January 21st 2022




Read on ... there’s something for everyone! 

Boat builders and the boats of Boca Grande ... 

 A photo and story exhibit will take place today, Friday, Jan. 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. under the stairs of the Boca Beacon/Special Effects/Gasparilla Outfitters building. 

Presented by the Boca Grande Historical Society and History Center, the event is open to everyone and free.  

Learn the history of boats and boat building from old archival photographs. For more information, see or call the History Center at (941) 964-1600.


Englewood Seafood & Music Festival ...

Come out and enjoy some fresh air, great music, good cocktails, some local seafood and some delicious side dishes ... the Englewood Seafood & Music Festival will be taking place today, Friday, Jan. 21 through Sunday, Jan. 23.

The festival will offer a diverse menu of seafood, meat and vegetarian dishes cooked fresh by local restaurants and food purveyors. 

Festival hours are Friday from 4 to 10 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free admission. The festival will be taking place at the Dearborn Street Plaza in Englewood. Admission is free. 


Tomkats Jazz Orchestra ...

The Gulf Theater at the Military Heritage Museum in Punta Gorda is presenting the Tomkats Jazz Orchestra today, Friday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m.

 For over 30 years the TomKats Jazz Orchestra, an 18 piece jazz orchestra, has been entertaining jazz and swing fans throughout the west coast of Florida.

The band’s repertoire includes traditional swing arrangements from the great big bands such as Count Basie and Duke Ellington through the more progressive sounds of Maynard Ferguson, Buddy Rich and Woody Herman and up to Steely Dan jazz- rock and the modern big band fusion styles of Gordon Goodwin’s Phat Band.

Tickets start at $30 and can be purchased online at or by calling (941) 575-9002. The theater is located at 900 W Marion Ave., Punta Gorda.


Antiques in Arcadia ...

Looking for something vintage, funky or fun? Head to historic Arcadia. The Arcadia Antique Fair is a must for any junkers nearby!

The city holds an antique fair on the fourth Saturday (Saturday, Jan. 22)of every month. The street is already lined with antique shops, and the vendors set up out front and in the parking lots. Cost to walk the streets and look for treasures is free! Head there early in the day for the best treasures. Go to West Oak Street in Arcadia for a fun few hours. For more details, see


Youth Fishing Tournament ...

Grab your fishing pole and tackle box and come join the family fun, sponsored by the Boca Beacon and Lee County Parks & Rec., at the youth fishing tournament on Saturday, Jan. 22. 

The tournament is for boys and girls ages 15 and under. Bait will be provided (no lures allowed). All children must be supervised by a parent or guardian for this event. 

This is a catch-and-release tournament. Registration is not necessary; just be at the pier ready to fish by 9 a.m. sharp at the Boca Grande Fishing Pier at the north end of the island. 


Manta Markets ...

Shop locally and attend the Manta Market on Saturday, Jan. 22 featuring an outdoor market, fine arts, crafts, artisanal foods and more! It’s a great market to find unique goods from many talented vendors! 

Shay’s Legendary BBQ and a variety of baked goods will be there to keep you replenished! Convenient parking and restrooms. The Manta Market is located at Lemon Bay High School at 2201 Placida Road in Englewood. Other markets will be held on Saturdays, Feb. 12 and March 5.

Woofminster Dog Show costume contest at Sunday Polo ...

All are welcome to attend the Woofminster Dog Show Costume Contest at Sunday Polo in Lakewood Ranch on Sunday, Jan. 23 from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

Welcome to the 2022 Sarasota Polo Season. Join in for Sunday Polo at the Sarasota Polo Club. Fieldside general admission tailgating, reserved tailgating, reserved midfield premium seating or VIP midfield boxes are available for Sunday Polo. Children 12 and under are free (general admission tailgating). 

Sunday Polo matches are open to the public every Sunday at 1p.m. through April 24. 

Gates open at 10 a.m. Dress comfortably and for the weather. Remember, you will be walking on grass. Well-socialized dogs are welcome on a leash.

