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It’s like paradise, only better. COASTE | EDITOR’S WELCOME As I write this on a beautiful September

doesn’t get much better than this. It’s like living in paradise, only better.

afternoon, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released a report that between September 1-10, 246 “low max temperature” records were set across many parts of the country — basically meaning, the high temperature that day was the “lowest high” ever recorded. To me, that sounds like the snowbirds will be packing up early (or probably already are) and, as John Hiatt sings, “let’s fire it up and wind it out, c’mon baby drive south.” The fact is, returning residents and visitors alike couldn’t be arriving Southwest Florida at a better time of year than the stretch of weather we enjoy in October and November (or their spring counterpart, March and April). Milder temperatures, lower humidity, cloudless days of beautiful blue skyshine and the rainy season in the rear view mirror — well, it truly

With that introduction, COASTE is excited to welcome you, our readers across the U.S., to our October-November issue. The events, activities and happenings are heating up, just as the weather begins to cool, and you’ll find them (along with some great stories) on the following pages. We’re also excited to share with you BIG news — due to requests from readers in Southwest Florida, as well as our 10,000 digital subscribers, we’re now offering you the opportunity to enjoy a print version of COASTE in your home, wherever you live, 6 times per year for only $15. Simply visit to place your order.

Now get out there, grab your favorite magazine and enjoy paradise at its best!

John Sprecher, Editor



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• Boundary • FEMA • State Permitting • Construction 2410 Palm Ridge Road Sanibel, Florida 33957 Office: 239.472.0095 Fax: 239.472.3566 Andrew Johnson, PSM President

Digital COASTE Subscribe and enjoy 6 bi-monthly digital magazine issues annually (online, tablet or

VOLUME 1 | Number 4

More than a lifestyle. It’s a soul style.

Founder | Executive Editor John Sprecher Creative Director Director of Photography Milissa Sprecher Senior Writer Wendy Payton Director of Advertising Sales Sharon Wise Administrative Director Felicity Rafalski

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COASTE is published six times a year by COASTE LLC. Print and digital magazines are offered by subscription, emailed or mailed to you bi-monthly. You can also download digital issues on the App Store and Google Play for your mobile devices. For weekly updates, visit

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Room With A View What’s your favorite kind of vacation destination? Each issue, COASTE opens the door and takes you on a tour of one of Southwest Florida’s premier places to rest, relax, reconnect and recharge your body and soul. Aptly named “Surfside Sunset” and offered by SBL Vacations, this “penthouse” Gulf-front vacation condominium is truly spectacular. With a 3,000 square foot open floor plan that includes three master bedroom suites — each with private bathroom— plus den, dining room and luxury kitchen, the icing on this delicious cake is the gorgeous, panoramic view of the Gulf of Mexico from the expansive living room, screened to open when the weather suits you. Bonus: you enjoy a private beachfront cabana with full facilities and kitchenette, as well as on-site pool, shuffleboard, two-car covered parking and lots more.




Images: Milissa Sprecher



How Artistic Director Robert Cacioppo and wife (and actress) Carrie Lund have followed their dream and created one of the top performing arts groups in the United States — in downtown Fort Myers, of all places. As Florida Repertory Theatre Founder and Producing Artistic Director Robert Cacioppo animatedly speaks, his eyes sparkle from across the desk with kid-like glee. He’s detailing some of the exciting plans the downtown FortMyers RiverDistrict playhousewill implement as part of its 50th Anniversary — a celebration to take place in 33 years. His dream between now and then is to see that Florida Rep earns a Tony Award for best regional theatre in America, to stage both world premier and world classic shows each season, to provide publicly supported school arts programs throughout Lee County, and to hold a $5 million endowment.

Audacious. And based on Florida Rep’s performance so far —attainable. Indeed, Florida Rep is one of Southwest Florida’s most important cultural and educational institutions.



It has been named “Best Performing Arts Group” numerous times by Gulfshore Life Magazine and Florida Weekly , and its work has received rave reviews nationally in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal , and American Theatre magazine. It’s perhaps ironic that the great success of Cacioppo and his wife, Founder and Associate Producer Carrie Lund Cacioppo was sparked only after a clash with another Southwest Florida playhouse where they were involved. At that time, the theatre’s board members — not its artisans — controlled many scripting and artistic direction decisions, to the growing frustration of these nationally respected veterans of the stage. “We wanted to run an artist-driven theatre, not one controlled by bankers and dentists and others on the board who had little or no experience in the arts,” Cacioppo says. “But out of a failure, a new kind of theatre was born.”

thing happened,” shares Cacioppo. “All the directors, actors and designers from the old company joined us. All of the audience came too. It was like moving the Brooklyn Dodgers to L.A. We realized that a theater is not a building, it’s its people.” About this time, adilapidatedoldbones of abuilding needed new life. The Arcade Theatre building on Bay Street, constructed in 1915, reflected all the charm of turn-of-the-century Florida. In fact, it originally hosted Vaudeville acts for local patrons, including famousFort Myers residents Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone. But, by 1989, the Arcade Theatre was only a shadow of its former glory, sitting abandoned in a state of severe dilapidation.

