After another record-smashing year despite the pandemic, the Island Boat Show is back for its 7th annual fundraising event.
It’s hitting land and shores at Hawks Cay Marina January 21st – 23rd for a weekend full of family fun. Presented by Golden Boat Lifts & Marine Systems, visitors can get up close and personal with the best boating products and models on the market. Nearly every boat dealer in the Keys showcases their most popular boats, from fishing skiffs to large center-console boats and everything in between. The boats will be on display on the water and the shore, welcoming visitors on board. Sea trials may also be arranged for serious buyers.
Last year during the pandemic, the large outdoor event served as the perfect opportunity for people to escape their houses and enjoy a safe, open environment. With new safety measures in place, the event was the most successful one to date, and they hope to say the same about this year’s boat show.
The 2021 Island Boat Show raised enough money to support several worthy causes through Island Community Church, which organizes the event every year. $50,000 worth of scholarships were awarded based on merit and need to 47 Upper and Middle Keys college students.
The church also prepped, prepared, and delivered over 800 Thanksgiving meals to local families in need. Every penny of the remaining funds goes to helping others, including sending a team led by Pastor Tony Hammon to Uganda to teach and provide education curriculums in impoverished communities.
What appears to be a local boat show is really a starting line for local and international mission fields.
This year’s event will still boast 15 boat dealers, over 30 brands of boats, and more than 80 boats despite the backlogged inventories customers have been facing. Dozens of exhibitors will also be offering boat and water-loving products on land, including boat lifts, dock lights, boat security systems, clothing, dive equipment, boat detailing services, and more.
The entry fee is only $10 per person, and one ticket is good for the entire 3-day event. All persons under the age of 18 are free! Ample free parking and a shuttle service are also available at no charge.
Raffle tickets will be on sale for only $5 a ticket. This year’s raffle prize is a high-end cooler jammed pack with fishing tackle, hats, shirts, and other goodies.
The Silent Auction is also a huge draw for the crowds. Auction items include merchandise from local businesses, fishing charters, a weekend getaway at Hawks Cay Resort, and more great donated items. Visitors can grab a bite to eat at the Angler and Ale Restaurant in the marina.
“Every year, we’re blessed with good weather and good fun,” Glenn Latham, one of the event organizers, says. “Our team works very hard all year long, and we are never disappointed with the results.”
The Island Boat Show has grown in popularity so much that Island Community Church brought on Professional Event Coordinator Olivia Hammon for last year’s event. As expected, she excelled at her job with the help of the church’s event committee and over 70 event volunteers. They’re well on track to do the same this year.
The 2022 Island Boat Show is presented again this year by Golden Boat Lifts & Marine Systems with additional Gold level sponsor support from the Islamorada Pool Company. The organizers wish to thank the event’s local boat dealers, exhibitors, vendors, volunteers, Hawks Cay Resort & Marina, and Island Community Church for making this event so successful year after year.
If you are looking for a church home or a place to worship when you visit the Keys, Island Community Church invites you to their 10 am service every Sunday. For more Boat Show information, visit www.IslandBoatShow.com. Jan 21st – 23rd: Fri 1 pm-5:30 pm; Sat 10 am-5:30 pm; Sun 10 am-3 pm.
– Jerrica Mah is a writer, army wife, and freelance book editor, who loves to travel with her family.