For more information and locations visit: For tickets, go to


Shop, shop, shop, ‘til you drop ...

Boca Bargains is resuming shopping BY APPOINTMENT ONLY on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon beginning Monday, Jan. 24.  

Please call Candy at (813) 601-2759 to set up your appointment.

Please do not leave donations at our building. Visit for updates. 


North Port Art Center to host exhibition by the Peace River Plein Air Painters ...

From Monday, Jan.  24 through Sunday, Feb.  20, the North Port Art Center will host the Peace River Painters Winter Show showcasing works by its members depicting scenes painted outdoors (en plein air) at various SW Florida spots from Matlacha to the Celery Fields. The painters work in oils, watercolors, pastels, acrylics and pen and ink. Nationally recognized Venice artist Bill Farnsworth is judging the competition.  

Sharon Yarbrough has led the Peace River Painters since 2012. Now with more than 350 members, they meet on Mondays to paint the local terrain and document the land and buildings that are morphing in the face of our frenetic development. The Fishery in Placida and the old Riviera Marina were favorite painting spots that no longer exist. “Sharon takes us places from historic buildings and farms to old marinas we would never have found on our own,” says Ohio plein air artist Fran Mangino who paints with the group during season. 

 “Painting outside has made a tremendous difference in my work,” says Englewood artist Diane Mannion, a longtime member. “Painting from life develops visual memory, technique, and style and infuses studio paintings with energy and, most of all, sincerity.”

For more information visit The North Port Art Center is located at 5950 Sam Shapos Way, in North Port. 


“Playing with Fire” 

The Johann Fust Library Foundation is commencing its 2022 series of live events on Monday, Jan. 24 at 4 p.m.

The series begins with a screening of the highly-acclaimed documentary “Playing with Fire.” 

This stirring film tells the story of Grammy Award-winning conductor Jeannette Sorrell and her Cleveland-based baroque orchestra, Apollo’s Fire. Under Sorrell’s inspired direction, Apollo’s Fire is injecting new life into classical compositions. Most recently, they performed Handel’s Messiah in NYC with the New York Philharmonic.

Those wishing to attend have the choice to watch “Playing with Fire” at the Boca Grande Community Center Auditorium or at home. 

Then, please join fellow attendees the following day, Tuesday, Jan. 25 when Noha Ryder, an executive with Apollo’s Fire, will be on hand in the library loggia for an informal discussion about the film and the groundbreaking orchestra.

Although the event is offered at no charge, reservations are required. Go to to reserve your space. 


Grande Rounds Lecture ...

The Boca Grande Clinic, the Boca Grande Health Clinic Foundation and Healthnework Foundation are delighted to present the newest online Grande Rounds lecture, How to Live to be 100 ... Lessons learned from Indians and Italians on Tuesday, Jan. 25 beginning at 9 a.m.

Yale Medicine-affiliated Sandip Mukherjee, MD, FACC, will share new observations and treatment strategies for reducing heart disease, the most common cause of death in the U.S., and how lowering your cholesterol, controlling diabetes, and addressing obesity can contribute to a long, healthy life. 

Dr. Mukherjee will also review lessons learned from the world’s “Blue Zones” – places where people live the longest and are healthiest.

Megan Frankel, Healthnetwork president, will also present the benefits of the Healthnetwork and how to become a member of the nonprofit organization that connects members with top hospitals and doctors to provide fast access to world-class care and increase philanthropic funding for medical research. Major donors to the Boca Grande Health Clinic Foundation are afforded access to Healthnetwork Foundation and its network of top hospitals across the country. 

Grande Rounds events are free of charge as part of the Clinic’s and Foundation’s mission to educate the community.

To register for the event go to


New exhibits at Boca Grande History Center ...

The Boca Grande History Center is excited to announce the formal opening of three new exhibits in addition to the current main exhibit, “Boca Grande: Once A Railroad and Industrial Town.” 

