Around The Town

July 12, 2024 at 3:54 p.m.



Sarasota County Parks partnered with host Keep Sarasota County Beautiful to organize a litter clean-up for the morning after the July 4th holiday. Englewood Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) staff joined the clean-up at Indian Mound Park and then traveled to Blind Pass Beach to join the clean-up there. At Indian Mound Park, the Lemon Bay Crew Club (which keeps its boats & equipment headquartered there), added to their numbers and did a phenomenal job. The CRA would like to see a similar clean-up event scheduled for the West Dearborn and Old McCall section of Englewood. Anyone who would be interested in a future clean-up is asked to contact the CRA via email at [email protected]. CRA staff members Rebecca Beckham (middle) and Marcia Castaneda (right) pose with Presley Burkhardt (left) from Sarasota County Neighborhood Services at the clean-up.

Christmas in July
Venice Mainstreet will be holding “their biggest sale of the season” on Friday & Saturday, July 12 & 13, 10am to 4pm, at participating downtown shops on Miami Avenue West, West Venice Avenue, Nokomis Avenue South, and Tampa Avenue West. Enjoy great discounts, register to win one of several gift baskets, meet Santa, and you can ride the free trolley from 11am to 3pm both days. Have lunch with Santa on Friday at noon at the Burgundy Square Café, 227 Miami Avenue West, and on Saturday at noon at Café Venice, 101 W Venice Avenue. Santa will be riding the trolley both days from 11am to noon. Come celebrate Christmas in July in Venice. Learn more at



The Barrier Island Parks Society is excited to announce their festive “Christmas in July” event, set to take place on Saturday, July 13, 11am to 4pm, at the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse & Museum, 880 Belcher Road, Boca Grande. Enjoy a delightful day of holiday cheer at the museum decorated with beautiful seasonal decor. Visitors will be treated to complimentary apple cider and delicious cookies while enjoying the enchanting sounds of Christmas music filling the air. In addition to the festive atmosphere, guests can get a head start on their holiday shopping with a special 10% discount throughout the gift shop offers a unique selection of items. And don’t forget to save the date for this year’s Lighting of the Lighthouse, which will be on Saturday, December 14th. For more information, call 941•964•0060.

Pine Island’s tropical fruit fair, Mangomania, is set for Saturday, July 13, 9am to 4pm, at Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Church, 12175 Stringfellow Road, Bokeelia. This event celebrates the island’s bounty from the many tropical fruit farms. The family-friendly event includes tropical plant, tree & fruit sales, recipe contests, creative mango games & contests, live music, mango-themed food & beverages, arts & crafts vendors, and growing seminars. To learn more, go to or call 239•283•0888.



Crews Bank & Trust is once again among the local businesses joining the Sunrise Kiwanis Club’s annual Shoes for Kids drive and serving as a collection point for new sneakers to be distributed to Charlotte County students in need. New tennis shoes will be accepted at all Charlotte County Crews Bank & Trust locations during banking hours (Monday-Thursday 9am to 4pm, and Friday 9am to 6pm). The shoe drive ends on Friday, July 26th. Englewood office locations are Gulf Cove, 12651 S. McCall Road, Pt. Charlotte, and Cape Haze, 8725 Placida Road. Monetary donations may also be made at bank offices or mail to Sunrise Kiwanis of Port Charlotte, 1489 Market Circle, Unit 308, Port Charlotte, FL 33953. Learn more at Pictured here are bank employees at the Murdock branch displaying some of the shoes already donated (l-r): Christine Dauro, Lori Peikert, Lovelina Geurin, Taylor Scarola and Beata Pearson.

Bag O’ Books Sale
The Friends of Englewood Charlotte Library will be sponsoring a “Bag O’ Books Sale” from Monday, July 15 through Saturday, July 20 in the bookstore located within the library at 3450 N. Access Road. Sale hours will be Monday through Friday, 10am to 4pm, and 10am to 1pm on Saturday. A vast variety of books will be available for those choosing to purchase a bag for $5 to fill with your summer reading. Choose from fiction, nonfiction and best-selling authors.

