A Block Party Worthy of 65 Years!
Many of our readers may be surprised to hear this, but Beach Elementary is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year. And in true small town fashion, the school is teaming up with Bay Oaks Recreation Campus, the Town of Fort Myers Beach and Matanzas Pass Preserve to put on a shindig worthy of this amazing accomplishment. Called a 'Community Block Party', the event will be held on November 16th from 1-4pm all along Oak Street, and feature arts and crafts vendors, games and rides for the kids, tours of the Preserve and Library and more.
At Beach Elementary, the school is holding an Open House from 1-2pm, and Principal Wood plans to dedicate a new time capsule immediately afterwards.
"We will have an 'Alumni Pavilion' set up where folks can take a walk down memory lane and meet old friends,” Wood told us. "I've been told there may be hundreds of alumni coming from all different years, including a group from 1980 that buried a time capsule on school grounds back then.”
That capsule has yet to be found, actually. On October 18th, the 1980 group spent a couple of hours at the school looking for it, but to no avail.
"After we drilled 12 holes in the wall, I told them I was done,” Wood said. "We are now working with the fire department to find something that can see through the walls to determine where it is. I've read that most time capsules are actually never found due to peoples' memories and changes made to the areas they're buried in.”
Wood plans to circumvent those odds by not hiding his capsule.
"I'm getting a wall safe, and I'm not going to try and make it invisible,” he said. "We are still deciding what we're going to put in it and how long it should stay sealed. With technology expanding the way it is, can you imagine what people will think of an iPhone in 25 years?”
At Bay Oaks, Parks and Recreation Director Randy Norton told us there will a lot of different things going on.
"We're going to have food and crafts vendors lining the road leading back to the campus, as well as non-profit organizations who will have booths with all sorts of information," he said. "We're going to have a Bounce House, water slide, carnival-style games and live music by a local beach band, too."
Folks will be able to check out the gym, weight room, and all the cool things at Bay Oaks, or head over to the Beach Pool to cool off, as admission will be free all day long.
Haven't been to our beautiful new library yet? The Block Party is the perfect time to check it out as Library Director Dr. Leroy Hommerding told us that the Beach Library will be open from 9am to 1pm during the event, with staff members giving tours all day.
Spend the rest of the afternoon wandering through the island's 'Best Kept Secret' as the Friends of Matanzas Pass Preserve volunteers will also be giving tours during the party, showing folks what Fort Myers Beach looked like when the Calusas first set foot here thousands of years ago.
Last but not least, the Estero Island Garden Club and Friends of the Library are teaming up to host a Half-Price Book Sale and a Plant and Seed Exchange in the Library's parking garage from 9am-Noon the day of the block party, so folks can take home a living memory of their fun day.
Keri Hendry Weeg