Pure Florida presents Sunset Music Cruises in Naples and Fort Myers Friday, May 20

Sunset CruisePure Florida will offer Sunset Music Cruises on Friday, May 20 at 7 p.m. departing from its Naples and Fort Myers locations. The 90-minute excursions will take passengers on a relaxing cruise featuring a live musical performance and the stunning Southwest Florida sunset.

Passengers cruising from Pure Florida’s Naples location will travel along the Gordon River and Naples coastline as the sun begins to set over the Gulf of Mexico. Aboard the M/V Double Sunshine, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the breathtaking scenery while listening to live music performed by Sunset Steel.

Guests visiting Pure Florida’s Fort Myers location will cruise aboard the M/V Edison Explorer, drifting along the Caloosahatchee River. Guests will have the opportunity to explore the evening scenery of downtown Fort Myers on the water and the beautiful bird rookery accompanied by live music performed Jon Dunnicliff.

Aboard the vessel, guests are invited to relax, have a drink and enjoy the beauty of the natural surroundings, showcasing the unique wildlife native to Southwest Florida. While Pure Florida cannot guarantee animal sightings in the wild, potential wildlife sightings include dolphins, eagles, manatee, native birds and more. Beer, wine and soft drinks will be available for purchase on-board the vessels, and snacks will also be available for purchase aboard the M/V Double Sunshine. Once out to sea, the captain will stop the vessel as the sun begins to set so that guests can enjoy the famed Southwest Florida sunset and take advantage of this premier photo opportunity. Once the sun has dropped below the horizon, the vessel will begin its return voyage, providing the opportunity for guests to enjoy the rich colors in the sky and twinkling evening lights on the river, set to the tune of the evening’s musical performance. Upon returning to the Pure Florida dock, guests can conclude their experience by exploring the local shops and restaurants of Tin City or downtown Fort Myers.

The M/V Double Sunshine departs from the historic Tin City, located at 1200 Fifth Ave. S. in Naples and the M/V Edison Explorer departs from The Marina at Edison Ford, located at 2360 W. First St. in Fort Myers. Reservations are required. For pricing and registration for the Sunset Music Cruises, contact Pure Florida’s Naples location at 239-263-4949 or Fort Myers location at 239-919-2965. For more information on Pure Florida and its cruises, visit www.PureFL.com.

About Pure Florida

In 2009, father-and-son duo Captains Lance and Harry Julian acquired the Naples-based Double Sunshine and Lady Brett fishing vessel, and have grown the company to include 19 vessels and two locations providing a variety of unique eco-excursions for its visitors that incorporate maritime history, tourism, sightseeing and entertainment. With locations in Naples and Fort Myers, the water attraction company offers sunset and specialty cruises as well as boat and Jet Ski rentals, fishing charters, group events and educational field trips for schools and students. In addition to Pure Florida, the founders are also partners in Marine Team International and Pure Image Productions, providing professional marine consulting, television and video production and photography services. With a long history in maritime productions, Lance and Harry Julian have helped to create some of the most memorable water scenes in film production, with credits including “Titanic” and “Waterworld,” and television credits such as the reality show, “Survivor.” As the fifth and sixth generation working within the maritime industry, Lance and Harry Julian enjoy sharing their passion and expertise with fellow adventurers in the Southwest Florida area. For more information, visit www.PureFL.com or call its Naples location at 239-263-4949 or its Fort Myers location at 239-919-2965.

Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s Earth Day Festival draws 1,200

Approximately 1,200 people came out to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s Earth Day Festival on April 16 to enjoy a day of fun and celebration oPhoto 7 - Bobka-Horatiof our water, land, wildlife and future. In addition to the variety of entertainment and activities available throughout the day, the event also featured a special naming announcement, declaring that the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s newest member, its loggerhead sea turtle, will be named Luna.