All are invited for the special preview hours on Tuesday, Jan. 25 from 4 to 6 p.m. at 170 Park Ave., in Boca Grande.

The new exhibits include:

• “The Magna Carta Collection” - Original documents dating back as early as 1902, which focus upon the commercial development of Boca Grande

• “Joe Spadaro and the Boca Grande Hotel” - Visuals and print materials featuring one of Boca Grande’s contributing citizens and his grand edifice called the Boca Grande Hotel

• “Boca Grande: The Black Experience” - Visuals and print materials which recognize the history of Black residency in Boca Grande and their valuable contributions to the development and growth of Gasparilla Island.

For more information, contact us at (941) 964-1600 or


Boca Grande Film Festival Launch Party!

Boca Grande Film Festival Passholders can pick up official festival passes, stop by the Auditorium to view film trailers, enjoy a complimentary signature drink sponsored by Temptation Restaurant, and sign up for volunteer opportunities this Tuesday, Jan. 25 at 5 p.m. outside at the Friends Pavilion at the Boca Grande Community Center.

 Don’t have a pass? Join us at the pavilion anyway to help us celebrate our return to the “theater” and the launch of the 4th annual Boca Grande Film Festival! Festival passes still on sale, call the Friends office at (941) 964-0827 to purchase.


Opera on Broadway ... 

Gulf Shore Opera and The Gulf Theater in Punta Gorda present Opera on Broadway on Tuesday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Gulf Theater in Punta Gorda.

Exciting New York City Opera artist, Glenn Seven Allen returns for this energetic evening of hit songs from great Operas and classic Broadway shows. He is joined by Jacquelynne Fontaine, a Diva of Opera, Broadway and the Miss America pageant.

Tickets start at $30 and can be purchased online at or by calling (941) 575-9002. The theater is located at 900 W Marion Ave., Punta Gorda.


Reading has gone to the dogs ... 

Come read to Smokie the therapy dog at the Johann Fust Community Library at 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 26, Feb. 2, 9, 16 and 23.  She’s a great listener.

This program is intended for children ages six to 11 to attend independently while caregivers wait nearby. 

Seating for caregivers and siblings will be available if space allows. The Johann Fust Community Library is located at 1040 West 10th Street in Boca Grande. For more information call (941) 964-2488.


Family Storytime ...

The Johann Fust Community Library staffinvites children (up to 5 years in age) to family storytime on Wednesday, Jan. 26, Feb. 2, 9, 16 and 23 from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m.

This fun and engaging storytime promotes and reinforces early literacy skills and language development through stories, music, movement and activities.

Parents and caregivers participate with their children while learning helpful early literacy strategies and tips to continue at home. Please plan to attend and be engaged with your child for this program. Drop offs will not be permitted.

The Johann Fust Community Library is located at 1040 West 10th Street in Boca Grande. For more information call (941) 964-2488. 


There is a gap in our infrastructure ...

All are welcome to attend a moderated conversation with Sam Skinner on Wednesday, Jan. 26 at 4:30 p.m. 

Sam Skinner will provide us with perspective and context concerning the nuances of an infrastructure strategy, as well as the economic, environmental and political challenges associated with new infrastructure projects. 

He has had a notable career in both the public and private sectors with remarkable accomplishments within the realms of federal public policy, transportation, corporate governance and complex litigation. Mr. Skinner served as Chief of Staff to President George H. Bush, where he coordinated the various agencies and cabinet departments that report to the President. Mr. Skinner acted as the President’s point person in numerous crisis situations. Call the Friends office at (941) 964-0827 to reserve a spot or go to Tickets start at $35.


Guided walks at Stump Pass State Park ...

Lemon Bay Conservancy’s volunteer Charlie Woodruff will lead nature walks on selected Thursdays at Stump Pass State Park. 

Walkers can join Charlie for a 2.6 mile walk from the parking lot to Stump Pass. Upcoming walk dates are: Thursday, Jan. 27, Feb. 17 and Feb. 24. The start time for the January and February dates is 8:30 a.m.

