On most days, sleepy Lake Dora is far removed from the glamour and nostalgia of old Hollywood. However, once a year her waters transport visitors back to the alluring Brat Pack era.
The downtown Tavares lakefront is gearing up for the 42nd Annual Sunnyland Antique and Classic Boat Festival, the largest classic wood boat show in the country. Hundreds of meticulously restored boats are typically displayed in the water and along one third of a mile of Lake Dora shoreline at Wooton Park during the multi-day event open to the public on March 25 and 26. Saturday is the only full day for the public to view all of the classic boats, while Friday features only activities for the boat club members.
The waterfront festival is the ideal place for dreamers and boaters to spend their day. In previous years, the Antique and Classic Boat Festival boasted eye candy that ranged from perfectly varnished Gar Wood race boats of the 1930s 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.
Another feature of the festival is the Nautical Flea Market, where dozens of vendors peddle everything from old boat parts and lanterns to shiny chrome accessories and wooden oars.
The event’s hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday the show is from 9 a.m. to noon. Admission is $12. Free parking is available at the City of Tavares Parking garage. For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, this month, click here. Discover the area's online entertainment calendar here. Also download the area's free mobile app.