SWFLA To Do List: Judging for island homes, ‘Southern Momma’ comedy, more
Judging underway this week: 29th Annual Christmas House Decorating Contest
Preliminary judging is happening between 6:30 and 10:30 p.m., Dec. 12, 13 and 14. Marco Island homeowners are instructed to have their lights on all three nights to ensure that the judges may view all properties. The final judging is scheduled will be done between 6:30 and 10:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 16 along with the traditional tailgate party that precedes the Judges’ Trolley Tour to the Top 10 Homes to select the 2022 winner.
Carmen Morales at Off the Hook, ‘Southern Momma’ comedy, more
The comedian performs 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, at Off The Hook Comedy Club, 2500 Vanderbilt Beach Road, No. 1100. $25 general admission, plus a fee. Information: offthehookcomedy.com or 239-389-6901.
New Southern Momma Comedy Tour at Off the Hook
With Darren Knight featuring comedians Red Squirrel and Gary Cargal Dec. 15-18 at Off The Hook Comedy Club, 2500 Vanderbilt Beach Road, No. 1100. $30 general admission, plus a fee. 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15; 7 and 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17; and 6;30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19. Information: offthehookcomedy.com or 239-389-6901.
Debbie Gibson at Seminole Casino
The late-1980s and early '90s pop singer known for hits including "Only in My Dreams" and "Lost in Your Eyes" performs a holiday show at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, at Seminole Casino Hotel, 506 S. First St., Immokalee. Tickets from $65, not including fees. 658-1313 or moreinparadise.
Cookies and Milk with Santa
From 10:00 a.m. until noon, Saturday, Dec. 17. Santa will be flying in via helicopter on the Mackle Park, 1361 Andalusia Terrace, Marco Island. Afterwards, bring your Christmas list to Santa and enjoy cookies and milk.
Mark McGarity Hill Run – 5 Mile Run
From 7 a.m. until 9 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 17. At 350 S Barfield Dr, Marco Island. Information: runsignup.com/Race/FL/MarcoIsland/2013Marco5MileHillRun.
Marco Island Holiday Boat Parade
At 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 17. Information: ChristmasIslandStyle.com.
Wreaths Across America
At noon, Dec. 17, Wreaths Across America will be at Marco Island Cemetery to remember and honor veterans through the laying of remembrance wreaths on the graves of this country's fallen heroes. The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution is a sponsor of Wreaths Across America nationwide. This will be the fourth year the Marco DAR chapter and Marco’s American Legion join to perform a ceremony honoring America’s veterans and to supervise the laying of wreaths at each grave of an American military member, according to member Chris Curle. A family member or a volunteer will take a wreath to the grave of a veteran and will say the name of the veteran as the wreath is placed. Approximately 160 military veterans are buried at Marco Island Cemetery, going back to the Civil War. Friends and family of deceased veterans and the public are welcome to observe the ceremony and to participate in the wreath laying. To sponsor wreaths or to donate to the cause, visit https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/pages/159720/Overview/?relatedId=0 or search: Marco Island DAR Chapter 3093FL (FL0663).
‘Hung by the Chimney’ at Arts Center Theatre
Arts Center Theatre is all set to bring you a unique dose of holiday cheer with Larry Venturino’s “Hung by the Chimney” comedy tour. This comedic holiday extravaganza is ringing in a season of joy and laughter with two shows at 7 p.m. and 9:30, Sunday, Dec. 18. Joining Larry are Christopher Cowles, Aniria Turney, and Seetha. Tickets are available for this and all comedy shows at https://www.marcoislandart.org/comedy-series/ or by calling 239-394-4221 for $25 for non-members and $20 for members.
Naples Dixieland Jazz Band
2-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, at Cambier Park, Sixth Avenue South and Eighth Street South, Naples. Other concerts are Jan. 29, Feb. 12, March 19 and April 9. Those attending urged to bring chairs. All concerts free but donations greatly appreciated and needed. naplesjazzsociety.com.
'Christmas Carol' musical kicks off at Naples Players
See "A Christmas Carol — the Musical" at various times through Dec. 18 at Blackburn Hall, Sugden Community Theatre, 701 Fifh Ave. S., Naples. The Naples Players' musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ most well-known story includes music from Broadway veterans Alan Menken ("Disney’s Beauty and the Beast," "Little Shop of Horrors") and Lynn Ahrens ("Ragtime," "Seussical,"). $55. naplesplayers.org or 239-263-7990.
