Museum to host Coastal Community Celebration

Cortez Florida Maritime Museum
The historic Burton Store’s continuing legacy now includes serving as The Folk School. - Joe Hendricks | Sun

CORTEZ – The Florida Maritime Museum will host its Coastal Community Celebration on Thursday, June 7 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The after-hours event will be a fun and interactive event for adults and families and themed to coincide with World Oceans Day.

The celebration will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony and the grand opening of the historic Burton/Bratton Store. Beginning at 6 p.m., museum staff will discuss the history of the store, its role in the history of Cortez and its new role as the Folk School at Florida Maritime Museum.

“The Burton Store is a wonderful piece of Cortez history, and we’re very lucky that we still have it,” museum curator Casey Wooster said.

The celebration will also feature the opening of the “Meaning Behind Maritime” exhibit and the official launch of the Cortez Passport program.

“ ‘Meaning Behind Maritime’ is a wonderful exhibit honoring our 10th anniversary as the Florida Maritime Museum. We’re asking our community and visitors to help us find the meaning behind maritime. We want to hear the voices of our community because maritime means so many different things to so many different people. The definition of the word just means related to the ocean or sea,” Wooster said.

“We asked community members, visitors and volunteers to draw and write on these canvasses and define maritime. They’ve drawn pictures and shared memories and stories, and that’s going to be part of the exhibit. It’ll be a wonderful reflection of the community, and then we’re going to have a fully-interactive activity where you define maritime,” she added.

The Coastal Community Celebration will feature demonstrations on castnetting, lionfish, sea turtles, water pollution, shell identification, water salinity and Pip the Pelican. Scott Blum will provide live music.

The Florida Maritime Museum is located at 4415 119th St. W. at the intersection of Cortez Road and 119th Street West. For more information, call 941-708-6120 Tuesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.