This coming Saturday, April 13 we welcome you to our first annual Punta Gorda Spring Festival on the Fourpoints Tiki Lawn, featuring the great music of Deb and the Dynamics (1-6 p.m.) and Neon Summer (6:30-10 p.m.). The event is free to attend. If you are a non-food vendor looking for a place to sell your wares, please give us a call 941-639-3720 to get you signed up. (Last change to register will be tomorrow Wednesday by 4 p.m.). There is a special non-profit rate, should you know of any worthy cause that would benefit from the crowds that day. We would very much like to thank our sponsors, Michael Saunders & Co, Gettel of Charlotte County, Expedia Cruise Ship Centers and Express Homes of Calusa Creek/ D J Horton Homes. Without them, the event simply would not be the same. Come down and join us for great music, drinks, food, dancing, vendors and a perfect day to party by the water.

Networking: Tonight, April 9, at 10 a.m., please mark your calendars to join us for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Bayfront Health, working in conjunction with the CERT Team, to see their new trailer, located at the Public Safety Building, 26571 Airport Road, Punta Gorda. All are welcome to attend. Kindly call your RSVP to 941-639-3720.

Bright and early tomorrow morning, we gather at the Village Fish Market Restaurant in Fishermen’s Village starting at 7:15 a.m. for our April Business Over Breakfast meeting, presented by Connect Print and Promotions. Attendance is free to members and potential new members are welcome to attend to try us out. An RSVP to 941-639-3720 before 4 p.m. today would be appreciated for catering purposes. Enjoy a great cooked VFM breakfast, excellent camaraderie and great discussion all at the same time.

Monday 15 at 5:30 p.m., we’ll be conducting the Ribbon Cutting ceremonies for the new home of the Military Heritage Museum, located at 900 W Marion Avenue, Punta Gorda. Please call in your attendance a.s.a.p. The on Tuesday April 16 at 5:30 p.m., we visit the Gettel Lincoln dealership, as they host our April Business After Hours. In attendance will be the fine folks from the Animal Welfare League along with a few of their current “tenants” that are looking for new forever homes! (You have been warned, softies!)

Before we run over to set up the Spring Festival on Saturday, we also will be opening up the April Citywide Garage Sale (8 a.m.-noon) in the Bal Harbor Plaza (Bal Harbor/Aqui Esta in Punta Gorda Isles). If you have goods to sell, please call us 941-639-3720 for registered ($15) or, if you are bargain hunting, just add this location to your calendar and we’ll see you on Saturday morning. Bargains galore to be had and C.A.R.E. will be on hand to be a recipient of any donations.

2020 will be our 15th Anniversary Annual Wine & Jazz Festival and we plan on it being a real celebration of the longevity and success this event has brought to Punta Gorda. I am very honored to announce the line-up for 2020 – featuring the acts you have acclaimed as your favorites, to help us celebrate 15th incredible years. Eric Darius, fresh from his 2018 appearance on our stage, is confirmed. Matt Marschak will return in 2020 to open the show in his own electric way and Ms Mini Abair will return to co-host and take the show to an incredible retrospective climax as she returns to her jazz routes to present a performance of all those jazzy favorites that got her to where she is today. So Mindi will be here twice (November and February) but giving two completely different and exciting shows. Blues/Rock in November with her Boneshakers and contemporary jazz in February. We are in for a treat! Tickets, especially the VIP and Premium sections, are already being snapped up for 2020’s event at www.puntagordachamber.com Join us for the party as the celebrations continue. Also, our 2nd Annual Punta Gorda Wine and Music Festival is set for Nov. 16 with our Festival Star Mindi Abair at the top of the bill. Tickets for that event are also on www.puntagordachamber,com or by calling 941-639-3720. I’ll be meeting her very soon to finalize the attendance of her “friends” who’ll be joining her on stage in November! Punta Gorda is truly Music City Florida!

Our trolley and boat tours, in conjunction with King Fisher Fleet, will operate every Friday afternoon throughout April, before it rests up for the summer. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to discuss the 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 boat as well as the Olde Time Trolley.

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@puntagorda-chamber.com. You’ll never be out of the loop again.

John R. Wright is President of the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce jrwright@puntagorda-chamber.com. Charlotte Sun is a proud Platinum sponsor of this Chamber.

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