Cortez – Just over the bridge from Anna Maria Island is the little town of Cortez. A fishing village to this day, it’s home to the Coast Guard, Starfish Food Co. and more. Once a year in February, this tiny piece of Florida history is home to the Cortez Fishing Festival.
Featuring great live music, nautical arts and crafts, children’s activities, environmental exhibits, more seafood than imaginable and, of course, beer, the Cortez Fishing Festival is an event unlike few others in Manatee County. Admission is $3 at the door , children 12 and under are free.
Saturday February 15th
10:00 – 10:20 am: Shanty Singers
10:45 – 12:00 pm: Passerine
12:00 – 12:15 pm: Awards and Introductions
12:30 – 2:00 pm: Doug Deming & the Jewel Tones
2:30 – 4:00 pm: Eric von Hahmann
4:30 – 6:00 pm: Razing Cane
Sunday February 16th
10:30 – 12:00 am: Soupy Davis and his Band
Parking and Directions
The Cortez Fishing Village is just over the Desoto Bridge in Bradenton Beaach. Head over and veer to the right. You can’t miss it. There is a remote parking area in west Bradenton. You can avoid the traffic and enjoy the bus ride with your friends to the Festival ($2.50 round trip). The new parking site is located at G. T. Bray Park (5502 33rd Ave. Dr. W., Bradenton, 34209). Just turn east off of 59th St. onto 33rd Ave. W. This same shuttle service is being provided from the remote parking area located at Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island. Island folks can take the free trolley to the parking site. You might even be able to find a parking spot in the surrounding neighborhoods, but they property owners may charge a price.
The Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival is organized entirely by a volunteer committee of the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (F.I.S.H.), a Florida not-for-profit corporation.