Season has arrived: Marco Island gets ready for busiest weekend since before the pandemic

Marco Eagle

From the moment Walmart started stocking Christmas decorations, way back in September, to conversations about pumpkin-spice everything, you had to know season wasn’t far away.

From the looks of things, this weekend might be the busiest weekend on Marco Island since before the pandemic. So, I think it’s safe to say, season has arrived.

Saturday ushers in one of the island’s largest rummage sales, an annual chili competition and an arts and crafts extravaganza in Goodland. Things were supposed to kick off Friday at the newly renovated Veterans Community Park, but ...

World War II veterans Robert Sargeant, from left, Don Mills, and John Basic are honored guests in the front row. Hundreds thronged the sanctuary at Marco Lutheran Church for the 2021 commemoration of Veterans Day.

American Legion Post 404 Veterans Day ceremony

Marco Island’s American Legion Post 404 will be hosting a Veterans Day Ceremony ceremony at 11 a.m., Friday, at Marco Lutheran Church, 525 N Collier Blvd., Marco Island. The ceremony was supposed to be at the newly renovated Veterans Community Park, near the Veterans Flag Plaza. Due to Nicole, the dedication of the Flag Plaza will now take place at a later date. Marco Island City Manager Michael McNees was to lead the reposting with members of American Legion Post 404 raising the flags for Florida, Collier County, Marco Island, MIA/POW Flag, and the 6 Service flags.

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The Veterans Day ceremony will include presentations by District 1 County Commissioner Rick LoCastro and Collier County Undersheriff Jim Bloom. LoCastro, Col, USAF (ret.), will speak about the newly formed Space Force. Undersheriff Bloom, himself a veteran, will speak about the sheriff’s role in helping veterans during hurricane Ian.

In addition, Carl Steinhoff, President of Rolling Thunder, will dedicate the newly installed POW/MIA Chair and David Bray, a USMC veteran, will sing several patriotic songs. Lee Rubenstein, Post 404 Commander, will be the master of ceremony.

File: Sherry Lourie finds the clip earrings she was searching for at the Treasures In The Trunk sale.

Columbiettes Treasures in the Trunk sale and fundraiser

On Saturday, the San Marco Columbiettes will host a Treasures in the Trunk Sale Fundraiser in the parking lot of the San Marco Parish Center, 851 San Marco Rd., Marco Island.

Vendors must be set up by 7:30 am. Shoppers are welcome free of charge starting at 8 a.m. Don’t miss this opportunity to sell your new, used or antique treasures from the trunk of your vehicle.

The cost will be $20 per vehicle parking spot and $10 additional if you wish to rent a table to place at the rear of your vehicle.

Vendors may purchase more than one spot if they wish to do so. All merchandise not sold must be removed by the vendor.

Refreshments and home baked items will be available for purchase. A 50/50 drawing will take place at 11 a.m. You do not need to be present for drawing.

For more information contact Kathleen Reynolds at 239-404-6733, or Barbara DeRosa at 239-272-0158.

Michelle Sullivan of the Sullivan's Brigade took Best of Show for their all-meat chili. The Marco Island Fire-Rescue Foundation held their sixth annal Jerry Adams Chili Cookoff Saturday at the Esplanade, raising funds to help fire department families impacted by Hurricane Michael.

Jerry Adams Chili Cookoff

The Marco Island Fire Rescue Foundations’ 10th Annual Jerry Adams Chili Cookoff is from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., Saturday. The event is hosted by CJ’s on the Bay at the Esplanade, 740 N. Collier Blvd.

Over 20 chefs will come together to compete for the People’s Choice Award and a Judge’s Pick by a trio of “secret judges” from the culinary world.

Hilton executive chef Cory Hepburn's winning recipe took top honors in the restaurant category. The Marco Island Fire-Rescue Foundation held their sixth annal Jerry Adams Chili Cookoff Saturday at the Esplanade, raising funds to help fire department families impacted by Hurricane Michael.

The Marco Island Fire Rescue Foundation honors the memory of Jerry Adams, a 23- year veteran in the fire service. He was a driver engineer and EMT with the city and loved the fire service and cooking chili. Adams lost his battle to cancer in 2012, at the age of 61.

Your $20 contribution supports firefighters through the Marco Island Fire Rescue Foundation when they or their families are faced with need. The Foundation also looks to the future by supporting scholarships to members and their immediate family. CJ’s will have side dishes and happy hour drinks. The Marco Kiwanis Club will cool your tongue with ice cream bars as they support the Key Club competing in the event!

Painter Tara O'Neill is a fixture on the Goodland art scene. File: The Goodland Civic Association held their Holiday Bazaar at MarGood Harbor Park, with artwork and crafts on sale, live music and food.

