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Clydesdales, hurricane seminar at Shell Factory

By Staff | Feb 26, 2019

Hurricanes and horses will get top billing at the Shell Factory and Nature Park next week.

The 80-year-old landmark venue will get a jump on Hurricane season with a storm forum set for Tuesday and then, on Thursday, the Budweiser Clydesdales will make a return visit from 1-3 p.m. courtesy of Suncoast Beverages.

Last year’s visit by the Budweiser Clydesdales proved to be one of the biggest promotions ever and this year, organizers are expecting a repeat.

Visitors will get to see the full team, with eight horses getting hitched and paraded around the center parking lot. Pictures are not only OK, they’re practically mandatory.

The Shell Factory will be the first of four stops in Southwest Florida.

“We just do great business with Suncoast and they appreciate us and we appreciate what we do for them,” said Anne Sheridan, general manager. “It’s a win-win for everybody and we anticipate a big crowd for this, so ger here early and enjoy the hitch.”

Last year, thousands came to see the Clydesdales. It had been a dream of owner Tom Cronin to have them come to the Shell Factory. However, Tom passed away before he could see his wish come true. His wife, Pam, rode the wagon last year in his place.

“We are thrilled that our friends at Suncoast Distributing have once again selected The Shell Factory as a location for the return of Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales,” Pam said in a statement. “I am personally looking forward to reuniting with Barley, the handsome Dalmatian.”

The Shell Factory is expected to have some specials on the menu for the occasion, Sheridan said.

The hurricane seminar is set for Tuesday, March 5, The Shell Factory will ask this question: Hurricane season will be here soon. Are you prepared?

Hurricane season is June 1 to Nov. 30. “Early” and “late” storms are not rare.

A comprehensive hurricane seminar is being offered by The Shell Factory at 10 a.m. in the Dolphin Room., The program will feature John Patrick, chief meteorologist with ABC-7. Representatives from the Red Cross, StormSmart, Home Depot, and other emergency-related agencies will also be presenters.

The program will provide an emphasis on preparation for the hurricane season and recovery procedures should we have a hurricane. Additional information will be provided by Lee County Crime Prevention.

A representative of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing Center will provide signing. Also, a representative of ham radio operators has been invited to speak. The program is free to the public. Parking is also free. Pre-registration is not required.

Participants will be offered free Nature Park passes for the family and door prizes. Hurricane-related businesses will have table displays that feature hurricane preparedness items.

Speakers will cover topics such as what a hurricane is, when to evacuate, flood damage and storm surge, shelters, how to prepare a hurricane kit, what happens after a hurricane, insurance needs, and how to find relief assistance. Participants will be provided with a variety of printed materials which will be invaluable in preparing for a hurricane.

Last year’s spring seminar was packed, as it occurred less than six months after Hurricane Irma.

For more information on the seminar, call Chris Forbes at Christine@ShellFactory.com, or 246-6364.