Cracker Fest 2016
November 4 festival about Gulf waters, funding a film to better tell our story
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.