Koko Ray will be one of the performers at this year's Bayfest
SUN FILE PHOTO
By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer
ANNA MARIA – As the temperatures cool and the you-know-what season fades away, people on the Island like to get out and dance. There will be two opportunities on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 19 and 20, at Bayfest, and the music will be great.
The Friday Night Kickoff Party is a first for Bayfest and the music will be more intimate as smooth jazz from Project SRQ fills the night skies. There will be beer, wine, soda and water for sale as well as snacks or a light dinner.
Then comes Bayfest on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., sponsored by the Anna Maria Island Sun and the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce. The musical lineup includes performers familiar to anyone who’s been around lately.
Jimi Gee and Friends will take the main stage at Pines Avenue and Bay Boulevard from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The tropical sounds of the Bootleg Reggae Band follow from noon to 2 p.m. At 2:30, Koko Ray and the Soul Providers take the stage for some rock and jazz until 4:30 p.m. Michael Mac will perform from 5 to 7 p.m.
In addition, there will be a disc jockey playing oldies on the other end of the street where the classic antique and customized vehicles will be on display. This is a popular attraction for men who love wheels and people who remember when some of these rides were not classified as antique. Last year, 105 cars competed for two trophies and organizers hope for more this year. If you would like to enter your vehicle, call Bill Mergens at 920-2277.
You can expect to see a lot of merchandise this year, as more than 100 vendors have signed up for fine arts, crafts and other retail items. Vendors at the end of last year’s Bayfest commented on the crowd and the number of sales they made. Call Cindy Thompson at 761-4766 or the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce at 778-1541 for vendor prices and availability.
Not-for-profit organizations also will be there with information on their causes ranging from endangered animals to keeping our habitat clean.
Kids will enjoy the day at the children’s area. In addition to games and activities, there will be face painters, clowns and musicians and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays will be there with a batting cage. All the proceeds from the kids area will go to the Matthew Lannon college fund for the son of popular Anna Maria Elementary School Resource Officer Pete Lannon, who passed away earlier this year after battling cancer.
Some people come to Bayfest for the food and they won’t be disappointed by the lineup in store. Enjoy menu items served by Paradise Café and Catering, The Sun House, the Sandbar restaurant, Banana Cabana, The Waterfront, Skinny’s, a Moveable Feast, Solo’s Pizza, Melinda’s Café, Rotten Ralph’s, Brass Bell Catering, Tropical Snow and Barracuda Kettle Corn.
Don’t forget beer, soda and water at various locations plus live music at the Anna Maria Island Historical Society on the front porch of the museum with Bill Bowdish and the Gulf Drive Band.
So, if you’re tired of sitting inside with the A/C cranking away, get out to Bayfest and get a taste of the food and music, arts and crafts and the people who will enjoying the day also.