3 To Do: Celebrating the Tamiami Trail

Marco Eagle

1. This weekend: Celebrating the Tamiami Trail

Where would we be without the Tamiami Trail? It transformed the face of Southwest Florida all those years ago when locals could only travel by boat to Naples or Miami.

On Saturday, April 28, Everglades City is marking the 90th Anniversary of the Trail’s completion across the swamp and sawgrass with a grand celebration in Everglades City where it all began, thanks to Barron Gift Collier.

Opening day ceremonies for the Tamiami Trail at Everglades City (then known as Everglade) on April 27, 1928.

The star of this event is Barron Collier III reading his grandfather’s speech in the opening ceremony before he rides in the grand parade of new and old vehicles around this rural outpost which was once the seat of Collier County.

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Festivities begin at 10 a.m. in McLeod Park with coffee, baked goods, and Art-in-the-Glades booths. The day continues with a guided walking tour of historic places, a performance by the Naples Dixieland Jazz Band, delicious BBQ lunch sold by the Sons of the Confederacy, a show from the Marco Island Historical Re-Enactors, and storytelling by local old-timers. To put it all in context, Jonathan Ullman will speak about “Trailblazers: The Perilous Story of the Tamiami Trail.”

To end this festive day, there will be a formal tea with real China cups and birthday cake at the historic Rod & Gun Club, Collier’s exclusive hide-away on the bank of the Barron River.

The event is hosted by Friends of the Museum of the Everglades and there is no charge except for food. For information, see evergladesmuseum.org or 239-695-2397.

2. Wednesday: Anibal Cruz returns

The Marco Island Center for the Arts is bringing back Cuban-born tenor Anibal Cruz to perform salsa flavored songs, Latin favorites and even Frank Sinatra selections.

Concert pianist Jorge Emilio Pis-Rodriguez will be joining Cruz for this interlude.

The concert will take place from 5:30 until 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 25, in the Art Center. The ticket price is $25 for members and $30 for non-members.

Information: 239-394-4221 or www.marcoislandart.org/musicalinterludes.

3. Tuesday: Meals of Hope’s ‘Happy hour for Hope’

Marco Island Meals of Hope’s next “Happy Hour for Hope” will be from 5 until 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 24, at Stan’s Idle Hour Restaurant, 221 Goodland Drive, Goodland.


Happy Hours for Hope are fundraisers for Marco Island’s Meals of Hope. The $20 admission fee helps the organization buy food for its packaging event in November.

Happy Hours for Hope raise about $15,000 each year. The packaging event in November has a budget of $50,000. Marco Meals of Hope is a joint effort of Kiwanis, Noontime Rotary and Sunrise Rotary Clubs. Information: 239-642-6020 or www.mohmi.org.