Forget TV’s Shark’s Week. Here in Venice we have something better—the Shark’s Tooth Festival, now in its 26th year, which celebrates our reputation as the Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World with three jam-packed days of fun and festivity.
Millions of shark’s teeth dot Venice’s Gulf beaches; these ancient fossils, some dating back 20 million years ago, are continuously washed ashore from an ancient riverbed that lies just off our beaches. (Learn more about Venice’s shark’s teeth here.) Vendors will be selling teeth from all sorts of shark species, along with other fossils. “Many are local and get their fossils from the Gulf and Myakka,” says Maggie Riggall, longtime director of the festival.
But shark’s teeth are just a sliver of the festival, which last year attracted 15,000 people. Local bands will take the stage throughout the event; a Special Olympics athletes will vie in a fishing tournament; the Venice Lion’s Club will do a shark’s tooth dig for kids every day; and humans can enjoy their own feeding frenzy, at booths offering gyros, barbeque, pizza, doughnut, cookies and much more. And since no shark event would be complete without human blood, both local blood banks will be on site, and visitors will be able to donate.
A project of the Special Athletes Boosters, the festival runs from April 13-15. It’s on the Venice Airport Fairgrounds. Info: sharkstoothfest.com.