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Punta Gorda Founders’ Week

We’ve come a long way, Punta Gorda, since 1887. Let’s celebrate our founding and future December 1st through 7th.

old photo of historic Hotel Punta Gorda

Historic Hotel Punta Gorda

During the first week of December, almost 130 years ago, a group of settlers from the new town of Trabue met in a billiards parlor near the corner of Olympia and Taylor and voted to incorporate their town into a city, renaming it Punta Gorda.

To honor those early founders and all who have followed them with the goal of making Punta Gorda a better and better community since that week in 1887, the Punta Gorda Founders Day Week is celebrated during the first week of December.

The events lead up to December 7, the official date of the City’s incorporation.  This year’s celebration will be full of fun and educational events, and will take place December 1 through the 7th.

Both Christmas Holiday and history-related events will take place, several of which are recurring annual festivities, now a part of our annual Founders’ Day Week Celebration.

Most events will benefit non-profit organizations in the Punta Gorda area. Contact: Gene Murtha (941) 258-2080.

Founders’ Week Events Schedule

Holly Days Home Tour “Silver Bells” ($15 ticket)

When:  Friday-Saturday, November 30-December 1, 2018 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Where:  Get tickets at the 1st United Methodist Church, 507 W. Marion Ave., or at any house on tour

Who:  Punta Gorda Garden Club

More Info:  Bonnie Verminski  941-637-1267 / Suzanne McCormick  941-575-9543

Chatauqua Event Featuring Old Florida Cuisine (free)

When:  Saturday, December 1, 2018 2 p.m.-4 p.m.

Where: Blanchard House, 406 Martin Luther King Blvd.

Who: The Blanchard House Museum

More Info: Martha Bireda  941-639-2914

Presentation of the book “A Christmas Tea”

When:  Sunday, December 2, 2018 1 p.m.-4 p.m.

Where:  Punta Gorda Woman’s Club, 118 Sullivan St.

Who: GFWC Punta Gorda Woman’s Club

More Info: Linda Busler 941-979-0964

Tours of the Historic Freeman House (free)

When:  Monday, December 3, 2018 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Where: Freeman House, 311 W. Retta Esplanade

Who:  Charlotte County Chamber

More Info: Punta Gorda History Center, 941-916-8800

Punta Gorda Founders: A Living History Presentation (free)

When:  Thursday December 6, 2018 2 p.m.-3 p.m.

Where: Punta Gorda Library, 424 W. Henry St.

Who:  Charlotte County Historical Center

More Info:  Crystal Diff 941-629-7278

Team Expo/Luminaria Ceremony  (free) (donations accepted)

When:  Thursday December 6, 2018 7pm-9pm

Where: Laishley Park Stage

Who:  American Cancer Society

More Info:  Wendy Rivera 941-328-3757

Santa’s Winter Wonderland – Photo op with Santa and Elves, Christmas Displays (free)

When:  Saturday-Wednesday, December 1-5, 2018, 9 a.m.-Noon and 1 p.m-4 p.m.

Where:  Charlotte County Historic Courthouse, 226 Taylor St.

Who: Supervisor of Elections Office

More Info:  ChrisAnn Warn 941-833-5412

Then & Now: Exhibit of Images of Locations from the Past Contrasted to Today (free)

When: Saturday, December 1, 2018 – December 7, 2018, M-F 9-4  p.m., Saturday, 10-2 p.m.

Who/Where: Visual Arts Center, 2010 Maud St.

More Info: Stacy Calvino 941-916-2726

Free Historic Trolley Tours

When:  Monday, December 3, 2018 2 p.m.-5 p.m.

Where: Tours start at Kays, Ponger & Uselton,  635 E. Marion Av.

Who:  Kays, Ponger & Uselton Funeral Home

More Info:  Stacy Jones 941-815-0291

Christmas Open House at The Woman’s Club (Route 66 Movie/Historical Display)

When:  Tuesday December 4, 2018 5 p.m.-8 p.m.

Where:  Punta Gorda Woman’s Club, 118 Sullivan St.

Who:  Punta Gorda Historical Society

More Info:  Jannett Hawley, 941-661-4611

Wine and Cheese Reception for Opening of “Coming to Punta Gorda – Oxcarts to Airplanes” (free)

When:  Thursday, December 6, 2018 5 p.m.-7 p.m.

Where: Punta Gorda History Center, 415 E. Grace St.

Who:  Punta Gorda History Center

More Info:  Theresa Murtha, 941-916-3540 or 941-916-8800

Charlotte Scarborough Taylor (Mother of Virginia Trabue) Workbook Presentation (free)

When:  Friday December 7, 2018 3:30pm-4:30pm

Where: Punta Gorda Library, 424 W. Henry St.

Who:  Charlotte County Historical Center

More Info:  Annette Snapp 941-629-7278

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