If you love old Florida and can appreciate the magical lure of a real Florida fishing village, preserved in all of its rustic glory, the annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival is the place to be.

Since 1981, the festival has drawn visitors to Manatee County’s small fishing village located just south of Anna Maria Island to celebrate Florida’s commercial seafood industry.

Now averaging attendance of over 25,000, the festival has grown from a one day event to two days. Considering the entire village of Cortez is less than 10 blocks, that’s a lot of people!

During the festival, you can enjoy the village’s unique charm, live music, nautical arts and crafts, children’s activities, environmental exhibits, more seafood than imaginable and beer.

The annual 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.