Island Chatter: December

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Chamber holiday reception is Dec. 6 at Gilligan’s
The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce will hold a holiday reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 6 at Gilligan’s Island Bar & Grill, 5253 Ocean Blvd.
Festive holiday attire is encouraged. Please consider bringing a new, unwrapped toy to benefit Toys for Tots and receive a complimentary drink ticket.

Seafood & Music Festival is Dec. 1-3 on Siesta Beach
The fifth-annual Seafood & Music Festival is Dec. 1-3 on Siesta Beach. Admission is free.
Friday hours are noon to 9 p.m., Saturday is 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday is 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Enjoy fresh seafood and outstanding live musical performances. Also experience shopping in a marketplace of fine arts and crafts.

Stokes joins chamber team
Former Siesta Beach lifeguard Brittany Stokes has been hired by the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce as its new Visitor Center and volunteer manager.
Stokes has more than 10 years of professional experience in management, recruitment and volunteerism, having worked with the YMCA, Food Bank of Manatee, Special Olympics, and the Haven.


Turtle nests here were down
Mote Marine Laboratory’s annual monitoring of sea turtle nests for Siesta Key show that 2023 saw a total of 376 nests and 687 false crawls documented during the season, which runs between May 1 and Oct. 31.
The numbers in 2022 were 531 and 584, respectively, indicating a down year locally for the reptiles.

Local farmers market moves
The weekly Siesta Key Farmers Market has moved to a new location at 5211 Ocean Blvd., in front of the Beach Bazaar business.
It is held each Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Michael Crider of Fouto Spa is now serving as manager of the market, replacing Lloyd Dobson.
The market was previously held in Davidson Plaza’s parking lot.

Santa to visit Daiquiri Deck South on Dec. 17
Children can take pictures with Santa Claus from 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 17 at Daiquiri Deck South, 1250 Stickney Point Rd. The event is free and all children will receive a small gift.

Chamber award nominations being sought
Nominations are now being accepted through Dec. 14 for various awards presented by the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce.
To learn about the categories and to submit a nomination form, visit
Awards will be presented at the chamber’s annual Awards Dinner on Jan. 31 at Marina Jack.

Sandy Claws run is Dec. 9 on Siesta Beach
The 47th annual Sandy Claws Beach Run is set for Dec. 9 on Siesta Beach.
To register, visit Proceeds benefit the Summer in the Parks Adopt-A-Camper scholarship fund.

Fitness class on beach begins in December
Beginning in December, a fitness class will be held each Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Siesta Beach.
For more information call Kathy Oravec at (941) 724-9719 or visit

Christmas service on Siesta Beach is Dec. 23
The Church of the Palms will hold a Christmas service at the Siesta Key public beach, 948 Beach Rd., beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 23.
The service is contemporary with an emphasis on holiday songs. Attendees are encouraged to bring folding chairs and/or blankets.

Siesta Sand
Author: Siesta Sand

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