83rd Shell Festival Preparations In Full Swing

provided to Santiva Chronicle

The 83rd Sanibel Shell Festival is coming March 5-7 to the Sanibel Community House and the preparations that make it an outstanding event are nearing completion.

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

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

Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club members will be meeting to fill 2,300 bags of shells that will be given away at the festival to each person who gives a $5 donation to enter the Shell Show inside the Community Building. Those making the donation also receive a 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 an incredible 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.

The Sanibel Shell Festival is a joint venture of the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club and the Sanibel Community Association. It is a major fundraiser for both groups.

The Shell Festival hours are March 5 and 6 from 9 to 5 and March 7 from 9 to 4. 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. The

Festival is a great family outing and children are welcome!

For more information about the Shell Festival go to https://sites.google.com/site/sanibelshellfestival/.

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