Now You Know: Big weekend in Everglades City

County Centennial, Art in the Glades, bicycle event and more

Will Watts
Correspondent

Everglades City, Collier’s first seat of government, celebrates the county’s 100th birthday with a music festival on Saturday.  

Several Southwest Florida musicians will be donating their time and talents at the historic Rod & Gun Club to help raise funds for the restoration of the Bank of Everglades Building, completed in 1927 as part of Barron Collier's entrepreneurial empire.

Original painting by Varick Niles of Bank of Everglades will be auctioned at the Music Festival on Jan. 14.

Among the performers are J.Robert, Raiford Stark, and Gator Nate plus some newcomers to the cause like Captn Jac, Sarah McCullough, and Charlie Pace.

In keeping with the theme, the auctions will feature historic photos and original paintings as well as guided tours and delicious edibles.

The day’s activities kick off at 9 a.m. with a 2-hour guided bike ride around the mini-city, and then continue four miles down the road to quaint Chokoloskee.

Art-in-the-Glades begins at 10 a.m. in McLeod Park where you can browse among the creations that local artisans are offering for sale.

At the same time, Radio St. Pete will broadcast the “Florida Folk Show” live on 96.7FM from the porch of the Everglades Area Visitor Center across the street at 207 West Broadway. You can listen online at radiostpete.com.

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Among the people interviewed, there may be performers who later feature at the music festival which starts at noon on the lawn behind the nearby Rod & Gun Club.

Besides great music, the Festival features auctions of artwork including John Apte's breath-taking aerial photos of places like Naples Pier that may never be the same again. There will also be a book signing by Nick Pennniman & Franklin Adams whose new publication Enjoyment of the Same about Public Lands in SWFL is hot off the press.

The Festival benefits the effort to restore the old Bank of Everglades Building for future use as a visitor center and community focal point.

Tickets are $20 for General Admission and $50 for a Reserved Seat. They are available in advance at Save-BOE.org or on the day at Art-in-the-Glades and at the entry to the event.

For information, see eshp.org or phone Patty at 239-719-0020.

Coming in February

The Florida Stone Crabbers Association (FLSCA) will kick off its 53rd Annual Everglades Seafood Festival on Feb. 17, outside Everglades City Hall, including an opening ceremony and a fireworks display.

The festival will continue through the weekend, wrapping up at 6 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 19. Tens of thousands of people from all over the world flock to this small town each year to partake in the festivities.

Thousands attended the 49th annual Everglades City Seafood festival, which ran Friday  through Sunday.

Attendees enjoy live music, creative works from local artists, delicious seafood, cold beverages, and carnival rides.

The festival is an annual charity event benefiting the Everglades City community. This year, the festival’s success is key, as many residents are still getting back on their feet after Hurricane Ian.

“Homes and businesses were flooded for the second time in five years–first by Hurricane Irma, then Hurricane Ian,” said festival coordinator Holly Dudley. “Families were displaced, and businesses worked hard to reopen, but we are bouncing back quickly. Funds from our 2023 festival will help the victims and commercial fishermen rebuild.”

For more information about the 2023 Everglades Seafood Festival visit EvergladesSeafoodFestival-2023.com

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Roberta Bresette artwork on display

Roberta Bresette grew up on an Iowa farm and went to a one room school. There was no art, so to speak. She always felt a very strong desire that she wanted to paint.

“I just never got started as I was raising a family and had a job.  Visiting Paris art museums was such a thrill and inspiration!  I think truly it was the catalyst to signing up for my first drawing class.”

Roberta Bresette with her collage artwork.

That art experience was at the Marco Island Center for the Arts. Drawing led to painting in various mediums. She landed on acrylics—canvas and paper.

Roberta has continued to expand the acrylic experience by moving to mixed media and collage.

Bresette’s colorful and unique artwork can be purchased at the Art Center Theater (239-394-4221) in Town Center (across from the Crazy Flamingo) during the run of current show running from Jan. 4 until  22.