GradyFest II in 2010 was a huge hit and I think most in attendance loved it! We learned a lot in organizing the event, so here are some highlights of what’s NEW for GradyFest III, coming in 2012.
—-GradyFest III Highlights & Changes—-
*Same GREAT Food This isn’t a new highlight but wanted to let everyone know Pincher’s Crab Shack is onboard! They had some outstanding food last time, didn’t they?!
*More Food Stations We know the line for lunch got pretty long. Serving great food in mass is quite a task!
*Expanded Docktail Docktail Party expanded and open to all. Also featuring Live Music, Food & Drink!
*Earlier Setup More time to see Vendors and Displays.
*More Vendors! We are expecting to double the number of vendors.
*Early Registration Get signed up early on Friday and skip the line.
*GradyFest III Photo Time We are expecting to take a big group shot before lunch.
*Better Presentations, better Audio/Video Equipment (we used a bad rental company last time-sorry).
*More Speakers We are working on securing them now, so we won’t spill names until they are firm.
*More Auctions and giving advance notice of what they are. We had some excellent auctions on Saturday night last time. We hope for better turnout this year. There really are some nice things you can pick up and it goes to charity. Just to name a few- Unique Artwork, Golf Vacation Packages, Beachfront Condo Vacations, Fishing Charters.
The following is a tentative itinerary of the event as planned for 2012!
*Friday Morning – Boaters begin arriving and docking at Fish Tale Marina. We had 25 boats arrive at our marina for the last GradyFest, we anticipate more this year. Make sure you register for dockage early! US Coast Guard Auxiliary will have free vessel inspections available at the docks.
*Friday Noon – Early Registration begins. Due to the rushing of the registration booths the morning of the event last year, we are planning on having an early registration on Friday to smooth out the process. We expect to allow registration from noon until the Docktail Party.
*Friday Afternoon – Boaters meet and greet on the docks. This is the time to mingle and say hello to friends from other boating clubs. Go check out what kinds of toys fellow boaters have on their boats. Clubs have begun organizing two “round table” discussion panels with topics based on fishing and cruising for folks to participate in.
*Friday Afternoon – Lots of setup occurring, Vendors should be getting their displays onsite. We plan to have the vendors preparing earlier this year so the evening party will be another opportunity to see what they have to offer.
*Friday Evening – Docktail Party! This is a chance to meet and greet other Grady-White Owners and socialize. There will be a cash bar and possibly free beer like last time (Don’t hold us to it yet, we’re working on it!). Pincher’s Crab Shack is catering.
*Saturday All Day – A series of speakers will be presenting under a big tent on property. We anticipate having presentations by Yamaha Motors, Grady-White Boats Execs, Fishing Captains, Boat Maintenance Experts, Marine Electronics Companies, and more. Vendor Booths with various marine gadgets and services on property under tents. GradyFest III Shirt and Hat Sales. Door prizes will be announced throughout the day at the main tent. Various models of your favorite New Grady-White Boats will be in the water for viewing. For reference, the average daytime temperature in March is the low 70s, so we should have some great weather for outdoor activities. Lunch and soft beverages are included in the registration fee, and additional food and beverages will be available on a cash bar basis.
*Saturday 9AM to 11AM – We anticipate starting the introductions, Singing of the National Anthem, and general informational speaking at this time. There will be good information all day and the first speaker should start around 9:30am.
*Saturday 11AM - The time may change, but we are looking to do the GradyFest III Photograph before lunch. Please, everyone make it to the event before lunch as we want to have as many people as we can for a true showing of Grady Owners in numbers!! We will have a regular photo and then a “Grady Club spirit photo”, so bring your banners if you’ve got them!!
*Saturday Noon – Lunch provided by Pincher’s Crab Shack. Lunch tickets are included with your Registration.
*Saturday 1PM to 5PM – Various Guest Speakers and presentations.
*Saturday 5PM to 7PM – Live Auctions on various items- Golf Pkg’s, Vacation Condos, Unique Artwork and more! A menu of food from Pincher’s Crab Shack. Last time we had a Raw Bar — Fresh, Fresh Clams, Oysters, Shrimp were all 50cents each! We’ll see what we can do for this time!
*Sunday Morning – Breakfast Deals available across the road from the marina at Beachfront Pincher’s Crab Shack @ the Holiday Inn, Ft. Myers Beach. The restaurant is right on the beach at the Holiday Inn, within walking distance of Fish Tale Marina. We expect this to be an informal gathering, so its a chance to hop over for some breakfast and spend some time on the beach.
Please Note: We ask that you send in registration forms asap and even more importantly, get your hotel reservations immediately! March is prime-time tourism season for this area and the rooms will fill up, so please secure your reservations as soon as you can. For more information on where to stay, visit the lodging page.