CHAT Meeting
The next CHAT meeting will be Tuesday, July 16, 10:30 to 11:30am, at the Elsie Quirk Library, 100 W. Dearborn Street. CHAT (Englewood Community Health Action Team) is a public meeting for anyone interested in recognizing community health issues and finding solutions. Also included are community issues in Englewood. This month’s agenda includes discussion of a community needs assessment about planning future projects. All are welcome to attend and provide input. CHAT is a program of the Sarasota County Department of Health. For more information, contact Andre McClerklin at 941•861•2974.

Join world adventurer, Jane Mahler, for a lecture exploring Amboseli National Park, Kenya, and Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda, on Tuesday, July 16, 10:30am to noon, at the Elsie Quirk Library, 100 W. Dearborn Street. Amboseli National Park has the most elephants of all the parks in Kenya, including some of the oldest. It has the best view of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Go for a trek through bamboo forests in Volcanoes National Park, the first national park in Africa, to see the gorillas of Rwanda, where Dr. Dian Fossey worked to study and protect those magnificent creatures. “Travelogues: Africa, Part I” is free and no registration is needed. For questions, call the library at 941•861•1225.

History of Comic Strips Talk
Shannon Live presents “Panels and Pages: The History of Comic Strips” on Tuesday, July 16th at the The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature., 201 Tenth Street West, Bradenton. Starting in the 1800s and journeying to the modern newspaper strips and comic books, this talk will take you on a colorful journey through the past. Shannon’s lecture will be 7 to 8pm in the planetarium theater but come early to view “To the Moon: Snoopy Soars with NASA” from 6 to 7pm. Non-museum adult members will pay $15 but students are free. For more information, go to or call 941•746•4131.

Suicide Prevention Lunch & Learn
Operation Solid 7 presents an introduction to suicide prevention on Wednesday, July 17, noon to 1pm, at EPIC Community Resource Center, 655 N. Indiana Avenue. “Talk Saves Lives™” is a standardized presentation that provides participants with an understanding of suicide, including the most up-to-date research on prevention and what can be done in communities to save lives. Participants will learn common risk factors and warning signs, and how to keep themselves and others safe. This Lunch and Learn program is free, but you are asked to register at or by calling 941•460•6022.

The Venice Area Historical Society (VAHS) has created the VAHS Traveling Exhibition that highlights historic items/artifacts/photographs and other memorabilia from its collection pertaining to the history of Venice, the 1927 Historic Venice Train Depot, the Circus Car Museum, and the Kentucky Military Institute. It also provides general information about VAHS. If you are in Venice, plan to stop by and see the exhibit. The exhibit will be on display in the Frances T. Bourne Jacaranda Library, 4143 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice and the William H. Jervey, Jr. Venice Library, 300 Nokomis Ave. S., Venice, during the month of July. During August you can view the exhibit at the Frances T. Bourne Jacaranda Library, 4143 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice. Learn more about the VAHS at

Handling Food for a Storm
Learn how to prepare your food supply in the event of a storm with an anticipated power outage during a free webinar on Wednesday, July 17, noon to 1pm. Dr. Maria Portelos-Rometo, UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County Family & Consumer Sciences agent, will present this free class, followed by a Q&A session. Register at For questions, call 941•861•5000.

Selby Gardens Plant Sale
Take home a piece of living art! Marie Selby Botanical Gardens will be holding a plant sale on Friday, July 19, 8am to noon. Many of the wonderful plants from Selby Garden’s Spring Exhibition, “Yayoi Kusama: A Letter to Georgia O’Keeffe”, will be available for purchase, like Goudaea (Vriesia) ospinae var. gruberi ‘Ice’ - perfect as a house plant or for a shady spot in your garden. Selby Gardens is located at 1534 Mound Street in Sarasota. Learn more at or call 941•366•5731.

Make Your Own Bonsai
Learn about the art of bonsai and create your own mini bonsai to take home on Friday, July 19, 3 to 4pm, at the Dearborn Coffeehouse & Bakery, 450 W. Dearborn Street. Lous Bonsai will be the instructor for this fun, interactive event. Cost is $49.87 and you must register at Stay after the class for a free public art latte class by Dearborn Coffeehouse’s barista John Watson.

Free Pool Admission & Parking on July 20th
As part of National Park and Recreation Month in July, Charlotte County will offer free county pool admission and free parking at Charlotte County-operated beaches and boat ramps on Saturday, July 20th. For more information, contact Katie at [email protected].

