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Underwater Music Festival at Looe Key July 12 features music under the sea

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The time to book a charter for the 30th Annual Underwater Music Festival scheduled for Saturday, July 12, is here. I booked my trip last week and there were still spots available, but he who hesitates may be stuck beachside. The festival kicks off with a party Friday, July 11, at 6 p.m., and culminates with the dive Saturday with music from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Divers and snorkelers may contact any of the Florida Keys dive shops to reserve a space on one of their boats to snorkel or scuba while listening to a musical concert underwater. Among the options for charters are Strike Zone at 305-872-9863, U.S. 1 at 305-731-8264, Underseas at 305-872-2700 Inner Space at 305-872-2319, and Looe Key Dive at 305-872-2319 or visit www.fla-keys.com. Some shops may charge extra due to the festival.

Snorkelers and divers can expect to hear "Yellow Submarine," the Theme from :the Little Mermaid and other seafaring songs.

Local artist August Powers provides beautiful copper instruments, which are "played" underwater, providing a unique visual component. The festival, supported by US 1 Radio and Lubell Labs, emphasizes reef preservation, with the radio broadcast offering tips on ways divers and snorkelers can minimize impacts on the Keys' precious marine environment. Hundreds of boats converge at Looe Key, part of the continental United States’ only living coral barrier reef, to enjoy this quirky event. Broadcast worldwide, this provides significant promotion for our local tourist industry.

Festivities begin with a reception at Artists in Paradise in the Key Deer Plaza to honor long-time sculptor/metalsmith Powers. He has created beautiful, whimsical sea-life inspired copper instruments that have been an integral part of this festival since its inception.

“It’s a challenge to come up with new ideas every year, but so far I’ve been able to do it. The design process is fun, and it’s exciting to see the pieces go down with the divers,” said Powers.

Featuring upscale hors d’oeuvres, home-made desserts, a Caipirinha bar (rum drink with a variety of fresh fruits to add) and a ukulele band, Friday’s party kick-offs the 30th anniversary in style! It’s $10 per person if reserved by Wednesday, July 9, or $15 at the door. Call 305-872-2411.

The festival is sponsored by US 1 Radio, which broadcasts underwater using speakers contributed by Lubell Labs.

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