Disillusioned, partners set


Realizing the historical significance of the Arcade — and the jewel it could

be again — the City of Fort Myers in 1991 organized a benefit where famed ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov graced the stage. The money raised enabled complete restoration of the Arcade. The City of Fort Myers then “recruited” Cacioppo to bring professional theatre to downtown, with the offer of free rent and financial aid. In 1998-1999, the first season generated thousands of theatre fans, generated 2,700 subscribers and filled 335 usage days its first year. Since that time, Florida Rep has attracted more and more arts patrons into the waterfront neighborhood each year. A surge in River District

their minds to create, nurture and develop an ensemble of theatre professionals and civic-minded supporters

who would work as an artistic-driven organization where all actions are done solely to support the play. The team launched Florida Repertory Theatre in 1998 as a 501(c)3 with a motto borrowed from Hamlet: “The play is the thing.”

“When we left that organization to build what is now Florida Repertory Theatre, an interesting



restaurants, bars, boutique shops and waterfront improvements has resulted, and not only Florida Rep, but its surrounding neighbors, thriving. The beautifully restored 393-seat Arcade Theatre harkens to its glorious past, featuring red carpeted runways, plush velvet draperies, brass accents, cozy seating, optimized acoustics and a large, low stage that underscores a mesmerizing show. A second, more intimate venuecalledtheArtStage Studio Theatre holds room for 120, allowing for direct immersion and engagement with the play. Used year-round, the adaptable space also houses workshops and summer camp classes. Withmore than 150 works performed and counting, indeed, “the play is the thing.” Florida Rep’s ensemble today includes 200 volunteers, 40 staff members and 50 nationally-based artists. Thirteen

interns work in different disciplines including acting, stage management, administrative roles, production, costumes, carpentry and electronics. Under the direction of the Cacioppo duo, Florida Repertory Theatre has grown to be the largest arts not-for-profit in Southwest Florida, last year bringing in $3 million and 80,000 people to the River District, including 18,000 children.

Florida Repertory Theatre has grown to be the largest arts not-for-profit in Southwest Florida.




the artist-driven theatre, cast members who demonstrate unforgettable talent, display intelligence in interpretation and ideas,

and are just plain nice — both on and off-stage — often are asked to perform again with the troupe. This hallmark of Florida Rep helps to set it apart. Instead of spending so much time familiarizing with other actors, the group is able to get right down to work. In fact, some Florida Rep actors have performed in up to 50 plays at the venue.


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nationally renowned Florida Rep actors, Rachel Burttram and Brendan Powers, have actually relocated to Southwest Florida because of their ongoing membership in the Florida Rep troupe. “It’s so great because the actors all share a common language,” Cacioppo explains. “They get things done with fewer words because they know how each other acts and thinks, and they trust each other. This way, we’re nurturing an ensemble through several companies. It’s like a family.” This year marks the 17th season of Florida Rep, and the line-up impresses with the dramatic twists and turns of nine performances in the Arcade and the ArtStage Studio Theatres. It’s definitely worth the annual subscription to see each play in the new arsenal of comedies, dramas,mysteries, Tony award winners, a world premiere, and a dazzling musical revue at what the Wall Street Journal describes as “one of America’s top repertory companies.” So how does Bob Cacioppo and his team intend to make it from Season 17 to that 50-year mark? He quotes from The Prime of Ms. Jean Brodie: “Give me a child at an impressionable age and they shall be mine for life.” Perhaps most dear of all children’s programs to Cacioppo’s heart is the “Lunch Box” series. This line-up for this year’s children’s performances is taken on the road and into area schools. This includes reimagined storytelling of the familiar, relatable children’s tales. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs is a hip new play moving its

Many find parts in four to five plays per season.

When founded, Florida Rep was the only professional theatre between Sarasota and Miami. Over the next 16 years, several other professional theatres followed, but Florida Rep remains the largest and most acclaimed in terms of budget, attendance (80,000), staffing, funds raised and national acclaim.

In part due to this success, Florida Rep can pull its talent from across the nation. Actors come from New York, Atlanta, Chicago, California and other progressive theatrical communities. Two


way across the U.S., while The Journey To Oz is a new adventure based on Frank Baum’s Oz books. Christopher Parks provides an adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey set in the American Industrial Revolution. Through this selection of work, Cacioppo hopes to stir a passion for the world’s great works, and more interaction with them.

