Calendar of Events

December 6, 2019

What’s new at Special Effects ... 

Special Effects for Women is now carrying the popular PUDUS line of travel ponchos from Canada. These cozy, washable, stylish ponchos are the perfect and most versatile item you could put in your suitcase when traveling. Use as a neck scarf, wrap, poncho, blanket, etc. Works year-round with a sleeveless top in summer or over a light sweater in winter, or just when you want a little punch of style. Available in grey, pink and black. Special Effects is located in downtown Boca Grande. For more information, call (941) 964-0907. 

Great art on screen: ‘Tintoretto, A Rebel in Venice’

The Friends of the Boca Grande Community Center are proud to bring another great film to the Boca Grande Community Center’s auditorium. The film is called “Tintoretto: A Rebel in Venice.” The film fully immerses audiences in the life of the last great artist of the Italian Renaissance. With the enchanting narrative voice of two-time Academy Award nominee Helena Bonham Carter, cinema audiences visit places that evoke and preserve the memory of the painter, including the state archives, the Doge’s palace, St. Mark’s Square, the Church of San Rocco and more, all in celebration of the 500th anniversary of Tintoretto’s birth.Enjoy the film today, Friday, Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. Tickets are $15. To purchase your ticket, call the Friends office at (941) 964-0827.

Englewood Fine Arts & Handmade Crafts Festival 

In the heart of Olde Englewood Village on historic Dearborn Street, you can experience original arts & fine crafts, food & fun, unique shops, great restaurants and so much more during the Englewood Fine Arts & Crafts Festival on Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.This annual event is attended by permanent residents, seasonal residents and vacationers to the Englewood area. In addition, shoppers from the nearby communities of Venice, Sarasota, North Port, Boca Grande, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda enjoy the opportunity to spend a relaxing day exploring the unique shops and restaurants in Olde Englewood Village when West Dearborn Street becomes a “pedestrian-only” exhibit area.Proceeds of the event benefit the Englewood community. The event is presented by the Olde Englewood Village Association.

(Boca) Grande Rounds: Acid Reflux: Testing, Treatment Options and Complications ...

The second Grande Rounds seminar of the season will feature a discussion of digestive health led by Dr. Caren Taylor, a gastroenterologist at Florida Digestive Health Specialists in Venice.Gastroenterology is a specialty in medicine that focuses on the evaluation, diagnosis, management and treatment of issues impacting the digestive system, including abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea, heartburn, hemorrhoids, inflammation, vomiting, upset stomach and a number of diseases and cancers.Taylor will be joined at Grande Rounds by Dr. Lauren Hana from the Boca Grande Health Clinic.Grande Rounds is a highly informative lecture series that educates Boca Grande residents on a variety of carefully selected healthcare topics, curated for our unique community. Sessions feature regional and national healthcare experts offering insights into medical advancements, research and resources available to residents of Boca Grande.Space for Grande Rounds is limited. To RSVP, please call The Boca Grande Health Clinic Foundation at (941) 964-0099. The discussion will be held on Friday, Dec. 6 at 4 p.m. in The Gasparilla Inn’s Pelican Room. Refreshments will be served.

CoolToday Park’s 1st Annual Jingle Jam ... 

On Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., all are invited to a weekend full of fun, family-friendly activities at the Jingle Jam. This two-day event includes a holiday market, horse & carriage rides, appearances & photo opportunities by Santa, contests, bounce houses, holiday-themed food and drinks, movies, entertainment and more! The Jingle Jam is being held at the CoolToday Park, located at 18800 South West Villages Parkway in Venice. Free entry and free parking. 

Get your pet’s photo taken with Santa ...

