Island Fest in Islamorada is set to take place Saturday and Sunday, April 6-7, featuring a juried art show, live music, great food, classic cars and much more. The annual Islamorada Chamber of Commerce fundraiser, now in its 28th year, will take place from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday at Founders Park, MM 87 bayside.

The Plantation Yacht Harbor Arts and Crafts Show will feature some 100 artists whose works include everything from paintings and sculptures to jewelry, fine crafts, and even driftwood carvings. Recognized as this year’s poster artist is painter Jen Callahan.“I am so happy to have been selected as the poster artist this year at Island Fest,” said Callahan, an Original Life in Color Artist. Callahan said her love for animals, which began as a young child, was “later cultivated into a need to express my fascination with animals and color.” This fascination can be seen in her 2019 Island Fest poster piece, “Manatee,” a whimsical and colorful depiction of the sea-dwelling mammal that calls the Florida Keys home.

Great food is a mainstay during both days of Island Fest. The culmination of local culinary greatness will come Sunday at noon when the Taste of Islamorada competition brings out top local restaurants to show off their most mouth-watering dishes. Attendees will get to cast their ballot for the People’s Choice Award. The awards ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Back at Island Fest this year for car enthusiasts is the All-American Road Vintage Cruisers Car Show, featuring antique cars, trucks, motorcycles and ratrods. The show will be visible from U.S.1, Florida’s only official “All American Road.” Awards will be presented for Coolest Cruiser, Raddest Rod, KeyZ Rider, Longest Haul, Big Kahuna, Funkiest Foreign, Best of Show, and People’s Choice. New entrants are always encouraged.

The car show features awards like Coolest Cruiser, Raddest Rod, KeyZ Rider, Longest Haul, Big Kahuna, Funkiest Foreign, Best of Show, and People’s Choice.

An array of popular musical acts appealing to music lovers of all genres will perform. Acts will range from country and rock to blues and reggae. New to the Island Fest lineup this year will be Nashville and Miami based country/rock supergroup Saints and Angels. Those looking for local Keys favorite can look no further than the Carousers, who are slated to take the stage on Saturday. The Coconut Cowboys will be back again for a Sunset Beach Party from 5:30 to 7:30pm on Saturday.

Island Fest features activities that are fun for the whole family. Children and creative adults can help paint a life-sized dolphin statue, compete in hula-hooping contests, and watch giant kites fly high in the sky. On Saturday, teams will compete to build the best sand sculpture inspired by this year’s themes of “Birds, Butterflies, and Blooms”.

Also on the show’s first day is the “What Floats Your Boat?” homemade boat race. Participants will create a “boat” to enter in the race, which will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday. There is no entry fee and the Chamber of Commerce is currently seeking entries. Winners will be declared for the Yachtiest Award, Thriftiest Award, Anchor Award, Krazy Krewe Award and Sink and Swim Award. The big winner will be presented with the Lucky Ducky Admiral Award.

Back again this year by popular demand is a kids’ division of the race. Teams can enter with their favorite swimming pool float, for participants 11 and under. Prizes include but are not limited to Duckiest Award, Isla Award, Moe Award, and Rada Award.

Admission to Island Fest is free and on-site parking is available for a $5 donation. The Islamorada Chamber of Commerce encourages the public to “Keep the Scene Green” and bring your own water bottles to reduce plastic use during the event. Lawn chairs and blankets also are recommended for a comfortable fun-filled day. Events will take place rain or shine. More information is available from the Islamorada Chamber of Commerce at 305-664-4503.

MUSIC OF ALL SORTS

Artists specializing in blues, folk, classic rock, island melodies and more will take the stage at the 28th Annual Island Fest, presented by the Islamorada Chamber of Commerce.

The two-day festival, which also features The Taste of Islamorada, a vintage cruiser show and more than 100 artists and craftsmen from around the country, will take place on Saturday and Sunday, April 6-7.

The start of Island Fest’s live music lineup will come shortly after the event’s 10 a.m. kick-off on April 6. Among Saturday’s daytime performers will be Eclipse, a Keys Conch rock favorite, and the local Americana group, The Carousers.

All-purpose band Coconut Cowboys will take the stage for the second year in a row at the Beach Sunset Concert at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

From Hank Williams to AC/DC, Lynyrd Skynyrd to Metallica, Waylon Jennings to Guns-N-Roses, the Coconut Cowboys bring high-energy, music-filled fun.

“We are honored and excited to perform our brand of entertainment,” said frontman Dan Furmanic, “for all the beautiful folks that will be attending Island Fest 2019.”

The concert is scheduled to end at 7:30 p.m., but if Furmanik has his way, it could well go longer. Last year Coconut Cowboys played well past their 7 p.m. end time.

Sunday’s entertainment will kick off with Islamorada-based acoustic pop guitarist Leah Sutter. She’ll be followed on stage by faces that are new to the Island Fest lineup, Saints and Angels. Saints & Angels is a Nashville/ Miami based country-rock supergroup; it features original Florida Georgia Line guitarist Brian Bonds, Gipsy Kings touring drummer Joel Enriquez, session singer and front-woman Lindsey Penner, young guitarist Denver Cooper, Entrepreneur bass player/writer/producer Rey Montecristo and John Ross, who studied at Berklee College of Music.

The band is managed by George Strait and Lee Ann Womack manager, Erv Woolsey.
The crowd favorite Pitbull of Blues Band will close out the event on Sunday.

Featuring music, art, food, classic cars and fun, Island Fest offers something for everyone. Admission is free and on-site parking is available for a $5 donation. The Islamorada Chamber of Commerce encourages the public to “Keep the Scene Green” and bring water bottles to reduce plastic use during the event. Lawn chairs and blankets are also recommended. More information is available from the Islamorada Chamber of Commerce at 305-664-4503.

— Contributed

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