Summer is over, nonprofit groups are locking up benefits, traditional events are returning and snowbirds are back on the beach.
Here is a listing of some upcoming weekend events, beginning with this weekend, that one can look forward to:
-- Beach Ball to benefit charities Saturday
The Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation is pleased to announce its second annual Charity Beach Ball will take place at DiamondHead Beach Resort this Saturday (Nov. 2). The Beach Ball is a black-tie optional silent auction that features an open bar then dinner from 6 to 8 p.m. and continues with a cash bar and dancing with The Marc Vee Band.
There are still a few tickets left! Tickets are $95 per person and available online at www.charitybeachball.com .
A silent auction will be taking place throughout the evening. You will be able to bid on many items such as stays at local hotels, restaurant gift certificates and attractions, Disney park hopper passes, hot air balloon rides, a ride in a top gun jet, cruises, vacations and more. Goody bags will be given to every attendee featuring items from many local businesses.
Special guest is NBC-2's Senior Chief Meteorologist Robert Van Winkle. DiamondHead Beach Resort and Spa has special room rates for Saturday, and Santini Floral is once again donating floral centerpieces for the event while Men's Wearhouse has a special discount on Tuxedo rentals.
Go to www.charitybeachball.com/ to see an up to date list of our donors.
More information is available by emailing or calling Nicole at firstname.lastname@example.org or 849-1460.
Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 charitable foundation dedicated to working cooperatively to improve the quality of life in Fort Myers Beach and surrounding communities.
-- Blueway Paddling Festival begins Friday
The Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival is set to return to Southwest Florida from Nov. 1-3 with more vendors and sponsors, increased activities and returning partners. This is the eighth annual event with the main hub on Sanibel Causeway Island A.
The Blueway Fest offers events and attractions for kayakers of all levels: avid paddlers looking to network with enthusiasts, occasional kayakers who want to learn more, local residents looking to try out a kayak or SUP for the first time, and parents and kids interested in paddling together in a family-friendly race.
The event will feature paddling equipment demos, speakers, on-water demonstrations, fishing tournament, relay race, live music, hearty local restaurant fare and more. Go to www.CalusaBluewayPaddlingFestival.com for a complete program of scheduled events.
Nightly events begin at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at the Residence Inn by Marriott Fort Myers-Sanibel, 20371 Summerlin Road in Fort Myers. Daytime festivities on the causeway span from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Among the new offerings: Festival signature nonprofit partner CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife) will be hosting a Saturday afternoon micro-brew tent with a local brewery and live music on the Sanibel Causeway. The festival offers festival attendees and paddlers the opportunity to learn about CROW, local wildlife and the area's natural beauty.
Relay races will be held for SUPs and kayaks on Sunday, Nov. 3, coordinated by the SWFL SUP Club. A new event -- a SUP Pup / Doggie Paddle Race will allow festival participants to compete with their canines prior to the main relay races.
Also returning will be the Coast to Coast Expedition Challenge, a race from the Sanibel Causeway to Miami. The race is among the many VIVA Florida 500 events planned for 2013 as Florida celebrates the 500th anniversary of Juan Ponce de Len's arrival here.
-- GatorBites eatery to host benefit for Ostego Bay
Gator Bites Tale and Ale Restaurant at 20351 Summerlin Rd. is hosting a benefit for the Ostego Bay Foundation, Inc. Marine Science Center this Saturday (Nov. 2).
The "Gator Growl" hosted at GatorBites Tale and Ale begins at 3 p.m. for the University of Florida Gators vs. the Georgia Bulldogs college game, which starts at 3:30 pm. Gator John will be on hand from 4 to 5 p.m. with one of his alligator friends, plus raffles and prizes to benefit the foundation.
Founded in 1991, the Ostego Bay Foundation Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, that operates The Marine Science Center located on San Carlos Island across from Estero Island. The Foundation does not receive any taxpayer funding and relies solely upon donations, fund raisers and membership to support its mission.The Ostego Bay Foundation mission is to promote the understanding, preservation and enhancement of our unique marine environment through education, research and community involvement. The Foundation provides interactive educational experiences to encourage stewardship of our natural resources.
The Marine Science Center is a favorite travel destination for tourists that visit Southwest Florida. Old and young alike enjoy its offering of talented staff, unique exhibits, museum in a box road show to schools, kids summer camp, estuarial aquariums, touch tank and Working Waterfront Tours. With your help, the Center is looking to expand its exhibits with a goal to attract new visitors and to enhance the visitor experience.
-- Estero Bay Buddies to hold paddling event
Estero Bay Buddies will hold a paddling event on the Estero River this Saturday (Nov. 2) from 8 to 10:30 a.m.