Suncoast Humane Society will be hosting photos with Santa at Petco, located at 1808 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, in partnership with the Petco Foundation on Saturday, Dec. 7, 14 and 15 from 1 to 4 p.m.Photos with Santa will also be hosted at the Venice Petco located at 1651 U.S. 41 BYP, Venice on Dec. 15 from 1 to 4 p.m. For a $9.95 donation, guests can receive a digital keepsake photo of their pet with Santa. The more participants, the more donations Suncoast Humane Society will receive so that they can save more animal lives this holiday season and beyond. For more information about Suncoast Humane Society, visit 

Poinsettia Parade & Festival

Get ready to be enchanted! Gather your friends or family and join us as we kick off the holiday season with a whole lot of holly jolly fun at the annual Poinsettia Parade & Festival. This annual North Port tradition will be held from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the City Center Campus (4970 City Hall Blvd.) on Saturday, Dec. 7.The Festival will take place throughout the grounds of the City Center Campus, including on the front green and inside City Hall. This fun-filled holiday festival will feature a tree lighting ceremony, food vendors, entertainment, performances by local school choruses, attractions, vendors, and so much more.The Poinsettia Parade will march down Sumter Boulevard, starting from Sylvania Avenue through the City Center Campus, ending at the Festival (a prime location to catch the parade). The theme this year is “Diamond Jubilee” in celebration of the City's 60th anniversary. More information, including a schedule of events, will be made available at Questions? Contact the City's Parks & Recreation Department at (941) 429-7275 or email

Lights Climb at Gasparilla Island Lighthouse ...

Barrier Island Parks Society invites you to ring in the holidays with a “Holiday Lights Climb” at Gasparilla Island Lighthouse on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 5 to 8 p.m. The Lighthouse will be decorated with beautiful holiday lights, and cookies and eggnog will be served! RSVP for your 20-minute tour to the top at: All proceeds help preserve this historical treasure for future generations. Learn more at For more information, call (941) 964-0060. 

O, Christmas Tree!

Join family and friends at 5 p.m on Sunday, Dec. 8, for the annual lighting of the Boca Grande Community Christmas Tree. Sponsored by the Boca Grande Woman’s Club, the event will be held across the street from Hudson’s Grocery. This ceremony dates back to 1954, when the Woman’s Club first planted the tree on this site.This year’s ceremony features Christmas messages from local churches and will include carol singing led by the Boca Beaux Quartet. Children from The Island School and the Child Care Center will participate in a live Nativity scene, and apple cider and homemade cookies will be provided by members of the Boca Grande Woman’s Club.Each year the BGWC honors an organization or individual for outstanding contributions to the community. This year’s honorary Christmas Tree lighters are Dusty Hopkins, publisher of the Boca Beacon and Gasparilla Island magazine, and Marcy Shortuse, editor of both publications. Dusty and Marcy are being honored for contributing to the strength of our community by providing in-depth information about relevant issues on a year-round basis. Come and take part in this festive start to the Christmas season.

Charlotte Chorale announces 2019-20 Season Concert Series 

The Charlotte Chorale will open the 2019-20 Season with their highly anticipated Christmas concert “Rejoice and Sing,” presenting both sacred and secular aspects of the holiday, on Sunday, Dec. 8, at The Charlotte Performing Arts Center in Punta Gorda, The Christmas concert is the first of three concerts performed by The Charlotte Chorale with two additional concerts “Haydn to Hamlisch” on Sunday, March 15, and “The Rhythm of Life” on Sunday, April 19. All three concerts will be performed at 4 p.m. at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center in Punta Gorda. The Charlotte Chorale is the largest choral group in Charlotte County with over seventy local volunteer singersa who lend their voices and passion for choral music to our community. Tickets for individual concerts or season tickets (three concerts) are on sale now by calling (941) 204-0033. Prices are $25 adults/$10 students for individual tickets or $65 adults/$25 students for season tickets. All seats are reserved.   Another highlight of the upcoming season is the annual benefit concert on Saturday, Jan. 26, featuring a return engagement of “Yesterday: A Tribute to the Beatles.” Based in Las Vegas and endorsed by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, “Yesterday” is an extraordinary Beatles tribute band reminiscent of the early days of the four young British lads from Liverpool and showcasing the timeless music that will forever be an emblem of the 1960s. This concert will be held at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center with tickets ranging from $35 to $51 and on sale now by calling The Event Center at (941) 833-5452 or online with Ticketmaster. For more information about The Charlotte Chorale including concert information, ticket prices, and theatre seating charts, please visit

‘Coffee with a Scientist’ ...

