ISLAND VIBES RETURNS TO FOUNDERS PARK FOR ANNUAL FESTIVAL THIS WEEKEND

Island Fest returns to Islamorada on April 2-3, with a juried art exhibit, live music, great food, classic cars and more. The Islamorada Chamber of Commerce’s annual fundraiser, now in its 30th year, will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Founders Park, MM 87, Bayside.

The Plantation Yacht Harbor arts and crafts show will feature over 100 artists whose works include everything from paintings and sculptures to jewelry, handicrafts and even driftwood carvings. Recognized as this year’s poster artist, painter Derek DeYoung, whose work Tarpon at Play captures the playful nature of this mighty fish. Says his wife and partner, Janell, “As a boy, Derek dreamed of one day living in the Keys. Today, he spends the winter months in Big Pine Key, and has done so for eight years. Beyond the simple life of the island, Derek has worked extremely hard to master the art of catching flatfish on the fly, as well as capturing them in his unique and captivating style of acrylic paint on his canvases. . Being named a poster artist for Island Fest meant the world to Derek, as he truly calls the Florida Keys home, and is so honored to represent his fellow Keys artists this year for Island Fest.

Participants in “What Floaties Your Boat” take to the water off Founders Park Beach. CONTRIBUTED

Food is always a mainstay during the two days of Island Fest. The culmination of local culinary greatness will come Sunday at noon when the Taste of Islamorada competition will bring out the best local restaurants to show off their most mouth-watering dishes. Participants will be able to vote for the People’s Choice Award. The award ceremony will take place on the stage at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.

One of the features of the annual Island Fest is the sandcastle sculpture. CONTRIBUTED

Returning to Island Fest this year for car enthusiasts, the All-American Road Vintage Cruisers Car Show features vintage cars, trucks, motorcycles and rat rods. The show will be visible from US1, Florida’s only official “All American Road”, encouraging passers-by interested in vintage and unique cars to stop and take a look. Awards will be given out 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.

What floats on your Rob Stober racing Cranky boat

An array of popular musical acts attracting music lovers of all genres will perform throughout the festival. The numbers will range from country to rock through blues, jazz and reggae. The Coconut Cowboys will be back to rock the beach and close out the event on Sunday afternoon from 2-4 p.m. No matter your musical tastes, there’s something for everyone on the main stage located on the beach at Island Fest.

Added to this year’s festival are mermaids swimming in the bay.

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