Presented in partnership with Community Foundation of Collier County, Naples Daily News and D’Latinos, the Conservancy’s largest community event of the year featured a variety of nearly 60 vendors and environmental exhibitors showcasing educational and entertaining family activities and experiences for guests to enjoy. Fun for all ages was featured throughout the event, including guest speakers, live music, live animal programs, unique exhibits, games, crafts,Photo 8 - Evan Vesely face painting and sand art. In addition to activities back by popular demand, the festival also offered many new activities, including Glen Beitman of “Super Science and Amazing Art,” an interactive edu-tainment show entitled Everglades Interactive, hands-on activities with Snapology Legos Presents “Nature’s Super Transformers,” live music from the Bug Tussle Ramblers, and a bounce house.

“This year’s Earth Day Festival was a huge success, and we really enjoyed sharing this fun and educational day with new faces, familiar friends and many Conservancy of Southwest members,” said Rob Moher, president and CEO of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. “Our annual festival provides a great opportunity for the Southwest Florida community to come together to celebrate our land, water and wildlife, and we enjoyed showcasing the many exciting features that nature has to offer, while instilling the importance of preserving its unique qualities and protecting its inhabitants to ensure that its natural beauty is upheld for generations to come.”Photo 6 - Gordon B. Eagle and Rob Moher

During this year’s event, the community had the opportunity to meet the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s new loggerhead sea turtle. The juvenile loggerhead joined the Conservancy of Southwest Florida on March 30, and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida reached out to the community to help name the new loggerhead. Visitors were able to submit their ideas in person at the Conservancy Nature Center between March 30 through April 10, and a committee of staff, interns and volunteers reviewed the submissions, selecting a name for the sea turtle, Luna.

Spanish for the word “moon,” the name Luna was suggested at the Conservancy’s Nature Center in light of the sea turtle hatchlings’ trek from land to sea. When sea turtles hatch, their instinct is to crawl towards the brightest light as they make their way from their nest to the ocean, and as sea turtles often hatch at night, many hatchlings find their way to the ocean by using the light reflected off the moon. Luna will serve as an ambassador for the loggerhead species within the Dalton Discovery Center at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, providing visitors a unique opportunity to learn Photo 4 - Geoff Kollender, Shelby Hoover and William Boyajianabout native sea turtle conservation.

About the Conservancy of Southwest Florida:

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is a not-for-profit environmental protection organization with a 50 year history focused on the issues impacting the water, land wildlife and future of Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Conservancy accomplishes this mission through the combined efforts of its experts in the areas of environmental science, policy, education and wildlife rehabilitation. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, world-class Nature Center and von Arx Wildlife Hospital are headquartered in Naples, Florida, 1495 Smith Preserve Way, south of the Naples Zoo off Goodlette-Frank Road. Learn more about the Conservancy’s work and how to support the quality of life in Southwest Florida www.conservancy.org.

BBQ, Bands & Brew fundraiser raises $116,000 to benefit Lee BIA Builders Care

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Builders Care, the nonprofit charitable arm of the Lee Building Industry Association (BIA) raised a record total of $116,000 during the seventh annual BBQ, Bands & Brew event held Sunday, April 3 at the Lee County Alliance for the Arts. Presented by All Star Equipment Rentals and Sales, the fundraiser attracted more than 7,500 guests, featuring live music, local barbecue restaurants, vendors, a barbecue competition, the fourth annual Poker Run, a cornhole tournament and activities for children. Funds raised from the event benefited Builders Care, which provides emergency repairs and construction services to elderly, disabled and economically disadvantaged residents in Lee County.

“With the help of about 175 volunteers, a dedicated board of directors and our hardworking staff, we produced another amazing evenPhoto 7t to benefit Builders Care, achieving a 38 percent increase in funds raised over last year’s event,” said Christi Pritchett Sarlo, executive director of Builders Care. “We thank the local bands, vendors, sponsors, fantastic weather and phenomenal Southwest Florida community for making this day such a success.”

