This painting of a tarpon being caught is indicative of the interest that tarpon fishing brings to the area as an attraction. The “Silver Kings” run in May, June and July. Sarasota has a long history of Tarpon fishing, highlighted in 1929 when industrialist Powell Crosley Jr. visited Sarasota (at the invitation of Robert Ringling) and hooked his first fish. He even broadcast the 1st Sarasota Tarpon Tournament in 1930 putting Sarasota on the map for sport fishing. The Tournament is still a big part of our community, and 2020 marked its 90th continuous year of sanctioned competition, earning it the “World’s Oldest Tarpon Tournament” moniker. The Sarasota Tarpon Tournament is currently running… May 8 thru June 13, 2021 (https://www.sarasotatarpontournament.net/)
In 1940, the planning committee held a beauty pageant, crowning a young gal its first “Tarpon Queen.” It was a great marketing tool to promote the event, and in 1961 the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce even approved funding for a Tarpon Queen costume decorated with actual Tarpon scales! Over the years, the role of Tarpon Queen waned, but it was revived for the 80th year in 2010, outfitted with a brand new sash and crown, so the tradition lives on!
Erik Schlake is a mural artist from Cape Coral FL. Erik has studied art at the university level, including Washington University, as well as lessons from various international artists. For the past few years, Erik, along with his daughter Allison, have been participating in chalk festivals since 2016. Erik and Allie, together and individually, create with an attitude of "go big or go home". "We don't mind pushing the limits and failing or falling on our face. It's part of the creative process, and we love putting it out for the world to see. We hope that, in some way, inspires others to get out and try because the feeling of failure goes away but the feeling of 'I wish I at least tried' lasts much longer".