The festivities began at Stan’s Idle Hour, the first restaurant as you head into Goodland. If you’ve ever been there on a Sunday, you know the day begins with an extended version of the Star Spangled Banner. Being the Fourth of July, this Sunday was no different. However, the Marco Island VFW was in attendance to help celebrate the holiday. Stan hosted a tribute to all those who have served for our country calling veterans to stand as he announced wars past and present. Free champagne and cake were provided as a way for us to not only honor the men and women who continue to keep our country free but also to celebrate our nation’s birthday. Southern Cross performed on the stage near the covered back bar as the rain didn’t seem to want to quit. It certainly didn’t put a damper on any of our moods though.
After Stan’s came the party at local restaurant, Marker 8. Dave “Serbie” Serber and Jimmy Ketchum, co-owners of the establishment, promised an excellent evening and they certainly delivered. The restaurant had a pig roast and locals were encouraged to bring side dishes – sort of a potluck theme. Three tables were covered in dishes ranging from fresh watermelon to baked beans to salads of all different varieties. The pork was excellent as usual and the homemade deserts brought by neighbors were to die for! Live music played outside and everyone gathered on the screened-in porch to celebrate and discuss summer plans. Goodland local and musician extraordinaire Ryan “He’s So Dreamy!” Darling graced us with his presence and even brought along his guitar. An impromptu acoustic performance followed – and everyone loved it! As it grew dark, we all got what we were hoping for – an excellent fireworks display right in our own backyard! Marker 8 hosted fireworks out over the water, which was accompanied by a decent view of both Marco and Naples’ fireworks show. Of course, locals had some pretty great displays as well.
Many residents had small barbeques and gatherings at their homes, as well, to celebrate the holiday. It was a lively night and fun was had by all. If Goodland is known for its parties, this was certainly one for the memory books! Happy Birthday America! Love always, Goodland.