REEF Fest is just ten days away! Sponsored by Capital Bank Foundation, REEF Fest is an annual celebration of marine conservation held in Key Largo, Florida, on Oct. 17-20. The event features diving, ocean-themed seminars, and social events. REEF Fest is open to the public, and most events are free to attend. To see the complete schedule, visit www.REEF.org/REEFfest.
Diving, Snorkeling, and Kayaking
Limited space is still available on some REEF Fest dive boats. To view participating dive shops and register for dives, visit www.REEF.org/REEFfest/diving. In addition, a few spaces are still available on the guided kayak eco-tour on Saturday, Oct. 19. Open to beginners and experienced kayakers, the trip includes all rental equipment, a lesson on paddling techniques, snacks, water and a fully guided tour through the mangrove habitats of the Upper Keys. Register online at https://www.REEF.org/REEFfest/ecotour.
Marine Conservation Programs, Ocean-Themed Seminars and Sunset Kickoff Event
REEF Fest begins on Thursday, Oct. 17, with free marine conservation programming at REEF’s Interpretive Center, including an Invasive Lionfish Collecting and Handling Workshop at 2:30pm, a beginner fish identification class at 3:30pm, and an intermediate/advanced fish identification class at 4:30pm. Evening festivities kick off at 6:30pm, with a free sunset social on the bayfront lawn of the Murray Nelson Government Center. Following the social, the opening seminar will be presented at 7:30pm. Seminars will continue on Friday and Saturday afternoons. All seminars are free and held at the Murray Nelson Government Center. Check out the speaker lineup here: www.REEF.org/REEFfest/seminars.
Social Events & Reef Fish Behavior Book Signing
Tour the oldest building in the Upper Keys and mingle with REEF staff and board members during the REEF Fest Open House, held at REEF Headquarters (MM 98.3 in the median) on Friday, Oct. 18 from 6:30-9 pm. There will be raffle prizes, appetizers, wine, and local craft beer provided by the Florida Keys Brewing Company. The Open House is free and open to the public.
Renowned marine life authors Ned and Anna DeLoach will be introducing the much-awaited 2nd edition of their book, Reef Fish Behavior - Florida Caribbean Bahamas during REEF Fest 2019! REEF Fest attendees will have a unique opportunity to purchase a signed copy of the new, updated and enlarged 2nd edition during two special booking signing events throughout the weekend, one of which will take place during the Open House. The other book signing and purchase event will be on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 1:30-2:30 pm at the Murray Nelson Government Center. The book signings are the only way to purchase a copy of the book before its release later this year! The book retails for $49.95 plus tax.
The annual REEF Fest banquet, For the Love of the Sea, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 6:30-10 pm. Tickets are available for $70 per person and include a three-course meal, hors d'oeuvres, and a full-service liquor bar. Enjoy live music, friends, delicious food, and a silent auction featuring dive travel packages and marine life photography and artwork. Tickets can be purchased at www.REEF.org/REEFfest/dinnerticket.
REEF Fest concludes on Sunday, Oct. 20 with a Farewell Breakfast from 10am-12pm at REEF Headquarters. The continental breakfast will include pastries, bagels, fruit, coffee and mimosas. The Farewell Breakfast is free and open to the public.
REEF would like to thank our REEF Fest 2019 title sponsor, Capital Bank Foundation, as well as our platinum sponsors: Atlantis Philippines Dive Resorts and Liveaboards, The Carrow Foundation, and Florida Keys Brewing Company. We are also very thankful for the ongoing support of the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.