On Tuesday, Dec. 10 at Boca Grande’s Mote Marine office, Mote presents “Coffee with a Scientist.” Dr. Robert Hueter, manager of Mote’s Sharks and Rays Conservation Program, will speak at 9 a.m., at the Boca Grande Community Center’s Woman’s Club Room. This event is free to attend. Sponsored by U.S. Trust, Bank of America.

Sleuths: ‘The Widows,’ by Jess Montgomery ... 

Boca Grande Sleuths present The Widows by Jess Montgomery. The free book discussion wil be held in the Houghton Room of the Boca Grande Community Center on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 2 p.m.The novel is set in Kinship, Ohio in 1924. When Lily Ross learns that her husband, Daniel Ross, the town’s widely respected sheriff, is killed while transporting a prisoner, she is devastated and vows to avenge his death. Hours after his funeral, a stranger appears at her door. Marvena Whitcomb, a coal miner’s widow, is unaware that Daniel has died, and she begs to speak with him about her missing daughter. From miles away but worlds apart, Lily and Marvena’s lives collide as they realize that Daniel was not the man that either of them believed him to be – and that his murder is far more complex than either of them could have imagined. Presented by author and island resident Susan Hanafee.

Royal Palm Players present the all-new Dinner Theater – ‘Hands Across The Sea’ ...

The Royal Palm Players present an evening of dinner and theater. The evening begins with one of Chef Michael’s specially prepared buffets, with an open bar from 6 to 7 p.m. followed by a sparkling, witty, technically brilliant one-act comedy by Noel Coward. The setting is a cocktail party in a smart London flat, where the telephone is always ringing and there are numerous conversations happening at once. Engagements are limited with tables for eight, so get your tickets now, before this very special event sells out!  Starring Maggie Bush, Jim Grace, Ann Fletcher, Kris Doubles, Terry Seitz, Priscilla Masselink, Mark Masselink, David Jenkins and Sarah McDonald.Show dates are:Tuesday, Dec.10 at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Dec.11 at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Dec.17 at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Dec.18 at 6 p.m.,Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 6 p.m., Tickets are $120 per person or $800 for tables of 8. Call (941) 964-2670 for tickets. 

Garden Club Christmas luncheon ...

The Boca Grande Garden Club will host their annual Christmas luncheon featuring beautifully decorated tables on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at noon. The theme this year is “silver & gold holiday.”To reserve your seat, mail your check for $60 for members and $70 for guests, payable to BGGC, to Sarah Dresing, P.O. Box 278 Boca Grande, FL 33921. For more information, call Sarah at (440) 315-9623 or (941) 964-1080. 

Space Odyssey ...

Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan is a NASA astronaut (retired), former Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and an inductee into the Astronaut Hall of Fame. Dr. Sullivan was the first woman to walk in space, was part of the team of engineers, scientists and other astronauts who launched, rescued, repaired and maintained the Hubble Space Telescope. Her upcoming book, Handprints on Hubble, explains in vivid detail the work involved in inventing the tools and processes that made in-orbit maintenance possible. Without these inventions, the repairs of the defects in the Hubble mirrors would not have been possible.Dr. Sullivan will share her experiences working with NASA, her space walks, the Hubble Space Telescope and the early beginnings of her passion for outer space on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 4:30 p.m in Boca Grande’s Community Center. She will also be speaking to the children of The Island School. Questions? Call the Boca Grande Historical Society at (941) 964-1600.

Manta Market ...

