Thursday, January 27, 2022

Pancakes, Planes and Festivals in Everglades City, Oh My!

Rod and Gun Club

Rod and Gun Club

By Pat Newman

Season has sprung in Everglades City, and the list of upcoming events is growing by the day.

Pancakes and Planes

You don’t have to be a pilot to fill-up on pancakes Saturday, Jan. 24, at the Everglades Airpark in Everglades City.

The season’s first pancake breakfast is free and open to the public 10 AM- 12 PM. Hosted by Wings 10,000 Island Tours, the once-a-month event has been going strong for about 12 years. Chuck Gretzke of Wings 10,000 Island Tours said the breakfasts are held to focus attention on the small airport which has the distinction of being the first certified state airport and the oldest state airport, known as X01. Gretzke

Smallwood Store

Smallwood Store

noted that the monthly fly-ins have attracted as many as 75 airplanes and 225 hungry attendees.

FAA “Wings” program will be held 12:00-1:30 PM for pilots seeking to maintain their ground and air certification.

Call 239-695-3296 for more info.

Smallwood Music Festival

Reserve your seats now for the upcoming Smallwood Music Festival set for Saturday, Jan. 31, in Everglades City. VIP seating is limited, and according to Marya Repko of the Everglades Society for Historic Preservation, there will be a cap on admission of about 100 people for the VIP seating. General admission is wide open, unless safety becomes an issue with crowds.

The first-ever festival will benefit the Smallwood Store, a 1906 trading post in Chokoloskee



which is now open as a museum. A four-year legal battle over the access road to the landmark has incurred weighty legal fees for Lynn Smallwood McMillin and husband Gary, who are caretakers of the old store/turned museum.

Folk musicians from around Florida have volunteered their time and talent to play at the festival. Included on the bill is Raiford Starke, The Anderson Brothers, Nate the Gladesman, Stone Crab Steve Arvey, Florida Boy (Pete Gallagher and Pat Barmore), Valerie C. Wisecracker and The Walkin’ Catfish, Cindy Hackney, J. Robert, Snooker Joe Stem and Sun Guy.

The event will be held on the grounds of the historic Rod and Gun Club on the Barron River.



Raffle tickets will be sold for a fine art photograph by Everglades artist Clyde Butcher and tiles by Naples artist Muffy Clark Gill. Arts and crafts will also be featured. Admission is $40 for VIP seating and $10 general admission (bring your own chair). To book tickets, go to

Everglades City Seafood Festival

The Everglades City Seafood Festival is also coming up Feb. 6-8. Started 40 years ago as a small fundraiser to buy playground equipment for McLeod Park, the festival has earned statewide acclaim. “All the fun of country fair with live music and fresh seafood” as it is known will feature local talent as well as Nashville headliners Craig Campbell and

Pancakes and planes. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

Pancakes and planes. SUBMITTED PHOTOS

OUTSHYNE. The event is sponsored by the Betterment Association of the Everglades Area with proceeds donated to local projects.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Festival

Also in February is the 11th Annual Marjory Stoneman Douglas Festival, recognizing the tremendous contribution of Douglas who was an author, journalist and environmental activist, best known for “Everglades: River of Grass” published in 1947.

Her life spanned two centuries (1890-1998). The four-day event will feature educational and historical activities, excursions, opening with a luncheon on Tuesday, Feb. 24, with guest speaker Charlie Munroe, grandson of Commodore Ralph Munroe of the Barnacle Historic Park in Coconut Grove.

Reservations for the luncheon at Everglades Isle and a complete schedule of events can be obtained by calling Museum of the Everglades at 239-695-0008.

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