The Sarasota Bay Water Festival

Sarasota Bay Water Festival

Saturday, April 30, 2016
@ Beautiful Ken Thompson Park

2013 Photo Slideshow

2012 Photo Slideshow

The fourth Sarasota Bay Water Festival is set for 2016. The purpose is to celebrate the importance of Sarasota Bay to our region’s environment and economy. The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) is the Founding Sponsor. We will be announcing the Community Sponsor and Host Sponsor for 2016 in the near future. Our goal is to make the fourth Water Festival bigger and better than ever before. Bay-friendly living and environmental stewardship are serious topics, but it doesn’t mean we can’t have fun celebrating Sarasota Bay. It’s the most important natural treasure in this region and a major economic engine supporting tourism, fishing, boating, and real estate!

Sarasota Bay Water Festival Photo Contest 2013 Dragon Boat Race

2016 Highlights:

Have Fun – Live music with top area bands, food trucks & local restaurants, beer and wine garden, Art Zone featuring artists and photographers selling gift items, Dragon Boat Races; hands on kayak demonstrations with Brad Tanner, and a display of the winning photos from the I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest. Add your touch of creativity to our Community Art Mural and don’t forget the After Party. Details about the party will be posted in early 2016.

Learn New Things – Interact with local speakers from the public and private sector who are experts in their field. We will post a schedule of speakers and topics in early 2016. The last Water Festival focused on the protection of bay wildlife, the bay’s economic value, local water quality and restoration, and the problem of discarded plastic harming wildlife; vintage and new boats; dip netting and nature walks; plus exhibits promoting boating, fishing, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, and more. Come early and spend the day. Pets welcome too, but don’t forget your six-foot leash.

Live Music:

Enjoy live music from 10:30am until 4pm. Our music line up at the prior festival featured award-winning guitarist Ben Hammond, Applebutter Express, Serotonic, and Ari and the Alibis. Other bands that have performed with us since the inception of the Water Festival in 2012 include: Come Back Alice, Hymn for Her, Democracy, The Lauren Mitchell Band, and Stumble Creek.

Welcome Sponsors:

The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) is the Founding Sponsor and we will be announcing the Community Sponsor and Host Sponsor soon. HDR, Inc. was the prior Community Sponsor and Sea to Shore Alliance was the prior Host Sponsor. Our major sponsors represent government, private industry and nonprofits respectively. We will be updating the sponsor entitlement package over the next month and updating the Sponsor page throughout 2015. Many of our sponsors are ongoing supporters. Sponsor inquiries welcome at

Welcome Exhibitors:

The Water Festival Art Zone added color and energy!Connect with 65 plus exhibitors focused on water recreation and sports, boating and fishing, other outdoor activities, unique gifts for sale including nature and wildlife photography, arts and crafts, local groups promoting conservation and the protection of wildlife, and diverse groups promoting bay-friendly living. 


Our sustainability plan includes recycling and the promotion of alternative transportation including biking, kayaking, carpooling, and the LBK Trolley. We hope to bring back the popular Freedom Boat Club’s water taxi service between Marina Jack and the Sarasota Sailing Squadron.

Management & Marketing:

Triple 3 Marketing (T3M) manages and promotes the Water Festival with support from volunteers and other friends. T3M has produced many events including the E-Fest Green Living Music & Arts Festival which attracted 20,000 visitors in 2008. E-Fest 2008 remains the largest outdoor eco-event ever held in the region. T3M is the marketing contractor for SBEP and other clients in the public and private sector; inquiries welcome.

Festival Support Team:

  • Randy Moore, Triple 3 Marketing (Director)
  • Bryan Moore, Triple 3 Marketing (Site Manager)
  • Sherri Swanson, HDR, Inc. (Sustainability Manager)
  • Volunteer Coordinator – TBA
  • Sandy Hedgepeth, Professional Photographer (Art Zone Coordinator)
  • Sara Kane, Sarasota County (Sustainability Outreach)
  • Nonprofit Partner – TBA
  • Live Music Emcee – TBA (Hope to have Ben Hammond back for the fourth year)
  • Education Outreach Manatee County – TBA (Looking for a local teacher)
  • Education Outreach Sarasota County – TBA (Looking for a local teacher)
  • Host Venue for the After Party – TBA
  • Many more professionals in Sarasota and Manatee County are involved to support their respective organizations, along with a fun crew of volunteers on site during the festival.

Founding Sponsor:  The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) is one of the 28 National Estuary Programs in the U.S. The Program strives to improve water quality, increase habitat and enhance the natural resources of the area for use and enjoyment by the public. Major government partners include Sarasota County, Manatee County, City of Sarasota, City of Bradenton, Town of Longboat Key, Southwest Florida Water Management District, and the U.S. EPA.

2014 Community Sponsor:  As an employee-owned firm with more than 8,000 professionals in 185 locations worldwide, HDR is “Living as a Company that Matters.” Our professionals inspire ideas, build vibrant communities and improve quality of life. HDR integrates sustainable business practices into our day-to-day operations and client deliverables by balancing engineered and natural solutions that address modern-day matters such as coastal resilience and restoration, fisheries and aquatic resources, water conservation and management, and the protection of the world’s finite natural resources.

2014 Host Sponsor:  Sea to Shore Alliance works to protect and conserve our world’s fragile coastal ecosystems and the endangered species that call them home. Our project areas are broad but they all focus on one of three key species: manatees, sea turtles, and right whales. Sea to Shore Alliance combines the technical expertise of trained ecologists and biologists with the passion and enthusiasm of citizen volunteers to educate the public, protect endangered species, and conserve our coastal environments for both people and animals. Current projects are underway in Florida, Cuba, Belize, and West Africa.