Bob Zany at Off the Hook
The comedian performs 7 p.m. Dec. 21-23 at Off The Hook Comedy Club, 2500 Vanderbilt Beach Road, No. 1100. $25 general admission, plus a fee. Information: offthehookcomedy.com or 239-389-6901.
J Chris Newberg at Off the Hook
The comedian performs 7 p.m. Dec. 26-28 at Off The Hook Comedy Club, 2500 Vanderbilt Beach Road, No. 1100. $25 general admission, plus a fee. Information: offthehookcomedy.com or 239-389-6901.
The Tony- and Grammy-award winning musical is various times between Dec. 27 and Jan. 1 at Artis—Naples, 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., Naples. The production combines two mythic tales, a "haunting and hopeful theatrical experience that grabs you and never lets go," reads the Artis—Naples website. From $89, excluding fees. artisnaples.org.
Vicki Barbolak at Off the Hook
The comedian performs Dec. 29-30 and Jan. 1 at Off The Hook Comedy Club, 2500 Vanderbilt Beach Road, No. 1100. $25 general admission, plus a fee. 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29; 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30; and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 1. Information: offthehookcomedy.com or 239-389-6901.
‘¡Viva La Ceramica!’ exhibition
¡Viva La Ceramica! exhibition at Marco Island Center for the Arts features work from the member artists of the Clay Guild. This exhibition draws from themes based on the heart of Latin America’s pottery-making cultures. “¡Viva la Ceramica!” is part of the season-long celebration of Hispanic arts and culture in Collier County, “¡Arte Viva!” The exhibit runs through Jan. 4, with the Second Tuesday Gallery Reception on at 5:30 p.m., Dec. 13. There will be a raffle of four collections of “Mexican Curiosities” donated to help support the Art Center by Clay Guild member artist Barbara Perez. The collections consist of genuine craft items from Mexico. Raffle tickets will be on sale at the Art Center until the Second Tuesday reception where the drawing for the items will be at 6:15 p.m., Dec. 13, and the winner must be present to win.
Marco Island Farmers’ Market
Marco Island’s farmers market is from 7:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., every Wednesday through April at Veteran’s Community Park (901 Park Ave., Marco Island). Information: 239-642-0575 or cityofmarcoisland.com.
Third Street South Famers Market
From 7:30-11:30 a.m., Saturdays, through April 29, in the parking lot behind Tommy Bahamas, in Old Naples. Fresh produce, flowers, pastas, seafood, baked goods, prepared foods, jams, relishes, fresh-roasted coffee, more. Music, dog treats.
Estero Farmers Market at Miromar Outlets
Open 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays near Corkscrew Road entrance; 10801 Corkscrew Road, Estero. Find it on Facebook for more.
Golden Gate Community Farmers Market
Open year-round, Saturdays 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays at 4701 Golden Gate Parkway, Golden Gate; Sundays 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays at 11725 Collier Blvd., Golden Gate. Visit farmermarket2.com for more.
'A Christmas Carol — the Musical'
"A Christmas Carol — the Musical": Various times through Dec. 18. Blackburn Hall, Sugden Community Theatre, 701 Fifh Ave. S., Naples. Naples Players' musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ most well-known story with music from Broadway veterans Alan Menken ("Disney’s Beauty and the Beast," "Little Shop of Horrors") and Lynn Ahrens ("Ragtime," "Seussical,"). It brings Ebenezer Scrooge and the spirits of Christmas past, present and future to musical life. $55. naplesplayers.org or 239- 263-7990.
Arts Center Theatre presents ‘The Odd Couple’ with a female twist
Arts Center Theatre presents Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple.” However, this production will add a female twist to the classic version featuring Oscar and Felix. In 1985, Neil Simon revised “The Odd Couple” for a female cast and the play opened on Broadway that same year. In this female version, “Olive Madison” (played by Christi Lueck-Sadiq) is divorced and living in her own world of chaos behind the door of her New York apartment. At her invitation, the heartbroken and devastated Florence Unger (played by Cheryl Duggan), newly separated from her husband, moves in. The production runs through Dec. 18 at Marco Town Center (formerly the home of Marco Players). Tickets are available for purchase now at marcoislandart.org/arts-center-theater/. Art Center members’ price is $35 and non-members’ price is $40.
