What’s Happening In Naples: March 2-5 Weekend Edition

Thursday, March 2

Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, Clarity and Commitment

Join Hodges University as we celebrate Women’s History month. Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Shelia A. Robinson, founder and publisher, Diversity Woman Media.

1.Barbara Key-Ramos – Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc.
2.Brenda Tate – The Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida
3.Stacey Lee Williams – Our Mother’s Home
4.Yemisi Oloruntola-Coates – Lee Health
5.Aysegul Timur – Hodges University, Inc.
6. Eliana Tardio – Parent Education Network with Family Network on Disabilities
Honorary Guest: Mrs. Thelma Hodges

Event fee is $35.00 and includes lunch.

Two levels of Table Sponsorships are also available, which include program and media advertising and recognition at the event.

Cost: $35
Location: Hodges University
Address: 2647 Professional Way, Naples

A Don Rickles & Regis Philbin Laughfest

Seminole Casino Hotel will host “A Don Rickles and Regis Philbin Laughfest; Stories; Film Clips and Fun” Thursday, March 2 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $125 and can be purchased at the casino or by calling (800) 218-0007. Attendees must be 21 years of age or older.

One of comedy’s most famous funnymen, Rickles has earned the nicknames “The Merchant of Venom” and “Mr. Warmth” (coined affectionately by Johnny Carson). Rickles’ style of comedy is never mean-spirited and all part of his act. In fact, it has been said that being “insulted” by Rickles is like “wearing a badge of honor.”

Rickles’ career received a boost when Frank Sinatra caught his act at a nightclub in Miami Beach. Sinatra enjoyed the show so much that he returned to see Rickles when he performed in Los Angeles and encouraged other celebrities to do the same. Hollywood stars flocked to see Rickles and become a target of his zingers. Sinatra’s continued support helped Rickles become a popular performer in Las Vegas, where he started in 1959 and has been a headliner ever since.

Rickles made his motion picture acting debut in 1958’s “Run Silent Run Deep.” The movie was a hit, launching Rickles’ career as a movie, television and stage actor. His still-growing television and film resume includes roles in “Casino,” “Kelly’s Heroes,” “The Rat Race,” all three “Toy Story” films, HBO’s “Tales From the Crypt,” Bravo’s “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” and a surprise appearance on the TV Land comedy “Hot In Cleveland.”

Rickles has received numerous awards, including two primetime Emmy® Awards, including Best Individual Performance in a Variety or Musical for the 2008 HBO special “Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project,” the “Legend Award” from TV Land and one of the highest honors in the entertainment business, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2000. He also received the prestigious Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence at The Comedy Awards in 2012 and in 2013 was honored with the Friars Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Comedy.   Rickles’ best-selling memoir “Rickles’ Book” was released in 2007, followed by the 2008 title, “Rickles’ Letters.”

As the face that millions of Americans saw every morning, Philbin has become a cultural icon in television broadcasting. After taking over hosting duties from Steve Allen on a nationally syndicated late-night talk show and finally gaining national exposure in 1967 as the sidekick on The Joey Bishop Show, he moved to mornings as the host on “A.M. Los Angeles” and then on to host “The Regis Philbin Show,” where he was honored with his first Emmy® Award. In 1983, he made the move to New York City, hosting “The Morning Show” and in 1985 Katie Lee Gifford came on board. The show was renamed “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee.” The duo’s on-air chemistry made the show a phenomenal success and it became nationally syndicated in 1988.

In 1998, Philbin began hosting the highest-rated prime-time game show in history, “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” Though initially slated for a two-week release in late summer, the success of the show insured its return and made the Philbin phrase “Is that your final answer?” a staple in pop-culture circles to this day.

Cost: $125
Location: Seminole Casino Hotel
Address: 506 Sout 1st Street, Immokalee

Friday, March 3

BIG ARTS Concert Band Spring Program

Spring has sprung, which only means it’s time for the BIG ARTS Concert Band to present their second program of the year.  March is a popular month and the band a “feel good” favorite, so get your tickets early.
Cost: $10
Location: BIG ARTS Schein Hall
Address: 900 Dunlop Road, Sanibel

Saturday, March 4

Winners Circle Show 2017 Exhibit presented by the Naples Art Association

The Art Council of Southwest Florida’s biennial exhibition honoring artists who have received top awards during 2015 and 2016. The Art Council of Southwest Florida was formed in 1963 and today consists of nineteen affiliated organizations consisting of members from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties with a combined membership of over 6,800 artists. This exhibit is free-of-charge and open to the public and will be located in the Watson Gallery, Lobby, and Ground Floor Round Galleries.

