SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) – Once a year, for the past 36 years, Cortez Village has thrown open it’s doors and invited the public in, to get to know their village, that they are so proud of.

Kim McVey, President of F.I.S.H., says ” Cortez Village is really an important treasure in the State of Florida. We are one of the few working fishing villages left.”

The festival is sponsored by F.I.S.H.,which stands for the Florida Institute of Salt water Heritage.

“It supports FISH, which was put together in 1992. We purchased the preserve property over here next to our village in 1999. And the festival has supported and paid for that property.” says Kim.

So far they’ve purchased 96 acres. They say it’s the only undeveloped property on Sarasota Bay. Besides a fund raiser, the festival is also a huge celebration. F.I.S.H. Board Member, Jane Von Hahmann says, “The festival is full of great food, and great entertainment from country to jazz to blues. We have entertainment everybody will enjoy. We have 60 artists, there will be nothing manufactured, its all hand made art work, selected to be a part of our festival.”

There will be a great kids area, and the museum will be open, so everyone can go and visit and learn about the maritime fishing industry here. The Cortez Cultural Center will also be open. There you can see pictures of the early families and and learn about their lives in Cortez Village, from the time they first arrived here in 1883.

And there will be demonstrations showing you what the fishing industry is like here today.

Kim says, “This is really a piece of “Old Florida”, and you don’t find that often. Cortez is a hidden treasure. This is a mighty village. And the people here are mighty. Mighty and strong, because they

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