By Rachel Brown Hackney
Lots of events ahead for the Key
With the start of a new year comes planning for four major events sponsored by the Siesta Key Village Association (SKVA), and that planning is well under way. During the SKVA monthly meeting in January, President Wendall Jacobsen announced that the annual Valentine Stroll will be held on Feb. 14, as usual, with balloons marking participating businesses. It will be followed by the Craft Fair, Feb. 27-28; the Easter Egg Hunt on March 26; and Siesta Fiesta, April 9-10.
For the Valentine Stroll, Jacobsen noted, Russell Matthes, co-owner of the Daiquiri Deck, will have the balloons available for people to pick up. Jacobsen asked those present to encourage shop owners to keep their stores open for the event, which will run from 5 to 8 p.m. “You can hand out kisses or hugs or whatever you want to hand out,” he added, prompting some chuckles. The Stroll’s traditional tagline has promised every participant a kiss; however, the show of affection typically comes in the form of a well-known brand of candy.
The Easter Egg hunt is held at Beach Access 5, starting at 9 a.m. and finishing up generally a bit prior to noon, Jacobsen continued, adding that he hopes the Sarasota County Fire Department and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office’s Mounted Patrol will participate as they have in the past by showing off equipment and horses, respectively, to the children and parents who will be present. Sgt. Jason Mruczek, who took over last fall as leader of the Siesta Key substation, said he would check into the availability of the Mounted Patrol.
Treasurer Roz Hyman pointed out that the SKVA board members need to start collecting donations for the gift bags distributed to the youngsters and for the prizes that go inside the Easter eggs. “We fill a thousand Easter eggs,” she added. “It’s a busy week …”
When someone seemed to question that high a number, Hyman was firm: “That’s what we fill.” Jacobsen added that he would email SKVA members, seeking more volunteers.
Hyman also noted that the number of children participating each year “gets bigger and bigger.” The SKVA had 150 sign up last year, she said; advance registration is required. She already has two youngsters registered so far, she added. Jacobsen explained that the children are allowed to hunt in small groups for the eggs.
Turning to Siesta Fiesta, Matthes said, “We’ll get a drawing of where everything’s going to go,” as no street closures are planned this year. All the vendors will be on the sidewalks, as they are for the February Craft Show, he pointed out. “I think it’ll be better. It’ll keep the evening traffic flowing.” Village businesses have felt the effects of fewer customers on past Siesta Fiesta nights, he said, with part of Ocean Boulevard and Beach Road closed to allow vendors to operate in those streets.