Cost: Free-of-charge
Location: The Naples Art Association
Address: 585 Park Street, Naples

Antique Auto Show

For all its railroad glory, the Naples Depot is also home to one of the area’s largest and most impressive antique auto shows. Considered essential viewing for collectors and classic car buffs, the displays feature over 100 rare and beautifully restored automobiles with examples dating back to the early 1900s. This popular event is hosted by the Naples-Marco Island Region of the Automobile Club of America. Donation requested. For more information, please call (239) 262-6525.
Cost: Donation
Location: Naples Depot Museum
Address: 1051 5th Ave S, Naples

Butterfly Ball

The Butterfly Ball, Avow’s signature annual fundraising event, draws hundreds of guests and brings influential business professionals, community leaders and philanthropic donors together in support of Avow’s mission.  Each year, the black tie gala takes on a new theme inspired by the journey of the butterfly. Avow will also host an exclusive VIP Party to thank and celebrate event sponsors and supporters.

Sponsorship and underwriting opportunities available now.

Cost: $350
Location: Naples Grande Beach Resort
Address: 475 Seagate Drive, Naples

Sunday, March 5

Lee County & Southwest Florida Fair

While the online countdown clock ticks down the days and hours until opening day, the monumental setup is already underway at the Lee Civic Center and Fairgrounds for the 93rd Southwest Florida & Lee County Fair, to be held Feb. 23 – March 5. Tickets are now on sale at swflcfair.com/tickets, along with the always popular Mega Pass, granting admission and unlimited rides for one day of the fair.

A lineup of amazing free entertainment is in store, from Ron Diamond’s Hypnosis Magic to the Timberworks Lumberjack Show. The Fire Fighter Training Show returns for its second year by popular demand along with Dale’s Scott’s The Future of Magic Show. Enjoy the ever popular Marc Dobson’s ‘One Man Band’ and Billy ‘Elvis’ Lindsey – winner of the ELVIS Extravaganza Contest at the Florida State Fair, and much more! Tadpole the Clown, Carrie McQueen Stilt Walker, and the Moogician are always crowd pleasers. Rocky Da Roosta and his cast of cackling hens will entertain you throughout the entire day.

The 4-H Livestock competitions, shows and sales are held throughout the 11 days, with over 1,300 entries including beef breeding, goats, horses, small animals and swine from more than 400 4-H Exhibitors. Specialty goat shows and competitions are presented by the American Dairy Goat Association, National Pygmy Goat Association and the American Boer Goat Association. The Market Animal Livestock Sale is held Saturday, March 4, 2017.

Registration is still open in the Creative Living and Home Arts Departments where the community’s creativity comes alive, and featured more than 1,000 entries in 2016. Register now to enter your crafts, baked goods, recycled art, photography, horticulture and more. New this year is the Decorate a Hat contest.  Guess all the Skittles in the candy jar and you could win that candy jar, plus a beautiful four-foot Dankin Teddy Bear.

On Senior/Military Day, there will be many workshops presented by Lee County Master Gardeners on 18 topics from worm composting to citrus growing to Florida Friendly Landscapes. An Ask the Gardener session will help answer fairgoers’ gardening conundrums!

A host of specials and discounts are available, ranging from Sneak Peek Thursday (Feb. 23), with a $15 special for admission and rides, to our Harry Chapin Food Bank Night (Monday, Feb. 27) with free gate admission for three cans of donated food. Military and Senior Day is Wednesday, March 1, with $5 admission from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Moonlight Madness is always a favorite for thrill seekers, with $25 for admission and rides from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday, February 24th and Friday, March 3rd.

Visit swflcfair.com for tickets, Creative Living entry information, the full lineup of entertainment, community stage happenings, plus a downloadable brochure that is your ultimate guide to all of the excitement.

Cost: Adults – Varies per day
Location: Lee County Fairgrounds
Address: Bayshore Road, Fort Myers FL


This is the fourth concert of the season from the Fort Myers Community Concert Association.  Cantus is a premier men’s vocal ensemble that will honor the men and women who have answered the call to arms during the inspiring tribute, “No Greater Love Than This.”  Cantus performs more than 60 concerts each year both in national and international touring, including performances at Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center, and has released 17 albums.
Cost: Season tickets are $165 to $65.
Location: Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
Address: 8099 College Parkway, Fort Myers