Lemon Bay High School plays host to the Manta Market on Saturday, Dec. 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The market has watercolors, acrylic paintings, prints, photography, pottery, jewelry, fused glass, stained glass, pet collars and leashes, mixed media art, customizable gifts, wearable art, home decor, beauty and health goods, custom wood turned art, woodwork and carvings, garden sculpture, handmade furniture, homemade desserts, homemade jellies, jams, soaps and so much more! More than 90 vendors on the premises with something for everyone. Convenient parking and restrooms. Free to attend. 

Annual lighting of the Lighthouse

Barrier Island Parks Society invites you to share the magic of the season at the lighting of the Lighthouse on Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse & Museum. On one special night a year, the Lighthouse beacon shines into the night sky, surrounded by thousands of beautiful holiday lights and merry cheer. Enjoy live music by Kenny Rose and complimentary appetizers. Wine is also served for a small donation. It is a wonderful evening for mingling with friends or beginning your holiday shopping at the lovely gift shop and unique silent auction. Proceeds help support the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse & Museum and our four local Barrier Island State Parks. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., 880 Belcher Rd., Boca Grande. The Lighthouse wil be lit at approximatively 5:45 p.m. The event is free to attend. 

Toys for Tots  ...

Bring the joy of Christmas to less-fortunate children. There are two sites in the Boca Grande community to drop off toys for less-fortunate children in our area. Key Agency is a collection site for “Kids’ Needs” organization. Michael Saunders is a drop-off location for the “Toys for Tots” drive this year. The Toys for Tots drop-off is now through Thursday, Dec 12.

Festival of Lessons & Carols at GCUMC ... 

Join the members of Gulf Cove United Methodist Church at special Christmas programs of music on Sunday, Dec. 15. The Festival of Lessons & Carols program will be performed at the 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. traditional services, and at the 9:30 a.m. contemporary service. Bring song into your Christmas season!  Gulf Cove UMC is located at 1100 S. McCall Road in Port Charlotte, just ¾ mile south of the Myakka River on Route 776.  For information, contact the church at (941) 697-1747. 

Bolshoi Ballet: Raymonda

Friends of the Boca Grande Community Center bring the Bolshoi Ballet to Boca Grande. Raymonda is betrothed to Jean de Brienne, a gallant knight who pledged to go on a crusade led by the King of Hungary. When her beloved leaves, Abderakhman, a foreign knight, makes a bid for the hand of Raymonda and threatens her fate when she rejects him. Raymonda is a must-see of the Bolshoi, a work of living dance history showcasing the ballerina as the ultimate virtuoso. Being one of legendary choreographer Marius Petipa’s final works, this ballet is fully armed with beautiful court scenes, romantic corps de ballet dances, Hungarian czardas and a title role suited for the most outstanding ballerina.Enjoy this beautiful performance on Monday, Dec. 16 at 5 p.m. at the Boca Grande Community Center’s auditorium. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by calling the Friends office at (941) 964-0827. 

Boca Grande’s Farm & Fish Market returns ... 

It’s coming back soon ... opening day is Friday, Dec. 20. The market will be open every Friday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from Friday Dec. 20 through Friday, April 24. This year’s vendors will be:• Aloe Organics (organic farmer with produce, herbs, and flowers - starts last Friday in December)  • Angelic Bakery • Ashley’s Roasted Nuts • Bjorn’s Honey • Blue Pagoda Orchids • Bubble Farm Soap   • Bushdogs Maryland Crabcakes- soups and seafood • Butchers Gourmet Meats & Seafood • Cherie’s Sweet Treats - Cupcakes • Dominga’s Flowers • Dusty’s Produce • French Artisan (French delicacies, cheeses and Prime meats) • Good Boy Dog Treats (Jan - April) • Herb b que - BBQ • Island Seafood - Pine Island local seafood • Jimmy’s Java - coffee, espresso • Kat’s Southern Twang (jams & jellies) • Kokokahn (essential oils, healthy lotions and salves) • Laurie’s Pantry Granola • Ernesto and Luigi Sauces (Italian foods and sauces, prepared to eat right away or frozen) • Madagascar Hats (handwoven all natural hats) • Meli Gusto (oil, vinegars, jams & jellies) • Mota’s Munchies (island favorite guacamole, pico de gallo, tamales, ceviche) • Mr. Fun guy (mushroom farmer) • Pain Relief (organic, all natural pain remedy) • Paradise Fish (local shrimp, octopus, stonecrab) • Pasta Machine (fresh pastas) • Pilar Empanadas • Piney Woods Blueberries (local organic blueberry farmer starts mid-January) • Pleyoo Microgreens • Rendez Vous (French bakery from Sarasota) • Rock Creek Shrubs (flavored simple syrups and healthy fermented drink) • Sassy Tarts (hand held sweet and savory pies and pot pies) • Savoury Spoon (smoothies, grilled cheeses, waffles on stick, and fresh pressed juices) • Snack Shack (gourmet flavored popcorn, nut butters)  • Stamper Cheese (Wisconsin cheese vendors)• Watermelon Tea (Watermelon infused green tea)

