High Rollin’, Ride the Arches and Ethnobotany

    Around and About the Island



    The Fort Myers Beach Lions Shrimp Festival is seeking Princesses ages 16-21 to participate in the Shrimp Queen Pageant. The Pageant and Parade are on March 9. Call Fran Peters for more information 239-243-4245.


    The Fort Myers Beach Art Association Gallery is located at the corner of Donora and Shell Mound. (3030 Shell Mound Blvd.) Hours are MO – SA 10am – 3pm.The “Over the Moon” Winter Juried Show is on exhibit through Feb 7. On SA Jan 26, a free Festival of the Arts – a free & fun afternoon from 1-4pm with art demonstrations will be held at the Gallery. See www.fortmyersbeachart.com for classes and schedule. 239-463-3909.


    On SA Jan 26 from 9am – 5pm, Restore Fort Myers Beach Arches, Inc. will host “Ride The Arches”, a Poker Run for cars or motorcycles with a carnival atmosphere in Indian Creek Plaza, 17284 San Carlos Blvd, FMB. The ride begins at Bridgette’s Place. Proceeds for this charity event will help pay for 3D imaging data of the original Fort Myers Beach Arches (1924-1979).  For more information see “Ride the Arches” on Facebook.


    Head to Lovers Key State Park on FR Jan 25, SA Jan 26 and SU Jan 27 for the 4th annual Lovers Key Boat Show, market & Seafood Fest! Presented by the Friends of Lovers Key and the Bonita Springs Rotary Club, you’ll find boats of all kinds and 60 feet of fresh seafood, with fried, steamed, grilled varieties plus sandwiches and special recipes, such as paella. Entrance fee $5. Proceeds benefit the Rotary Cub charities and the Friends efforts to furnish the new Lovers Key Welcome & Discovery Center.


    Plan to visit Matanzas Pass Preserve on Wednesday mornings for the free guided walk, “Exploring Ethnobotany” at 9:30am with a Florida Master Naturalist. Learn about the historical importance of Florida native plants as food, shelter, medicine and clothing to humans past & present. Discover how indigenous plants were used by the Calusa and early settlers.


    Join an experienced Bird Patrol Guide in Lakes Park, 7330 Gladiolus Dr, Fort Myers, on SA Feb 2 at 8am for Morning Meander, an easy walk along clear paths with an opportunity to see birds in native vegetation. Lakes Park is a birding hot spot and crucial nesting area for many birds. Wear comfortable shoes and dress to be outside. Bring water, sunscreen and binoculars. For more information call 239-533-7580 or 533-7576.


    Enjoy our area’s finest delicacy, Gulf Pink Shrimp, at the monthly Shrimp Dinner offered at Historic St. Raphael’s Episcopal Church, 5601 Williams Dr. on SA Feb 2 from 5-7pm. All you can eat GULF shrimp, homemade cole slaw, baked beans & cornbread. Soda, beer and wine available. $20/per person.


    All adult bridge players are invited to play bridge at Chapel by the Sea every Monday and Thursday from 12:30-3:30pm. $3/session.


    Chapel by the Sea will host a free Lunch & Learn on Advanced Planning at 11:30am on TU Feb 5. Pastor Steve Adkison (emotional and logistical planning), Parish Nurse Anne Fossum(advanced directives) and Leslie Fowler (cremation info) will speak. RSVP to
    239-463-3173. 100 Chapel St, FMB (2500 block of Estero Blvd.)


    “Kayak Camping” will be presented by Pat Owen in the February installment in the series of free Calusa Blueway-related programs on TU Feb 5 at 6:30pm at the Wa-Ke Hatchee Recreation Center, 16760 Bass Rd, Fort Myers. Long-time local paddling guru Pat Owen will share tips and techniques for a successful kayak and SUP camping trip. For more information call 239-432-2154. Trail info is at calusablueway.com. Future Blueway speakers include Tommy Thompson & Peg Phillips – Paddling Florida Adventures on Mar 6 and Photography from a Canoe on Mar 19.


    Free, acoustically-led Sing Along of 60’s classics, including the Beatles, Everly Brothers, Motown, Eagles & more. Meet at the picnic tables, some chairs provided, lyrics available. Begins at 5pm and plays until sunset. Parking is $2/hour. Offered every TH through Mar 7.


