The Cortez Fishing Festival, a local tradition and rightly so with the delicious fresh seafood and old Florida atmosphere it brings. The festival which takes place in Cortez’s historic fishing village is a fun filled day for everyone. Enjoy fantastic live music, nautical art, and plenty of delicious seafood for you to munch on. This event is a favorite for visitors and locals, which is why it draws a crowd of around 20,000 people! The Cortez Fishing Festival certainly keeps growing and getting better each year. The 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.
*Expert tip: the earlier/later you get to the festival, the less of a crowd there will be. If you don’t enjoy large crowds, avoid going mid-day*
What you need to know:
Cortez Fishing Village
Cortez, FL 34215
Usually takes place the 3rd weekend (Saturday and Sunday) of February.
10am to 6pm
Adults – $4
Children 12 and under – FREE
Every year there is something new at the Festival. Festival goers will want to note that 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. You can’t miss it. As in past years, 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.
Also, the parking area just east of the village off of Cortez Road has been expanded again this year. But get there early or later in the day as this parking area tends to fill up quickly. Parking spots open up later in the day.
Another option is to park in the western part of town. Many folks manage small parking areas throughout the village with some charging a fee depending on how close they are to the village.