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Manatee Festival of the Arts

Published on: March 14, 2018

Festival of the Arts weekend a hit with visitors

Story and photos by LOIS KINDLE

The 26th annual Apollo Beach Manatee Festival of the Arts is a wrap, and by all accounts, it was another successful event. The annual showcase of fine arts and crafts at E. G. Simmons Regional Park in Ruskin drew thousands of visitors, many of whom were buying again this year.

Gina Schenk, of Mount Vernon, Ill., came back to visit her parents, Ken and Laura Bauer, of Sun City Center and was delighted the festival was going on. She came to purchase another burnished aluminum wall hanging by sculptor Craig McManus.

“I bought a lighthouse from him last year and this year, I’m buying a palm tree to complete my collection,” she said. “I love his work.”

The laid back, pet-friendly venue, temperate weather, Kids Firehouse Art Station and the festival’s diverse array of entertainers and art, were just what its organizers “ordered.”

“With all the big events going on the Tampa Bay area this weekend and the start of spring break, the event was still a success,” said Melanie Rimes, executive director of the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce. “We appreciate all the people who came out and supported the many artists we had. All in all, it was an excellent-quality fine arts festival.

“We’re already looking forward to next year.”