Dear Fellow Boaters:

Time to start thinking about the Sunnyland Antique Boat Festival and getting your boats ready for the FIRST show of the 2019 Boating Season. As most of you know, we have suffered the wrath of Hurricane Irma and the City of Tavares is working very diligently to re-build the Marina. A contract has been issued to rebuild the entire water front and the completion date is scheduled for 2020.

The City has gone the “Extra Mile” to arrange for temporary docks for the up-coming show, and we anticipate being able to have floating docks for 60 plus boats. We realize that we won’t be able to accommodate all the water requests. Our plan is to put the larger boats in the water and the smaller boats on land. The land display has many advantages, for example, trailer valet service to take your boat and trailer to the display site, better visibility of your boat to the viewing public, no sleepless nights worrying about an unanticipated leak or rain storm with a faulty bilge pump, and much easier getting the cover on your boat at night. We are asking all of you to consider using land display for this year, and as an added incentive, each boat Captain choosing land display will receive one complimentary ticket to the Friday picnic event.

The boats that will be assigned to the temporary floating docks have several launch options. You can use any of the ramps in proximity to the show, launch and recover on your own, and store your trailer off site. If you choose to use the new ramp at the show site, we will have a launch crew on site to help you. We will have limited trailer parking and tow vehicles will need to be disconnected and vehicles parked in the public parking garage. We no longer can provide tractor valet service at the launch ramp. You also have an option of pulling your boat up on the designated beach.

Time to put the snow shovels away, get the boat ready and come on down to Florida for some fun in the sun. Rest assured that we are doing everything possible to accommodate everyone and this will be another outstanding show. Joe Sabatini, who runs the very successful FESTIVAL OF SPEED programs throughout Florida, will be bringing a display of up to 60 antique and classic cars, as well as some modern supercars to complement our beautiful boats. The Thursday night City of Tavares reception at the Pavilion and the Friday night Captain’s Party will offer some unique and different experiences that you won’t want to miss. The Friday night captains party we will enjoy the famous “Caribbean Chillers” beach band and we ask everyone to wear a “Beach Shirt”. Dress up in beach attire and have some fun.

All boat show participants are encouraged to park in the City parking garage which is two blocks from the show. There will be a shuttle to and from the show site. The 2019 show promises to be a spectacular event as we celebrate the 38th year of the Sunnyland Antique Boat Festival.

As most of you know, we have the famous St John’s River cruise the week before our show. If you can’t make the southbound cruise, we will have the north bound cruise following the show. When you combine the North and Southbound river cruises and our spectacular event, it’s more than three weeks of vintage boating on pristine lakes in central Florida. If you are a Race Boat fan, the new Vintage Race Boat Association will host their event the week before our show.

This year, the ACBS Board will have their Quarterly Board meeting on Mar 21 at the Mission Inn starting at 8am. This is an open meeting and you are cordially invited to attend. If you would like to join the board for lunch, there is a charge of $25 to cover the resort cost of the meal which needs to be paid in advance. Please call Stacy at ACBS Headquarters to sign up for the meeting and make your reservation for lunch, if desired.

All the Sunnyland volunteers will be in place at 8am on Thursday Mar 21 to start the show, and we close promptly at 5pm. If you arrive after 5pm on Thursday, you will have to come back on Friday morning. We will not be accepting boats on Wednesday Mar 21. If you arrive early, you will not have access to our facilities. All participants must pass through our registration facility located on Joanna Street. There will be multiple signs to direct you to the show entrance.

Flea Market vendors will be allowed to go in and out of the site on a daily basis. We will allow you to drive in on Thursday, set up and remove your vehicle. If you work out of your vehicle, you can leave it on site for the duration of the show. If you are a Flea Market Vendor, you must set up on THURSDAY Mar 21. There will be limited vehicle access to the Flea Market on Friday, Saturday and Sunday prior to 8am. The Flea Market area has new concrete. If you use a tent, you CAN NOT drive tent pegs into the concrete.

We advertise and sell tickets for our show based on three days; all day Friday, Saturday and until noon on Sunday. Thursday is our set up day and WE HIGHLY ENCOURAGE YOU ARRIVE ON THURSDAY. THERE WILL BE LIMITED ACCESS ON FRIDAY BECAUSE THE GATES ARE CLOSED FOR TICKET SALES. ON FRIDAY OUR LAND DISPLAY AREA IS NOT ACCESABLE FOR TRACTORS BECAUSE OF FOOT TRAFFIC. Our show ends Sunday at noon and if the weather is great, the crowd is usually slow to depart.

Thursday evening March 21 at 6pm, we will have a City of Tavares reception at the new Pavilion at the show site. On Friday March 22, we will have our traditional picnic at Hickory Point. We anticipate that most people will travel by vehicle to the picnic. Friday night we will have our famous “Captains Party” at the show site in the big tent at the center of the show. This will be a Beach Party and everyone is encouraged to dress for a Beach Theme. Live music will be provided along with food and adult beverages. On Saturday we will have something special for the ladies; a Style Show Luncheon at the Lake View Hotel on site starting at 12 noon. Also on Saturday we will have the informative ACBS Symposium designed around the wood boat hobby and this will be open to the public. Saturday night we will have several cash bars and a dinner party catered by Carrabas.

Although our show is a non-judged ACBS event, our Corporate Sponsors will present awards on Sunday morning. This will be followed by Church services at the Main Tent.

The Cities of Tavares and Mount Dora are working in concert to accommodate the large crowd and there will be many activities. The Sea Plane Base at Wooton Park will be operational and rides will be offered. In addition, there will be a new train operating between Tavares and Mount Dora.

The show location is Wooton Park on Lake Dora in Tavares. There are several new restaurants in Tavares. In addition, we have a block of rooms reserved at the beautiful Mission Inn Resort located at Howey-in-the-Hills, a short distance from the show. Reservations can be made by calling 352-324-3101. Mention the Boat Show and you will receive a reduced rate.

The GPS address for the show site is: 123 South Joanna Ave, Tavares Florida 32778 or GPS coordinates: 28.48.043N-81.43.655W

On behalf of the Sunnyland Chapter of ACBS, we welcome you and your families to this historical and charming community. REGISTRATION WILL OPEN ON OR ABOUT THE FIRST WEEK OF JANUARY, 2019. We will send an e-mail blast when the date is confirmed. You can register on line at our website or call Bill or Kathleen Root at 352-324-6010 to receive a paper copy to register. We certainly look forward to seeing all of you at this Spectacular Boating Event. You will have a great time.

We guarantee it!


Terry Fiest, Chairman


  1. Great reading and thanks for the information.
    I would love to attend, but unfortunately I’ve had a stroke and recovery is extremely slow !!
    Thanks again for the information, I’ll let everyone I know, know about it and
    GARY L WHITE, Dothan,Al

  2. Heading to Florida right now on the plane in fifteen minutes will sort out our plans and are really hoping to attend your show for the first time
    Involved in our show in Gravenhurst with the dippy club
    See you later John

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