Trees and Teas Festival
Noon-9 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays through Dec. 18. Lobby Sugden Community Theatre, 701 Fifth Ave. S., Naples. Local artists have designed trees for The Naples Players lobby, with themes of popular Broadway productions like "Hairspray," "The Nutcracker," "Wicked" and more. There's a selection of holiday teas for sipping and a pop-up gift shop features teas, treats, holiday wreaths and mini trees. $10, younger than 6 free.
Johnsonville Night Lights in the Garden
Through Jan. 1. Naples Botanical Garden, 4820 Bayshore Drive, Naples. Colorful lighting displays around the the garden areas, music, a faux campfire with tent for kids, refreshments for sale. Garden members can buy discounted tickets online now; the public, starting Nov. 7. Information at naplesgarden.org or 239-643-7275.
‘10,000 Songs Show’
Visitors and locals alike have been packing the audience at Margood Harbor Theater in Goodland, to hear award winning songwriters play original Florida music every first Monday of the month. J. Robert’s “10,000 Songs from the 10,000 Islands” show is celebrating six years of new songs and stories.Gates open at 6 at Margood Harbour Park Theater, located 321 Pear Street in Goodland.
M.C. Escher: ‘Reality & Illusion’
Now through Feb. 12; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays (open until 9 p.m. Thursdays); 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays. Naples Art Institute (formerly Naples Art), 585 Park St., Naples. Exhibition of the works of M.C. Escher, artist-mathematician. $15, $10 members. Docent tours at 1 p.m. Fridays in December — Dec. 9, 16, 23 and 30. Information at naplesart.org or 239-262-6517.
‘Other Desert Cities’
Various times through Dec. 18 in Joan Jenks Auditorium at Golden Gate Community Center, 4701 Golden Gate Parkway, Naples. The Studio Players production of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist. Brooke Wyeth returns home to Palm Springs after a six-year absence to celebrate Christmas with her family. She announces that she is about to publish a memoir dredging up a pivotal and tragic event in the family’s history — a wound they don’t want reopened. $30 or $15 for students (and extra fees for each). No performances Dec. 1-4 because of Snow Fest at community Center. Information: thestudioplayers.org or 239-398-9192.
JCMI Monday Night Bingo
Monday Night Bingo will be played every Monday Night through May 1 at the Jewish Congregation of Marco Island, located at 991 Winterberry Drive. Doors open at 5:30 pm. The first numbers are posted at 6:15 pm and the game is called at 7:00 pm. Supper is complimentary-kosher hot dog, relish, sauerkraut, onions, pastry, pickles, pastry and ice cream, coffee and tea. The payouts are large. Information: 239-642 0800.
A yearlong exploration of Mexico’s plants: La Calavera Catrina
Naples Botanical Garden is presenting a yearlong exploration of Mexico’s plants and their cultural connections. The season features major exhibitions — including a botanical homage to artist Frida Kahlo — new festivals, and the return of annual favorites. La Calavera Catrina, now through Jan. 29, features eight towering sculptures of La Catrina, one of the most recognizable figures of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). An elegant female skeleton and an icon of Mexican heritage. La Catrina approaches death not through sadness, but as a colorful celebration of life. Designed by Los Angeles-based artist Ricardo Soltero, these 8-foot-tall, brightly adorned sculptures will add an element of surprise to your Garden stroll. La Calavera Catrina is organized by Denver Botanic Gardens.
Exhibit highlights Great Lakes to Sunshine State connection
This exhibit explores the connection between the Midwest and Florida. Enjoy "From the Great Lakes to the Sunshine State — Exploring U.S. 41" from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays through Jan. 21 at Collier Museum at Government Center, 3331 U.S. 41 E., Naples. The roots of U.S. 41 go back to the dawn of the automobile age, bridging the Midwest and the South. More at 239-252-8476 or colliermuseums.com. Information: 239-398-9192.
Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Daily, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (last ticket). 375 Sanctuary Road, Naples. Stroll the 2.25-mile boardwalk through pine flatwoods, wet prairie, freshwater marsh and the largest old-growth bald cypress forest in North America. $17 adults, $6 kids 6-14, free ages 5 and younger. Online tickets at Corkscrew.Audubon.org/Visit.
