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34th Annual BaileyFest to offer day of fun

By Staff | Oct 22, 2019

A free afternoon of entertainment, activities and raffle giveaways is planned for this weekend.

Hosted by Bailey’s General Store on Sanibel, the 34th Annual BaileyFest will take place on Oct. 27 from noon to 4 p.m. in the Bailey’s Center. Open to residents and visitors, the festival will feature stage performances, free food, pony rides, water slides and more, plus the chance to win merchant prizes.

Event organizer Roni Martorelli explained that it is a day to give back to the public.

“Sam and Francis Bailey started this as a way to give back to the community, back to their customers,” she said, adding that the family has kept the tradition alive. “It’s a day to come over and have fun.”

It will kick off with a few words from city dignitaries and the Johnson family.

In addition, The Sanibel School fifth-graders Brock Catlin and Madison Byrne will be crowned the BaileyFest king and queen. They were the winners of the 2019 Bailey’s Festival Essay Contest.

The lineup of performers for the day will include entertainer and deejay Frank Torino, performer Sanderella, singers The Country Chicks, and the school’s Steel Drum Band and Elementary Choir. The Country Rhythm Cloggers will kick up their feet, while magician Brian Boyd will put on a show.

“We have free live entertainment,” Martorelli said.

One new musician is Bill Beck on the guitar, who she found through the grapevine.

“He plays any kind of music,” Martorelli said. “County, jazz, blues.”

Another new act is the Fort Myers rock band Vernal Pool. She explained that she spotted the group, which has ties to the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, at the island’s July 4th parade.

“They play all kinds of music,” Martorelli said.

“The performers are going to be all outstanding,” she added.

One highlight of the festival is the opportunity to win items from island merchants.

“You just come in and fill out your raffle tickets,” Martorelli said. “It’s giving back to our customers and to encourage new customers to go into the stores and see what we have around the center.”

This year’s list of prizes include:

– Lily & Co. Jewelers – $100 gift certificate

– Billy’s Rentals – Two standup paddleboards for the day (worth $75 each)

– George & Wendy’s Seafood Grille – Four $25 gift certificates

– Island Cleaners – $100 gift certificate

– Select Vacation Properties – $100 gift basket

– Grog Shop – Two $50 gift certificates

– Whims – Four $20 gift certificates

– Sanibel Spout – Two $50 gift certificates

– Spoondrift Island Bowls – Four $13 bowl of your choice

– Joey’s Custard – Five $25 gift certificates

– Bailey’s General Store – $100 gift certificate

Attendees can enter to win inside of Bailey’s or any of the businesses in the center.

“You don’t have to be present to win,” she said.

The winners will be posted inside of Bailey’s by the following day.

There will be a variety of activities on site, including a bounce house, water slides and pony rides, along with games for the children. There also will be mule rides offered on the Bailey’s wagon.

“All the organizations will be here,” Martorelli added.

Sanibel police and fire will be present. The island entities, like the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, Sanibel Historical Museum and Village, and BIG ARTS, will have booths set up. Trouper the Blind Raccoon, with his rehabilitator, also will be on hand.

For the first time this year, the Lee County Bookmobile is scheduled to come out.

There will be food, such as hot dogs, hamburgers and popcorn, plus drinks.

Queenie’s Ice Cream will serve up cold treats.

The public is invited to stop by.

“The Johnson family keeps the tradition of the BaileyFest alive, and we want to keep it going every year and make it bigger and bigger,” she said. “Come out and have a great day of fun with us.”

For information, visit baileys-sanibel.com or 239-472-1516.

The Bailey’s Center is at 2477 Periwinkle Way.