The park is located at the south end of Manasota Key, 900 Gulf Blvd, Englewood. Park entry fee is $3.  Pre-registration is required. Contact Charlie at (914)799-0664 to register and for additional details. (Please note that Charlie’s area code is 914, not 941).


Past Presidents Art Show ... 

The Past Presidents of the Boca Grande Art Center invite you a showing of their artworks. 

The exhibit features the works from  Lona Kissinger, Carol Hall, Ginny McCloskey and Barbara Vanyo will exhibit their fine art paintings of oil, pastel, acrylics and watercolor. 

The opening reception will be held on Thursday, Jan. 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibit opens Friday, Jan. 28 and continues through Sunday, January 30th. Friday and Saturday’s hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday’s hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Boca Grande Art Center is located at 236 Banyan Street in Boca Grande. 


Coconut Cabaret: The Four Freshmen ...

Friends of the Boca Grande Community Center present Coconut Cabaret: The Four Freshmen on Thursday, Jan. 27 with shows at 5 and 8 p.m. The 5 p.m. show is now sold out! 

From the moment they step on stage, The Four Freshmen will get your heart pounding and your feet moving. With pure energy and great songs from the past and the present, the Freshmen deliver a world of music that will send some listeners back to the bygone era of their youth, while introducing others to a brand of vocal harmony entertainment sure to leave them wondering, “Why haven’t I gone to see them earlier?” One thing is for sure, when you go to a Four Freshmen concert you will not forget it.”

Call the Friends office at (941) 964-0827 to reserve a spot for the 8 p.m. show or go to Tickets start at $35. 


Craving some jerk chicken and gumbo? 

Just follow your nose to the park next to Hudson’s Grocery in downtown Boca Grande on Saturday, Jan. 29, starting at 10:30 a.m. 

Jerk chicken ($15) will be on the menu. Sides include Jamaican rice & peas, mac & cheese and mama’s finishing sauce. Shrimp andouille gumbo will also be available for $10. 

The team will be there until the food runs out. Cash only, please. Available for catering (941) 999-7447.



Boca Grande Church Service schedule


• Lighthouse United Methodist Church - 300 Gilchrist Avenue. Worship services held at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. (in-person and live-streamed on Facebook). For more information see

• First Baptist Church - 421 4th St. W. In-person worship is at 10 a.m. on Sunday. Adult Sunday School is at 9 a.m. on Sunday. (941) 964-2386.

• Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church - 240 Park Avenue. 

Daily mass at 8 a.m., Saturday Vigil masses are at 4 & 5 p.m. -  Sunday masses at 8, 9 & 10:30 a.m. Confessions: Saturday 11:30 a.m. to noon. 

(941) 964-2254 

• St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church- 390 Gilchrist Ave. Sunday worship is at 8 & 10 a.m. in-person and live-streamed on YouTube. Please visit for more information. Pastoral care is always available by calling (941) 964-2257, ext. 1. 







Ongoing Local Events





Boca Grande’s Farm & Fish Market

The market will be open every Friday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Friday, April 22. Located at the end of Wheeler Road. Enjoy the local produce, cheese selection, delicious food, beverages, crafts and so much more! 


Dearborn Street Market

Dearborn Street Market is weekly on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 348 W. Dearborn Street (on the north side of the street, across from Pioneer Park).


Punta Gorda Farmers Market 

The weekly market has a large number of vendors offering fruits and vegetables, dried fruits and nuts, Italian bakery, fresh homemade pasta, kitchenware, cupcakes, beef and fresh seafood, fresh citrus, jewelry, candles and soaps, dip mixes, Florida arts and crafts, cheese, French bakery, baguettes and olives, homemade pies, orchids, organic produce, personalized pens, kettlecorn, coffee beans and drinks, native and exotic plants. Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon with live music from 9 a.m. to noon. Located on Taylor St., across from the Historic Charlotte County Courthouse in downtown Punta Gorda. 


