This weekend marks the Island’s 58th annual Lions Shrimp Festival. Thousands will watch the parade, run in the 5K or just drop by Festival Grounds at Lynn Hall Park for a delicious Shrimp dinner. Seven lovely young ladies are vying for the Shrimp Festival Queen crown. Check the full schedule inside this issue or pick up a SAND LIFE magazine for all the details. There’s something for the whole family to do this weekend. And best of all, 100% of the proceeds from this great weekend support Lions charities!
Parade Notes: The Matanzas Bridge will be closed from 9am-noon on Saturday, March 12th. Also the Town and Lions Club have asked that no beads be thrown in the parade due to the damage beads have done to the drainage system.
Shrimp Festival Schedule of Events
Saturday, March 12
9am Shrimp Festival 5K Race: Begins and ends at Doc Ford’s
10am Parade: Estero Blvd from School St. to Lynn Hall Park
Matanzas Bridge closed from 9am-12 Noon
10am-6pm Food, Fun & Crafts Expo (Festival T-shirts available) Lynn Hall Park
10am-5pm World Famous Lions Shrimp Dinners
1pm Crowning of the 58th Shrimp Festival Queen: Lynn Hall Park Beach Pavilion
Sunday, March 13
10am-5pm Food, Fun & Crafts Expo (Festival T-shirts available while they last)
at Lynn Hall Park
10am-? World Famous Lions Shrimp Dinners (while they last)
1pm Shrimp Eating Championship
Miss Shrimp Festival 2015
Queen Manuella, 18, was crowned Miss Shrimp Festival 2015 during the 57th Fort Myers Beach Lions Shrimp Festival in March 2015. She is now in her first year as an honors student at Florida Gulf Coast University majoring in Biochemistry with plans to attend medical school and serve in our community. She is active with Student Support Services at FGCU and in her church where she is a youth worship leader. Born in Brazil, Manuella moved to Florida at the age of 5 and speaks fluent English, Portuguese and Spanish. She is a graduate of South Fort Myers High School where she was active in student government, sports and National Honor Society.
Each year for 58 years now, the Shrimp Festival Queen Pageant has drawn area young ladies between the ages of 16-20 to compete for the title of Miss Shrimp Festival in this beloved Island tradition. Recognizing each participant as a Princess, the pageant seeks friendly, outgoing young ladies who can serve as goodwill ambassadors of our area. During the Pageant, Princesses assist with the Kids’ Shrimp Run and enjoy a variety of fun experiences, including riding in the Parade. Judges select the Queen on Saturday, March 12th at 1pm at the Pavilion on Festival Grounds. This year the People’s Choice Award voting is offered online at beachlionsfoundation.com. Each vote costs $3 with all proceeds going toward the Lions Scholarship Fund. Local actor and Cypress Lake High School graduate Eli Baldwin will serve as Pageant Master of Ceremonies. Tracey Gore is in her third year as volunteer Pageant Coordinator. This year’s Princesses are:
Miss Gavin’s Ace Hardware
Princess Alycia Jones, 18, is a senior at Estero High School. After graduation this spring, she is planning on attending a four-year university, majoring in biology and hopes to eventually attend medical school to become a neonatal surgeon or an OB-GYN. While at EHS, Alycia has been a member of the Varsity Cheerleading team and is the Service Chair member of the Rotary Interact Club. She has been an active volunteer throughout high school and is most grateful to be able to volunteer with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to honor the two members of her family lost to cancer. Last fall, she helped form the world’s largest human pink ribbon, which broke a Guinness world record! Each day, she counts her blessings and is very grateful to live in such a beautiful place.
