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Luau on the Beach

A magical night at Lovers Key

April 4, 2018
By ANITA FORCE MARSHALL ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

As another glorious seasons peaks in Southwest Florida, the Friends Of Lovers Key State Park (FOLKS) volunteers have saved the best for last - a Luau on the Beach at Lovers Key.

After this season's successful sting of events - Songwriters, Beach Party Night, The Vow Renewal Ceremony and Santa on the Sand - get ready for one last fling before the summer on the legendary beach and the Park Pavilion.

"It's our first luau party and we are just hoping it turns out to be a signature event that we can do every year like our very popular Valentines Renewal Vows,"said Judy Greenwood, co-chairperson. "We hope it grows every year, we already have 100 people coming and are excited about the positive response."

Don't miss the fun Wednesday, April 11, from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person and include park entrance fee plus two fruity drink coupons. If you are a FOLK's member, tickets are $45 each.

Greenwood, co-chairperson Flo Alexander, and FOLKS volunteers have planned a special "Island" evening on the beach at Lovers Key State Park at 8700 Estero Blvd.

"I was a wedding planner and I brought down all my decorations from my weddings. I had done so many with an island theme, so I suggested that we try a luau for a fund raiser and we already had all the decorations for free," Greenwood said. "We are going to have so much fun getting our gazebo ready with leis, and hula girls and palm trees and flowers, it going to be fantastic."

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Of course there will be Best Hawaiian shirt, Limbo and Hula Hoop contests with first, second, and third prizes. Don't worry, be happy while you explore your closet for any clothing with flowers, birds (flamingo and parrots rule), or palm trees. Dust off your straw hats, beads, lei's, sarongs, and coconuts. You know half the fun will be checking out everyone else's interpretation of Hawaiian attire. You can dance the night away in your favorite pair of flip flops to the live Hawaiian tunes by Steely Pan.

"We are so excited that Truly Scrumptious will have our luau dinner prepared for us - chicken & mango, pulled pork, fish, all kinds of sides plus Hawaiian inspired appetizers and desserts," Greenwood said. "It's for a great cause; all proceeds go to help fund our much-needed Welcome Discovery Center.

Lovers Key is the No. 2 most visited park in the state of Florida. A dozen years ago, the State Department made a master plan that recommended Lovers Key have an education center because of its high volume and popularity. The Friends of Lovers Key Events Committee has long supported the state park by funding special needs and programs for the park. Now their task is slightly different. The State Legislature has provided $4 million in funds for a new Welcome and Discovery Center Building. Ground breaking is scheduled for this fall, but a task still remains. The building will need exhibits, furniture, class room equipment etc. So FOLKS has a new calling - to fund these needs. Proceeds from the luau will go towards that effort to make a long-time dream become reality.

"Everyone is welcome, we have lots of people who are really excited about coming," Greenwood said. "It will be a memorable evening, ablaze with our Lovers Key sunset, and accompanied with a distant ukulele strumming." Come, Enjoy, Dance, ALOHA

To RSVP or call Judy 708-359-0466.



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