Every day Lake Dora highlights her vast natural beauty. However this weekend she flashes her more refined and alluring attributes. Visitors can't help but be transported to the glamorous time of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Kate Hepburn as the lake is adorned with nostalgic, wooden boats lining the shore and boat slips of Wooton Park.
Now in its eighth year in Tavares, the 28th Annual Sunnyland Antique and Classic Boat Festival is the perfect place for dreamers and boaters to spend their day. The eye candy ranges from perfectly varnished Gar Wood race boats of the 1930's to intriguing concept boats like the Evinrude Lark, as well as vessels of fantastical design like the 1956 Lone Star Meteor and the 1955 Chris Craft Cobra.
This year's festival commemorates the 60th Anniversary of the highly recognizable Cobra, with almost a dozen being displayed at the event. According to Terry Fiest, chairman of the festival, some of these impressive teak speed boats are valued as high as $250.000. The Cobra was only made for one year and features a large, distinctive gold fin which marks Chris Craft's first experiment with fiberglass.
Under dozens of white tents, nautical vendors are also in abundance and selling everything from old parts and lanterns to shiny chrome accessories and wooden oars. Due to the large number of stunning vintage beauties for sale in a separate parking lot, dreamers are advised to bring just a little extra pocket change.
The festival hours are Saturday, 8:30-5:00 and Sunday 8:30 to Noon.