    Residents and visitors are invited to join the Sea Dolphins Walking Group that meets at Chapel by the Sea every TU at 9:30am. Meet on the patio for an easy 30-min. walk through nearby neighborhoods and the beach. 100 Chapel St., FMB


    The Friends of the Arts Winter Concert Series will host a concert by “The British Invasion” on TH Feb 7 at 7pm at the Propeller Lounge at Fish-Tale Marina. This band captures the sound and the feel of the 60’s with music by the Beatles, Gerry & the Pacemakers, the Monkees & more. The Winter Concert Series continues March 14, with ‘The Atlantic City Boys’ channeling Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Tickets $25. Available at fmbarts.org or by calling 239-463-3600.


    On TH Feb 7 at 7pm at the Village Church in Shell Point Retirement Village, join Maestro Nir Kabaretti in this synthetic experience of the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts through the brilliant compositions of Wagner, Milhaud and Copland. Tickets $25. To learn more visit www.shellpoint.org/concerts or call 239-239-454-2067.


    Mark TH Feb 7 on your calendar for the next Songwriters at Sunset Beach BBQ and Free Acoustic Concert at the beachfront gazebo at Lovers Key State Park. Seating is available for the first 80 people, so bring chairs or a blanket to sit on the sand. A Beach BBQ to benefit the park’s new Welcome & Discovery Center begins at 3:15pm. The concert begins at 4:15pm. This month, the featured songwriters are Tim McGeary, Carlene Thissen and Marie Nofsinger. The concert is free with paid park entry.


    The first annual Spring Fling event will showcase works by Shell Point residents on FR Feb 8 and SA Feb 9 from 9am-2pm at Shell Point Retirement Village. Enjoy art, photography, jewelry, woodcarving, pottery, glasswork, fiber art, handcrafted items and more. This event is free and open to the public. To learn more visit www.shellpoint.org/concerts or call


    On SA Feb 9, St. Raphael’s Episcopal Church hosts “Sinatra – His Life Story” in their newly remodeled Comfort Hall. This musical play is a Tony Sands Production with Mr. Sands portraying Frank Sinatra. Doors open at 6:30pm. Show: 7-8:30pm. Photo ops with Tony as Ol’ Blue Eyes after the show. Tickets are $35 and include two drink tickets for beer, wine or soda. Reservations required. Call Laurie to reserve your seat. 239-463-1079. 5601 Williams Dr., FMB.


    Meet the candidates in the March 5 Town Council election at a Candidate Forum sponsored by the Estero Island Taxpayers Association on MO Feb 11 at 6pm at Beach Baptist Church. The moderators will be Ed & Kim Ryan, hosts of Beach Talk Radio on Saturday mornings. Social time begins at 6pm with refreshments provided by the Mango Street Inn.


    Attention all Mahjong players: Drop in Mahjong is offered every Monday from 9am-noon through April at Church of the Ascension Parish Hall. AC & refreshments. Call Barbara Puffer for information. 203-494-2765 or 239-463-4543.


    The Estero Island Garden Club invites the Island community to their 2nd annual Valentine’s Eve Gala on WE Feb 13 from 7-9pm at Historic St. Raphael’s Church at 5601 William’s Dr, FMB. The Gala includes wine, beer, appetizers & desserts, plus a Botanical Raffle, music and fun! Tickets are $25/person. Call Cindy for tickets 614-581-6773.


    The Knights of Columbus of Ascension Parish will host their annual Valentine’s Dinner Dance on SA Feb 16 in the Ascension Parish Hall. Doors open at 5:30pm. Enjoy a catered dinner and dancing to the music of Sanchez Entertainment. Proceeds benefit the Knights’ local charities. Tickets $25/person and are available at the gazebo after weekend masses, at the door or by calling George 630-546-4801 or Pietro 239-284-6516.


    The Beach School PTO will host the 2nd annual High Rollin’ on the Beach gaming fundraiser on SA Feb 23 from 6-10pm at the FMB Woman’s Club. This year’s theme is “Lucky Hearts.” Tickets are $50/person or a VIP table for 8 is $600. Tickets include food courtesy of The Dog House, musical entertainment, cash bar and $10,000 in Fun Money. Buy tickets online at Highrollinonthebeach.eventsmart.com. Email any questions to HighRollin@fmbpto.org


    Friends of Lovers Key State Park offers Yoga at the beach Gazebo every MO morning at the park at 9:30am through May. Instructor Sandy McShane offers an hour of Open Vinyasa Flow. $10/class plus park entry fee. Participation helps support the future Welcome & Discovery Center. Bring a yoga mat, water and any props you need. Arrive in time to park and take the tram to the beach. For more info call 774-563-8874,