— whether as future actors or directors, sponsors or audience members. And that’s the approach that will take Florida Repertory Theatre a long way toward the realizing their 50th Anniversary dreams. For 17th Season tickets, subscriptions, to donate or for more information about the Florida Repertory Theatre, visit or call the box office at 239-332-4488.

Like his experience as a child in a Brooklyn elementary school, Cacioppo realizes that early exposure to the performing arts will pull a child in and become a habit to love for the rest of life


Florida Repertory Theatre 2267 1st Street, Fort Myers 239-332-4488

“The Florida Rep audiences are my favorite audiences. They’re the best looking and most intelligent. And I swear I always say that.”

— The “Classic” Curtain Speech of Bob Cacioppo



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6 bi-monthly digital magazine issues annually (online, tablet or phone) and you’re entered to win a $1,000 Captiva Island Vacation!

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Where else but on a barrier island sanctuary would you find one of Florida’s top sanctuaries for the care and rehabilitation of wildlife? That’s the story and mission of Sanibel Island’s CROW.

This Monday was a little slow at the clinic. Early afternoon, and only one patient had been admitted—a pelicanwith a somewhat severe “hook and line” issue that ultimately required x-rays. But for the non-profit organization known as CROW — the acronym for Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife — slow is a good thing, when you average between 3,000 to 4,000 admissions each year.

Dr. Heather Barron serves as Hospital Director at CROW, and island wildlife are lucky to have her. One of only 200 boarded specialists in avian medicine, Barron brings both years of tenured university-level teaching experience in zoological medicine and surgery (read: not your average dog and cat vet) — as well as six years of unique, on- the-job experience as Medical Director for the Cayman Islands Turtle Farm and Wildlife Rescue — which makes CROW the only wildlife medical



Dr. Heather Barron, Hospital Director

center between Sarasota and the Florida Keys licensed to care for sea turtles.

does this animal really need to come in? We estimate that over the past couple of years, we’ve prevented about 2,000 abductions.”

“We see about 65% birds, about another 30% mammals and the rest is reptiles,” she notes. “About 50% of our patients are juveniles who’ve been

Public education, awareness and prevention of unnecessary admissions are one of the core values

orphaned or in some cases, inappropriately abducted by well- meaning people who didn’t understand the natural biology of the species, so they assumed a problem. That was one of the bigger challenges I

that Heather Barron brings CROW — and one of the primary reasons she believes she was hired. “As I see it, CROW is in the business of conservation medicine, as well as wildlife

“As I see it, CROW is in the business of conservation medicine, as well as wildlife healthcare.” - Dr. Heather Barron

encountered when I first got here in 2012 — before then, no one questioned the circumstances of the case. We have made a real effort to educate the public and question people based on circumstances:

healthcare,” she explains. “It’s all part of the ‘one world one health’ concept. We see thousands of patients each year, and this is our opportunity to add to the research of how animal medicine and human


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It wasn’t until 1981 that CROW had an official clinic that wasn’t somebody’s house, along with staff veterinarian and medical equipment.

medicine and the environment are all interrelated. We want to be able to use the information we gather and try to apply it to something that might be eventually useful in terms of environmental health or population health relative to animal diseases that affect humans.” As impressive as Dr. Barron’s approach is, it’s a stark contrast from the founding of CROW, which dates to the 1960s when Sanibel resident Shirley Walter came upon an injured royal tern and, finding no services to offer treatment, brought the bird to her home. Fast forward to 1968 and with the help of friends and volunteers, CROW

was formed as a non-profit corporation — still operating out of the Walter home. It wasn’t until 1981 that CROW had an official clinic that wasn’t somebody’s house, along with staff veterinarian and medical equipment. Today’s CROW facilities feature a sprawling campus with state-of-the-art hospital; a very cool visitor information center with interactive displays, videos, presentations and gift shop; plus housing for 40 students, six fellows and two interns who assist and learn over the course of the year. On average, 10 or more patients are admitted each day, with 100 to 300 additionally on property in various



forms of rehab and recovery. Currently, the staff numbers 13 animal healthcare professionals and support personnel, as well as volunteers — from college students to long-time islanders. Chelsea Seymour is one of those volunteers. A student at FGCU pursuing an Environmental Studies major, Seymour “is a big animal person, and I’m working on getting experience for future jobs. On a scale of one to 10, this is a 10 in the coolness scale. And I’m recruiting friends to join me. It’s a great experience and one that’s really exciting and fun.”

Ruth Parks is a long time volunteer who has commuted all the way from Cape Coral to assist at CROW for more than nine years. “I’ve always loved animals and I’ve always loved wildlife, and when I retired I decided I wanted to do more with animals. I had known about CROW from vacationing here many years, but I didn’t know that someone without any experience could come in and help work at a wildlife hospital. My favorite things are rescues and releases, just the idea that something’s in trouble, and you can help it and hopefully have it return to its habitat. It’s a very satisfying experience.”

