John Wright

Wright

The holidays are upon us and, this year, we get the feeling that people are more ready than ever to celebrate. Please remember to support local businesses at this time of year. They are truly the backbone of our community — everyone turns to them to ask support for local events and programs. They are there for us year-round, and we should return the favors and patronize their storefronts as often as we possibly can. We at the PG Chamber are collecting toys for the children who are in the care of Charlotte Behavioral Health Care. Any unwrapped gift for children aged from infant to 18 are most welcome at our office located at 252 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda. We appreciate your generosity.

Yesterday, we went to visit long-time business owners Debbie and Steve Bales of Ace Hardware in downtown Punta Gorda, to thank them for their incredible years of service to our community. The business has been transferred to new owners as Debbie and Steve start a well-deserved retirement. This entire community will remember you with great affection. You have seen us through some very difficult and stressful times. You will be missed. We all wish you health and happiness in your retirement.

Let’s make this month the month to destress and celebrate what has always gotten us through tough times — community and friendships. I encourage you all to enjoy the Holiday Light display at Fishermen’s Village that runs through Dec. 31. The PGI Canal Boat Parade is always the Saturday before Christmas Eve, so December 18 this year. Route details will be available at www.pgica.org. I also encourage you to regularly visit our site www.puntagordachamber.com. Our calendar of events will show the main attractions presented by our members, but you can also subscribe to our weekly newsletter that is sent out electronically every Friday morning to your inbox. Never be out of the loop again! Alternatively, simply call us on 941-639-3720 and ask to be added to the list. We are hoping to be bringing the Budweiser Clydesdales to town in December, but the date is yet to be finalized, so check the website for details as they become available. Their visit will be a majestic equestrian display of power to melt any heart! Hope you’ll come on down and enjoy a very special Holiday gift to our City!

Tomorrow evening at 5:30 p.m., please join us for a Ribbon Cutting at Blenz Nutrition located at 2511 Vasco St., Unit 118, Punta Gorda. It’s always a privilege to welcome new businesses to our area. Kindly RSVP your attendance to 941-639-3720.

On Dec. 8 at 7:15 a.m., our Business over Breakfast will be held at the PGI Civic Association on Shreve Street, Punta Gorda. We are thrilled to have the boys from Gator Wilderness School Camp both serving breakfast and entertaining us. We get to see them in action and to see for ourselves the incredible work they do at “camp”. Breakfast is free to members and guests, but an RSVP is requested to 941-639-3720 so we can cater to the appropriate crowd. Come along and enjoy the festivities as we swing into the Holiday mood.

On Saturday, Dec. 11, we return to the Bal Harbor Plaza for our last citywide garage sale of 2021. The sale runs from 8 a.m.-noon. What to be a vendor? Simply call 941-639-3720. Cost is $15 for two parking spaces — one for your car, one for your goods. This is a great way to sell that extra stuff in your garage while visiting with the great merchants in the Bal Harbor Plaza, at the corner of Bal Harbor and Aqui Esta in PGI.

Our walking tours of the Punta Gorda Murals, in conjunction with the Punta Gorda Historic Mural Society are set to return after a year hiatus. From Jan. 18 to March 29, 2022, every Tuesday at 9:30 a.m., take a guided leisurely stroll in the company of a Mural Society docent to learn about the history and creation of some of our greatest murals. The tour is limited to 12 people and will start and end at our offices located at 252 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda. Price is $25 and can be booked by calling 941-639-3720 during office hours.

John R. Wright is president of the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce, jrwright@puntagorda-chamber.com.

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