The 2020 Strawberry Festival needs your “stuff” ...

Cleaning out drawers, closets or storage spaces over the holidays? If so, the United Methodist Women are happy to accept donations of your unwanted items for the annual Strawberry Festival on Saturday, March 7, 2020. Money from the sale of these items benefits women and children in need. If you have household items, jewelry, books, artwork, linens, toys or games you would like to contribute, please drop them off at the Lighthouse Methodist Church office in Boca Grande from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday through Thursday. Or contact Jan Myers at (941) 964-0562 to set up delivery to her home. We will accept any item of furniture that can be carried by one person, such as a lamp or very small table, for the bargain and boutique areas. Thank you!

Blue Christmas Service at GCUMC ...

Not everyone is upbeat and cheery for the Christmas holidays. There are many reasons to feel blue – dealing with the death of a loved one, facing life after divorce or separation, coping with the loss of a job, living with cancer or some other disease that puts a question mark over your future.  These and many other situations can make parties and joviality painful for many people. If you or someone you know is having a difficult time this Christmas season, please join us at Gulf Cove United Methodist Church on Friday, Dec. 20, at 6:30 p.m., for a special service of remembrance and hope.Gulf Cove UMC is located at 1100 S. McCall Road in Port Charlotte, just ¾ mile south of the Myakka River on Route 776 in the Gulf Cove area. The church can be contacted at (941) 697-1747 or, and their website is found at

On-Going Events


• Lighthouse United Methodist Church  -  Sunday worship services are at 10 a.m. Fellowship time follows the 10 a.m. Sunday morning service. For more information, call (941) 964-2479 or see

• First Baptist Church - Sunday morning is at 10 a.m.

• Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church - Weekday mass at 8 a.m.

- Saturday vigil mass at 5 p.m. - Sunday mass at 9 & 10:30 a.m.

• St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church 

- Sunday worship and Eucharist is at 9:30 a.m., followed by a coffee hour after the service in the Chapter House. 

Weekly Events

• Al-Anon (closed) Meetings are scheduled to be every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. during the fall and winter seasons at United Methodist Church, Third Street & Gilchrist Avenue. Enter behind the church from Third Street. 

• Alcoholics Anonymous (closed) weekly meeting at 8 p.m., Tuesdays at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church, Fellowship Hall.

• Barrier Island Parks Society is offering climb tours to the top of the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse every Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., now through Thursday, April 24. Cost is $10 per person. Reservations are not required, and climbs will be available as space allows. Please note that climbs will close due to inclement weather and on major holidays.

• Boca Buns and Barre - Restore alignment and body strength using gentle, yet highly effective ballet movements. Classes are held every Tuesday and Thursday at 9 a.m. in the Boca Grande Community Center’s multi-purpose room with instructor Samantha Stone. For  information, call the Friends office at (941) 964-0827.

• Boca Grande Fire Control District monthly meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month at 5 p.m., 360 E. Railroad Ave.