“I’m working on getting experience for future jobs. On a scale of one to 10, this is a 10 in the coolness scale. And I’m recruiting friends to join me. It’s a great experience.” - Chelsea Seymour, Volunteer


That makes Seymour and Parks two of about 300 active volunteers that help CROW each year — be it caring for animals or interacting with visitors via the very cool, cutting edge visitor information

wildlife medicine. Conservation medicine allows us to use the massive amount of research we can gather from our patients, and apply it to human, animal and ecological health. As you know, there

center you experience when first entering the facility — where you can view videos, watch live feeds of patient care, enjoy “wild presentations” and much more.

are diseases that affect humans that are animal-borne. This is our chance to contribute to what’s called the “one world, one health” concept. And wildlife medicine is of course the most important thing we do: care, recovery, rehabilitation and release.”

This is our chance to contribute to what’s called the “one world, one health” concept.

“I love my job, I’m very lucky to be here,” Dr. Barron states. “When I was hired, I outlined a vision for CROW that has two primary components to it: conservation medicine and

As a non-profit, CROW depends entirely on the support of the community and staffs a development director, a PR and Marketing Director and office

24 30



“Almost every single retailer and restaurant in the River District are one-of-a-kind businesses that you just can’t find anywhere else.”

Dr. Linda Estep, CROW Interim Executive Director

25 31



support personnel. The organization offers memberships (almost 2,000 currently), provides a variety of ways for persons to fund honor and memorial gifts, and can assist with will, annuity, trust, life insurance or other planned giving strategies. But the most visible — and certainly most delicious and enjoyable — chance you have to help CROW is the annual “Taste of the Islands,” which is now celebrating 33 years of success and last year raised more than $60,000. Carie Beeman, CROW Marketing Director, notes that the event draws roughly 4,000 folks to feast upon “signature” foods and desserts from approximately 25 participating restaurants, complemented with music and drink. This year’s even is November 9, from 11 am to 4 pm, at the Dunes Golf and Tennis Club. In the end, CROW’s role today — on Sanibel, Captiva and potentially worldwide — is more essential than ever. “Conservation medicine is a really important fabric to this community,” Dr. Barron notes, “not the least of which is because

tourism is huge business here. We’re trying to be a lot more proactive regarding disease monitoring, research and education.” Dr. Linda Estep, who has held a variety of volunteer positions with CROW over 15 years, and now serves as Interim Executive Director, agrees. “The people who are here have a lot of heart, whether they’re on staff or volunteers. They love CROW, they love everything it stands for and everything it accomplishes. When people become part of this organization, you sense the dedication and commitment.” { Center for the Rehab of Wildlife (CROW) 3883 Sanibel-Captiva Rd. Sanibel, FL 239.472.3644 }



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I S L A N D R E S O R T & S P A


TAKE FIVE “There’s something for everyone here.” By John Sprecher

Colleen DePasquale serves as Executive Director of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, a position she’s held for the past three years. With more than 20 years of hospitality sales and marketing experience, DePasquale is an active and outstanding leader of an organization that numbers nearly 1,000 members and growing. In her spare time, she serves on the Lee County TourismDevelopment Council, the Lee County Hotel Association (board of director member), Edison-FordWinter Estates (board of trustees member), Lee County Sports Organizing Committee (president) and, as she laughs, “I help out with the South Fort Myers High School Athletic Booster Club.” Each issue, “Take Five” asks five questions of a community leader that have not been shared with the individual in advance. Here, Colleen DePasquale tells us about the exciting present and future of doing business in Southwest Florida.



What’s the biggest change you’ve seen to Lee County business during your tenure? Three years ago when I came in, we were kind of at the bottom; the area was struggling and now we’re on the upswing, on that positive flow— seeing new businesses come into downtown, existing businesses expanding and moving into larger facilities or just hearing all the positive things. We’re definitely on an upswing. 1 Do you participate with the Lee County Economic Development Office and what is the Chamber’s role in that? I’m excited that Glen Sayler is taking over as director; he and I have known each other for a number of years and I’m excited where that would go. I’m hoping we can work on some projects together and be a part of whatever they’re doing in the community. 3 What do you see are the biggest opportunities for future growth in this region? I’m a big picture thinker so what I would like to see for this region moving forward is cooperation and connection. For example, we have now renamed the Lee County Alliance of Chambers as the Southwest Florida Alliance of Chambers, so we’re looking north, looking south and saying: let’s work together. There are companies coming here that might be in all three counties, or more, and by presenting ourselves as one united front, that’ll do well for us. On the flip side, what are our biggest challenges? I think it might be the opposite of that. I think sometimes people who are working on a project don’t reach out into the community. I don’t know that everybody utilizes all our resources all the time. There’s a wealth of knowledge in this community, expertise, passion for growth — there are people here who truly care and want us to be the place to be. We’re not doing everything we could do to help businesses relocate or expand if we don’t utilize these resources. 4 5 Last question: pitch us on opening a business in Lee County. I think that if you wanted to bring a business into Lee County, this is the time to do that. We have a healthy economy, a strong board of county commissioners who work together to strengthen our community, we have a new superintendent of schools who is passionate about doing the right thing for kids in our area, bankers are looking and wanting to get involved — this is the time to come. Sports, arts, culture and of course, our beaches — there’s something for everyone here. 2



