Organizers with the Sarasota Bay Water Festival encourage photography enthusiasts of all ages to prepare entries for the 2014 I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest. The winning submissions in the four age divisions will be displayed at the free festival on Saturday, November 1 at Ken Thompson Park. Contest guidelines are posted on the festival website at sarasotabaywaterfestival.com.
The 2013 winners included Terry Frankford, Sally Twinem, Logan McLeod, Emma Griffin, Karl Ford, Larry George, Francis Twinem, Judith Horn, Caroline Griffin, Michael Oelschlager, Judy Sargent, and Julie Doyle. The 2012 winners included Makeala Frankford, Mary Lou Johnson, Kristina Carreras, Victoria Holcomb, Larry George, Caroline Griffith, Ronald Hecox, Terry Frankford, and Dick Plaff. All of the winners are area residents.
The Sarasota Bay Water Festival celebrates the importance of Sarasota Bay to the region’s environment, economy and quality of life. Other highlights include live music, artists and photographers selling gift items, dragon boat races, 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 more. A free boat taxi service provided by Freedom Boat Club will operate 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 after party at a separate venue from 7pm until midnight. The adult party will feature 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. HDR supports 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 with projects in Florida, Cuba, Belize, and West Africa.
Other sponsors include Sarasota County, Freedom Boat Club, Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Manatee County, Mote Marine Laboratory, Save Our Seabirds, High Five Dragon Boat, City of Sarasota, WUSF Public Media, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Town of Longboat Key, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Around the Bend Nature Tours, Anheuser-Busch, UF/IFAS Extension, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, City of Bradenton, Friends of Sarasota County Parks, SUP Sarasota, Friends of Disc Golf, and Sun King Disc Sports.
Organizers are seeking additional sponsors. Randy Moore welcomes sponsor inquires at firstname.lastname@example.org. An exhibitor application is also on the website with early bird discounts for approved exhibitors.