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Bringing the NORTH to the SOUTH: Celebrating the states at local establishments

February 29, 2012
Melissa Schneider - Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

As more and more northerners head down to Fort Myers Beach to enjoy the fabulous weather we Floridians consider the "winter season," more and more local hot spots want to make the visitors feel a little more "at home," hosting special state days throughout the coming months. Parrot Key Carribean Grill recently held Wisconsin Day and Rochester/Western New York Day, and plans to host a few most state days soon. Also, the Smokin' Oyster Brewery (SOB's) plans to host a Fremont, Ohio, Day March 1. Read on for the details

Celebrating the states at Big Game

After a very successful Wisconsin Day lasdt week, next on the Big Game's radar is Michigan Day, Ohio Day and Pennsylvania Day!

Article Photos

Big Game will be hosting Michigan Day Feb. 29; Ohio Day March 7 and Pennsylvania Day March 14. Photo courtesy BIG GAME BAR AND GRILL.

Spartans and Wolverines fans will descend to Big Game Waterfront Grill Wednesday, Feb. 29 for a fun-filled party with "everything Michigan," including the famous Michigan Koegel Chili Dogs and Zehnder's Fried Chicken.

The popular Waterfront restaurant is a favorite hot spot for local sports fans to gather together and cheer on their favorite teams, and this day will be all about Michigan, with game highlights and classic games played on the several big screens throughout the day.

Fans are invited to come out and wear their University of Michigan and Michigan State University team colors face-painting optional!

Did you know that the "Painted Turtle" is Michigan's state reptile? Or, that Michigan has more than 11,000 inland lakes and more than 36,000 miles of streams? Brush up on your trivia for a chance to win fun prizes throughout the day. There will also be plenty of great music, dancing, and other Michigan trivia.

"I'm a Spartans fan and my husband is a Wolverines fan," said Michigan native and Big Game fan Alice Carter, "We have a blast at Big Game on Michigan Day! Our friends travel from all over to attend, so it's a fun reunion for all of us."

Not from Michigan? If you're from Wisconsin, Ohio or Pennsylvania, you haven't been left out, because the local waterfront eatery has celebrations planned for you, too. Get ready for these other themed events: Ohio Day Wednesday, March 7; and Pennsylvania Day Wednesday, March 14.

Not from any of these great states but want a special party, too? If you'd like to host a state day at Big Game, or for more information, call 463-3043 or visit

Fremont Day at SOB Thursday, March 1

This year, after a quick date-change, Fremont Day will now be taking place at the Smokin' Oyster Brewery (S.O.B.), 340 Old San Carlos Blvd., Thursday, March 1, from noon to about 4 or 5 p.m.

"We've had anywhere from 75 to 100 people from Fremont, Ohio, that make it to the party, who are on vacation or live here in Lee County," said Lee H. "LaRoy" Bowden, coordinator of the big gathering. "My wife and I, with our family, have been coming to Fort Myers Beach for about 34 years, renting at Kona Beach Club on the north end of island until purchasing a condo in 1990."

Lee explains how Fremont Day has turned into such a big event on the island.

"About 10 or 12 years ago, Denny Van Ness of 'The Time Out Sports Bar' and 'Jimmy Buckets' Marina Bar,' both from back home in Fremont, Ohio, decided with Bill Freeman, owner of the Smokin' Oyster Brewery, that they should host or have a Fremont Day at Bill's island bar," he said. "It has been quite a success! We have loads of Fremont people who attend anywhere from noon to 4 or 5 p.m. that day. It's like 'old home week' for about 75 to 100 people!"

Lee said Fremont, Ohio, has a population of only about 16,000, and rests approximately 35 miles southeast of Toledo, "But we are very well-represented in Lee County by visitors, as well as residents!"

Another fun Fremont fact: Fremont is the home of 19th president of the U.S., Rutherford B. Hayes, who was also of good friend of Thomas Edison, because he was born about 40 miles away from Fremont, in Milan, Ohio.

As he concludes, "Come by and join us on Fremont Day at the Smokin' Oyster Brewery, Thursday, March 1!"



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