Where would we be without the Tamiami Trail? It transformed the face of Southwest Florida all those years ago when locals could only travel by boat to Naples or Miami.
On Saturday, April 28, we are marking the 90th Anniversary of the Trail’s completion across the swamp and sawgrass with a grand celebration in Everglades City where it all began, thanks to Barron Gift Collier. The star of this event is Barron Collier III reading his grandfather’s speech in the Opening Ceremony before he rides in the Grande Parade of new and old vehicles around this rural outpost, which was once the seat of Collier County.
Festivities begin at 10 AM in McLeod Park with coffee, baked goods, and Art-in-the-Glades booths. The day continues with a Guided Walking Tour of Historic Places, a performance by the Naples Dixieland Jazz Band, delicious BBQ lunch sold by the Sons of the Confederacy, a show from the Marco Island Historical Re-Enactors, and Story-Telling by local Old-Timers. To put it all in context, Jonathan Ullman will speak about “Trailblazers: The Perilous Story of the Tamiami Trail.” And, to end this festive day, there will be a formal tea with real China cups and birthday cake at the historic Rod & Gun Club, Collier’s exclusive hide-away on the bank of the Barron River.
The event is hosted by Friends of the Museum of the Everglades and there is no charge except for food. For information visit www.evergladesmuseum.org or call 239-695-2397.