Residents sing good-bye to season with karaoke
It’s that time of the year again when all of the snowbirds leave the islands and flock back to their northern homes and lives.
For residents this time of the year means more peace and yes folks no traffic snarls.
And how does one celebrate this event of islander significance?
With an evening of loud, raucous and laughter-filled karaoke of course.
The Sanibel Community Association will be holding its annual Karaoke event on Friday, April 16 at 7 p.m. to celebrate the end of season. Groups and individual singers are welcome to the island event.
This years’ theme celebrates Broadway, by featuring favorite Show tunes.
Gloria Baker, the general manager of the Sanibel Community House, can’t help stop from chuckling when asked to describe the Karaoke event she herself created about seven years ago as a way for islanders to blow off steam and end the season.
The event started in 2005 after Hurricane Charley struck and severely damaged the area. Because of the hurricane many seasonal residents that would normally leave for the north stayed longer to monitor their homes getting repaired on the islands.
“It’s a goofy thing that we do,” Baker said.
There are contests and challenges between neighborhoods such as East Rocks and John Carney’s gang.
Groups are encouraged to come. And for the shy type, a shower structure is available to conceal yourself as you sing. Many of the groups make up songs. Last year East Rocks created a song about the tourists and the natives. the song – based on a song from the “Oklahoma” musical – describes in funny detail how island residents and visitors should get along.
“It was really funny,” Baker said. Sandy Montclair, of the East Rocks neighborhood wrote the song. He and his posse plan to go off for another round of crooning and merrymaking this year.
“We do practice three or four times,” he said with a laugh.
The group who has participated in the event for four years plans to compete against their singing rival John Carney and his gang.
“We have a good time,” he said. “This is not real. It’s not serious. As a group we just have fun.”
Montclare said he and his pals will be performing as Frankie Gully and the C-Clamps. They will be singing “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and their wives will be performing the Frank Sinatra hit “New York New York”, Montclair said.
And prizes for the one-of-a-kind performances? Well they may not be much to sing about but they seem to delight the participants. Leftover toilet tissue, stuff lie flashlights from the Community House’s lost found and even left over Hurricane survival kits become prizes for the musical ensembles.
These musical categories include: Island Crooner, Neighborhood Elvis, Female torch singer, Famous Shower singer, Best Girl Group, Most unlikely Grouping, Most Talented neighborhood, etc, and most inspired song for the event. There is also a “write” your own category. Aside from the fun awards, prizes include a 50/50 drawing, along with a chance to win a SCA membership along with tickets to next years’ event, Baker said.
Baker hopes enough people are interested to keep the event going on next year as she is retiring at the end of the month and new management will be in place. The event attracts between 60 to 85 people of all ages every year, Baker said.
“This is what we want – to encourage the community to come,” Baker said.
The End of the Season Party will include a heavy hor d’ oeuvres, cash bar, and Karaoke entertainment provided by Line by Line Productions. To view a complete listing of their songs are available on the Internet site at (www.linebylineproductions.com).
Pre payment required by contacting The Community House. Tickets are $15 for SCA members and $18 for non-members. Proceeds support the Community House’s operations, Baker said.
Doors open at 7 p.m. For more information, call the Community House at 472-2155.