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What to Do at the Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival each February

A visit to Anna Maria Island is an unforgettable experience. Located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, you’ll find a multitude of activities and amenities along the seven miles of beautiful white-sand beaches.

The island is a shining example of the best of Florida’s Gulf coast. We offer a range of Anna Maria pet-friendly vacation rentals right on and near the water. Have the best possible time on your upcoming island getaway.

What better way to welcome the island than with the Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival. It’s an impressive and fun-filled event every February.

Close up of fishing poles in Anna Maria Island

Fishing Fun at the Cortez Village Fishing Festival

We admit there are some amazing Florida fishing festivals. You are never far from the water, after all. But, we think the Cortez Commercial fishing festival near Anna Maria Island is one of the state’s finest.

Come and celebrate some authentic Florida history. The event is a showcase for Anna Maria Island’s fascinating place in history and many opportunities for local fishing. You can come to see the real historical fishing gear on display. There will be plenty of fish houses still used today, as well as live music and games.

The event is welcoming to all ages. It is expected to feature a slew of educational exhibits, where visitors can see all sorts of experiments unfold. There may be animals, scientific workshops, and some nautical activities, like sand crafting. Kids can have a blast with a painting table- or have their faces painted!

There will also be a wide variety of arts and craft vendors. You can grab a special gift right from the heart of the island.

Admission is $4 per person. Children are free.

When is the Cortez Fishing Festival?

The event is an annual staple and is held every February. The 2019 celebrations will begin on Feb. 16th and continue to Feb. 17th. It is expected to begin around 10 a.m. and close up around 6 p.m. each day.

Closeup of crab cakes on Anna Maria Island

Fresh Florida Seafood

What really makes the fishing festival shine is a 10-block community full of delicious fresh seafood. All the seafood is local, which makes this particular Florida fishing festival extra special. You can find gourmet crab cakes, fish sandwiches, and local treats you won’t find anywhere else.

Perhaps best yet, you can speak with locals as you take a step back in time. Learn the best time to fish in Cortez Florida and where to see local wildlife.

Transportation to Cortez Village

The event is huge and attracts thousands of excited visitors annually. Transportation can sometimes be a little difficult. We highly recommend utilizing transportation to the event so you don’t have to deal with navigating parking.

Paradise Car Rentals can pick you up right from your Holmes Beach rental and drop you off right in the heart of one of the best fishing festivals of Florida. The contact line of Paradise Car Rental is 941-356-3758. You can also utilize other services, such as Uber and Lyft.

Parking and Shuttle for the Fishing Festival

There is expected to be a convenient shuttle service for the event. Shuttle to the event is $3. The best way to utilize the shuttle is by parking at G. T. Bray Park, 5502 33rd Ave. Dr. W., Bradenton. The shuttle is expected to make 15-20 minute stops to the parking lot and over to the event throughout the day.

You can also park a little further away at Coquina Beach. If the G.T Bray Park fills up, this is your best option aside from using a taxi service. A free shuttle will pick-up and drop-off at Coquina Beach.

Ready to see the island? Our Anna Maria Island rental homes get you right in the action, with breathtaking views and access to some top activities and events.