Interested participants are asked to meet at Estero River Outfitters at 20991 South Tamiami Trail in Estero. Cost is $10 per person.
For registration, call 992-4050. For information, call 947-8178.
The guided beginner paddle (one-hour) departs at 8:15 a.m. (paddling instruction at 8). The guided intermediate paddle (two hours) departs at 8:30 a.m. All kayaking equipment is provided.
It is suggested to bring hat, sunscreen, binoculars and clothing/shoes that can get wet. This event is in junction with National Estuaries Day, sponsored by Charlotte Harbor National Estuaries program.
-- K of C plans dinner dance
The Knights of Columbus is planning its first dinner dance on Saturday, Nov. 16. A "Spirit of the Holidays" meal will be accompanied by the sounds of Greg Watts for your dancing pleasure.
Tickets cost $25 per person and benefit the Knights of Columbus charities.
For more information or tickets, call Dennis at 440-5511.
In addition, Church of the Ascension Catholic Church is decorating Christmas trees to be auctioned off for us to help a local family at Christmas. These gaily decorated goodies can't wait to come home with you after the dance.
-- Century 21 TriPower to host Art sale
The Fort Myers Beach Art Association is pleased to have Century 21 TriPower host the annual sale of "beach themed" original artwork at their offices on 2001 Estero Blvd. (across from Diamond Head).
The Art on the Boulevard sale will take place on Sunday, Nov. 17, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Come meet 16 local artists who will be there to chat about their work while visitors enjoy refreshments.
All original art work will be available for sale by popular artists, such as Brian Christensen, Joan Stobart, Fred Bushnell, Susanne H Brown, Gretchen Johnson, Avis Schmitz, Susanne L Brown, Catherine G Kendrick, Milly Pereira, Penny Fox, Floyd Lawrence, Sylvia Kasparie, Terry Shattuck, Nancy Morgan, Pauline Healey, Kathy Taylo. Framed paintings will be on display inside the office and outside bins will hold matted paintings and cards. Please join us.
-- American Sand Sculpting event begins Nov. 22
The 27th annual American Sand Sculpting Championship, the largest sand sculpting event in the state with more than 1,000 tons of sand, will return to Fort Myers Beach from Nov. 22 through Dec. 1. The event will once again be held at the Wyndham Garden Fort Myers Beach Hotel (formerly Holiday Inn) located at 6890 Estero Boulevard
Master sand sculptors will hit Fort Myers Beach forming the largest sand sculpting event in the state. Big C Events, Pinchers Crab Shack, the Holiday Inn Fort Myers Beach and The Sand Lovers, all of which have been involved in other successful sand sculpting events, including the World Championships of Sand Sculpting, will once again manage the event in coordination with the Greater Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce.
Tourists and residents alike will have the rare opportunity to see a collection of some of the world's very best sand sculptors create amazing sand sculptures. Featuring 30 sculptors hailing from several different countries, the singles will compete the first week, followed by the doubles.
The Southeastern Tourism Society recognized the American Sand Sculpting Championship as a top 20 event of the entire southeastern United States. It was also recently listed as one of the top sand sculpting events by CNN earlier this month.
Guests are welcome to attend daily or at anytime during the event. There will be many interactive activities for guests to partake in including:
- 30 Sand Sculptures - View 30 sand sculptures, more than 1,000 tons of sand will be sculpted, including one huge 350 ton sandsculpture
- Quick Sand Speed Sculpting - Watch two sculptors face off in a 10-minute sculpt-off.
They sculpt a subject the audience chooses and the audience chooses the winner.
- Sand Sculpting Demonstrations and Lessons Learn the Tricks of the Master Sculptors.
- Amateur Contest Open to anyone and all levels of sculptors, try your hand at sand sculpting.
State Championships This is a competition where an advanced amateur sand sculptor can prove their abilities and get one step closer to being accepted as a Master Sculptor.
- Photo Opportunity Sculptures Become part of the art, step into the sculpture and have your photo taken
- Kids' Activity Area - Bounce Houses, Rock Climbing Wall, Bungee Jump and much more...
- Sand Vendor Village More than 50 vendors from around the country offering a great selection of food, beverages, specialty retail and arts and crafts
Tickets are just $5 for adults and children 5 and older, 4 and under are free.
Attendees are encouraged to arrive from the south in order to avoid traffic congestion. Event directors have coordinated a revolving bus system to transport attendees from the Lover's Key parking area to the site. Parking is also available in the Publix shopping center at Bonita Beach Road and U.S. 41 where the Lee County beach "Trollee" will pick up attendees.