By ED FRANKS
Mark your calendars - beginning at 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 7, Bert's Bar & Seafood Grill will kick off its 4th Annual Island Pirate Fest & Pirates Ball with the "Parade of Mermaids."
Jeff Reichart and Jaby Denton swill be ready for the Pirate Fest & Pirates Ball.
The "Parade of Mermaids" is at 6 p.m. at the Pine Bay Gallery across the street from Bert's Bar.
"Mermaids, art lovers, roving pirates and everyone else is invited to a special sunset reception catered by Bert's Bar as they register the mermaids," said Bernard Johnson, owner of Bert's Bar. "The mermaids will cast an authentic 'Mermaid Spell' when they parade to the top of Matlacha Bridge, where respects will be paid, and offerings of the "land-loving-memory-inducing rosemary" to the mermaids of the deep."
Later, on the deck at Bert's Bar, the winners will be announced and prizes awarded.
"Last year was our third Pirate Fest and we raised over $10,000 for From Our Hearts," Johnson, said.
From Our Hearts Inc. is a not-for-profit organization formed originally to raise funds for breast cancer research. When other related needs were discovered in the area, the focus was expanded to include a variety of events with the goal of helping those in need in the community of Pine Island.
The festivities continue on Saturday, Feb. 8, with the Pirates Ball and costume contest starting at 6 p.m. The costume contest has cash prizes for first, second and third place. There are two categories, one for men and one for women.
On Sunday, Feb. 9, the Pirates Live Auction will be held at Bert's Bar & Seafood Grill at 1 p.m. where donations of goods and/or services will be auctioned off.
"There will also be 50/50 raffles and entertainment," Johnson said. "Please join us in your best pirate outfit and raise some money for a great cause. You can also visit our website at www.Island-PirateFest.com
For additional information about the event, call Kimberly Holland, general manager of Bert's Bar & Seafood Grill, at 239-222-1166 or E-mail Kim@Berts-bar.com