Welcome Home

Each issue, COASTE opens the door and welcomes you to tour of one of Southwest Florida’s premier homes. After all, living here is more than a lifestyle. It’s a soul style.

If you love the beach, golf, tennis and fine dining — all only steps from your front door — you’ll love this stunning (and stunningly affordable!) Sanibel home. Built in 2003, the home features almost 2,500 livable square feet among living room, family room, den, three bedrooms and luxury, gourmet kitchen. Plus, there’s room for up to four cars with (get this!) a garage area for golf cart or electric car. Bonus number one: the enclosed pool area has a “courtyard” appeal with upper and lower open patios. Bonus number two: When you look outyour back yard after your poolside nap, your view includes both the Sanibel River and a Sanibel Island Golf Club fairway. Nice. Price: $1,195,000. Listing agent: Eric Pfeifer, Pfeifer Realty Group.





What’s Happening on Your

October + November — Community Events

FORT MYERS ART WALK Oct. 3 + Nov. 7 Historic Fort Myers Downtown River District is the popular place to be! Art Walk features new art exhibits, live artist demos, street entertainment and a great atmosphere for shopping and dining. Art buyers and art enthusiasts take a self-guided, self-paced tour to meet local artists during exhibit openings at the many downtown galleries, art spaces and shops that sell fine art. Event happens from 6 - 10 PM.

Oct 3 + Nov 7

Oct 3

TROPICAL FUN-SHINE POLYNESIAN SHOW October 3 You’ll feel the pulse-pounding rhythm of Polynesian performers as they stomp out thunderous Tahitian beats. Sway with spell-binding hula dancers who tell the story of their islands through music and dance at Rotary Park in Cape Coral. Luau food is included. You may bring wine or beer for this family-friendly event that happens from 7 – 9 PM. Tickets are $15.

Oct 3-5

FISH THE 36 FISHING TOURNAMENT October 3-5 It’s a fun-filled weekend of non-competitive fishing to raise funds for Child Care of Southwest Florida early childhood education programs. Catch and snap a picture of your fish between Friday evening and Sunday morning to trade in for raffle tickets and a chance to win great prizes. Saturday lunch is free to participants.

SANIBEL FARMER’S MARKET Starts October 5 then weekly to April 26, 2015. The amazing Sanibel Farmer’s Market returns “for season” Sunday, October 5. Stop by and shop local and regional vendors for farm-to-table produce, fresh breads, organic honey, fresh seafood and meats, plus a lot more to enjoy. Open 8 AM - 1 PM, at Sanibel City Hall. Free parking available.

Oct- Apr



FORT MYERS BEACH PIRATE FEST October 10-12 Pirates invade again at the annual Pirate Fest on Fort Myers Beach! Dress in your best pirate garb for a chance to win your share of treasure, dance at the Pirates Ball or meet up with your mates at the Pub and Grub Pirate Stroll. Recruit your family to join in a weekend-long scavenger hunt. Enjoy shows on two stages and take in a sea battle with cannon laden ships. No charge for this frolic!

Oct 10- 12

Oct 17

FORT MYERS MUSIC WALK Oct. 17 + Nov. 21 The River District comes alive every month during South Florida’s largest monthly free music event. More than a dozen participating venues feature local and regional talent, and restaurants, bars, art galleries and shops showcase a wide range of musical stylings.

“DING” DARLING DAYS October 19-25 Family Fun Day on Sunday, October 19th kicks off a week of eco-activities with free tram tours, live wildlife presentations, hot dogs, kids crafts and more at J.R. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island. All week, you be treated to birding, boating, tram and kayaking tours, with environmental activities for all ages. The 25th annual event ends Saturday with Conservation Art Day, where Federal Duck Stamp winners and other artists highlight a day devoted to “Ding” Darling’s legacy as the first duck stamp artist and Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist. Oct 19- 25 BUTTERFLY GARDEN DESIGN October 22 Learn about the beautiful butterflies found in Southwest Florida and what plants and flowers attract them best at this hands-on class at Rotary Park in Cape Coral. You can bring photos or drawings of your yard so the butterfly expert can help you design a custom butterfly-friendly landscape right where you live. You’ll also tour the butterfly house and gardens. Class runs 1 - 3 PM. Class is appropriate for ages 12 and up. Advance registration is required. Oct 22

Oct 25

DOWNTOWN CAR CRUISE IN October 25 Classic cars and show cars shine from 4 - 8 PM at this free event in the Fort Myers River District. DJ spins your favorite classic rock tunes with trivia. All makes of classic cars are

welcome. Take part or just take a look at the Cruise In.



