Despite the bad economy this years Lake Dora Classic boat show is expecting record crowds. More sponsors have asked to be involved, hotels are filling up fast and the buzz has started. Here at WoodyBoater we plan on being there reporting live from the Chris Craft tent. So stop by and say hi! Or sit like a lump on a log at watch on the web! This year. Video…. The following is a letter from Terry Fiest for there Sheerline newsletter. It gives you an idea of what is underway. Very cool stuff indeed.

The 2009 Sunnyland Antique Boat Festival in Tavares

On behalf of the Sunnyland Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society, I would like to welcome all of you to our annual show here at Wooten Park in Tavares. As most of you know, we took a chance last year and moved our show from Mount Dora to Tavares. This move afforded us an opportunity to accommodate the large crowds and grow the show. Our move paid off and this year, in spite of the poor economy, we are expecting a record crowd. The Classic Race Boat Association (CRA) will host their event the week prior to ours and when you combine the North and South Bound River Cruises on the St Johns, the CRA event and are spectacular event, you are afforded three weeks of vintage boating.

This year we are featuring Riva boats and the Riva Historical Society and the Chris Craft Antique Boat Club have a special relationship. Invitations have been extended to Carlos Riva and Chris Smith to attend. In addition, Hagerty Classic Marine Insurance is celebrating 25 years of service to Classic Boaters and Hagerty will sponsor a reception on Thursday night Mar 26 to recognize all the Riva and Chris Craft owners. This reception will be held at the Lake Side Inn at Mount Dora.

The popularity of our show continues to build and this year we will move the set up day to Wednesday to afford us an opportunity to use Thursday as a show day. Another change this year, we have moved the traditional Picnic to Thursday. This will afford the spectators an opportunity to view all the boats on Friday and Saturday.

One of the success’s of our show is our Corporate Sponsorship Program and each year we have more sponsors who want to participate and be part of the great event. We provide all the sponsors an exhibition area and we include them in all facets of the show. Our Corporate Sponsors are listed separately in the Sheerline and with out them we could not continue to sustain the show. We will have our famous “Captains Party” Friday night on the street in front of the Lake Side Inn and we will have our Casual Saturday Night Banquet also at the Lake Side Inn. We will feature a huge “Flea Market”, a record number of “Jersey Skiffs, Sunnyland Chapter Ships Store, Amphicars, the Antique Out Board Motor Club, Land Displays, Boats for Sale and a beautiful collection of “Woodie” cars.

The entire show is run with volunteers and committee’s and when the show is at full steam, we have over 100 people working in different areas. One of the more unique things we offer is the “Valet Service” for the boat trailers. When you arrive at our show, you are directed to a Marshalling area where you prepare you boat to be launched. A member of the Tractor Crew will unhook your boat from the towing vehicle; You can park you vehicle in one of the many parking lots and meet you boat at the ramp; Once the launch is complete, we store your trailer until you are ready to depart the show. Our process is very refined and works very smooth. We provide this service so you can enjoy you time on the lake and not have to worry about trailer parking and retrieval.

Our antique boating event has a major economic impact on the community and we are working with the three surrounding cities, Tavares, Mount Dora and Eustis. All hotels, restaurants and filling fast and this year we are working the Merchants Association in Mount Dora. All store owners will participate in an antique fair and the streets will be filled with vendors and exhibits.

This year, we will offer a discount ticket for all participants to ride the train or the water Taxis to and from Mount Dora. Eustis vendors will also be in full swing. The Sunnyland Chapter of the ACBS takes great pleasure in welcoming you to the 2009 Boat Festival. Our move to Wooten Park has given us an opportunity to expand the show footprint and each year we will continue to grow. Last year the city of Tavares provided new floating docks and in order to re-coup some of the investment, we are charging a nominal fee of $5.00 per person on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you have the time and you want to be entertained, you are welcome to come and watch us set up the show on Thursday Mar 27.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that we run this entire event with volunteers. Most of the workers are from the Sunnyland Chapter, but we have many folks who travel long distances to attend the show and manage to help in some fashion. The City of Tavares has rolled out the “Red Carpet” and will be there in force to insure a smooth operation.

Please join us for the 2009 Antique Boat Festival Mar 27-29, 2009 on Lake Dora at Wooten Park in Tavares As you have been reading, the Boat Festival is now located in Tavares, Florida. Tavares is very close to Mount Dora and is located on Lake Dora. The Festival will be held on Thursday through Sunday, March 27 – 30.

In summary, we are planning to bring a new experience to all who attend the Festival. This new venue will truly be a “festival” as we will be featuring antique and classic boats on display for the general public but also woody cars, Amphicars, and antique outboard motors along with a wide variety of exhibitors that support our mission. We hope that you enjoy your experience at the new Sunnyland Festival and look forward to seeing you in Tavares in late March.

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3 Responses to “Only 2 Months til Lake Dora FLA. Let'ss Get Readyyy To Varnish..”
  1. jfrprops

    Matt,
    Just sent in my papers and $ for Lake D!! Plan to tow whirlwind down again.
    Only Smith missing in that photo was Capt. John from Jamestown!
    John Rothert

  2. Anonymous

    Matt, I have worn out my 2008 Woody Boater T-Shirt. Will you have another 2x waiting for me at the tent?:) 🙂 🙂

    Phil in Va.