Advertising Networks of Florida

Cortez fish

A sea of folks focused on seafood, sunshine, music and crafts at the weekend Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival, all wrapped this year around the FISH Preserve, Florida Maritime Museum and the Banyas’ commercial property. Islander Photos: Bonner Joy

A handpainted sign welcomes Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival attendees to the main gate, where admission of $2 provides a day of endless entertainment, seafood, refreshments, arts and crafts.

Return visitors from Massachusetts are greeted at the festival booth sponsored by Mike Rappaport, owner of Cabana Banana in Bradenton Beach. The restaurant has bragging rights from a previous year’s cooking contest to “best crab cakes.”

Bull-rider Cameron Belanger, 5, of Bradenton, holds on for the entire “slowed up” for Cortez kids version of the popular ride.

Workers serve up helpings of stone crab claws and “put the rum in the coconut” for adult festivalgoers.

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