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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, more than 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’ 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

Nothing But the Blues, Leslie DaCosta

When:  Friday, December 1, 2019 4pm-8pm

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

What: A fundraiser for Blanchard House Museum

Description: Sultry southern African American blues,. Dance the shimmy & the slow drag, food & beverages. BYOB. Set-ups available, Southern small plates served. Free parking in Herald Court.

More Info: www.blanchardhousemuseum.org, 941-575-7518

Celebrate the Holidays with Bella & Luna (Free)

When:  Wednesday, December 3, 2019 11am-4pm

Where:  Peace River Wildlife Center

What: Photos with Santa, Bella & Luna!

Description: Learn the African origins behind modern healthcare and the pioneers of Punta Gorda who practiced these medical wonders.  After an initial presentation, participants will create their very own care package inspired by African traditional medicine.

African Healthcare Origins in Punta Gorda (Free)

When:  Wednesday, December 4, 2019 1pm-2pm

Where:  Punta Gorda Charlotte Library

Who: Charlotte County History Services / Blanchard House of African American History & Culture

Description: Learn the African origins behind modern healthcare and the pioneers of Punta Gorda who practiced these medical wonders.  After an initial presentation, participants will create their very own care package inspired by African traditional medicine.

More Info:  Crystal Diff,  941-629-7278, crystal.diff@charlottecountyfl.gov

Holiday Market (Free)

When:  Friday, December 6, 2019, 12pm – 7pm
Saturday & Sunday,  Dec. 7 & 8, 9am-4pm

Where: Visual Arts Center 210 Maud St Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Who:  Visual Arts Center

Description:  Over 50 vendors selling unique art and fine art.

More Info:  Stacy Calvino, 941-916-2726, busdev@visualartcenter.org

Southern Supper

When:  Saturday, December 7, 2019 5pm

Where: Hurricane Charley’s

Who: Punta Gorda History Center

More Info: Gene Murtha or Theresa Murtha, 941-258-2080, genemurtha@comcast.net

Light Up The Night, Tree Lighting 2019 (Free)

When:  Friday, December 6, 2019 5:30pm-9pm

Where:  Punta Gorda City Center

Who: Tree Lighting 2019

Description:  Annual Punta Gorda Holiday Tree Lighting and Community Celebration featuring performances by children, teen and church groups starting at 5:30pm culminating in Santa’s arrival at 7pm to light the tree with members of City Council.  Band to close from 7pm-9pm.

More Info: Donna Peterman,  412-576-1720, dpeterman@cityofpuntagorda.fl.us or Melissa Reichart,  941-575-3394

Then and Now: A Photography Exhibit (Free)

When:  December 2 – 8, 2019  9am – 4pm

Where:  Visual Arts Center, 210 Maud St., Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Who: Visual Arts Center

Description:  A collection of photographs of Punta Gorda from the Vernon Peeples collection with accompanying images of the same current locations.

More Info: Stacy Calvino, 941-916-2726, busdev@visualartcenter.org

Pearl Harbor Tribute, Sun Coast Wind Ensemble

When:  December 7, 2019  7pm

Where:  900 W. Marion Ave, Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Who: Military Heritage Museum

Description:  Open to the public, Admission is $15.00 p/p for this fantastic evening of music!

More Info: www.FreedomIsntFree.org, 941-575-9002

Santa’s Winter Wonder Land (Free)

When: Sunday, December 1, 2019 11am – 5pm,
Wednesday, December 4, 2019 9am – 6pm

Where:  Historic Courthouse, 226 Taylor St., Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Who: Historic Courthouse

Description:  Charlotte County Supervisor of Elections, Santa’s Winter Wonderland at the Charlotte County Historic Courthouse.  Tour our historic Courthouse building with Christmas displays, be greeted by the Conductor from the Polar Express and Santa’s Head Elf. Visit Mrs. Claus for story time, watch a Christmas movie, write a letter to Santa, and don’t forget to look around the corner…you may see the Grinch lurking around.  Look out for live Elves on the Shelves!  A new event is the School of Trees contest, so come by and VOTE for your favorite school’s Christmas tree. Meet and greet with Santa Claus, bring your camera to take pictures with Santa and his elves! There may be a few other surprises as well.  Please NO FOOD OR PETS.

More Info: Chrisann,  941-833-5412, or Stephanie 941-833-5415