Live music was performed throughout the festivities by Soapy Tuna, Rocker, Deb & the Dynamics and The Alter Ego Band of Fort Myers, and nine barbecue vendors and Artisan Gelato by Norman Love provided delicious food for guests to enjoy. A team of celebrity judges voted BurgerQue as winner of Best BBQ in Town. Other winners included Best Side Dish by Famous Dave’s, Best Ribs by MOFO’s, Best Chicken by Sweetwater Wings & Ribs,Photo 2 Best Pork by BurgerQue, Best Presentation by Famous Dave’s, and for the seventh year straight, the People’s Choice Award went to Jonesez BBQ.

The seventh annual BBQ, Bands & Brew was presented by All Star Equipment Rentals and Sales as title sponsor. Other sponsors included Ferguson, Sunset Air Conditioning, Gateway Charter School, Cape Coral Plumbing, Moen, Minto Communities, Stock Development, Action Automatic Door & Gate, Acra Electric, Banks Engineering, Brent’s Music, Carter-Pritchett Advertising, Everglades Farm Equipment, Five County Insurance, Florida Hydronic Solutions, Florida Weekly, Grabber Construction Products, Happenings Magazine, iHeartMedia, Kinetico Quality Water, Land Solutions Inc., Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC), J Steakley Wealth Management, Juniper Landscaping, J.W. Craft Portable Restrooms, Lightning Wireless Solutions, N Square, Nilles Design Group, Priority Marketing, Promotional Incentives, Sarlo Power Mowers, Southern Accents Catering, Southern Gulf Equipment, Stevens Construction, Suncoast Beverages/Budweiser,Photo 6 and WINK-TV.

Builders Care is the nonprofit charitable arm of the Lee Building Industry Association (BIA). Its objective is to provide emergency repairs and construction services to elderly, disabled and economically disadvantaged people who are unable to obtain home repairs through traditional means. To date, Lee BIA Builders Care has put more than $3.8 million in construction services back into the community at no cost to homeowners in need.  Builders Care enlists the volunteer services of Lee BIA members and leverages grants and donated materials to provide construction and remodeling services to qualified homeowners throughout Lee County. Certified Building Partners include Stock Development and Minto Communities. Major supporters include Cape Coral Plumbing, Ferguson Enterprises, Nilles Design Group, Priority Marketing of Southwest Florida, Sunset Air and The Aubuchon Team of Companies. Builders Care is headquartered at the Lee BIA offices at 10501 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy., Suite 118 in Fort Myers. The BuilPhoto 9ding Industry Association (www.BIA.net) is a 50-year-old association affiliated with National Home Builders Association and Florida Home Builders Association to serve the local building and related industries to strengthen our community by advancing a professional building industry through advocacy, education and services. Donations can be made online at www.LeeBuildersCare.org, or to the Builders Care general fund at BB&T Page Field branch at 4959 South Cleveland Ave. in Fort Myers. More information is available by calling 239-938-0056.

Matanzas on the Bay celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with specials, live performances

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Matanzas on the Bay on Fort Myers Beach is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on Thursday, March 17, by offering restaurant goers a festive day of Irish cuisine, drink specials and live music. An extended Happy Hour will also be available on Petey’s Upper Deck and at the bar from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Matanzas on the Bay’s St. Patrick’s Day feast will feature Chef Dave Chetwin’s Famous Corned Beef and Cabbage Buffet with carrots, creamer potatoes and dinner rolls for $15 per plate, available all day from 11 a.m., while supplies last. Drink specials include $4 pints of Guinness, $5 Bushmills and Jameson and $7 Irish Car Bombs, available all day long. Guests can enjoy live performances throughout the day, with John Friday performing from noon to 4 p.m. and Mary Winner from 5 to 9 p.m.