October + November — Community Events Continued

Oct 26

BAILEY FEST October 26 No admission charge, just lots of fun, food,

games and entertainment for the kids. Don’t miss the big event: the crowning of the 29th annual Bailey King and Queen! Sanibel-Captiva residents gather at Bailey’s Shopping Center Bailey’s for the pumpkin patch, pony rides, mule and wagon rides, a bounce house, singing and dancing, ice cream, and a special appearance by the BIG ARTS Chorus! It’s a mighty fine traditional fall festival! Oct 31

FALL FAMILY CARNIVAL AND HAY RIDE October 31 Bring the kids out to Sanibel Island in their scariest (or most fabulous) costumes for a trick- or-treat that’s sure to please. Bring one bag of candy per family for admission. Costume prizes, great fall games, arts and crafts are all part of the fall fun. Budget-friendly food offerings and hay rides are available for purchase. 5:30 PM.

Nov 1

CALUSA BLUEWAY KAYAK FISHING TOURNAMENT Nov 1 Rapidly becoming the premier tournament in Southwest Florida, the Pine Island-based catch-and-release competition is a signature event of the Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival. This year, the tournament features a one-day competition for anglers who catch and release snook, redfish, sea trout and other species caught from the waterways of Lee County by kayak or canoe. $65 entry fee. TheGreatCalusaBlueway/events.

Nov 1

TASTE OF LEE November 1 Yum! Sample servings of delicious, diverse delights from Lee County’s top chefs and restaurants at Centennial Park in the River District, Fort Myers. Get your groove on with music and exciting activities for the entire family, including a free bounce house for the kids! $5 per person.

Nov 1-2

CAMP OUT AT JAYEE PARK November 1-2 Take time out for a weekend of family camping under the tree canopy along the shore of Cape Cor- al’s beautiful riverside park. Games, a community campfire — and, of course, s’mores — await! Bring your own tent and camping supplies. Be sure to register, since limited space is available. Camping starts at 2 PM Saturday and runs through 10 AM Sunday. Camp site is $20 for Cape Coral residents or $30 for non-residents.



FORT MYERS MARATHON November 9 Runners with a range of skill levels are welcome to compete in this 2nd annual event, which gets started at 7 AM at the Pinchers Marina Restaurant in downtown Fort Myers. The event features a marathon, half marathon and 5k run — all in our desirable, sunny Southwest Florida location. Find your beat. BIKE NIGHT November 8 Downtown Fort Myers revs up to welcome all types of motorbikes! The streets shut down to make room for live music on four stages, lots of food and merchandise vendors, bar specials. Join hundreds of motorcyclists and show off your awesome ride! No admission charge. Nov 9 FGCU-SANIBEL ISLAND WRITERS CONFERENCE November 6-9 From aspiring novelist to published author, all interested writers are invited to attend an offering of workshops, panels, lectures and readings presented by some of the country’s most celebrated and experienced writers and teachers. The headliner appearing this year at BIG ARTS and the Sanibel Island Public Library is Richard Russo, a masterful novelist with a gift for capturing the grit and perseverance of the industrial towns of America’s Northeast. October + November — Community Events Continued STREETS ALIVE November 2 The Fort Myers River District creates a day to come out and play! Streets temporarily close to give folks of all ages the chance to walk, ride bikes, skateboard or try other non-motorized activities. Starting off with a “people’s parade,” all are invited show off this year’s Halloween costume. Bring a picnic lunch or dine at one of downtown’s many enjoyable eateries.The event runs 11 AM - 4 PM Streets Alive is a free event, so bring out the entire family! Nov 2 Nov 8

Nov 6- 9

Nov 9

TASTE OF THE ISLANDS November 9 This popular Sanibel festival is back for its 33rd year! Set to the tune of live bands, local restaurants share their finest dishes at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club from 11 AM - 4 PM to earn top honors from culinary judges and an eager crowd. Entry ticket is $5, Children age 10 and under are free. Food tickets are available for purchase at the event.This fundraiser builds awareness and financial support for Sanibel Island’s Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW).




