The weekend is finally upon us. After receiving great news last week that Sanibel had indeed secured adequate funding (mainly through donations from area residents and vacationers), the annual Fourth of July fireworks show will go on!
But that's just a slice of all the great week-end activities taking place here on Sanibel Island. Check out this weekend's schedule of events and celebrate our nation's independence with your neighbors and friends.
Saturday, July 3rd
- 9:30 a.m. - Independence Day Parade (Parade route begins at Island Inn Road to Tarpon Bay Road to Periwinkle Way to Casa Ybel Road). Contact Trish Phillips at 246-2981 for additional information
- 10:30 a.m. - Bailey's Shopping Center (2477 Periwinkle Way) Fourh of July Backyard BBQ,
- 10:30 a.m. - Jerry's Shopping Center ( 1700 Periwinkle Way) Independence Day Festival
- Noon - Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club's 31st Annual Fourth of July Road Rally starts and ends at Timbers Restaurant (703 Tarpon Bay Road) Contact Richard McCurry at 292-4631 for additional information.
Sunday, July 4th
- 4 p.m. - The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club (949 Sand Castle Road) Independence Day Celebration
- Dusk - Fireworks to be launched from the north end terminus of Bailey Road. For the best vantage point, head to the bayside of Sanibel or to any of the Sanibel Causeway Islands.
Also, some of your favorite Island retailers have been permitted to hold a sidewalk sale:
- Periwinkle Place Shopping Center, 2075 Periwinkle Way
- The Village Shops, 2340 Periwinkle Way
- Tahitian Gardens Shopping Center, 1975-2019 Periwinkle Way
- Olde Sanibel Shoppes, 630 Tarpon Bay Road
- Seahorse Shopping Center, 362 Periwinkle Way
- Sanibel Seashells, 1544 Periwinkle Way
- Sanibel Square, 2240 Periwinkle Way
After rumblings that the annual Sanibel Island Fourth of July Fireworks celebration would remain grounded this year, residents and vacationers got some welcoming news this week, courtesy of the Island Reporter.
Thanks to Sharon Michie, proprietor of a local vacation rental company, the show will go on. Following a June 1 City Council meeting where it was announced that no private funding had been secured, Michie initiated a swift call to action, spearheading a fund raising campaign that resulted in more than $17,000 (and still growing!) from friends, family and well-wishers.
Quoted in the news story, Michie aptly said, "You can't have a Fourth of July without fireworks."
Sanibel's annual Independence Day fireworks display will begin at dusk on Sunday, July 4. The fireworks are launched from the north end terminus of Bailey Road, offering a perfect vantage point from our luxury vacation rental and its surrounding neighborhood.
Next week, will have more information on events and activities taking place on the island during the holiday weekend.
Pair up with your son or father and get the competitive juices flowing, by registering for the Father's Day golf tournament at Captiva Island's South Seas Golf Course.
The tournament will be held on Saturday, June 19th at high noon. Competitions like "Closest to Pin" and "Longest Putt" will be held, so be sure to have your accuracy game in good form. Prizes include various golf accessories and apparel, and will be handed out following the round.
The Captiva Island Golf Course is a nine-hole executive course offering incredible views of the Gulf of Mexico from each and every hole. It can be described as a premier course to the area, challenging players of every skill level.
The entry fee for each father/son duo is $70. Price includes a golf cart and bottled water. The course encourages a team that may not have a set of clubs to simply rent upon arriving at the course (a $25 additional cost).
The South Seas Golf Course is located at 5400 Plantation Drive, a quick 25-minute drive from our Sanibel luxury vacation rental. Space remains available, so call (239) 472-5111 to pre-register or visit the course's web page for more information on how you can celebrate Father's Day out on the links.
Even though the kids are out of school for the summer, there's still plenty of learning going on at the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society (located at 1 Wildlife Drive) as the weather heats up.
Starting next Tuesday, June 15th, and running through August 15th, the wildlife society will offer a trio of fun and free weekly programs designed for families and their children to "absorb educational information without even realizing it," according to their website.
Here are the weekly programs the society is offering:
- Family Birding Tram Tours, every Wednesday and Saturday, 10 a.m. Learn how to identify and count birds during the tour, then return to the Education Center to enter sighting data into the E-Bird Trail Tracker computer. The first 28 people to arrive score a free narrated birding tour along Wildlife Drive.
- Reading at the Refuge, every Thursday at 11 a.m.: Following a short hike along the Indigo Trail, participants can relax with a reading and crafts session. Each child will also receive one free Nature Journal to record their impressions of their field trip and future nature encounters.
- Family Beach Walk, every Tuesday at 9 a.m.: In partnership with the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, the program convenes at Gulfside Park for a one-hour exploration of the Refuge's gulf-front Perry Tract.
For more information, visit www.dingdarlingsociety.org or call (239) 472-1100 ext. 233.
For those lucky enough to have spent a few weeks, months, or even years relaxing along the beaches of Sanibel Island you can now lay claim to an impressive accolade: Sanibel Island is one of the top beach destinations in the United States, according to the loyal readers and contributors TripAdvisor.com.
As part of the travel website's 2010 Travelers' Choice Destination Awards, Sanibel Island was checked in at #6 in the "Beach & Sun" category. In past years, TripAdvisor has limited their selections to a broad "Top 100 Destinations In the World," but this year categories ranged from the best "Food & Wine Vacations," to "Emerging Destinations."
