It’s hard to believe but Feb. 23 will bring Punta Gorda’s 14th Annual Wine and Jazz Festival to town — only two short weeks away now!

The full lineup starts with Matt Marshak followed by the Sax Pack. Jeff Kashiwa has been on our stage twice before as a Member of the Rippingtons, but this year marks his first appearance as part of this impressive trio. Last but by no means least Gerald Albright will set the stage on fire in a triumphant second appearance at the festival.

Regular tickets are $75. Premium and VIP tickets are still available in limited quantities also. To reserve your spot in the park for this historic day, simply call us at 941-639-3720 during office hours or visit the Shop Chamber link of www.puntagordachamber.com. Please book early to avoid disappointment.

The festival would never be as successful as it is without the community outreach and support of some incredible partners. As you are enjoying your wine, toast Nix and Associates for their constant support. As you enjoy the music, thank the FourPoints Hotel for shuttling them around and getting them to our stage. Thank also to Gettel of Charlotte County, Waste Management of Charlotte County and our incredible list of volunteers who ensure your day is the most enjoyable possible. Starting back in 2005, this event was created to showcase our city, in the aftermath of 2004’s devastation and to show we were getting back on our feet. Now, it is an annual staple that attracts over 60 percent of its attendees from out of state, all of which enjoy our hotels, restaurants, shops and much more. To all attendees, we welcome you with open arms.

Networking

Tonight at 5:30 p.m., we join the Punta Gorda Historical Society and the Gardeners of the History Park at the History Park on Shreve Street to celebrate their new gardens and planting with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Everyone is welcome to attend and support these new businesses and projects to our area. Kindly RSVP your attendance to 941-639-3720.

Wednesday morning, bright and early (7:15 a.m.) we gather at the Charlotte Memorial Funeral Home and Cemetery, 9400 Indian Spring Cemetery Road, Punta Gorda, for our February Business Over Breakfast meeting, hosted by the ARCHway Institute. ARCHway was a vision created by CEO John Stuckey during his own journey with a drug addiction disease in 2012 on the streets of St. Louis, Missouri. When John finally reached out for professional help, he started to formulate a personal mission for himself. He wanted to help his friends on the streets who wanted to be in recovery but did not have the resources or support to get the professional help they needed. Come along Wednesday and learn more about their work and how they help in our community. To register, please call the PG Chamber on 941-639-3720 by the end of the day today.

On Feb. 19 at 5:30 p.m., we visit Chapman Insurance located at U.S. 41 and W. Marion Avenue for our February Business After Hours. Again, to register, simply give us a call.

Taking the tour

This Thursday through April 4, in conjunction with the Punta Gorda Historic Mural Society, starting from the chamber office at 252 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda, we invite you to join us in a guided walking tour of our beautiful city, stopping at historic murals along the way. Learn about the local history depicted in each mural, when it was painted and by whom. See if you can find the objects hidden in some of them! You’ll also get an overview of the Mural Society, their process of creating the historic murals and a sneak peak at upcoming additional projects.

The two-hour tours start at 9:30 a.m. To purchase your tickets, please call us at 941-639-3720 during office hours. Tickets are only $15, benefiting the Mural Society.

Our trolley and boat tours, in conjunction with King Fisher Fleet, will operate every Wednesday and Friday afternoon throughout February and March. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to discuss the various options with you for these ever-popular trips 941-639- 3720. These tours are an excellent way to visit our city in a relaxing yet informative way, aboard a King Fisher Fleet cruise bat as well as the Olde Time Trolley.

The 5th Annual Punta Gorda Short Film Festival returns March 6, at 7 p.m. at the Event Center. Tickets ($20) are already is very short supply, so swing by the PG Chamber office to secure your seat at one of the hottest festivals in town, call us at 941-639-3720 or visit pgsfftix.bpt.me.

The PG Chamber is also collaborating with the Visual Art Center to bring you Create and Paint Socials most Wednesdays of the month. If you have never painted before or you are already a master who wants to enjoy a fun night out, give us a call to get fun details. The cost is $40 including all supplies, wine and snacks. Call 941-639-3720 for the next dates and further information.

Our Punta Gorda Pub Run/Walk is still every Wednesday leaving the host venue at 6:15 p.m. For full details of where and when, either call us or visit www.facebook.com/PuntaGordaPubRun/

Whether you are local or just visiting, we have a weekly e-newsletter that can be delivered to your inbox every Friday full of events, programs and information to assist you. It’s called the Friday Facts (no fake news here!). To sign up, simply click the icon on our website www.puntagordachamber.com, call us at 941-639-3720 or email your details to chamber@puntagordachamber.com. You’ll never be out of the loop again.

John R. Wright is President of the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce jrwright@puntagordachamber.com^p

Charlotte Sun is a proud Platinum sponsor of this Chamber.^p

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