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Blueway & Riverfest Jumpstart the Festival Season

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On: Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 12:36PM | By: John Paeno

Things are in full swing now. The events from the Blueway Festival to the Blues Festival have been going on all over the county. During the Blueway Festival we fished, raced, and dressed in costume for all the assorted events. We kicked it off at our Bonita location with the Imperial River Challenge and Bonita Springs River Festival. Pine Island’s Snook Cowboy (Craig Timbes) took second place in the event. In addition we had a DJ, a Rubber Ducky Race, a butterfly release, live entertainment, door prizes, and kayak raffle (kayak donated by Florida Paddlesports in the Publix Pine Island Plaza, Cape Coral). Later that night as things calmed down we took a paddle up to the Bat Bridge and watched a thousand bats leave their day time retreat to seek the night and its meals. They are Brazilian/Mexican Free Tail Bats and they give off a strong odor, in addition to the guano you can already smell.

On the following weekend there was a kayak race and fishing tournament for the Blueway Festival and this fishing tournament is becoming one of the premiere kayak fishing tournaments in the south Florida. With a grand prize of a $2,000 fully rigged kayak and money down to 5th place, this event is only going to grow. There were some where around 50 contestants at the Anglers Inn in Matlacha for the Captains Meeting. The Cowboy and I were surprised at the large number of kayak anglers that turned out for the event. A cold front had come through the night before and we fished in some chilly, windy weather. We got two thirds of our slam but never could find that red fish. We still had a great time and look forward to next year. The next day we set up demo boats in Matlacha Park with our friends from Florida Paddlesports and let people try out boats while the Blues Festival was going on in the park.

Then we had Evening in the Park in Bonita Springs on November 12 and the theme was Hawaiian Night and our second Evening in the park is on November 26th and the theme will be Guest Artists Night. We had leis, barbecue pork, and assorted refreshments for our Hawaiian Night, and we hope to have many performing and visual artists as guests for the next event. There will be snacks and refreshments in the cabins and the Museum will be open. Free to the public. Also coming up in November and December will be two more themed Evenings in the Park and Holiday in the Park in Bonita.

Then on Pine Island it will be Creative Coats Week End on the second weekend of the month and Storytellers corner at the Earth and Spirit Gallery. The stories start around sunset; contact the Earth and Spirit Gallery for details at 239-282-1025. If you are a storyteller interested in telling your stories on one of these nights, contact me at or call 239-938-5342. Coming soon Calusa Backwater Guide Co-op.

You can see the River Festival video by going to You Tube and searching calusajohn Bonita Springs River Festival.

We also started a Rhythmic Drum Circle on Wed night in Riverside Park Bonita Springs, starts around 7pm. The public invited to attend and participate.

To take a Calusa Ghost Tours by paddle contact John at 239-938-5342. You can contact us in Bonita for kayak rental or tour at 239-949-9156. For a motorized Calusa Ghost Tour adventure to Mound Key on the Estero Bay Express call 230-463-3600. Email me at or visit us on the web at and check out our You Tube videos. For Calusa Art, replicas, seminars, and demos check us out in Artist Cabin #3 in Bonita Springs, Riverside Park.


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