Shrimp Fest, St. Paddy’s, Cat Rescue

    Aroundand About the Island



    It’s time to mark your calendar for the biggest event of the year! The Fort Myers Beach Lions Club 62nd Annual Shrimp Festival will take place March 14 & 15. On SA Mar 14, the 5K Shrimp Run begins at 9am at Doc Ford’s with the Parade at 10am. On SU Mar 15, the 6th annual Shrimp Eating Championship will be held at Noon, followed by the Shrimp Queen Pageant at 1pm. Note the Pageant will be on Sunday. The Art Fair & Food Expo and the Lions Shrimp Dinners will be open both SA & SU from 10am – 5pm.  The very first event of the festival is the Kids Shrimp Run held on SA Mar 7 beginning at 8am on the beach at Gulf Beach Road, across from the former Topps location, south of Town Hall. Each grade will run separately with t-shirts to all participants and awards to the top 3 boys and girls in each grade, K-5. The Matanzas Bridge will close on SA Mar 14 at 9am until about noon. For more details on any Shrimp Festival event, visit


    The 2020 St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place on MO Mar 16 this year due to the local election on Mar 17. The 21st annual parading of the green will be at 10am.

    Parade entrants must contact Parade Coordinator Ray Murphy for information on registration and fees. 239-591-8803 or Parade entrants will meet at Santini Marina Plaza between 8:30-9am and the parade will begin at 10am, marching north on Estero Blvd about one mile to the Church of the Ascension. The parade will include color guards, civic, business and neighborhood groups, floats and musical entries. All are welcome to participate. Estero Blvd will be closed from 9:45am-11am on Mar 16 by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. Anyone who needs to leave the island using that stretch of road that morning should make plans to leave before 9:30am.


    See this engaging documentary about the emerging medical science of harmful algal blooms, such as Blue-Green Algae and Red Tide, and their impacts on human health. FR Feb 21 at 7pm at the Mound House. In the film experts from around the country weigh in on SWFL water quality issues and their potential health effects. Free admission. Pizza, popcorn and drinks available for purchase. No coolers allowed.


    A few tickets remain for the most fun event of the entire season – the Beach School PTO fundraiser, “High Rollin’” on SA Feb 22 from 6-10pm on the FMB Woman’s Club grounds. Don’t miss this fun gaming experience that benefits Beach Elementary School. Tickets at


    On SA Feb 22 beginning at 8:00am, enjoy beautiful Bunche Beach, an excellent birding site with a Bird Patrol Guide. Bunche is an excellent spot for both migrant and resident waders and shorebirds working the mudflats at low tide. Also warblers, waterfowl and raptors. Free with paid parking ($2/hour) For more info call 707-3015. 18201 John Morris Rd..,
    Fort Myers.


    Join the Ascension Knights of Columbus for their 2nd Annual Special Olympics Walkathon on SA Feb 22 at 9am in the parking lot of Ascension Church, 6025 Estero Blvd, FMB. All proceeds benefit Special Olympics Florida – Lee County. Registration fee $25. Walk as many or as few laps as you choose. To register or for more information, contact Dennis at 239-440-5511 or


    There are two public Town Council Candidate Forums remaining. One on WE Feb 26 at 6:30pm at St. Raphael’s Episcopal Church, 5601 Williams Dr and the final one, Commotion by the Ocean, on TH March 5 from 6-9pm at Beach Baptist, 130 Connecticut St. Bring your questions to the first one and email questions for the Commotion to by March 2.


    Join the Mound House educators for a tour of the Mound House and Mound Key, Capital of the Calusa Indians. On TH Feb 27 from 2:00 – 5:15pm, this tour begins at Fish Tale Marina as you board the Estero Bay Express for a boat ride to first the Mound House, then Mound Key. Learn about the rich Calusa history and new discoveries about this ancient people. Tour requires walking over rough terrain. Mound House Museum admission included. Cost: $55/person (MH members $50) Weather permitting. Reservations required at Future Mound Key Tours are scheduled for March 9 & 27 and April 11 & 27.


