Join Longboat’s Fall Festival at the Centre Shops

The stalwart among Longboat Key’s shopping centers, the Centre Shops, will welcome in fall and welcome back residents on Sunday, October 28 with a Fall Festival.
Organized by Centre Shop merchants Stephanie Claussen, owner of Steff’s Stuff and Terry Petesh, owner of Terry’s Framing, the duo got fellow merchants together to discuss the possibility of a fall festival in late summer. The result a fall festival that is less about face painting and more about things Longboaters’ love: a classic car show sponsored by The First Bank, live music, food, a farmers market, artists, antiques, collectibles, shopping, displays and wine tasting as well as a time to reunite with residents after a long summer away.

The 1st Annual Fall Festival at the Centre Shops is not Claussen’s first time at the helm of Island event. Claussen organized the Whitney Beach Antique & Art Fairs while occupying retail space in Whitney Plaza.

Looking for a vibrant location frequented by local residents, Claussen relocated Steff’s Stuff to the Centre Shops and always had in her mind that it would be a great location for something similar to what she did at the north end of the Key, however, she wanted to get more local businesses involved.

“The Centre Shops is a perfect place for art shows and festivals,” said Claussen. “It’s mid-key, so easily accessible to residents, there is a great sense of community among the merchants in the shops, and now is the time to welcome back our returning residents.”

Claussen and the group contacted the Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce, which is holding its Third Annual Longboat Key International Triathlon & Duathlon on the same date.  Claussen thought the two events would compliment one another.

“Our event starts at 10 a.m. Residents can come to our Festival and actually watch the cyclist as the pass by the Centre Shops,” said Claussen.

Petesch said the group is focusing on events geared to residents. He has planned a Bavarian booth with beer hats. Michael Garey, owner of Lazy Lobster, is bringing a hot dog cart from Sarasota’s Doggin’ It, and he is bringing wines. Rob Ball, owner of the Blue Dolphin Café, will be serving samples.

First Bank will sponsor the Fall Festival, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Parking and admission to the Festival is free. All proceeds from the festival will benefit the Longboat Key Historical Society.

Those interested in a vender’s space at the Festival, can reach Claussen at Steff’s Stuff, (941) 383-1901.

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