Monday, February 23, 2009
Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival
This weekend was the annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival, in the fishing community of Cortez, of course. Lots of people, lots of seafood, some music, some art, and a nice time. We had peel-and-eat shrimp down on the fish house docks, while watching the pelicans, seagulls, and egrets stir up a ruckus. MoJo (Morris Johnson)'s paintings made me smile. He's a clam farmer and a folk artist, and with that combination, I suspect a sense of humor comes in handy.
Here is the 1912 Cortez Rural Graded Schoolhouse, once used as a school, then as an art school, and as the home and studio of weaver Robert Sailors. In 1999, Manatee County purchased the school, and recently renovations were completed. It is now the home of the Florida Maritime Museum.
Here's a boat used by Cuban refugees to cross the Straits of Florida. It's been fixed up by the craftsmen at the museum's boat works- you can see a "before" picture on their website.
The festival is a great time to visit Cortez, but then, any day is. Stop by sometime and visit the museum, learn how to make a wooden boat, have lunch at the docks, and take some fresh seafood home for dinner.