John Wright

Wright

I want to take this opportunity to update you on our event program. As you will all know by now, the annual Wine & Jazz Festival did not appear this past weekend, but we are working to get venue and the artists confirmed to be able to bring this event back before the end of the year. Our goal is to bring our usual high level of energy to the stage, but in a safe and comfortable manner.

A lot of pre-event planning has already been done, but we are waiting a few more weeks to confirm details, since many of the moving parts are not Florida-based and conditions do vary from state to state. Rest assured, our goal is to deliver another fabulous day of internationally-acclaimed jazz in our city this year.

Our March Sullivan Street Arts and Craft Fair will return March 13-14 (10 a.m.-5 p.m. both days). Artisans from around the nation will be on site to show you their wares and this is a great opportunity to enjoy all things Punta Gorda. Tents will be socially distanced and vendors are required to wear masks and have hand sanitizer on hand. Our attendees are encouraged to wear masks also.

April 10 on the Tiki Bar lawn of the Four Points by Sheraton, we are putting together a Pirates and Mermaids gathering, that includes Florida-based rum distillery tastings, costume contests and great live music from Jesse Rice, John Patti, Deb & the Dynamics and the Michael Haymans’ Band. Admission is free, but you can buy a four- or six-top stage-front table (for a family group in the same bubble), which includes table service direct to your table to avoid standing in lines and admission for each person to the rum tasting, where you get to sample 10 rum drinks from five different distilleries, all vying to get voted the Best Cocktail of the Day by you. To reserve your table, please call 941-639-3720 as space is very limited.

Our March business networking is all in place. Our COVID-19 protocols remain in place. We only allow up to 50 masked participants. An RSVP to 941-639-3720 is essential, 48 hours prior to the date. Today’s luncheon at the new Harbor Social is sold out already. March’s Breakfast will take place on March 10 at Nino’s Bakery, co-hosted by Jan and Dan Stuckey of the Archway Institute, starting at 7:15 a.m.

After Hours falls on March 16, starting at 5:30 p.m. and hosted by the Peace River Botanical and Sculpture Gardens on Riverside Drive and then our March luncheon will be March 24 starting at 12:30 p.m. at the Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club. Our guest speaker will be the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition. The first two events are free to attend as members. Guests are welcome to join us if space is available, to get to know who we are and what we do. The luncheon is $20 per person and needs to be paid at the time of making your reservation.

Just a reminder, March 6 from 8 a.m.-noon, is our next citywide garage sale in the Bal Harbor Plaza, at the corner of Aqui Esta and Bal Harbor Boulevard, in Punta Gorda Isles. There is still space available for vendors if you have stuff you want to sell. Call 941-639-3720. The cost is only $15 for which you get two parking spaces – one for your car and one for your tables of goods. If you prefer, you may offload into the two spaces and remove your car from the cordoned-off area. Registration must be done prior to 2 p.m. on March 5. Space is limited and this event is always very popular.

If you have any questions about our city, please do not hesitate to call us. We are here to help.

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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