Sand Sculpting, Holiday Nights & More

    Around and About the Island

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    There is always something happening on and around Fort Myers Beach! Look here each week for upcoming events and fundraisers.

    OPEN ON THANKSGIVING

    For those looking for a meal out on Thanksgiving Day, you’ll find a list of FMB restaurants open on the holiday at www.fortmyersbeach.org provided by the FMB Chamber of Commerce.

    SAND SCULPTING

    Don’t miss the American Sand Sculpting Championships on the beach at Wyndham Garden. Open daily Nov 22 – Dec 1 from 10am -5pm. Over 40 sculptures will be created by first the solo Master Sculptors and Advanced Amateurs and then the doubles teams. Quick Sand speed sculpting, live music, demos, kids activities and more! Daytime tickets $8. Kids 4 and under free. Sand Under the Stars, a special night time illuminated event will be held on Nov 30 from 6-9pm. Tickets $10 for Under the Stars.

    CHRISTMAS HELP

    Last call! Does your family need an extra hand this year to make Christmas special for the kids? If so, Santa will be stopping by Beach Baptist Church on Dec. 15. There will be snacks, games and crafts as well as a gift shop for the kids to choose gifts for their loved ones. Families can call the office at 239-463-6452 or email office@beachbaptist.org if they’d like their family to participate. Provide the parent’s contact information, child name, age, size and wish list. But hurry, Santa needs the info by Nov 24! Gift idea tags will be available Dec 1 at Beach Baptist, Beach United Methodist, Chapel by the Sea, St. Peter’s and St. Raphael’s churches.

    SHELL POINT PRESENTS

    Shell Point Retirement Community presents numerous events that are open to the general public. Shell Point is located off Summerlin Rd on the way to Sanibel. Tickets prices vary. For details call 239-454-2067. Upcoming events include:

    -Four Italian Tenors MO Nov 25 at 7pm

    -Duo Beaux Arts TU Dec 3 at 7pm

    -Holiday Pops FR Dec 13 at 7pm

    VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

    The 33rd Annual Sand Sculpting Championship will be held Nov 22 – Dec 1 and volunteers are still needed. Sign up for a morning or afternoon shift and receive a free t-shirt, free lunch and 1 ticket for future use. To volunteer, call 239-454-7500 or email info@fmbchamber.com.

    HOLIDAY NIGHTS

    Edison & Ford Winter Estates kicks off their 44th Holiday Nights celebration with a tree lighting ceremony on FR Nov 29 at 6pm. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be visiting on opening night and every Sunday night until Christmas from 6-8pm at the Caretaker’s Cottage. Holiday Nights continues through Dec 30 with light shows, new displays and decorations, with many areas of the property illuminated. Liver music provided on select nights. For tickets and full schedule visit edisonford.org.

    GARDEN CLUB

    Join the Estero Island Garden Club on MO Dec 2 at 9am for their December meeting and holiday party at the FMB Woman’s Club, 175 Sterling, FMB. An origami class will be offered, followed by a pot-luck lunch. For more information call 978-460-1814.

    SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS

    A local charity, The Spirit of Christmas Inc, needs your help at a fundraising event to raise money for children of needy families in SWFL for Christmas! Join them at the American Legion Post 274, 899 Buttonwood Dr, FMB on TU Dec 3 from 5-10pm for live entertainment, Auction tables, 50/50 drawings and food & drink specials. Donated canned goods will be accepted at the entrance.

    CHRISTMAS CONCERT

    The Voices of Naples will present a Christmas Concert at Chapel by the Sea on TH Dec 5 at 7pm. No tickets necessary; free will offering.

    AUCTION & FISH FRY

    The Ostego Bay Foundation Silent Auction and Fish Fry will be held FR Dec 6 from 5-8pm at Bonita Bill’s Café, 702 Fisherman’s Wharf, on San Carlos Island under the bridge. No cost to attend the Silent Auction. Fish Fry is $12. Proceeds support the foundation and their local environmental education efforts.

    SPIRIT OF THE HOLIDAYS

    The annual Christmas fundraisers for Spirit of the Holidays are coming up soon! The Spirit Dinner Auction will be FR Dec 6 at 6pm at DiamondHead Resort. Tickets are $100 and available at Century21 TriPower Realty and Red Coconut RV Park. The Annual Pancake Breakfast will be held SA Dec 7 from 7-11am at the Red Coconut clubhouse. Tickets $5 at the door. The Gift Wrapping Party will be held WE Dec 18 starting at 5pm at the Red Coconut clubhouse. Spirit of the Holidays is a joint effort of the Beach Kids Foundation and the Fort Myers Beach Fire Department to benefit local families at Christmas.