“With festive food and drinks, phenomenal music and a beautiful waterfront view, Matanzas on the Bay has everything you need to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Fort Myers Beach,” said Glen Petrarca, general manager of Matanzas on the Bay. “Our St. Patrick’s Day celebration was a hit last year, and we anticipate another great St. Patrick’s Day at Matanzas on the Bay, enjoying a fun-filled day with our guests.”

Matanzas on the Bay and Petey’s Upper Deck are best known for waterfront views, fresh seafood and old Florida ambience and is located at 416 Crescent St. on Fort Myers Beach on Estero Bay. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily, as well as caters to special occasions and private parties. As part of its commitment to use as many locally sourced products as possible, Matanzas on the Bay offers fresh produce in partnership with Oakes Farm, rum from the Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery and draft beer from Fort Myers Brewery. Its upstairs sports bar, Petey’s Upper Deck, is popularly known for its Dave’s Dockside Pizza, named the best pizza on Fort Myers Beach. The restaurant is located adjacent to the Matanzas Bayside Inn waterfront accommodations, just steps away from the Fort Myers Beach entertainment district. Free car parking and boat dockage is available. To book your party or for more information, call 239-463-3838 or visit www.MatanzasontheBay.com.

Matanzas on the Bay to offer New Year’s dinner specials, live music Dec. 31 and Jan. 1

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Matanzas on the Bay on Fort Myers Beach will ring in the New Year by offering guests two great evenings of delicious food specials and live music. Matanzas on the Bay will feature a special New Year’s Eve appearance from Father Al and the Jazz Congregation on Thursday Dec. 31 from 6 to 9 p.m. and a performance from Wendell Ray on Friday, Jan. 1 from 6 to 9 p.m.

The two evenings of live musical performances will be accompanied by a selection of dinner specials for guests to enjoy. The menu will include the Local Grouper Oscar, an eight-ounce filet char broiled with lump crab, sun-dried tomato, asparagus and hollandaise for $29, and the Prime Rib, a 12-ounce cut of slow roasted choice Angus beef with au jus and horseradish cream for $25.

“With talented artists and delicious food, what better way to ring in the New Year than right on Fort Myers Beach, overlooking the bay?” said Glen Petrarca, general manager of Matanzas on the Bay. “We are excited to offer two great evenings of fun and food, and we hope the community will join us in giving 2016 a warm, Fort Myers Beach welcome.”

Matanzas on the Bay and Petey’s Upper Deck are best known for waterfront views, fresh seafood and old Florida ambience and is located at 416 Crescent St. on Fort Myers Beach on Estero Bay. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily, as well as caters to special occasions and private parties. As part of its commitment to use as many locally sourced products as possible, Matanzas on the Bay offers fresh produce in partnership with Oakes Farm, rum from the Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery and draft beer from Fort Myers Brewery. Its upstairs sports bar, Petey’s Upper Deck, is popularly known for its Dave’s Dockside Pizza, named the best pizza on Fort Myers Beach. The restaurant is located adjacent to the Matanzas Bayside Inn waterfront accommodations, just steps away from the Fort Myers Beach entertainment district. Free car parking and boat dockage is available. To book your party or for more information, call 239-463-3838 or visit www.MatanzasontheBay.com.

Pure Florida presents Sunset Music Cruises in Naples and Fort Myers Friday, Nov. 27

Sunset Cruise

Pure Florida will offer Sunset Music Cruises on Friday, Nov. 27 at 4:30 p.m. departing from its Naples and Fort Myers locations. The 90-minute excursions will take passengers on a relaxing cruise featuring a live musical performance and the stunning Southwest Florida sunset.

Passengers cruising from Pure Florida’s Naples location will travel along the Gordon River and Naples coastline as the sun begins to set over the Gulf of Mexico. Aboard the M/V Double Sunshine, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy the breathtaking scenery while listening to live music by Jennifer “Golden Note” Gilmore.