South Gulf Cove Farmer’s Market 

Support your small, locally-owned and operated produce business every Sunday in South Gulf Cove from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Some of the freshest produce in town will be available, as well as other small local business owners with a variety of unique products.

The market will take place every Sunday in South Gulf Cove at the South Gulf Cove Homeowner’s Association Clubhouse, 14859 Ingraham Blvd.



Boca Barre and Buns

Using weights, resistance bands and barre technique, the class will help you regain strength, stamina, flexibility and balance. Great for beginners and seasoned fitness enthusiasts alike. Helps to restore alignment and body strength using gentle, yet highly effective, ballet movements. 

Some mats will be provided or you may bring your own. Tuesday & Thursdays, 9 a.m. in the Multi-purpose room of the Boca Grande community center. Cost is $10 per class. 


Hatha Yoga

Yoga classes will be held every Monday in the Houghton Room. This class is suitable for all levels of ability, and beginners are always welcome! Please bring your own mats. Classes are $15 each. 

For more information contact Dennis at (941) 830-1313.


Tai Chi

Tai Chi is known to be a gentle way to fight stress. Experience the benefits of this practice as it reduces stress, improves mood, sleep, and cognition, as well as increases balance and reduces risk of falling. No prior experience necessary, classes held in the Special Interest Room of the Boca Grande Community Center.  For more information, call Dennis at (941) 830-1313.

Sunset Yoga 

by the Lighthouse

Get Inspired by the beauty of nature and history and let your inner light shine with Barrier Island Parks Society’s’ Sunset Yoga by the Lighthouse! 

Bring your sunglasses, water, and sheet or blanket, and join us beach side at Gasparilla Island Lighthouse, the Range Light. Located at 220 Gulf Blvd. in Boca Grande. 

Participants will meet for gentle yoga on Thursday evenings at 5 p.m., weather permitting, January through April.

BIPS is proud to offer this free community program and all donations toward the instructor costs are most appreciated. Suggested donation of $10.


Yoga class on the beach

There’s an ongoing weekly yoga class on the beach, Fridays at 9 a.m. at the 5th St. W. public beach access in Boca Grande. 

These will be gentle, beginner-friendly yoga classes that are open to everyone by donation.

 Those who attend should bring a sheet or big towel, no mat required. For any questions, call Jasmine Bowman at (941) 216-8932. 


Balance and stability classes

Taught by John Mannion, at the Boca Grande Community Center’s Multi-Purpose Room. Classes are on Mondays, Wednesday & Fridays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Cost per class is $10. Exercises may be done sitting or standing; a sturdy chair is provided. For more information call the Friends office at (941) 964-0827.



Movies in the Boca Grande Community Center’s Houghton Room

Movies are on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5 p.m. Stop by the Friends of the Boca Grande Community Center office to pick up a movie schedule. For more information call the Friends office at (941) 964-0827.


Intermediate-advanced bridge lessons 

The Boca Grande Duplicate Bridge Club is offering Intermediate-advanced intermediate lessons through March. These will lessons be taught by the very popular Marvin Darter and will be every Monday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon at Boca Grande’s Crowninshield Community House. Cost is $20 per class, collected at the door. Questions, drop an email to



Closet of Hope at Gulf Cove UMC

Free clothing for children & adults every Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Gulf Cove United Methodist Church.

Call (941) 697-1747 to reserve a time, but walk-ins welcome. Present photo ID at the door showing residence in Charlotte or south Sarasota County. Masks & CDC guidelines. 

One clothing bag per month per family. Donations accepted when open. 

Gulf Cove UMC is located at 1100 S. McCall Rd. (Rt 776), Gulf Cove/Port Charlotte.


Boca Bargains

Enjoy shopping at Boca Bargains ‘til around Easter 2022. Regular hours are Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. Located at 170 Park Ave. See this week’s Ballyhoo for COVID updates.