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Save the Date! 2nd Annual Sarasota Bay Water Festival Nov. 2nd

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The second annual Sarasota Bay Water Festival is set for Saturday, November 2 at Ken Thompson Park in Sarasota. The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) is the Presenting Sponsor and HDR Engineering, Inc. is the Host Sponsor for 2013. Online applications from prospective sponsors and exhibitors are now being accepted at SarasotaBayWaterFestival.com.

Highlights for 2013 include the first Dragon Boat Races on Sarasota Bay, live music, artists selling unique gift items, the I Love Sarasota Bay Photo Contest, workshops that promote Bay-stewardship, food trucks and local restaurants, vintage boats, activities for kids, and exhibits promoting recreational boating, fishing, kayaking, paddle board sports, scuba diving, cycling, birding, and other activities associated with Sarasota Bay.

“The purpose of the water festival is to celebrate the importance of Sarasota Bay to the region’s environment, economy and quality of life,” said Randy Moore, the festival director. “The festival connects many organizations in the public and private sector that care about Sarasota Bay.”

SBEP is one of the 28 National Estuary Programs in the U.S. and a long term advocate of a healthy Sarasota Bay with its major partners. This year’s festival is a kickoff for the SBEP silver anniversary in 2014. HDR is a global employee-owned firm providing architecture, engineering, environmental, and construction related services. HDR has supported clients throughout Florida for nearly 40 years; 2013 marks the 10-year anniversary for HDR in Sarasota. Triple 3 Marketing is managing the festival; the Sarasota business is the SBEP marketing contractor.

The festival sustainability plan includes recycling, composting and the promotion of alternative transportation. A free boat taxi service supported by Freedom Boat Club will operate between Marina Jack in downtown Sarasota and the Sarasota Sailing Squadron next to Ken Thompson Park. More than 200 people used the boat taxi last year. The festival will also provide a free bike valet and a free valet for paddlers. Convenient public bus transportation is also available.

Early Bay Champion Sponsors include Sarasota County, Freedom Boat Club, City of Sarasota, Manatee County, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Town of Longboat Key, City of Bradenton, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Early Bay Friend Sponsors include Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Mote Marine Laboratory, Triple 3 Marketing, and Gold Coast Eagle. Early Bay Supporter Sponsors include Save Our Seabirds, Inc., Around the Bend Nature Tours, High Five Dragon Boat, LLC, Friends of Sarasota County Parks, and Sun King Disc Sports.

Festival organizers are seeking additional sponsors. Sponsor donations will support the festival and SBEP education and volunteer programs benefiting Sarasota Bay. Details about the levels of sponsorship are posted at SarasotaBayWaterFestival.com.