Guests visiting Pure Florida’s Fort Myers location will cruise aboard the M/V Edison Explorer, drifting along the Caloosahatchee River. Guests will have the opportunity to explore the evening scenery of downtown Fort Myers on the water and the beautiful bird rookery accompanied by live music.

Aboard the vessel, guests are invited to relax, have a drink and enjoy the beauty of the natural surroundings, showcasing the unique wildlife native to Southwest Florida. Beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks will be available for purchase on-board. Once out to sea, the captain will stop the vessel as the sun begins to set so that guests can enjoy the famed Southwest Florida sunset and take advantage of this premier photo opportunity. Once the sun has dropped below the horizon, the vessel will begin its return voyage, providing the opportunity for guests to enjoy the rich colors in the sky and twinkling evening lights on the river, set to the tune of the evening’s musical performance. Upon returning to the Pure Florida dock, guests can conclude their experience by exploring the local shops and restaurants of Tin City or downtown Fort Myers.

The M/V Double Sunshine departs from the historic Tin City, located at 1200 Fifth Ave. S. in Naples and the M/V Edison Explorer departs from The Marina at Edison Ford, located at 2360 W. First St. in Fort Myers. Reservations are required. For pricing and registration for the Sunset Music Cruises, contact Pure Florida’s Naples location at 239-263-4949 or Fort Myers location at 239-919-2965. For more information on Pure Florida and its cruises, visit www.PureFL.com.

About Pure Florida

In 2009, father-and-son duo Captains Lance and Harry Julian acquired the Naples-based Double Sunshine and Lady Brett fishing vessel, and have grown the company to include 19 vessels and two locations providing a variety of unique eco-excursions for its visitors that incorporate maritime history, tourism, sightseeing and entertainment. With locations in Naples and Fort Myers, the water attraction company offers sunset and specialty cruises as well as boat and Jet Ski rentals, fishing charters, group events and educational field trips for schools and students. In addition to Pure Florida, the founders are also partners in Marine Team International and Pure Image Productions, providing professional marine consulting, television and video production and photography services. With a long history in maritime productions, Lance and Harry Julian have helped to create some of the most memorable water scenes in film production, with credits including “Titanic” and “Waterworld,” and television credits such as the reality show, “Survivor.” As the fifth and sixth generation working within the maritime industry, Lance and Harry Julian enjoy sharing their passion and expertise with fellow adventurers in the Southwest Florida area. For more information, visit www.PureFL.com or call its Naples location at 239-263-4949 or its Fort Myers location at 239-919-2965.

The Bell Tower Shops presents Craft Beer & Music Festival Sept. 12

Bell Tower LogoThe Bell Tower Shops is hosting the return of the popular Craft Beer & Music Festival at its shopping center Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015 from 3 to 7 p.m. The event will feature live music, delicious food, fine wines and a large assortment of craft beer from over 30 local, regional and national breweries. General admission is $5 with all proceeds benefiting the Rotary Club of Fort Myers South’s special programs and grant contributions.

The Craft Beer & Music Festival is now offering more selections for guests to enjoy with the addition of wine tents, sponsored by Cru, where wine enthusiasts can savor a wide selection of delectable wines. Guests can also experience sensational performances from local artists including Rocker, Jukebox Prophets and Clearly Avocado Band, throughout the day. As no festival is complete without delicious food, Bell Tower Shops’ restaurants will feature specialty food and beer pairings throughout the day.

The event is sponsored by Suncoast Beverage Sales, Cat Country 107.1, Y100, 95.3 The River, J.J. Taylor Distributing Florida, Inc. 105.5 The Beat. The festival will be held at the Bell Tower Shops, located at 13499 U.S. 41 in Fort Myers, adjacent to World of Beer. Parking will be available throughout the center with complimentary shuttle service to the festival area.  For more information about the event, visit www.TheBellTowerShops.com. To stay up-to-date on the latest festival information, join the Craft Beer & Music Festival Facebook page at www.facebook.com/events/1604144263190651.