With BaileyFest and "Ding" Darling Days behind us, coupled with drier weather and cooler temperatures, Sanibel and Captiva residents know that "season" is just beginning.
There are more than 25 seasonal events and performances to delight full- and part-time residents and visitors alike over the remaining 55 days of 2013. It starts with the Sanibel Writers' Conference Nov. 7-10 at BIG ARTS and culminates with the Holiday Spectacular at Herb Strauss Theater closing out the year.
There is plenty to see and do for all tastes and preferences. Season includes the fun events of the House Party Series at Sanibel Community House, the Taste of the Islands Festival for CROW, arts and crafts fairs, Sanibel-Captiva Luminary Festival, Wines in the Wild for SCCF, and holiday band concerts.
Contractors prepare to repave a section of the Sanibel Shared Use Path along Periwinkle Way east of Donax Street near She Sells Sea Shells on Wednesday. The work has been ongoing through the summer months in preparation for season. Safety repairs are made each year to the city's 25 miles of pathways wherever necessary. A widening and improvement project to the East Periwinkle path is nearing completion as well.
This weekend, for example, offers several events to choose from, or perhaps attend them all. Why not?
Golfers are participating in the 10th Shell Point Open Charity Golf Tournament with a 7:15 a.m. start on Nov. 8 at Shell Point Golf Club just across the Sanibel Causeway on the mainland.
The tournament is a Legacy Foundation at Shell Point fundraiser for the Shell Point Memory Care Center which provides care and services to Shell Point residents and members of the surrounding community with memory loss, dementia associated with Alzheimer's, and other brain diseases.
The Writer's Conference features workshops in fiction, poetry, songwriting, children's literature, journalism, screen writing and creative nonfiction. Nightly readings are presented by experienced writers, musicians and teachers. For more information visit www.fgcu.edu/siwc.
Sanibel-Captiva Chapter of S.T.A.R.T. (Solutions to Avoid Red Tide) hosts its fifth Cracker Fest celebration 6-10 p.m. on Friday at the Bait Box, 1041 Periwinkle Way. The festival raises awareness and financial support for local water quality and conservation organizations. Live music by Uproot Hootenanny. Admission is $100 per person by reservation, which includes dinner, entertainment, live auction and raffle ticket.
The House Party Series begins Friday as well with the themed USO Show tribute to veterans from 7-10 p.m. where you can dance to the music of the Swing Era, or take dance lessons while enjoying the food and beverages. Tickets are $25 in advance for association members, $30 at the door. Guest tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door. For sporting interests, there's the Mini-Golf event Dec. 26-29. The series continues in February with the Doo Wop Party and at the Honky Tonk House Party in March.
Saturday brings out the youngsters for the "Ding" Darling Kids Fishing Derby. Kids of all ages able to hold their own fishing pole can participate from 8:30 a.m.-noon on the Sanibel Causeway. Judges will record catches and present awards afterwards in two age groups. Bring your own poles if possible.
Weekend celebrations conclude Sunday with the Taste of the Islands Festival, a fundraising event for CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife), running 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club. Enjoy live bands and food from local restaurants, whose dishes will be judged.
Here are most of the events remaining through the Christmas holidays:
SCCF Wines in the Wild
Saturday, Nov. 13, 6-8 p.m., at SCCF's Nature Center, 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Road; six "organic, sustainable and biodynamic" themed wines for tasting; delicious array of food; cost $75 per person, reservations requested. SCCF 472-2329.
Side Effects May Include
Saturday, Nov 13, 7:30 p.m., at Sanibel Community House; Mad Kap Productions' one-man show from former Seinfeld writer Marc Jaffe and Broadway playwright Eric Coble for the benefit of the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Tickets $20 in advance, $25 at the door.
Wendy Webb & Friends November Moon Concert
Sunday, Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m., at Herb Strauss Theater; Singer-songwriter Wendy Webb performs concert under a November full moon. For more information visit www.bigarts.org.
Captiva Island Historical Society
Tuesday, Nov. 19, 7:30 p.m., Wakefield Room at 'Tween Waters Inn; Tony Lapi gives "The History of 'Tween Waters Inn"; reservations required. 239-395-1847.
Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum Open House
Thursday, Nov. 21, 5:30-7:30 p.m., reception lobby; eat, drink and celebrate the museum reopening, shop the new store, meet museum staff and board members.
Masters Arts & Crafts Fair
Friday, Saturday, Nov. 29-30, Sanibel Community House; gate donation benefits Sanibel Community Association and BIG ARTS. For more information visit www.sanibelcommunityhouse.net.
Saturday, Nov. 30, 7 p.m., at Herb Strauss Theater; award winning actor Raoul Bhaneja plays 17 roles alone in William Shakespeare classic; multiple performances Nov. 30-Dec. 5; tickets $35, children 17 and under $5. For more information visit www.bigarts.org.
Sanibel Luminary Festival
Friday, Dec. 6, 5:30-9 p.m.; travel the trail by trolley to take in community-wide holiday displays and shopping. For more information visit www.sanibel-captiva.org.
Captiva Luminary Festival
Saturday, Dec. 7, 5:30-9 p.m.; travel the trail by trolley to take in community-wide holiday displays and shopping. For more information visit www.sanibel-captiva.org.
Community Chorus Holiday Concert
Tuesday, Dec. 10, 7 p.m., BIG ARTS; Community chorus directed by Steven Cramer perform holiday favorites. For more information visit www.bigarts.org.
Winter Writers Read
Thursday, Dec. 12, 7:30-9:30 p.m., at BIG ARTS; an island tradition since 1987, writers read selections from their prose and poetic works; tickets $5, students/children free. For more information (239) 395-0900.
Big & Small Exhibits Artists Reception
Friday, Dec. 13, 5:30-7 p.m., at BIG ARTS; 38th Art Council of Southwest Florida juried art exhibit "Patterns"; exhibit through Jan. 15. For more information visit www.bigarts.org.
Concert Band Holiday Performance
Tuesday, Dec. 17, 7-9 p.m., at BIG ARTS; Concert Band performs assortment of popular tunes and traditional favorites led by Mike Lamade; tickets $7, students/children free. For more information visit www.bigarts.org.
Dec. 19-31, Herb Strauss Theater; multiple performances of an original musical production directed by Bobby Logue and John Ramsey, fun-filled holiday celebration to share with family, friends, loved ones; tickets $35, students/children $5. For more information & performance times visit www.bigarts.org.