Andrea De Castro
Miss Moss Marina
Princess Andrea De Castro is a senior at South Fort Myers High School, where she attends the Medical Academy, planning to graduate with her CPR and EKG certification, plus Phlebotomy. She hopes to attend the University of Central Florida or University of South Florida and major in Biology, eventually attending medical school. Andrea loves sports and is an accomplished athlete, winning the Scholar Athlete Award, MVP for two years and All-Conference for three years. She was a volleyball captain for three years and played soccer in and out of school. At South Fort Myers High School, she has been involved in Key Club, Pack Squad Club, Renaissance Club, Student Government and is currently President of the National Honor Society. She has accumulated over 100 hours of community service hours. Andrea has a passion for helping people in her community and is devoted to her family.
Miss Holiday Water Sports
Princess Logan Phillips, 18, is a senior at Fort Myers High School where she is enrolled in honors classes. She plans to take a year off to focus on photography before heading to DC to attend the Corcoran Institute of Art & Design to major in Photojournalism. Active in a variety of clubs from Youth Government to Wave Cave Wackos, Logan has tried it all. Since finding her passion through an HL Photography course, she has been capturing her world via photos. She is a volunteer dog walker at the Humane Society and enjoys spending time with her friends. Logan is a typical beach kid, attending Beach School, playing soccer at Bay Oaks and running around the Island each day until the sun went down. She is excited to participate in the Pageant for the second time and proud to be part of her hometown tradition!
Miss Semmer Electric
Princess Madison Tezak is a junior at Cypress Lake High School and is also attending Florida SouthWestern State College. She plans to attend FSW full time her senior year while continuing her dance major. She lives on Fort Myers Beach. Madison is a volunteer who believes in giving back to her community and loves helping others. She has been active with the “Be a Buddy” Special Olympics program for the last three years and volunteers with Surfers for Autism, which she finds rewarding and enjoyable. She is a member of the National Honor Society and is active with her church, serving as an altar server for the past several years. Madison is also involved in sports, playing varsity soccer and volleyball for the past three years.
Miss Trico Shrimp
Princess Armani Backman, 18, is a junior attending Cypress Lake High School. She hopes to become a public speaker and mentor for young girls and is planning a career in OB-GYN. Armani has always wanted to explore and try different things and began modeling at age 7. Her modeling experience with expos and fashion shows earned her awards and the chance to work in California for an extended time. Active in her school and church, she was 8th grade student body president, volunteer in her church nursery and a church youth leader. She has also worked with outreach programs aimed at curbing violence. Armani describes herself as a creative, talented, loving person who thrives on learning and experiencing new things. To her, family is everything and friends are important. She hopes to stand as a light in a dark world.
Miss Red Coconut
Princess Sarah Bestrom, 18, is a senior at Estero High School and a dual enrollment student at Florida SouthWestern State College. She plans on continuing her studies at FSW and FGCU where she hopes to pursue a degree in Resort and Hospitality Management. Sarah has been active at Estero HS, serving as a member of Student Government. She is currently Student Council Vice President, a member of EHS Leadership Academy, Secretary of Rotary Interact Club, EHS National Honor Society and a member of the Hospitality and Tourism Academy. For the last year and a half, she has worked as a hostess at a local country club restaurant, assisting members and working in a fast-paced atmosphere, exposing her to the excitement of the hospitality industry that she loves. She enjoys spending time with her large family and pursuing her hobbies, which include fishing, kayaking Lovers Key and relaxing on the beach.
Miss 7-11 Driftwood
Princess Skylar Sander, 16, is a sophomore at Cypress Lake High School. She plans to attend college and pursue a career in Psychology. She has lived on Fort Myers Beach her entire life and comes from one of the first families to live on the Island. She attended Beach School, playing soccer since 3rd grade. She enjoys singing and acting in plays and talent shows on the island. Skylar is an active volunteer focused on raising awareness for Autism, a condition that impacts some of her loved ones. She has volunteered for Surfers for Autism for three years and other Autism awareness events. Her work with Autistic individuals has shown her that actions speak louder than words – love and affection must be shown through actions. Her goal is to live her life full of happiness, laughter and love and share those qualities with every person she meets.