SHELL WEEK November 9-15 Join the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum on Sanibel Island for its first annual weeklong “shellabration”! Explore the more than 250 different kinds of shells that can be found on the Islands of Sanibel and Captiva. Fun activities available for shell fans of all ages. Get ready to learn, laugh and to love the fascinating world of sea shells. October + November — Community Events Continued Nov 9- 15 CRACKER FEST November 14 From 6 - 10 PM, come out to the The Bait Box on Sanibel to celebrate Florida’s cultural heritage while raising support for local water quality and conservation with the Sanibel Captiva Chapter of START (Solutions to Avoid Red Tide). This year’s bash comes complete with dining, line dancing lessons, auction and enjoying the company of friends and family. Plus, Uproot Hootenanny performs under the stars. Nov 14

Nov 14- 17

FORT MYERS BOAT SHOW November 14-17 Don’t miss the premier boat show on Florida’s west coast! Boats of every type,

marine products and services for both enthusiasts and novices are showcased. You can attend informative seminars on fishing, diving, and boat safety. The show, now in its 41st year, also includes a large kayaking section with daily seminars, products displays and information about Lee County’s Great Calusa Blueway paddling trails. Admission is $9.

Nov 21- 30


Dig your toes in the Fort Myers Beach sand at the 27th Annual American Sand Sculpting Championship and Beach Festival, where over 1,000 tons of sand is plied and sculpted! This fun-filled event includes world class master sand sculptors, state championship contest, amateur contest, quick sand speed sculpting, demonstrations and lessons, chain saw art, flying colors, kids activity area, and more than 60 vendors on site. Bring the sunscreen! $5 entry fee.

October + November — In Concert

Oct 2

THE POWER OF MUSIC October 2 Ethan Bortnick with Special guest Damian McGinty. The youngest performer ever to headline an international concert tour, 13-year-old pianist, singer, composer and entertainer Ethan Bortnick brings his family music special to Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall on the Florida Southwestern College campus in Fort Myers. For this 7 PM appearance, Ethan stages a band, a children’s choir, and even audience members. Tickets for Ethan’s energetic show always go fast.



ISLAND HOPPER SONGWRITER FEST October 3-6 Join in on the last weekend of the first ever Island Hopper Songwriter Fest to hear nationally acclaimed singer-songwriters at popular island venues on Fort Myers Beach. With dozens of intimate shows, you experience the voices, stories and personalities of the artists, and share in memorable performances. Most shows are free. October + November — In Concert Oct 3- 6 EARTH, WIND + FIRE: THEN, NOW + FOREVER October 12 Iconic American soul-funk-fusion vocal group Earth, Wind & Fire takes the stage at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall at 7 PM America’s seventh top-selling musical group of all-time still amazes fans in its fifth decade. In 2013, the group released Now, Then & Forever, its first new studio album in eight years, and performs this newest body of work as well as Rock & Roll Hall of Fame classics. Oct 12

Oct 19

RINGO STARR + HIS ALL STARR BAND Oct 19 The legendary former Beatles drummer and his amazingly talented band mates take over Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers at 7 PM to rock many of Ringo’s extraordinary catalog of hits, including songs from his seven-inch vinyl singles collection featuring “Photograph,” “It Don’t Come Easy,” and “(It’s All Down To) Goodnight Vienna.” At 50 years since the Beatles’ famous appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, Ringo Starr is every bit the powerhouse of music today.

Nov 6

PRIDE + PATRIOTISM November 6 YOUTH CELEBRATING THE ARTS + HONORING OUR VETERANS. Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall presents a 7 PM Veterans’ Day tribute that includes inspiring patriotic music performed by the Southwest Florida Youth Symphony Orchestra, rousing marches by an area high school band and vocal numbers by local young people. Student patriotic expressions of art, photography, poetry, and films are honored, and veterans participate in recognition to the anthem of their branch of service. O.A.R. WITH SPECIAL GUEST ANDY GRAMMER: THE ROCKVILLE LP TOUR Nov. 13 O.A.R. is renowned for its intense, colorful live performance — including selling out Madison Square Garden twice — and the familial bond the ban shares with its loyal fans. O.A.R. drops by Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall at 7:30 PM to share music from their eighth album, “The Rock- ville LP,” an homage to the creative renewal and inspiration they felt in going home again — which for band members, is Rockville, Maryland. Nov 13