    Shell Point Retirement Community presents, “Embraceable You: The Music of George Gershwin” at 7pm on TH Feb 27 at the Village Church auditorium, 15100 Shell Point Blvd, Fort Myers. Dean Balkwill and Lisa Ferguson Balkwill are brimming with charm and charisma as they perform the music of George & Ira Gershwin – dance numbers, nostalgic ballads and romantic comedy music. Tickets are $40 at  or 239-454-2067

    The Nauti Parrot Dock Bar will host a Kitty Quarter Auction on TH Feb 27 to benefit Find A Home Give A Home Cat Rescue on FMB and San Carlos Island. Check in is at 6pm with the auction beginning at 7pm. Bring quarters to play or get them there. Donations of at least 12 cans of wet or 7lbs of dry cat food earns entry into a special drawing. $3 paddle rental, 50/50 raffle, lots of great gifts and gift cards. Reserve a table by calling 233-8625 by Feb 25, but come even if you don’t reserve a table! 19001 San Carlos Blvd, FMB. Free valet parking.


    Stop by the Bay Oaks Health Fair on SA Feb 29 between 10am -1pm to meet local health and wellness professionals, ask questions and learn more about the resources available to help you become the healthiest You possible. Free parking and admission.


    Don’t miss the Lovers Key Invitational on SA Feb 29 and SU Mar 1 from 10am -5pm at the Lovers Key State Park Event Field, 8700 Estero Blvd, FMB. Fabulous art direct from the artist!


    The Paradise Carvers Group will host their annual Wood Carving Exhibit on SA Feb 29 from 10am – 2pm at the Iona Gardens Civic Association Clubhouse, 15720 Fern Drive, Fort Myers (off of McGregor Blvd. behind Peace Lutheran) Free admission and parking. All carvers, wannabe carvers and spectators are invited to see a variety of carving styles and levels of carvings. See recent competition works as well as completed projects and works in progress. Paradise Carvers meets weekly on TH from 9am-noon. Instruction available; membership is free. For more information email


    In 2019, the Fort Myers Beach Community Foundation awarded over $25,000 to numerous organizations who serve those living in and around the beach community. Any organization seeking funding or a donation is welcome to submit their request in writing on letterhead to the foundation. The foundation is currently seeking requests not only from charities but from those seeking tuition assistance. In 2019, they provided over $10,000 in scholarships. Scholarships may be used toward any form of education including trade schools and certificate programs. The program is designed to support the varied needs of each applicant, which might mean childcare for someone studying for their GED or someone returning to school for a certificate program. Applications must be received by March 1, 2019. Additional details can be found at:


    The final presentation in the free Calusa Blueway speaker series will be adventurer Victoria Burgess who will recount her voyage “Cuba to Key West on a Standup Paddleboard” on TU Mar 3 at 6:30pm at Wa-Ke Hatchee Recreation Center, 16760 Bass Rd, Fort Myers. She set a world record with the 115 mile trip with took 27 hours and 48 minutes. For more information or directions, call 239-432-2154.


    Acclaimed singer/entertainer Paul Todd will appear in concert on TH Mar 5 at 7pm at the Beach United Methodist Church. Paul & Friends will perform “The Music of Broadway.” The concert is open to all with no tickets sold. A free-will offering will be taken. Come in your shorts and flip flops and enjoy this entertaining musical concert. 239-463-9656;


    The final public meeting of the season for the Estero Island Historic Society will be held on MO Mar 9 at 7pm at St. Raphael’s Church, 5601 Williams Dr, FMB. Guest Speakers will be the authors of “Ghost Warrior – The Real ‘Martin Blank’ Green Beret in the Vietnam and Cold War Eras,” –  Martin G. LeBlanc and Janet Gottlieb Sailian. Hear from a man present at some of the most volatile moments of the Vietnam and Cold War eras. Free admission with EIHS donations accepted.