13th Annual Goodland Holiday Bazaar

Hoping to put Hurricane Ian one more significant step behind them, the Goodland Civic Association announces its 13th Annual Holiday Bazaar, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, at MarGood Harbor Park, 321 Pear Tree St., in the Village of Goodland.

The Bazaar promises over 20 vendors offering fine art, unique crafts, holiday gifts, bath and body products, fun food, and a team of volunteer golf-cart drivers ferrying folks around other village venues.

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The venue, MarGood Harbor Park, holds well-documented historic and environmental significance. Today native landscaping and lovely walkways wrap around a charming harbor-front.

The park also features a museum/interpretive center, 2 open-air pavilions, and kayak launch and free parking. Information: Tara O’Neill, 239-330-7543, 

Artisans will be selling everything from photographs to quilting during Art-in-the-Glades on Saturday, Dec. 8, in Everglades City.

Everglades City Arts & Crafts

Venture down to historic Everglades City on Saturday, for the first Art-in-the-Glades arts and crafts fair of the winter season.

This informal outdoor event is held in McLeod Park on the Circle from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Goods on sale range from photos of the environment to hand-made soap.

When you finish browsing and shopping, stop at one of the local restaurants for stone crab claws, the local delicacy now in season. Admission is free and vendors are welcome to set up their own tables. Information: Marya at 239-695-2905.

Other big events in November

Comedy at the Arts Center Theatre

The Arts Center Theatre, the recently acquired venue at the Marco town Center, will present a series of stand-up comedy nights. 

On Nov. 18, comedian RC Smith (Rachel Ray and Stephen Colbert Show) will headline along with William “Rock the House” Lewis and host Larry Venturino. Other dates include – Dec. 18: Larry Venturino, with Aniria Turney, Seetha and Christopher Cowles; Jan. 27: Ken Miller with Sean Harper and Larry Venturino; Feb. 3: Alex Elkin with Ginger Kelly and Larry Venturino; March 10: Jim Florentine with RC Smith and Larry Venturino.

Tickets for the nights of standup comedy are $20 for Marco Island Center for the Arts Members and $25 for non-members with the exception of the evening with Jim Florentine where tickets will be $30 for members and $35 for non-members. 

Hundreds toil to provide food for those who need it. Volunteers packed over 123,000 meals Saturday morning at the Marco Island Meals of Hope packaging event under the air-nasium at the YMCA.

Meal of Hope: Funds and volunteers needed

Marco Island Meals of Hope will hold its annual packaging event from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., on Saturday, Nov. 19. This year’s event will be at Marco Island Charter Middle School, 1401 Trinidad Avenue, Marco Island.

Chairman Bill “Captain Happy Hope” Morris explained, “We are excited to be back at the charter school. All Event Party Rental is providing tables and DJ Jason Beal providing music. Now, all we have to worry about is getting volunteers.”

A young volunteer, too busy to give his name, carries cartons of completed meals. A team of over 500 volunteers packed 250,000 meals for hungry families Saturday morning in the Meals of Hope packing event at MICMS, after raising nearly $50,000 for the ingredients.

This year’s event is dedicated to the memory of Kevin M. Fitzgerald. Morris explained, “Kevin was our volunteer DJ for years and was a big part of our packaging event. He passed away earlier this year and we want to honor his memory.”

Meals of Hope is still short on funds, so donations are needed. “We need volunteers and money” explained Morris. “We need money to pay for materials. We need volunteers to package meals.”

The doors at the charter school will open at 8:00 a.m. and packaging will start at 8:30 a.m. The group hopes to package as many meals as it can fund. Volunteers will be the key. Volunteers are to pre-register at For more information, contact Bill “Captain Happy Hope” Morris at 239-642-6020.

4th annual Rookery Bay Classic Car Show set in new location

The 4th Annual Rookery Bay Classic Car Show will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 19 at Florida SouthWestern State College, 7505 Grand Lely Drive, Naples.

Hosted by Island Automotive to support Friends of Rookery Bay, the event will have over 140 cars representing everything from pre-1930s antiques, icons from the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s, muscle cars from the ‘60s and ‘70s, and exotic/high performance race cars from yesterday and today.

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The day will include venders, activities, entertainment, and food trucks. Car show attendees will receive a free pass to visit the nearby Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center by Dec. 31, 2022.

The center has aquariums, a touch tank, interactive exhibits, walking trails, an art gallery, picnic areas, a gift shop and more. Cash-only admission to the car show is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 6-12 and free for children five and younger.

Proceeds help support education, conservation and research within the 110,000-acre Rookery Bay Research Reserve, which encompasses 40 percent of Collier County’s coastline. For more information or to register a classic car for $25, visit or call Island automotive at 239-394-3458.