The little town of Goodland is honoring its heritage with a big birthday bash Saturday at the Goodland Boat Park and everyone is invited to come join in the piscatorial party.
Actually, the day-long event marks the anniversary of the historic fishing village’s settlement in 1949 on the island of Marco, said celebration committee co-chairs Connie Fullmer and Jim Ingles.
“This will be our first birthday celebration in the new Goodland Boat Park and we Goodlanders are going to make it ‘fishy’ fun this year so mark your calendars and put on your fishing boots and jump right in for fun, fishing contests and really great food and lots of it. Goodland is the capital of Marco Island in case you didn’t know,” declared Fullmer, adding that the fishing tournament has been planned for all ages along with cast net lessons and fishing demos.
Fullmer related the Goodland Boat Park is new this year and Collier County has generously allowed Goodlanders to use it privately for three events each year. The Goodland Civic Association, which is devoted to preserving Goodland’s wonderful low-key lifestyle, has been very busy coordinating the three annual events: December’s Christmas Bazaar, February’s Mardi Gras Boat Parade and this weekend’s Goodland Birthday Bash.
“We have lots of activities planned throughout the day to interest all age groups, including a Fishing Seminar, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., presented by Don Robb, followed by the Marco Sportfishing Club’s fishing clinic at 11:30,” said Fullmer, “In addition, youngsters ages 15 and under can bring their fishing pole and tackle box and enter the fishing contest held at 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Other fishy fun includes crab races and a mullet toss along with an interactive fish-print art activity held in conjunction with the Rookery Bay’s exhibit. The Marco City fire truck and team will participate and the sheriff’s K-9 team will be demonstrating 12:30 to 3 p.m. The Calusa Marina will be displaying a boat at their booth and also donated $250 to the Goodland Civic Association. There will be great music all day by the Mullet Brothers, and special appearances by Stan Gober, J. Robert and Terry Lee.
Along with the historical exhibits, post cards and prints will be available for purchase, in addition to storytelling and costume wearing, said Fullmer. Noted historical chronicler and author Betsy Perdichizzi will be there selling signed copies of her newest book, “Phony Hermit,” all about Al Seely, the recluse of Dismal Key. Bill and Betsy Perdichizzi were instrumental in bringing the Marco Island Historical Museum project to completion.
In other special appearances, Stan Gober will be selling signed copies his book as well as providing some of the musical entertainment during the birthday cake presentation, decorating contest and eating event taking place around 1 p.m.
Other edible events include the cupcake decorating and eating contest, as well as smoked fish demos and sales, crab cooking and sales of same. Throughout the day, Goodland Civic association volunteers will be selling hot dogs and hamburgers at their fundraiser booth and food vendor booths will also be selling a variety of food and beverages.
In the fundraising and raffles department, there will be collectible T-shirts for sale, a 50/50 cash raffle and a Sea Tow raffle of three box memberships.
Last but not least, GCA volunteer residents have donated the use of their personal boats and services for short boat rides departing from the launch area. Informed parties will need to know that the boat launch will be closed for the day, and boaters can put in at Caxambas or the 951 launch, stated Fullmer.
If you go
Goodland Birthday Bash
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 12
Goodland Boat Park
Fishing seminars, crab races, mullet toss, music all day, birthday cake, fish-print art, boat rides and cupcake decorating and eating. Historical exhibits and sale, Rookery Bay exhibit, Sheriff’s K-9 team, Marco City fire truck, ollectible t-shirts for sale, 50/50 cash raffle, Sea Tow raffle of 3 box memberships and more.