    SHRIMP DINNER

    Enjoy our area’s finest delicacy, Gulf Pink Shrimp, at the monthly Shrimp Diner offered at Historic St. Raphael’s Episcopal Church, 5601 Williams Dr. on SA, Dec 7 from 4-7 p.m. All you can eat GULF shrimp, homemade coleslaw, baked beans and cornbread. Soda included. Beer and wine tickets available. No reservations. Note that food service begins at 4pm this month to accommodate those attending the Christmas Boat Parade. Take out service available.

    CHRISTMAS BOAT PARADE

    The 31st Annual Christmas Boat Parade will be held on SA Dec 7 at 6pm. Last year’s parade had over 30 boats participate and this year’s looks even better. The parade begins at Salty Sam’s Marina and makes its way north along the back bay, passing numerous restaurants. Watch the parade from Parrot Key Caribbean Grill, Original Shrimp Dock, Matanzas on the Bay, Nervous Nellie’s, Bonita Bill’s, Dixie Fish Co. or Doc Ford’s or grab a spot in Bayside Park next to Nervous Nellie’s or in Siesta Isles (bring a chair). Enter your boat for just $25 for non-sponsored boats and $50 for a sponsored boat. Call 239-454-7500 or visit bit.ly/ispBoatParade for entry info.

    SANTA FEST

    Wa-Ke Hatchee Recreation Center is hosting its 13th Annual Santa Fest on Dec 7th, from 3-9pm. Join in a Holiday-filled night of fun at Santa Fest with free admission! Santa Fest will have food truck vendors, bounce houses, face painting, and most importantly, a free movie in the park at 6:30pm with our special guest, Santa. Photos with Santa from 4-6pm. Toy donations for Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida welcome! For more information, please call (239) 432-2154, or email: gnunez@leegov.com

    SANTA ON THE SAND

    Friends of Lovers Key State Park and The Rotary Club of Bonita Springs hosts their third annual Santa on the Sand event SU Dec 8 from 1-3pm and 2-4pm, at the gazebo on the beach at Lovers Key State Park. Fun, games and a snack for the children, plus a visit with Santa. The cost is the park entrance fee, plus $5 and one unwrapped toy for each child 8 years old or under. The toys as well as the $5 will be donated to The Children’s Network of South West Florida. Reservations are required and available at eventbrite.com This event tends to sell out early so get your tickets now. For additional information contact Flo Alexander 630-542-2435

    EIHS OPEN HOUSE & BAKE SALE

    Enjoy the holiday season with the members of the Estero Island Historic Society during an Open House and Bake Sale on MO Dec 9 beginning at 6:30pm. At 7pm enjoy an historic re-enactment by Laurie Nienhaus and Carmine Pacchino of “The True Spirit of Men.” Short and dramatic, it is a retelling of the Christmas Truce of 1912.  Enjoy cookies and punch. Handmade quilts and homemade baked goods available for purchase. Event held at St. Raphael’s Episcopal Church, 5601 Williams Dr. due to the closing of parking lot at the Historic Cottages for park renovation.

    MOUND HOUSE LECTURE

    The next Mound House lecture is TU Dec 10, featuring Dr. Roger Hammer, Naturalist, prolific author of books on Florida wildflowers and Everglades exploration and the Survivalist Instructor for the Discovery Channel’s reality television show, “Naked & Afraid.” His topic is “Journey Through the Everglades – A Program for Hikers, Bikers, Paddlers and Wildflower Enthusiasts.” The Mound House Museum Store offers a number of Dr. Hammer’s books for sale, so he will conduct a book signing following his lecture. Social time begins at 5:30pm; lecture at 6pm. Advance reservations required at 239-765-0865, as the Mound House accommodates just 45 people. Cash-only admission at the door is $5 for Mound House members and $10 non-members

    FULL MOON WALK

    Awaken and sharpen your sense of smell, touch, hearing and night vision as you join two volunteers carrying candle-lit lanterns as night descends and the Full Cold Moon rises on TH Dec 12. Adults only, limited to 12 participants. Program is free, but pre-registration at walkwiththemoon.com is required. Instructions will be emailed on registration. Offered by the Friends of Matanzas Pass Preserve. Walk will be held at Bowditch Point Park due to closure of MPP for construction.