All-American Fun, Family & Fireworks
Variously known as the Fourth of July and Independence Day, celebrations can be traced back to the 18th century and the American Revolution. This federal holiday acknowledges the birth of American independence from Great Britain with festivities ranging from fireworks and parades to back-yard barbecues.
For the 2012 celebration of Independence Day, the Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce and Dunes Golf & Tennis Club invite islanders and island visitors to a “Fireworks Party.” From 6 to 9 p.m., there will be food hot off the grill, sweets for the kids and a full bar for the adults.
“It will be an all-American celebration,” said Dunes General Manager Leilani Sivsov.
The Dunes has turned an entire area behind its clubhouse into a place where the community can come together for this historical holiday. In addition to the food and drinks, there will be a DJ from New Beginnings Entertainment, a sand dance floor, driving range and putting competitions with raffle prizes, the pool will be open for swimming, and competitions for children in balloon toss, hula hooping and art. There will also be a 20-foot dual slide.
“We’ve chosen the Dunes because we have partnered with them in the past and they have a perfect location, layout, and amenities to view the fireworks show,” said Bridgit Stone-Budd, director of marketing for the San-Cap Chamber.
Fireworks, which will be presented by the Zambelli brothers, are set to go off at dusk.
“The Zambelli Fireworks will deliver an even bigger and better show this year,” said Stone-Budd. “They were chosen because not only are they known worldwide for setting the industry standard in design and technology, their technicians are local. Zambelli Fireworks has worked with Sanibel in the past and are familiar with our islands.”
The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club was opened in 1973 by John Kontinos and Bill Frizzell as one of the island’s first golf clubs. It included 12 employees, three tennis courts, a nine-hole golf course and 10 golf carts. After it was sold to the Mariner Group, another nine holes were designed by 10-time PGA Tour winner Mark McCumber making it an 18-hole, 70-par golf course spanning 75 acres.
A $2.7 million reconstruction was completed in 1995, which included upgrading the golf course to USGA standards. Additionally, a state-of-the-art complex overlooking the golf course that included a new clubhouse, golf shop and an American-style restaurant was constructed. In 2006, the Dunes along with a portfolio of nine island hotels was sold by MeriStar to Luxury Resorts, an affiliate of the Blackstone Group.
“The Dunes wants to play a larger role in the community,” said Sivsov. “We want to be that place where the community can come together.”
The Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce has more than 600 active members from both islands. Its ever-popular visitor center, located on the right at the exit from the Causeway, welcomes more than 190,000 visitors each year and gets an impressive 1.5 million unique visitors annually to its website www.sanibel-captiva.org.
“We hope the attendees (of the Fireworks Party) take away fun, exciting, small-town celebration memories,” said Stone-Budd.