By CARL MARIO NUDI
The Florida Maritime Museum in Cortez will host a Coastal Community Celebration to kick-off World Oceans Day from 6 to 8 p.m., June 7.
During the free, family-oriented evening the grand opening of the restored Historic Burton Store, located behind the museum, 4415 119th St. W., Cortez, will be held.
At 6 p.m. museum staff will give a brief history of the Burton Store and its importance to the Cortez community. The building will continue its legacy as The Folk School at Florida Maritime Museum.
Celebration participants are invited to wander around the museum grounds to find crafts and interactive activities exploring ocean pollution, commercial fishing, sea turtles and more that relate to the important ecosystem of the ocean.
Visitors will also discover a new exhibit inside the museum, “The Meaning Behind Maritime,” where community members channeled what maritime means to them on 3- by 3-foot canvases.
Cortez merchants also will launch the Cortez Passport program at the World Oceans Day event at the museum.
“You can literally spend the whole day in Cortez,” said Dan Alderson, owner of Tyler’s Ice Cream, 11904 Cortez Road, and one of the organizers of the program. “Our goal is to make Cortez a destination.”
The Passports are free and available at all of the participating businesses and organizations.
The organizers of the Passport program hope more people will come to shop at the stores and eat at the restaurants, then stay and visit all of the interesting spots in Cortez, such as the Florida Maritime Museum.
Visitors can get their Passport stamped at any of the 27 participating businesses and organizations listed in the Passport.
Once at least 12 different Passport stamps have been received, Passport holders bring it to the Florida Maritime Museum to receive a free Official Cortez Explorer T-shirt.
No purchase is required to receive the Passport stamps.
For more information about the Coastal Community Celebration or the Passport program call, 941-708-6120 or visit www.FloridaMaritimeMuseum.org.