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Taste of North Fort Myers set for this weekend

By Staff | Apr 7, 2015

It’s hard sometimes to get out for a bite to eat, with all the choices out there. This Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Shell Factory, the local restaurants will come to you so you can decide for yourself.

Thousands of area residents will tempt their taste buds at the third annual Taste of North Fort Myers, sponsored by the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce.

Local restaurants will sell samples of their favorite items, many for $5 or less, and this year’s lineup promises to be the best yet.

Rick Tupper, CFO and marketing director at the Shell Factory, said Capt’n Fishbones will take part selling seafood, and will have a portable bar set up.

“We had a steady crowd last year. It all depends on the restaurants that show up,” Tupper said. “They have some excellent restaurants coming and we and the Chamber have formed a great partnership.”

Al Giacalone, president of the Chamber, said he expects more than 2,000 visitors, nearly double what they had last year, when the event was held toward the end of April.

Other restaurants include Dale’s Dockside, Dorado’s Dockside Seafood, Edible Arrangements, Firehouse Sports Grill, Heron’s Glen, I Cart Ice Cream and Taquizza.

“We expect about a dozen. We’re still trying to get a few more on board,” Giacalone said.

Heron’s Glen will be there to defend its People’s Choice title, while Edible Arrangements will defend its Sweet Treat crown.

There will also be a dozen or so businesses at the local business expo and 50/50 raffles to benefit the Chamber Foundation and Scholarships.

“We want people to come out and taste some of the fare from local restaurants and spend a few hours in the beautiful weather,” Giacalone said. “We’re not expecting people to stay all day. Come out, enjoy some food and entertainment, and go about your day.”

Performances by local talent include the Calendar Girls dancers and students of the Huffmaster School of Music. DJ Ali will spin the hits and maybe sing a song or two.

There will also be free kids games and activities, face painting by Mitchie the Clown and much more.

Festival partners include Abbey Carpet & Floor, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, Lee County Insurance Agency and Rockstar Realty.

Admission is $3 per person, with children 10 and under free. The kids will also receive a special surprise from the Shell Factory.

All the attractions, such as the Nature and Fun parks, will be open as usual.

The Shell Factory will also have a special antique show in the front parking lot during the event, which Tupper hopes will become a regular event.

“It will be an antique roadshow with lots of high-end antiques. We’re trying to develop it to where we have it the second Sunday of every month,” Tupper said. “We’d like to move it to the Dolphin Room in May where people can go to have their antiques appraised.”

For more information, contact the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce at 997-9111.

The Shell Factory and Nature Park is at 2787 N Tamiami Trail, North Fort Myers.