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Captiva Mullet Marching Band marches towards fifth parade

By Staff | May 26, 2011

Captiva islanders and visitors of all ages march down Andy Rosse Lane during a previous Captiva Mullet March. Agnes Davis, of Captiva American Reality and baton-twirler extrordinaire, leads the group.

Every January, an eclectic group of singers, songwriters and musicians wash ashore near Jensen’s Marina on Captiva Island for a few weeks of repose. But for the past four months, this tradition has become something more – the Captiva Mullet Marching Band.

The Jensen brothers – Dave, Jimmy and John – assembled the visiting musicians and other local talents into one big troop of tropical troubadours in January, as an effort to transform old traditions into new ones.

“We want the focus to be on veterans,” said Dave Jensen, about the mullet parade.

On May 28, a 28-member Fort Myers high school band will depart from Jensen’s Marina and march down Andy Rosse Lane to meet the sunset on the beach nare the Mucky Duck restaurant. Fellow Mullet Marcher, accordion player and “Coordinator of Craziness,” Queenie Viglione said the first parade was a huge success.

“People showed up with slide whistles and kazoos,” she said. “One lady used a box of macaroni as an instrument, and then she donated it to the food pantry.”

Captiva business owner Dave Jensen and U.S. Marine Corp Corpora Nick Elliott arrive at the beach in time for the sunset during a previous Captiva Mullet March, which has taken place every month since January.

Inspired by the sense of community togetherness that the Captiva Holiday Village created in December 2010, Dave Jensen thought the parade of musical, marching “mullets” would be something exciting and fun for the whole community.

“The whole idea is to give the island that old Captiva flare,” said Dave. “Its success is a community effort.”

According to the Jensen brothers, the idea of “musical mullets on the move” was the brainchild of visiting singer/songwriters Brent Moyer and Joe Sun of Nashville, Tenn., who stop by Jensen’s Marina every January for a visit.

In a prior statement about the event, Moyer noted, “The concept of mullets on the move and music was spawned at no better place than Jensen’s Marina.”

At the first march, a young United States Marine named Nick was staying at Jensen’s Twin Palms Cottages as a part of the local program Operation Open Arms before returning to North Carolina and preparing to deploy to Afghanistan.

Captiva Kate plays her colorful recorder.

“It was so cool that Nick got to be a part of our fun and his story really grounds the reason for why we’re doing this – the need to have just a bit of levity in such a serious world,” said Queenie.

This month’s parade will be lead by veteran George Long, who is a longtime visitor to Captiva and Jensen’s Twin Palms Cottages. Long has been coming to the island for many years and is excited to be the parade’s grand marshal. While marching down Andy Rosse Lane, “When the Saints Go Marching In” will be played. On the beach, a veteran’s medley will fill the air.

Thirteen-year-old Ty Christoff is in charge of the music selections and will lead the band down Andy Rosse Lane. As a kid growing up on Captiva, Ty said there are very few things to do on the island.

“It seemed as though on an island where nothing ever happens, something was finally happening,” he said about the monthly event.

Christoff became involved because of he enjoyed the marching program at Fort Myers and believed this was a great idea for the island.

“I am so excited I joined,” he exclaimed.

From his marching band experience at Fort Myers, he has a general idea of what marching band music should be. He tried to combine the island style, the marching element, and the military and veteran celebration theme, with a little bit of pop culture, to make an entertaining experience for all.

When the parade started, there was only two instrumentalists and a drummer making up the marching band. Christoff decided to recruit some of his peers to help make a stronger band – something he felt was a necessity.

“I brought the idea to the attention of my peers,” he said. “Many became excited with the idea, so I hope we have a good turnout.”

Any and every one is invited to join the Captiva Mullet Parade. Participants will gather at 7 p.m. May 28 at the marina to prepare for the parade, which will depart at 7:55 p.m., in time to catch the setting sun.

For more details about the Captiva Mullet Marching Band and how you can be a part of this month’s event, call Jensen’s Marina at 472-5800.