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Shellabration! 2012 ~ and Beyond (Sanibel Island, Florida)

Posted by Jody on November 3, 2011

4/22/2012 Update: Shellabration! 2013 is scheduled for Feb 26 – Mar 4th, 2013. The 76th Annual Shell Fair is scheduled for March 7 – 9th, 2013.

This is the event for seashell collectors, seashell crafters, and seashell enthusiasts of all ages and sorts!  The Sanibel Island, Florida Shell Fair and Show is celebrating its 75th year in 2012!  Shellabration! 2012, celebrated on the islands of both Sanibel and Captiva, is a week-long seashell extravaganza which runs from February 26 through March 4, 2012.  The actual 75th Annual Sanibel Shell Fair and Show is scheduled for March 1-3. This is the longest running shell fair and show of its kind in the United States.

Shells on the Beach, Sanibel Island, Florida (©Jody Diehl)

There are few better places on the North American continent for a festival of all things seashell!  According to the Shellabration! 2012 website, Sanibel and Captiva are unique among Florida’s Gulf of Mexico barrier islands because their  “boomerang shape and east-west orientation rather than the usual north-south positioning” makes their shores giant, natural shell-scoops, especially when the conditions are right.  Winter is the peak shelling season for both of these islands, so naturally late February and early March are an ideal time to pull out all the stops and put the winter’s best finds on display!

Along with the Sanibel Island Shell Fair and Show, Sanibel and Captiva’s island communities are planning a myriad of events for the Shellebration! 2012.  Here is just a small sampling of the festivities from the Shellabration! 2012 website.

Sanibel Stoop at Sunrise (Photo ©Jody Diehl)

The Sanibel Stoop: Held on Friday, February 17, at Bowman’s Beach, you can help Shellabration! 2012 break “The Guinness Book of World Records” number for the largest seashell scavenger hunt!

Watson MacRae Gallery: “Sea Shells” Invitational Exhibition will include a week long exhibit featuring the works of invited Sanibel artists and focusing on The Shells of Sanibel and the sea.  Monday, Feb 27th opening reception will be open to the public.  In addition, the Watson MacRae Gallery will feature shell inspired pottery and glass from artists around the country during Shellabration! 2012 week.

One Woman Play & Ice Cream Social:  On Sunday, March 4th, at the Community House, Rusty Brown presents “In Celebration of Anne Morrow Lindbergh” followed by an Ice Cream Social. (Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of Charles A. Lindbergh, authored the classic, thought provoking book “Gift From the Sea”.)

“Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea.”    Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From the Sea

To find out more about Sanibel Island, Florida you can check out: “Sanibel Island, Florida: A Beachcombers Bonanza”, “Beachcombing? Shelling Regulations Abound. Know Before You Go!”, & “The Sanibel Shell Guide”.

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