Due to media deadlines, this will be the final commentary before the Big Flag Ceremony, to be held on Memorial Day, May 28th at 3 PM sharp. The site will be at the newly installed flag pole, located on the 2nd median on the Marco Island side of the Jolly Bridge.
Some updates and tips for spectators…..
• Parking has logistic issues. On a first come, first serve basis, parking is available in the Marco Island Yacht Club.
• Optional parking is available on swales on nearby side streets.
• Identified spaces are reserved for VIP’s and Marco Island boy Scouts have volunteered to identify the VIP’s and guide them to their parking space.
• No matter where one parks, the waking distance should be considered and after entering the parking area, it is suggested that the driver drop off passengers, then find a space to park.
• Spectators may congregate on the sidewalk and adjacent grass areas along the Yacht Club wall as there is also some shade available. It is recommended that spectators consider bringing beach chairs.
• Traffic flow, safety and on site medial staff and police to be provided by the City of Marco Island.
• As one enters the Island, the right lane of the “new bridge” will be blocked off to provide viewing space and safety for spectators.
• The actual ceremony to raise the flag is estimated to take approximately 30 minutes, although 90 minutes is the time reserved for the set up, ceremony and remarks.
• Patriotic music is provided by Steve Reynolds prior to the ceremony and immediately following the festivities.
• Spectators are encouraged to wear Red, White and Blue and bring a hand held flag as we celebrate America, “Island Style”.
• Completion of project, the installation of the lighting has been completed by Condee Cooling and Electric, Inc., under the direction of Greg Schneider.
• The event will be recorded in photographs by Nancy Dowdell and in video by William Hughes.
• Dave Rice, Committee Chairman will MC the event.
• The flag will be delivered to the pole by committee members Dick Shanahan, Leo Sutera, special guest, Carole Roberts, Litha Berger and Keith Dameron. City Staff Liaison to the Committee, Tim Pinter will attach the flag to the halyards. Jennifer Shanahan, President, Marco Island Sunshine Rotary, will slowly raise the flag as the National Anthem is sung by local musician, Christina Giordano.
• When the flag is secured on the pole, Mike Havey, whose family donated the pole, will lead all in the Pledge of Allegiance.
• Select speakers will be introduced to include at this writing, Garrett Richter, Florida State Representative along with acknowledgement of those VIP’s in attendance.
The Big Flag Project is and will be privately funded – today, tomorrow and forever – no public funds will be used in anyway for the continuation of the flags presence on Marco Island. Presently, donations are requested to establish a fund to provide maintenance and the purchase of flags as needed. Committee Fund Raising Chairman, Leo Sutera may be contacted for making a donation at 718-820-8899 or email at LSBAMARC@AOL.COM
Special thanks go to Eli Contracting, installers of the pole; advising by LCEC; Condee Cooling and Electric, installers of the lights and electric power; the Havey family, donors of the pole; Carole Roberts, originator of the idea of a Big Flag; the City of Marco Island and staff; Tim Pinter, City liaison and advisor; the Marco Island Yacht Club, for providing parking; invited guests and the citizens, Steve Stefanides, for obtaining the Haveys donation and, the organizations and friends of Marco Island who have, and, who will continue to donate funds to perpetuate the Big Flag into the future. For additional information, call Dave Rice – 239-250-2175