors are welcomed to join locals in relaxed enjoyment of this wonderful Florida season. There is no better way to do this than at the festivals that support the Anna Maria Island Art League. There is no admission charge for festival visitors, even though these festivals raise most of the funds that keep the Art League in operation.
The Art League is a modest, but charming, art center in downtown Holmes Beach, where a wide variety of art by island and area artists is presented throughout the year. Classes are taught there, too. Most of the funding for this special island facility and organization comes from two festivals held every year: Winterfest, in December, and Springfest, which is coming up this weekend, on March 14 and 15.
Anna Maria Island Art League presents the 20th Springfest Festival of Fine Arts and Fine Crafts on March 8 – 9, at the Holmes Beach City Hall field, 5800 Marina Drive.
The festival is open from 10am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday, with many artists’ works on display and for sale. Paintings, glass, jewelry, pottery, sculpture, textiles, woodwork, and photography will be exhibited.
Also featured will be “Young at Art”, an exhibit for children’s art. A raffle will be held for over 50 items of donated works from participating artists. Live Cajun and Bluegrass music will be performed and festival food available.
The Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival returns Saturday and Sunday February 16 & 17 from 10:00 to 18:00.
Spend a day amongst fishing boats, gear, fish houses and commercial fishermen to appreciate a different perspective on life.
Originally known as Hunter’s Point, Cortez is located on the northern edge of Sarasota Bay adjacent to Anna Maria Island and its three cities, Anna Maria, Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach. Cortez has one of the few remaining active commercial fishing waterfronts in Florida.
Historic Cortez has long been an important fishing village and the fish so plentiful the adjacent Anna Maria Sound was referred to as ‘The Kitchen’. In the 1850’s, before refrigeration, most of the mullet caught was salted and shipped to Cuba.
If you miss the other pancake breakfast, or want more, head over to the St. Bernard Church Breakfast and Bake Sale on Sunday, February 10, from 8am to 11:30am.
This is all-you-can-eat pancakes, with sausage, OJ, coffee, or milk.
Donations are $5 for adults and $1 for children under 12.