• Duplicate Bridge. Duplicate games have started for the season. They are held at 1 p.m. in the Boca Grande Community House. Game time will be at 1 p.m. every Monday & Wednesday and will start promptly. Be in your seat 15 minutes before game time. No food is allowed. For more information, see or email

 • Learn how to download free ebooks and audio books from the library to your iPad, iPhone, Kindle or laptop. Call the Johann Fust Community Library at (941) 964-2488 for your one-on-one appointment.

• The Boca Grande Duplicate Bridge Club - Duplicate bridge games will be on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1 to 4:15 p.m. at the Crowninshield Community House. Consult the Boca Grande Duplicate Bridge Club website at regarding additional levels of lessons, reservations and for additional information.

• Suicide bereavement group - All are welcome to attend the suicide bereavement group. The group will meet on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month in the Fellowship Hall of the First Baptist Church of Boca Grande from 5 to 6:30 p.m. For registration, call Carol Napoli at (239) 425-9873 and leave a message. Sponsored by Hope Hospice. 

• Sit down and get fit - Achieve all of the benefits of standing exercise, without the risk. Classes are held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:30 a.m. in the Boca Grande Community Center’s Special Interest Room with Instructor John Mannion. For more information, call the Friends office at (941) 964-0827.

• The Happy Hookers Rug Hooking, Needlepoint and Knitting Club - The Happy Hookers meet every Monday at 1 p.m. in the Houghton Room. Anyone who enjoys the company of fellow hookers or would like a little advice while working on their craft is welcome. Call Sylvia at (941) 964-0928 for details.

• Cribbage ... Wanna play? There are many games played on our beautiful island, but not cribbage! If you are interested in having a chance to once again play that wonderful game, please call Kappy’s Downtown at (941) 855-9355. We have tables and refreshments, so clean off the dust from your boards and if you are interested, just call. 

• Yoga with Dennis is weekly on Mondays at 5 p.m. in the Boca Grande Community Center’s Houghton Room through the beginning of May. All levels of ability are welcome. $10 per class. Some mats are provided or you may bring your own. For more information, contact Dennis at (941) 830-1313.

• The Gasparilla Inn & Club offers a guided walking tour of The Inn’s main kitchen every Thursday and Saturday. The tour takes approximately a half hour. Attendees should meet in the lobby at 2 p.m. Tour is free of charge. For more information, call The Inn at (941) 964-4500. 

• Guided grounds/botanical walking tours of The Gasparilla Inn & Club property take place every Friday at 9 a.m. The walking tour meets on the front porch of The Inn and takes approximately a half hour. Tour is free of charge. For more information, call The Inn at (941) 964-4500. 

• Historical walking tours of the main building of The Gasparilla Inn & Club are twice weekly on Tuesday and Thursday. The walking tour meets on the front porch of The Inn at 10:30 a.m. and takes approximately one hour. Tour is free of charge. For more information, call The Inn at (941) 964-4500. 

• Free golf cart clinics - Kappy’s Carts will be offering free golf cart clinics weekly starting on Thursdays. The Thursday morning clinics will be from 9 to 11 a.m. near Kappy’s Downtown, in the parking lot closest to Sister’s Restaurant. Come get your tires filled and check you batteries. A golf cart mechanic will be on site for any questions or concerns you may have. If your cart needs additional servicing, Kappy’s Karts is offering a “Fall Season Tune-Up Special” for $99 ($89 for maintenance program members).

• Boca Grande Tap Class - Tap your way to fun, fitness and friends every Thursday in the Houghton Room at the Boca Grande Community Center. 10 a.m. intermediate class. 11 a.m. beginners class. For more information, call the Friends office at (941) 964-0827. 

• Grande Glee! You’re center stage, singing your favorite song. Belting it out as the audience goes wild.This is your chance to improve your vocal quality while you’re having fun. There’s no memorizing. No stress. Grande Glee costs just $30 a week, with 20 percent supporting the Community Center. Join fellow singers every Friday morning, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. For more information, email Then come join the fun.