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Plans announced for 2011 San-Cap Cracker Festival

By Staff | Jul 25, 2011

START members and the Cracker Fest planning committee includes, from left, Les Boyle, Henry Nachtsheim, Carol Rothman, Kevin Vertesch and Ralph Woodring.

Plans are already under way for the Third Annual Cracker Festival, to be held Friday, Nov. 4.

With its laid back atmosphere, down-home cookin’ and country music, Cracker Fest has fast become one of the Island’s most popular fall events – and all for a great cause, START (Solutions To Avoid Red Tide).

The local Sanibel-Captiva Chapter is part of a statewide non-profit foundation whose mission is to improve the quality of our marine waters through research, public education and programs that restore marine habitat and preserve marine species.

Last year’s Cracker Festival allowed the San-Cap START organization to provide funding for 30 Coastal Classrooms for Lee County schools.

“Revenue from this year’s event will continue the vision by focusing on local water quality, the continuation of the Coastal Classroom project and to promote local sustainable seafood,” said Kevin Vertesch, board treasurer.

Held behind The Bait Box, the menu will feature smoked mullet caught and prepared by local START board member and island cracker, Ralph Woodring, Dave’s pit-roasted pig with all the trimmings provided by Bailey’s General Store. Down-home spirits and down-home music add to the cracker flavor of this one-of-a-kind event and a live and silent auction will generate revenue for the local chapter of START.

“This event truly reflects our cultural heritage here in Florida,” said chapter board president Dr. Bruce Neill.

More than 300 guests enjoyed last year’s festivities, so call ahead to reserve your spot. Attendance to the Nov. 4 San-Cap Cracker Festival is by reservation only. Tickets are $75 each. Event sponsorships are also available.

For more information or to receive an invitation, please call Carol Rothman at 239-699-3530 or send an e-mail to crackerfest11@gmail.com.