Placida Park Boat Ramp Closed
The boat ramp at Placida Park, 6499 Gasparilla Road, is currently closed for repair work. Charlotte County Parks & Recreation anticipates it will reopen on Saturday, July 20th. For more information, call 941•625•7529.

Rain Barrel Workshop
Learn about the benefits of rain barrels and purchase a recycled, food grade-plastic rain barrel for your property by attending UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County’s “Rain Barrel Workshop” on Saturday, July 20, 10 to 11am, at Woodmere Park, 3951 Woodmere Park Blvd, Venice. The workshop is free, but you must register at Rain barrels are $32.25 each and should be purchased at the time of registration to be picked up at the workshop. For questions, call 941•861•5000.

Sock Hop
Come to the Sock Hop! The American Legion Auxiliary Unit 113 invites you to their Sock Hop on Saturday, July 20, 5 to 9pm, at the Post, 3436 Indiana Road in Rotonda. The cost is only $15 per person and a ¼ chicken dinner is included. Music will be provided by “Seasons of Sound” with Eric Stefanik. Dress in sock hop attire. 50/50 raffle. Donations of new school supplies will be accepted, to be used for education. Call 941•697•3616 for more information.

Sarasota Mystic Faire
Sarasota will host its 13th Mystic Faire on Saturday & Sunday, July 20 & 21 at Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Trail. There will be free lectures, psychics, healers and vendors selling healing tools & artwork. Hours are Saturday 10am to 6pm and Sunday 11am to 5pm. Daily admission is $7 for ages 12 and up; weekend ticket is $10. Read more at

Monday Night Adult Movies
Come enjoy a feature-length film on Monday, July 22, 5 to 7pm, at the Elsie Quirk Library, 100 W. Dearborn Street. The scheduled movie is “Wild” (rated R). “Wild” is based on the true story of Cheryl Strayed who is driven to the edge by the loss of her loved mother, the dissolution of her marriage, and a headlong dive into self-destructive behavior. With no outdoors experience, she sets out alone to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. For more information, call 941•861•1225.

Tech Basics: Android Phones
Learn the basics of using your Android phone in a free program on Tuesday, July 23, 10:30 to 11:30am, at the Elsie Quirk Library, 100 W. Dearborn Street. Topics covered include downloading & managing apps, adjusting settings, accessing the internet, and ensuring your safety when using the phone. There will be time to practice what you learn and ask questions. Registration is required at or call the library at 941•861•1225.

Climate-Related Flood & Storm Surge Study Results
Sarasota County residents are invited to a public meeting to learn the findings of a study focused on the threat flooding and sea level rise could pose to county assets. The program will be Tuesday, July 23, 5 to 7pm, at the Sarasota County Extension Office at Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota. The meeting will showcase highlights from the county’s Vulnerability Assessment and Resilience Analysis and focus on locations where flooding or storm surge threaten a wide range of buildings and other infrastructures, and also explore adaption strategies. To learn more and register, go to For questions, call 941•861•9901.

Family Movie Night
Save the date for Family Movie Night on Tuesday, July 23, 8 to 10pm, at Pioneer Plaza, 325 W. Dearborn Street. The Englewood CRA is hosting this event as part of their 25th anniversary. The scheduled movie is “A Christmas Story”. Bring your own seating and coolers are allowed. Free popcorn for the kids. For questions, call 941•473•9795.

GCUMC Family Movie Night
Gulf Cove United Methodist Church (GCUMC) invites you and your family to a free showing of “The Naughty Nine.” It will be shown on Friday, July 26 at 6pm, inside the church. Bring your own snacks and drinks. Free popcorn will be available. (Please, no drop-offs.) Gulf Cove UMC is located at 1100 S. McCall Road, in the Gulf Cove area of Port Charlotte. The church can be reached at 941•697•1747 or [email protected].

Christmas in July Bingo
SunCoast Metropolitan Community Church invites you to their Christmas in July Church Bingo event on Saturday, July 27, 4:30 to 8pm, at the church located at 3276 E. Venice Avenue, Venice. Brianna Summers, the “Brunch Queen of Tampa”, will be the Bingo caller and entertainer. Cost is $30 for ten games of Bingo. Doors open at 4:30pm and the show starts at 5:30pm. Additional opportunities to win are available with 50/50 cash and tricky tray baskets. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the door. For more information, call 941•484•7068.