October + November - In Concert Continued

WENDY WEBB: NOVEMBER MOON November 16 There’s an air of mystique around the full moon. Weaving her own magic, singer Wendy Webb performs your favorite songs from her previous album collection plus a few new gems. She effortlessly blends elements of folk, pop, jazz and blues to create a sound all her own. Wendy sings and plays acoustic guitar beginning at 8 PM at the Herb Strauss Theater on Sanibel Island. Nov 16 DIVAS November 21-30 Divas fight it out for vocal and stage dominance in this show-stopping performance of the biggest and most successful female stars. Stunning voices and lots of laughter ensue as these talented ladies belt out everything from the most popular show tunes and pop songs to opera. Unforgettable performances, on the Strauss Theater stage at BIG Arts, Sanibel. Opening night reception takes place at 5:30 PM on November 21st. Nov 21- 30 BETTER LATE October 1-November 1 Go “Off Broadway” at Broadway Palm Dinner Theater in Fort Myers for this side-splitting, yet touching, comedy about Julian Nussbaum, who, due to illness, is forced to move in with his ex-wife and her new husband. As the days pass, the laughter builds and the awkward situation spirals further and further out of control. DEATHTRAP October 3-25 This Tony nominated comedy thriller by Ira Levin features a successful writer in a dry spell. After an unsuccessful attempt to plagiarize a script from one of his students, he offers a collaboration. Suspense mounts as the plot unwinds with calculation, suprise and laughter, with the pieces of the play rearranged and twisted repeatedly all the way to its shocking conclusion. See it at the Laboratory Theater of Florida in Fort Myers. BUDDY: THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY October 9 This fast-paced, heart-wrenching musical shares the brief, but spectacular, musical career of the legendary Buddy Holly. Audiences are transported back in time to his unique rockabilly sound with hits like “Maybe Baby,” “Every Day,” “Peggy Sue,” “That’ll Be the Day,” “Oh Boy,” “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” and “Rave On.” The show’s final scene includes a rousing concert that includes Buddy Holly along with music legends, The Big Bopper who performs “Chantilly Lace” and Ritchie Valens singing his smash hit, “La Bamba.” Oct 9 Oct 3- 6 SESAME STREET LIVE “MAKE A NEW FRIEND” October 15 Your favorite Sesame Street characters explore the universal fun of friendship and celebrate cultural similarities, from singing and dancing, to sharing cookies! Your family will learn to appreciate how special each person is, no matter where they’re from or where they’ve been. Tickets on sale now for 10:30 AM and 6:30 PM events at Germain Arena in Estero. Oct 15 Oct 1- Nov 1 October + November - On Stage



Oct 17- 26

October + November - On Stage Continued

YOU’RE NEVER TOO OLD October 17-26 Cultural Park Theatre in Cape Coral presents a play by Carl Megill. Seventy-year-old

twin brothers Max and Barney are reunited after 16 years, but when Barney arrives in Florida with new lottery-won millions and a 23-year-old bride, sibling rivalries and double-crossing ensue. Things come to a head when Barney’s new wife announces she’s pregnant.

Oct 25

ANJELAH JOHNSON October 25 A wildly successful stand-up comedian, Anjelah got her start with one of the most successful viral comedy videos of all time, “Nail Salon.” She has performed for troops in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and plays to sold-out comedy clubs across the U.S. She recently worked on “Our Family Wedding” with Forest Whitaker and “Alvin & the Chipmunks 2 – The Squeakuel.” Anjelah has a devoted following in comedy clubs, online communities, colleges and churches. She takes the stage at 8 PM at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall.

Oct 28- Nov 19

VANYA + SONIA + MASHA + SPIKE October 28-November 19 Named Tony Award-winning Best Play for 2013, Christopher Durang borrows from

characters and themes from Checkhov to brilliantly twist melancholy into mayhem when sisters Vanya and Sonia, along with Cassandra, their clairvoyant housekeeper, receive a visit from their famous movie star sister Masha, boy-toy Spike in tow. You’ll laugh out loud — and feel the regret — of sibling rivalry and the realities of growing older. See Vanyah and Sonia and Masha and Spike, the debut offering of Florida Repertory Theatre Season 17, in the River District of Fort Myers. TRIBES November 5-30 Born deaf to a hearing family, Bill was raised inside a fiercely idiosyncratic and politically incorrect cocoon. When he falls in love with Sylvia, who’s losing her hearing, he becomes a part of a community he never knew existed. A story of Billy’s struggle for self-identity, rebellion and triumph. At ArtStage Studio Theatre of Florida Repertory Theatre. Nov 5- 30

Nov 6,7 13,14

ANNIE JR. November 6-7, 13-14 The Sanibel School Performing Arts program proudly presents their annual theatrical performance — with this fall’s presentation of “Annie Jr.” Be sure to mark your calendars to see budding artists, while supporting the school — public is welcome. Performances are at 7 PM, tickets $8 adults, $5 kids at the door. The Sanibel School, 3840 Sanibel Captiva Road.

Nov 6- Dec 25

THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK CHRISTMAS MUSICAL Nov. 6 - Dec. 25 Ho ho ho! Get merry with the eclectic residents of Armadillo Acres, who are back with an all-new holiday musical! When amnesia strikes the trailer park’s own “Scrooge,” the holiday spirit in Betty, Lin, Pickles and some new neighbors are tested.


{Parting Shot - Flying }

Image by Milissa Sprecher Bowman’s Beach, Sanibel


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