Cracker Fest 2016

Novem­ber 4 fes­ti­val about Gulf wa­ters, fund­ing a film to bet­ter tell our story

Times of the Islands - - Departments - BY CRAIG GAR­RETT

Maybe it’s time to reach a wider au­di­ence. Some ticket pro­ceeds from Cracker Fest in Novem­ber will pay a film­maker to show what happens when in­land wa­ter is flushed into the ocean and bays in Southwest Florida. Fouled wa­ter and beaches hurt tourism, busi­ness and game fish­ing, the Sanibel and Cap­tiva cham­ber re­ports. Sanibel’s David Carter will pro­duce the film in 30- and 60-minute ver­sions. The goal is to air the film on Florida’s 11 pub­lic broad­cast af­fil­i­ates, get peo­ple talk­ing and prompt ac­tion. Carter has other short films on Sanibel and Cap­tiva his­tory, Emmy Awards for past work. The stake is mil­lions in rev­enue and user taxes. Florida tourism is a nearly $70 bil­lion in­dus­try. Cracker Fest this year is Nov. 4, a Fri­day evening old-Florida party of food, mu­sic, bev­er­ages and friends. It is held at the Bait Box on Sanibel. This year’s en­ter­tain­ment is The Ap­ple But­ter Band. The cracker-style menu in­cludes smoked pork BBQ, mullet, shrimp and grits and side dishes as­so­ci­ated with South­ern fare. The Esper­anza Woodring Me­mo­rial Cast Net Rodeo for kids is Nov. 5, a Satur­day. Cracker Fest is hosted by the Sanibel Cap­tiva chap­ter of So­lu­tions to Avoid Red Tide, or START. The group re­ports on red tide but ad­vo­cates on other is­sues such as biodegrad­able prod­ucts, habi­tat con­ser­va­tion, ed­u­ca­tion and sus­tain­able seafood farm­ing. START fund­ing also sup­ports a beach mon­i­tor­ing net­work; Bring Your Own Bag, which

CRACKER FEST IS HOSTED BY THE SANIBEL CAP­TIVA CHAP­TER OF SO­LU­TIONS TO AVOID RED TIDE, OR START.

En­ter­tain­ment, good food and net-toss­ing com­pe­ti­tions make for a fun time at Cracker Fest and the Cast Net Rodeo, which will be held at the Bait Box on Sanibel Is­land on Nov. 4-5.

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