Call to artists, crafters and market vendors
The Goodland Civic Association is readying for he 11th annual Goodland Harbor Arts & Music Festival, Saturday & Sunday, March 11-12, is a juried event also held at waterfront MarGood Harbor Park showcasing fine arts and hand crafts, live music organized by JRobert of Mangrove Music Studio, and a variety of food vendors. Artists will be juried by a selection committee of five professional artists. Fee for a 10’x10’ booth, which include a non-refundable $20 application fee, is $160. The deadline to apply is Dec. 18. There will be a limited number of single-day booths available for both events at reduced rates on a first come, first served basis, for both shows. For details & applications contact Tara O'Neill at email@example.com.
Love The Arts Festival – Call to Artists
The Marco Island Foundation for the Arts is announcing a new art festival, Love The Arts Festival, on Marco Island. This special event will be held on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Marco Island Historical Museum. The festival will highlight fine arts of exceptional photographers, painters, jewelers, potters, and crafters. Music will be scheduled during the festival and food vendors are invited to apply. Local students will also be invited to show their artwork. This is a juried show, so artists who have already been juried for other art shows sponsored by Marco Island Foundation for the Arts (MIFA) are welcome to sign up for the festival. If you have not been previously juried by MIFA, you may send an email to Karen Swanker at firstname.lastname@example.org with a minimum of three photos of your artwork, requesting to be juried for the Love the Arts Festival. If you have any questions, you may call Karen at 239-331-0987. Cost of participating in the festival is $90 if you are a MIFA member, or $140 for non-members. Complete the Love the Arts Festival registration form found on MIFA’s website, marcoislandfoundation.org and mail it to Carolyn Burger, 282 Sand Hill St., Marco Island. Information: marcoislandfoundation.org.
Rhode Island Club
The Rhode Island Club is ready to start up our seasonal get togethers. The club will meet at a variety of locations in Southwest Florida throughout season for some lively conversations and enjoyable comeradery. You are invited to join them. Contact Ann Sepe at 401-632-6099.
Italian American Society of Marco Island
The Italian American Society of Marco Island will hold their monthly meetings on the first Wednesday of each month, November through April, at Mackle's Park's Community room. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. with meeting starting at 5:30. This energetic group of men and women with Italian heritage, over the age of 21, are dedicated to remembering their roots while socializing through dinners, dances, bocce, trips, golf and more. Information: iasmi.org or call Barbara DeRosa 239-272-0158.
Did you know Naples is home to one of the top 10 car museums in the world? If you haven't done so yet, check out this amazing collection of vehicles assembled over decades. 2500 Horseshoe Drive S. Visitors must observe COVID-19 protocols. Reserve tickets online for specific dates and times in advance. No walkups. Information: revinstitute.org or 239-687-REVS.
The Factory Run Club
At 6.30 p.m., Tuesdays. Paradise Coast Sports Complex, 3940 City Gate Blvd. N., Naples. The Factory Run Club is a fun social run around the lake loop — just under 1 mile — adjacent to The Cove at the Paradise Coast Sports Complex. Your skill level is the right one. Jog a single lap or run as many as you choose. Drinks at The Cove afterward are discounted for participants. And you’ll be ready to cool off after that virtuous workout. You get a R.I.O.T. shirt after completing eight runs. And it’s free, free, free.
Discover the various botanical specimens collected by the Utopian pioneer Koreshans and their specific purpose on this walking tour. Guests will tour the late 18th/early 20th century settlement and learn the history of this progressive society which promoted women's right to vote, equality of the sexes and education for all. Cost: $10 and $4 park admission. Purchase tickets online at friendsofkoreshan.org/page-7741.
Koreshan Unity Settlement
Explore the 19th century religious Koreshan Unity Settlement, its structures, and gardens. Join guided walking tours in Koreshan State Park and learn about these idealistic pioneers. Guided Tours are $10, non-refundable, and may be purchased online only at http://friendsofkoreshan.org/shop/guided-tours/historic-settlement-tours/.
