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Sanibel Island, Florida

The Sanibel Scoop

Things that are happening, have happened or will happen on our Sanctuary Isle


On this page we hope to chronicle the things that keep Sanibel residents and visitors active.
If you want to add news, email to

November 10, 2013 ~ 11 to 4 pm
Sanibel & Captiva’s “Best Island Event”
is back for its 32nd year to celebrate community, cuisine, and CROW – all in one fell swoop!

Set to the tune of live bands, local restaurants will once again offer their most decadent delicacies on Sanibel
and compete for top honors for their dishes from our esteemed judges and the crowd. Tickets are $5 per peson at the gate (kids under 12 are free). Food and beverage tickets will be on sale at the venue, The Dunes Golf and Racquet Club on Sand Castle Road.

October 20-26, 2013 "Ding" Darling Days -

A week-long celebration of this National Wildife Refuge gem on Sanibel Island.
Sunday, Oct. 20 is Family Free Day, with a full schedule of freee events and activities, open to all visitors.
There's more to know at


Water has been very much on the minds
of Sanibel residents and visitors lately...

largely because the Gulf's limpid blue color has turned a little murky. Nothing wrong with the quality. Perfectly healthy for swimmers and sunbathers. But not quite the postcard hue we occasionally expect. (Truth told, a storm can churn up the Gulf bottom to make the water cloudy at any time.) But the recent occurrence of tea-colored water is the result of large fresh water releases down the Caloosahatchee River from Lake Okeechobee.

In the very old days, the water from the lake would be allowed to sheet-flow south through the Everglades. But the encroachment of residential development has limited that option, especially where Route 41, also known as the Tamiami Trail crosses east-west between Miami and Naples.

There now is hope of some relief. Florida's governor has announced a project to raise the roadway so that water can flow under it, rather than be blocked by it. Completion date for the $90 million project is several years in the future. But it is encouraging to know that eventually something will be done for the health of the Everglades sand pleasures of barrier island visitors.

In the meantime, a beautiful Sanibel Gulf beach awaits every morning that your family is staying on Sanibel Island


USS Mohawk going down to the deep for a final resting.

July 2, 2012: A World War II Coast Guard cutter will be scuttled this morning 28 miles of the shore of Sanibel Island. When it settles, as an artificial reef 90 feet deep in the waters off Sanibel's shore, it will attract and host schools of fish and adventurous scuba divers checking out this new marine habitat.


Here's news about Captiva Yacht Club' Summer Sailing Courses

Since they can say it better than I can, I'll just reproduce their announcement, courtesy of the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce.

If you are looking for a place to stay for the weeks of these courses, we suggest the West Wind Inn (closest Sanibel resort to Captiva), Sanibel Arms West, or Pelicans Roost all on Sanibel.

Sam Bailey's Islands Night at the Ball Park
May 16, 2012
6:30 PM
It's an island tradition even though it is off -island. For the 19th year, Bailey's Store is underwriting a night of baseball at the Fort Myers Miracle stadium, aka Lee County Sports Complex, aka where the Minnesota Twins play during spring training. The Twins have retrurned to the Twin Cities and the game on the card for Islands Night is the Miracle vs. the Charlotte Stone Crabs. The event was originated by the late Sam Bailey, who was an accomplished athlete in his day and a great benefactor of Sanibel and Captiva. If you are in the area on the day, take yourself out to the ballgame. There's also a fun hometown parade around the diamond and some free chow. See you there.

An Incandescent Evening
April 15, 2012
6 PM to 10 PM
It's not Sanibel per se, except the Edison & Ford Winter Estate really is an eastern extension for visitors who come to Sanibel. And this promises to be a great event. Gather on the historic grounds of these two great American inventors/industrialists, dine in the gardens, be entertained by musical performers, and thrill to a flaming sunset along the Caloosahatchee River. Call 239-334-7419 for the full "scoop".

Dr. Billy Causey, National Marine Sanctuaries Director
will speak about the value of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
for recreational fisheries.
Monday, March 19, 2012
7:00 PM
Sanibel Community House
Dr. Causey's appearance is sponsored by the Sanibel Sea School.
As the Southeast Regional Director for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Dr. Causey has instrumental in developing the management plan for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. That sanctuary, at 2,900 square nautical miles, is the third largest marine protected area in the United States. Sanibel Community House is located at 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel. For more information, please call Sanibel Sea School at 239-472-8585

Sanibel Music Festival
This is almost a signature event - or series of events - running from March 3 through March 24 at Sanibel Congregational Church, 2050 Periwinkle Way. The Sanibel Music Festival was originated in the 1980's by impresario and musician, Marilyn Lauriente. It was her passion to bring great classical chamber, solo and ensemble music performances to Sanibel Island each March. In fact, "Save March for Music" became a Sanibel Music Festival rallying cry for decades.

