Ozarks Mid-Winter Party Moves to Sanibel Fish House


With the Fish House in Santini Plaza closed and the new location on Old San Carlos yet to open, some of our friends from the Ozarks area may be concerned that the annual ‘Lake of the Ozarks Mid-Winter Party’ is on hiatus. We are happy to report that nothing could be further from the truth – ‘Super Dave’ Bertels and his merry crew solved the problem by moving the event to Sanibel Island for this year.

“We are going to be at the Fish House’s Sanibel location on Tuesday, January 12th from 3-9pm,” Bertels told us this week. “They are just about a mile north on Periwinkle Boulevard once you get over the bridge – 1523 Periwinkle, at the old McT’s Shrimp Shack.”

Super Dave says that he’s pulling out all the stops for this popular event’s 10th Anniversary, and well-known Ozarks area musicians Dale Blue, Robbin and Dean and Don and Suzy Akers will be on hand to perform.

“I think it’s going to be really cool at this location – there’s a big back parking lot, huge bar, tons of space,” Bertels told us. “Ken Kuenzie from KRMS out of Osage Beach has already been out there, and he will be doing his live remote from the party.”

A 25+ year beach server, Dave began this party in 2007 because he thought it would be a good way to bring some new people in during a slow time right after New Year’s and expected maybe 20-30 people to show up. He hasn’t underestimated the party since and it’s continued to grow each year.

“There are people coming from all over the Midwest – Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago – they fly in from everywhere. Many of them have summer homes in the Ozarks and winter on Fort Myers Beach,” Bertels said. “Since we started these parties, a lot more of them now winter here on the beach.”

He and his family have been splitting their time between Fort Myers Beach and the Lake of the Ozarks for over two decades, which makes him the perfect organizer for this soiree.

The event has always also served as a fundraiser for Fort Myers Beach Elementary School, something that will not change even though this year’s location is on Sanibel.

“I’ve been busy gathering raffle prizes from the beach, and the management out there has been getting items from Sanibel and Captiva,” he said. “So this year we’re going to have lots of great stuff!”

So head on over the bridge to Sanibel on Tuesday and enjoy the fun! You don’t have to be from the Lake of the Ozarks to attend – everyone is welcome – but you better be ready to have a good time!

Keri Hendry Weeg