Peace River Botanical and Sculpture Gardens invites you to join them for the second annual Pineapple Festival on Friday & Saturday, July 26 & 27, at the gardens located 5826 Riverside Drive, Punta Gorda. The Kick-Off Bash is Friday from 6 to 9pm and features an evening of live music by “The BoogieMen”, food trucks, beverages, and more. The festival on Saturday, 9am to 2pm, features live music by “The Romantics”, kids’ corner, a pineapple bake-off and largest homegrown pineapple contests, pineapple-inspired art, plant sales, food trucks, and other vendors. Ticket for nonmembers are $25 for Friday and $20 for Saturday. For more information and advance ticket purchase, go to

Peace River Botanical and Sculpture Gardens invites you to join them for the second annual Pineapple Festival on Friday & Saturday, July 26 & 27, at the gardens located 5826 Riverside Drive, Punta Gorda. The Kick-Off Bash is Friday from 6 to 9pm and features an evening of live music by “The BoogieMen”, food trucks, beverages, and more. The festival on Saturday, 9am to 2pm, features live music by “The Romantics”, kids’ corner, a pineapple bake-off and largest homegrown pineapple contests, pineapple-inspired art, plant sales, food trucks, and other vendors. Ticket for nonmembers are $25 for Friday and $20 for Saturday. For more information and advance ticket purchase, go to

Cooking with Chef Warren
Join Chef Warren Caterson for a free demonstration on Mediterranean Cuisine on Tuesday, July 30, 10:30am to 12:30pm, at the Elsie Quirk Library, 100 W. Dearborn Street. Attendees also get to sample the dishes prepared. Seating is limited and registration is required at or call 941•861•1225.

New Site for Mobile Clinic Bus
The Virginia B. Andes Volunteer Community Clinic Mobile Bus will be at Englewood Helping Hand, 700 E. Dearborn Street, on Wednesdays from 9am to 1pm during July. It will then move to Tringali Park, 3460 N. Access Road from 1:30 to 4pm for the afternoon. The mobile clinic offers free on-site exams, vaccines, semi-urgent and primary care, hypertension and diabetes management, mental health & substance abuse resources, and a limited pharmacy for uninsured and underinsured area residents. Learn more at or call 941•766•9570.

Freedom Month Sales Tax Holiday
Florida’s Freedom Month Sales Tax Holiday is underway now through Wednesday, July 31st. If you are thinking about purchasing outdoor items such as camping, fishing, and other general outdoor supplies, some boating & water activity supplies, electric scooters, and residential pool supplies, take advantage of the sales tax exemption. It also includes exemption on the retail sale of admission to music, sporting, cultural events, movies, museums, state parks and other events. Not included are rentals of these items or sales within a theme park, entertainment complex, public lodging or airport. For a complete list of eligible items, go to

Ahoy, Mateys – Save This Date
Save the date for 2024 Englewood Beach Waterfest Pirate Poker Run on Saturday, September 7, 10am to 8pm. Participate by boat, car, or bike for a day filled with fun, music, poker, food & drinks, raffle and cash prizes. The Captain’s Party will be held on Friday, September 6, 5 to 7pm, at Ken and Barb’s Grove City Kitchen, 2000 Oyster Creek Drive. The Poker Run starts at 10am Saturday and has seven stops, ending at 3pm. The After Party and awards begin at 4pm at the Lighthouse Grill, 260 Maryland Avenue, and features live music. Advance tickets are $35 per person and may be purchased at Register by Wednesday, July 31st to guarantee your requested shirt size and swag bag. Online registration closes Thursday, September 5th. Stay up to date with Englewood Beach Waterfest Pirate Poker Run on Facebook.

Hurricane Ian Oral Histories
Many Charlotte County residents hoped that Hurricane Charley would be a once-in-a-lifetime storm for them. But that proved not be the case when Hurricane Ian made landfall on September 28, 2022. In a desire to preserve a historical and personal account, Charlotte County Libraries and History staff interviewed many residents about their experiences during Ian. If you weren’t here during Ian or just want to hear survivor stories, you can listen at For questions, call Dr. Jennifer Zoebelein at 941•629•7278.