First up this year, is an appearance on March 3rd by the Cavani String Quartet. These four talented female musicians have received the coveted Naumberg Chamber Music Award and have appeared at Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center (Washington, DC). This performance will start at 8 PM, as do all Sanibel Music Festival concerts, and will include works by Haydn, Bartok and Ravel. For more information visit the Sanibel Music Festival website.

Sanibel Scoop report on Sanibel Stoop

Saturday, February 18, 2012, saw more than a thousand individuals gather on Sanibel's beach to set a new Guiness Book record for the number of people simultaneously engaging in that fascinating activity called the Sanibel Stoop. It's called that because it is the position assumed by beachcombers searching for shells on the world-famous Sanibel Island shelling beaches. It was scheduled as a kick off of the Annual Sanibel Shellibration and Shell Fair and Show. We'll try to post some more info (and photos, if can get them) about the Sanibel Shell Fair, in it's 75th year, shortly. Okay, assume the position!!!

Edison Festival of Light
Grand Parade
Saturday, February 18, 2012
7:00 PM
This is not, strictly speaking, a Sanibel event. But it is so big and so unique that it bears mention here.
The Grand Parade departs from Fort Myers HS stadium and wends (don't parades always "wend"?) its way to downtown Fort Myers. Parade watchers get out early to "reserve" the viewing places. There's more information at htttp://

Cave of Forgotten Dreams (France)
Monday, February 20, 7 PM

A documentary film about the Chauvet Cave in southern France, Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. Footage from inside the cave and the nearby Pont d'Arc natural bridge, and includes interviews with various scientists and historians. Generally, cave paintings are protected from light, which causes the images to fade over time. This is a rare glimpse into the deep past of human activity. 2010, 89 min, Not Rated, in French with English subtitles Admission: $8

The J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge has re-opened the boardwalk at Bailey tract, reconstructed using recycled plastic board to extend its life.

Nearly four miles of boardwalk and trails are open to the public in Bailey Tract's 100 acres of interior wetland, where freshwater plants and wildlife dominate. The boardwalk and trails are open from sunup to sundown, with two free guided walking tours each walk. "Plants of the Bailey Tract" departs the Bailey Tract parking lot off Tarpon Bay Road at 10:00 am on Tuesdays and "Wildlife of Bailey Tract" leaves at 8:30 am on Fridays.

February 16 - Linden String Quartet - Graduate String Quartet in Residence, Yale School of Music
February 22 - Southwest Florida Symphony - Featuring the String Section
March 14 - Southwest Florida Symphony - Debussy, Gounod & Brahms


Island Jazz Performances

Eight Sundays at BIGArts
February 5, 12, 19, 26, March 4, 18, April 1, 8, 15, 22, & 29.

Beach chairs are suggested, Rain or shine.

Made up mostly of island residents, Island Jazz features Harry Reiner (trumpet), Tom Cooley (drums), Louis Pradt (clarinet and flute), Babe VanDeVelde (tenor sax), and Sally-Jane Heit (vocals). Frequent guest players include many of the best jazz musicians in southwest Florida playing all styles of music from jazz standards and Dixieland to bop, pop, and more.

Travel Guru Arthur Frommer names Sanibel his favorite place to visit. #1. Ahead of Bali and Paris, France. Come and see why!!!

BIG Arts
Through February 11
At Herb Strauss Theater
"Dirty Rotten Scoundrels"
Monday through Saturday at 8:00 PM
This show is based on a 1988 film. On Broadway, it won Tony and
a Drama Desk Award. A musical tale of two con men who try to out-con each other and get caught at it. Tickets - General $42; Under 18 $20

January 26
Joyce Yang, Pianist
Recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, she has performed
with numerous world symphony orchestras.
Tickets - General $42; Loge $47; Child free with paying adult.

A fund-raiser for Kevin Joe Stahl will be held at Matzaluna's Restaurant,
1200 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel on Saturday, January 21, 2012 from 2 to 4 PM
Call 239-822-6593

February is Healthy Heart Month at Sanibel Recreation Center.
3880 Sanibel-Captiva Road. Call 239-472-0345 for details and calendar of events.

Sunday, January 29, 2012 - Benefit luau for the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum,
"Under the Sea".

It's actually, on the beach at the Island Inn, 4 to 9 pm.
Polynesian dancers and island music will accompany luau-style foods under the Sanibel skies. Bring checkbooks to bid on live auction and silent auction items. $125 per person. Reservations at

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