Koreshan State Park Farmers Market
The Sunday Farmers Market at Koreshan State Park continues every Sunday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Local produce, honey, fresh guacamole and salsas, sea glass, jewelry, street food, arts and crafts, tie-dye and more. Free with paid park admission $4 for single occupancy or $5 for up to eight people in vehicle). Vendor applications @ http://friendsofkoreshan.org/farmers-market-application-2/. Park entrance fee required. $4 single occupancy or $5 for up to eight in vehicle. Please bring exact change, no change provided. Credit card payment can only be made online @ https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/koreshan-state-park. No additional cost for the event. Volunteers needed for the farmers market and other Koreshan State Park Events. If interested: email@example.com.
Key Marco artifacts
Thanks to an unprecedented five-year loan extension by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, the world-famous Key Marco Cat will continue on exhibit at the Marco Island Historical Museum (MIHM) through 2026. Through April 30, 2024, 13 additional Key Marco artifacts from the PENN Museum will be on exhibit at MIHM. Marco Island Historical Museum is located at 180 S. Heathwood Drive. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free. For information, call 239-389-6447 or visit theMIHS.org.
Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center
The attraction at 300 Tower Road in Naples features aquariums, a touch tank with marine critters, natural history exhibits, art gallery, gift shop, butterfly garden, picnic areas and walking trails. Hours are 9 a.m-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Admission of $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-12 benefits the Friends of Rookery Bay, a nonprofit that supports the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Guests may apply their admission fee toward Friends of Rookery Bay membership on the day of their visit. Active and retired military personnel and family members are free year-round, as are guests on kayak and boat ecotours booked through Friends of Rookery Bay. More at rookerybay.org or call 239-530-5972.
Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park
Did you know Collier County is home to the largest state park in Florida? Explore this mesmerizing trip back to yesteryear and see wildlife in the wild. Safety protocols in place. Open 8 a.m. to sunset; $3 vehicle fee. 137 Coastline Drive, Copeland. Information: floridastateparks.org; 239-695-4953.
Rookery Bay tours
Join Rookery Bay Research Reserve for a guided boat tour or kayak adventure into the beautiful waters of Rookery Bay Reserve. With our kayak tours, guests paddle through beautiful mangrove tunnels, teeming mudflats and intricate oyster reefs while searching for amazing wildlife like sea stars, large snails, birds, dolphins and manatees. Our boat tours are small 6-passenger boats and offer a comfortable and informative ride. Guests can choose from different tours including a shelling trip to a deserted a barrier island or a sunset tour. Find out more at RookeryBay.org or call 239-530-5972.
Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum
Now open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. every day, at 3075 Sanibel Captiva Road, Sanibel. Admission is $23.95 for adults (18 and older), $21.95 for seniors, $14.95 youth (12 to 17) and students with their ID, $8.95 for children (5 to 11) and free to children younger than 5 and active military. Visitors who bike to the museum receive $1 off admission. Information: 239-395-2233, shellmuseum.org.
IMAG History & Science Center
Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 2000 Cranford Ave., Fort Myers. Tickets are available online, and advance ticket purchases are necessary currently to limit the number of guests in accordance with CDC recommendations. Information: theimag.org.
Gordon River Greenway
A hidden gem in Naples is the Gordon River Greenway. Walk, ride your bike or kayak on or along the scenic from 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. There's 12-foot wide pathways and 10-foot-wide elevated boardwalks. Restrooms and other amenities available. (1596 Golden Gate Parkway; 239-252-4000 or gordonrivergreenway.org)
New hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1590 Goodlette-Frank Road, Naples. Offering timed online tickets to the general public. All guests will be required to reserve a timed ticket online, with reduced ticket prices. Tickets can only be purchased online. Information: 239-262-5409, napleszoo.org.
Golden Gate Farmers Market
Open year-round, Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., at 4701 Golden Gate Parkway, Golden Gate; Sundays 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at 11725 Collier Blvd., Golden Gate. Visit farmermarket2.com for more.
Farmer Mike's U-Pick
Open 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Wednesdays to Sundays, year-round at 26031 Morton Ave., Bonita Springs with an onsite market and cafe, as well as U-pick produce and flowers. Call 239-498-4576 or click farmermikesupick.com for more.
Immokalee State Farmers Market
Open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. daily year-round at 424 New Market Road E., Immokalee. For more, call 239-658-3505 or visit fdacs.gov.