cortez stone crab festival

The Cortez Stone Crab Festival: A Celebration of Community and Seafood

As a website operator, I am thrilled to promote the annual Cortez Stone Crab Festival. This event celebrates the unique heritage and culture of the small fishing village of Cortez, Florida.

Located just outside of Bradenton, Cortez is one of the last remaining commercial fishing villages in Florida. The festival showcases the seafood that comes from the nearby Gulf of Mexico, with a special emphasis on stone crabs – a local delicacy.

History and Culture

Cortez has a rich history, with families in the town tracing their roots back as far as the 1800s. The town’s close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico has led to a strong fishing industry, with the Cortez Fish Market selling freshly caught seafood since 1912. The Stone Crab Festival has been held annually since 1984, and it serves as a symbol of the community’s pride in its heritage.

The event features a variety of activities that highlight the unique aspects of life in Cortez. Visitors can watch boat races, browse local art exhibits, and enjoy live music performances by local musicians. There are also opportunities to take guided tours of the historic village, learning about its colorful past and its continued resilience in the face of change.

Food and Drink

The main attraction of the Cortez Stone Crab Festival is, of course, the food. Fresh seafood is prepared in a variety of ways, from classic Florida-style seafood boil to shrimp and grits to delectable stone crab dishes. The festival also showcases a range of craft beers and wine from Florida-based breweries and wineries.

In addition to the food and drink offerings, there are cooking demonstrations and competitions by local chefs using fresh seafood. One popular event is the “Crab Races,” where visitors can bet on which hermit crab will cross the finish line first.

Community Involvement

One of the most unique aspects of the Cortez Stone Crab Festival is its emphasis on community involvement. The event is staffed entirely by volunteers from the Cortez community, many of whom have been participating in the festival for years. The event’s proceeds go back into the community, supporting local schools and organizations.

By attending the festival, visitors are supporting the Cortez community and its way of life. The event provides a platform for local artists, musicians, and businesses to showcase their work and talents.


The annual Cortez Stone Crab Festival is a celebration of the rich history, culture, and resilience of one of Florida’s few remaining fishing villages. It’s an event where visitors can experience the unique aspects of life in Cortez, from the delicious seafood and craft beer to the community involvement and local art exhibitions.

As a website operator, I highly recommend promoting this event as an opportunity for visitors to connect with a unique and vibrant community, while enjoying some of the freshest seafood in the world.


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