By Patricia Huff
Southwest Florida will be buzzing with lots of music this weekend. The 40th Annual Everglades Seafood Festival will begin with a pancake breakfast at the Everglades Community Church and a full schedule of great musicians, including two Nashville artists Jason Thomas on Saturday and Jerrod Niemann on Sunday. Wonderful seafood, arts & crafts, and children activities are planned for an exciting weekend. For more information, phone 239-695-2277 or visit the festival’s website at www.evergladesseafoodfestival.com. Don’t forget to stop by the Museum of the Everglades to meet Paul Marcellini, the Artist of the Month, with his photographs exhibited in the Pauline Reeves Gallery. Paul will be there on Saturday from 11 AM. to 2 PM.
Also this weekend, Collier Seminole State Park will be sponsoring their 6th Annual Jammin’ in the Hammock Bluegrass Festival on Saturday and Sunday. For more information about this festival, call 239-394-3397 or visit website www.floridastateparks.org/collierseminole/events.cfm.
The following weekend, on Friday, February 15th, you will have an opportunity to visit historic Fakahatchee Island on a chartered boat tour from Everglades National Park, at 3 PM. Hosted by the Friends of Fakahatchee, the cost is $75 per person. For information, phone 239-695-1023 or see www.orchidswamp.org. The same evening a screening of “Distant Drums” starring Gary Cooper (and free popcorn and soda!) will be held at 5:30 PM, in the Jinkins Fellowship Hall at Everglades Community Church. This event is sponsored by the Everglades Society for Historic Preservation, is free of charge and open to the public. Call 239-695-2905 or visit website www.evergladeshistorical.org for more information.
The fun doesn’t stop with the music! February 16th is full of outdoor activities beginning with our monthly Art-in-the-Glades in McLeod Park from 10 AM. to 2 PM. To set up a booth or for more information, call Bob at 239-695-0243. For those looking for a more physical workout, runners will have the opportunity to participate in the “Everglades Ultras,” choosing the 50-mile, 50 kilometer or 25 kilometer run through beautiful Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park. Visit website www.evergladesultras.com for details. For the water enthusiasts, Everglades Area Tours will host their annual Paddle-In with a barbeque at JT’s in Chokoloskee following the event. Visit www.evergladeskayakfishing.com/ekf-events.htm for more information or call 239-695-3633. Swamp walkers will enjoy getting wet at Clyde Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery where they are celebrating their 20th anniversary during Presidents’ Day weekend with a three-day open house. Clyde Butcher will be around to sign books and guides will take you out on nature trails. Call 239-695-2428 or visit www.clydebutcher.com.
Make your reservations early for the 9th annual Marjory Stoneman Douglas Festival to be held Tuesday, February 19, through Saturday, February 23. The luncheon on Tuesday will include a presentation by Elam Stolzfus who will talk about his Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition last year. The title is “Into the Wind, Against the Current, and Off the Beaten Trail.” For reservations to the luncheon (discounted for FME members) and other events, call Martha at 239-695-0008. Also, visit website www.evergladesmuseum.org for a complete schedule of events and to join the Friends of the Museum of the Everglades.
Patricia Huff has lived in Everglades City for the past 18 years and is the Publisher of the local newspaper The Mullet Rapper. To learn more about events and activities in the Everglades City area, visit website www.evergladesmulletrapper.com