The islands of Sanibel and Captiva will be going "shell crazy" in 2012 with the arrival of the 75th Annual Shell Fair & Show and "Shellabration!" scheduled to take place from Feb. 26 through March 4.
Because of the barrier islands unique boomerang shape and east-west orientation rather than the usual north-south positioning, the islands stick out in the Gulf of Mexico and act like a giant scoop for shells.
Shell collecting has been a favorite pastime for the residents and visitors to these islands for many decades and 75 years ago the first Shell Fair was held by winter residents to display their beautiful collections.
Every year since, the annual Shell Fair & Show has continued to draw visitors, shell collectors and shell crafters together from around the world to display and admire shell collections and shell art.
As a tribute to the 75th Annual Shell Fair & Show, the entire community of Sanibel and Captiva is planning events and promotions that are shell-orientated, including:
Shell Couture - A fashion show "Project Runway"-style, with shell couture, at The Sanctuary Golf Club
The Sanibel Stoop - A gathering of shell seekers (or anyone who wants to have fun) at the beach doing the "Sanibel Stoop" to set a Guinness World Record. Event will be staged on Feb. 17.
Mollusk dining at local restaurants, including Traditions on the Beach (host of the opening gala on Feb. 26)
Shell book author receptions and signings
Shelling trips to remote island beaches
A special collector's edition shell-oriented fine jewelry
Collect-a-Bead shell necklaces