The awards are based on trusted reviews from travelers who use the site, with winners being selected based on the volume of positive comments and the overall destination populaarity on TripAdvisor.com.
So for fellow Sanibel vacationers, pat yourself on the back. You've shrewdly selected this pristine and beautiful island as your vacation destination of choice!
Extend your Memorial Day weekend an extra night amongst all your Sanibel Island and Fort Myers friends, with Islands Night 2010 on June 1st from 6:30-10 p.m.
The event - intended to celebrate the vibrant communities that make up Lee County, Florida - features a baseball game pitting Single-A Advanced Ft. Myers Miracle vs. the Dunedin Blue Jays, but that is just a slice of the many activities and events taking place before and during the game.
Call ahead to enter your kid into one of the dozens of between-inning games and contests that are planned, reserve prime seating for the pre-game parade, or even bring a Kraft Singles proof of purchase for a free seat at the park.
Parents, if you've got a local high school graduate, enter them for a cash drawing that is selected during the game and could put a bit of money into their pocket before they head off to college!
All Islands Night proceeds go directly to local charities, including The Sanibel School, Children's Hospital, and Sanibel/Captiva Cares, with plenty of great sponsorship opportunities still available for interested local businesses and individuals.
The Lee County Sports Complex is located at 14400 Six Mile Cypress Parkway in Fort Myers, just a 30-minute drive from Sanibel Island. For more information, and to reserve your spot in the parade, contact organizer Bailey's General Store in Sanibel Island at (239) 472-1516.
Plan an evening trip to Fort Myers, as a Broadway hit comes to Southwest Florida! Playing now through June 5th at the famed Broadway Palm Dinner Theater in Fort Myers is Ring of Fire, a musical that celebrates the life and music of the legendary and rebellious Johnny Cash.
A tale of "passion, redemption, humor and salvation," Ring of Fire tells the tale of a generations most electrifying singer-songwriter. This musical features more than 30 original Cash songs performance by eight multi-talented singers and a phenomenal six-piece orchestra that's right on stage.
The Broadway Palm Dinner Theater is just a 45-minute drive from Sanibel Island. Show times are every Tuesday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m. with a gourmet dinner being served two hours before the curtain is raised. Tickets range from $27 to $53 with group discounts available for parties of 20 or more. Children under 12 can get a seat for just $21.
Book now by calling the Broadway Palm Dinner Theater box office at (239) 278-4422, or visit their website at www.BroadwayPalm.com.
It's no secret that residents and vacationers from Houston to Key West are on edge about the magnitude of a growing oil spill that began two weeks ago in the Gulf of Mexico
. The spill, which currently covers roughly 2500-square miles of ocean surface, has threatened the beaches along Florida's Gulf Coast, including Captiva and Sanibel Islands.
An island that is 50 percent wildlife refuge, Sanibel is an extremely vulnerable target to crude oil. As a result, city officials in Sanibel and Captiva have taken the necessary precaution and implemented a plan to place boom barriers along specific stretches of coastline to protect the delicate mangroves from becoming damaged. Mangroves serve as the lifeblood for much of the wildlife in Sanibel and Captiva. If they are ruined, many animals would lose their nesting areas, decimating the area's ecosystem.
But for prospective visitors frantically inquiring about the oil spill's potential danger to Captiva and Sanibel Island, it's currently business as usual. Head over to the Sanibel/Captiva Chamber of Commerce's website and you'll see that they have succinctly stated that their beaches are "CLEAN AND OPEN." The oil has yet to spread east, and the Gulf's current wind pattern indicates it's unlikely it ever will. Nothing to worry about at this time, but we will be sure to keep you posted.
Home to an exceptional collection of tropical plants where native species can thrive together, Sanibel Moornings Condominium Resort is opening its doors to the public for a two-hour botanical garden walking tour, this Wednesday, May 5th, from 9 - 11 a.m.
Join the property's master gardener Anita Marshall as she leads you through the many unusual, exotic, and native tropical plants seen on Sanibel Island. The Moornings have created grounds that serve as a "rich and abundant oasis," as "scents fuse with Gulf breezes to create a stunning, one-of-a-kind beauty," according to their website.
A true must-see for plant lovers living in, or just visiting Sanibel Island, participants are encouraged to bring their cameras and be ready to snap photos of resident wildlife and plants co-existing in this unique microclimate.
Tours are offered every Wednesday with a $5 admission fee. RSVP is required, so call the Sanibel Moornings to book at (239) 472-4119, or visit their website at www.sanibelmoorings.com.
BIG ARTS - a renowned cultural center providing arts & entertainment performances to Sanibel Island residents and visitors since 1979 - is hosting their 5th annual Family Day this Sunday, May 2nd, beginning at 3:00 p.m. Best of all: this entire event is free and open to the public.
You and your family are down for a great afternoon of live entertainment from the Sanibel School of Performing Arts & Steel Band, comedian and juggler Mark Nizer, and an instrumental petting zoo from the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra. That alone should generate enough intrigue for you to stop by.
For more information on this and future events at this spectacular Sanibel Island community asset, visit www.bigarts.org, call (239) 395-0900 or even visit them on twitter (@BIG_ARTS)!