Sharing & Caring

Spread Spencer’s Sparkle Shoe Drive
In honor of Spencer’s 22nd birthday and his love of shoes, Spread Spencer’s Sparkle is once again collecting shoes for Kids Needs of Greater Englewood during the month of July. There is an ongoing critical need to athletic shoes for both boys and girls, sizes adult six to fourteen. Shoe donations may be dropped off at the Dearborn Coffeehouse & Bakery, 450 W. Dearborn Street, and Key Agency, 1201 S. McCall Road. Learn more at

Englewood Chamber Challenge
Operation Solid 7 is sponsoring the Englewood Chamber August 26th Challenge to show the country’s heroes and their families how much Englewood loves and honors “The Fallen 13”. “The Fallen 13” were US service personnel who were killed on August 26, 2021 in a suicide bombing at the Kabul Airport in Afghanistan. A $100 donation made out to Operation Solid 7 will provide you with a kit featuring the picture and names of the 13 marines killed. The kit can be displayed in front of businesses and other locations. Your donation will fund Operation Solid 7, a 501(c)3 organization for the prevention and awareness of veteran and first responder suicide. Call Englewood Chamber of Commerce by Monday, July 22nd to reserve your kit. Kits will be ready for pickup by Monday, July 29th. The Chamber can be reached at 941•474•5511. Learn more about Operation Solid 7 at

Community Blood Drives
The OneBlood “Big Red Bus” has scheduled the following blood drives in Englewood during July. Incentives are offered to donors such as gift cards and T-shirts or a tote bag during July. OneBlood shares why the need for blood donations is so critical. While 63% of the population can donate blood, only about 3% do. One of every three people will need blood at some point in their life. OneBlood currently serves 355 hospital partners and needs to collect an average of 2,500 units of blood every day. Donors are requested to visit the OneBlood website,, to schedule an appointment. Please note that blood drives are subject to change at any time. Sunday, July 14, 10am to 4pm: Walmart, 2931 S. McCall Road. Friday, July 19, 8am to 2pm: Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, 11051 Wilmington Blvd. Thursday, July 25, 11am to 5pm: Publix-Merchants Crossing, 1500 Placida Road. Monday, July 29, 11am to 5pm: End Zone Sports Grille, 2440 S. McCall Road. 


“8 Hours of Hell” Ultra & 5K
Apex Promoz Florida is hosting “8 Hours of Hell” Ultra and 5K on Saturday, August 24th at Ann & Chuck Dever Regional Park, 6791 San Casa Drive. The race will begin at 10am and your last lap must be completed by 6pm. The top finishers will receive awards, to be determined by who completes the most laps in the fastest time. There is also a “4 Hours of Fun” option designed to give new participants a taste of what this race is about. The trail loop at the park is 3.05 miles. Cost is $65 for the 8 Hour Ultra and $27.50 for the 5K. Learn more and register at

Golfers Who C.A.R.E.
The Center for Abuse and Rape Emergencies (C.A.R.E.) Auxiliary will host a golf tournament, “Golfers Who C.A.R.E.” on Sunday, October 6 at Deep Creek Golf Club, 1260 San Cristobal Avenue, Punta Gorda. The cost is $100 per player. You can register by calling 941•639•5499 or emailing [email protected].

The Manatee Mosey
The inaugural Englewood Turtle Trot was such a success that Apex Promoz has planned another event at Englewood Beach, the “Manatee Mosey”, on Saturday, November 2 at 8am. Whether you are an experienced runner or just starting out, this is the perfect opportunity to challenge yourself, meet new people and have fun. Note: the race is entirely on the beach in the sand. A manatee beach towel and Medal will be awarded to all 5K and One Mile finishers. Fee is $27.50 for the 5K and $22.50 for the one-mile fun run/walk for those who register by Saturday, July 27. Register online The number of participants is capped, so register early. Manatee Awareness Month is November, so this is the perfect time for a reminder to boaters to slow down and look below as manatees begin to travel to warmer water in the fall.

The items appearing in this column are as accurate as possible. Please call the listed numbers for confirmation and further information. If you have an upcoming event you would like to have considered for “Around the Town” please email: [email protected].