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Sanibel Shell Festival preparations in full swing

By Staff | Feb 11, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Sanibel Shell Club shell bagging crew.

The 83rd Sanibel Shell Festival is coming March 7-9 to The Community House on Sanibel and the preparations that make it an outstanding event are nearing.

Bouquets of flowers made from shells, curious-looking critters, jewelry and other kinds of shell art are receiving their finishing touches from the artists who have made them. Many are made on Sanibel by shell crafters who meet each Monday at The Community House. About 50 individuals take part in the creative activity and come from both islands, as well as from other areas in Southwest Florida.

The “Shelling Bees” meet to sort donated shells that will be sold at the festival. There are many beautiful local shells for sale, as well as shells from around the world at the event.

Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club members will meet to fill 2,300 bags of shells, which will be given away at the festival to each person who gives a $5 donation to enter the show located inside of The Community House. Those who make a donation will also receive half-price admission to the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum during the festival.

The Sanibel Shell Show is known as the most prestigious in the country and exhibitors come from as far away as Japan to compete for non-monetary awards. There are two major categories of competition. The Artistic Division features a variety of shell creations, made by both professional and hobbyists. The Scientific Division features shells from Sanibel’s beaches, as well as all around the world.

PHOTO PROVIDED Shell crafters making various kinds of shell art.

It is a joint venture and major fundraiser for the shell club and Sanibel Community Association.

The festival hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 5-6 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 7. There will be shells, shell art, crafts and books for sale. There is a live mollusk tank manned by students from The Sanibel School. Free parking and food and beverages will be available.

For more information, visit www.sites.google.com/site/sanibelshellfestival.

PHOTO PROVIDED Shell sorters.