March is always the apex for activity on Gasparilla Island and this year is no different.
Traffic is streaming into Boca Grande at an accelerated pace so far this year and March volume is always top speed of all months.
Two days stand out for having the most activities in this whirlwind month: March 8 and March 17.
At least six events are planned for March 8, including the Literature Forum's discussion of "Cry, the Beloved Country," by Alan Paton at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Woman's Club Room of the Boca Grande Community Center.
The influential South African novel features Zulu priest Stephen Kumalo, who leaves his village to travel to apartheid-riven Johannesburg in the 1940s to try to bring his family back from the brink of destruction.
For the more business-minded, the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce's revised Business to Business series moves to the north end of the island for a 5 p.m. event at Boca Grande Travel Inc., 5800 Gasparilla Road. Guest speaker is Bill Blacksher from SCORE of Port Charlotte.
March 8 Boca's busiest day
Pancake breakfast: 28th annual communitywide pancake breakfasts at the "Lighthouse" United Methodist Church at Third and Gilchrest between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Proceeds support island ministries and charities.
Croquet Invitational: Boca Grande Invitational Croquet Tournament, USCA-sanctioned event with three flights (champion, first and second flight) at The Gasparilla Inn and Club's croquet courts. Call (941) 964-4500.
Lit Forum: "Cry, the Beloved Country," by Alan Paton will be discussed at 1 p.m. at the Woman's Club Room of the Boca Grande Community Center.
Bible study: "Believing God" interdenominational Bible studies for women, 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Beth Moore, 964-0669.
Business to Business: Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce Business to Business series, 5 p.m., at Boca Grande Travel Inc., 5800 Gasparilla Road. Guest speaker is Bill Blacksher from SCORE of Port Charlotte.
Trunk show: Helga Wagner Jewelry, Peter Blair Neckties and Anita Ford, Gasparilla Inn & Club.
The most fun event every week tends to be the 28th annual communitywide pancake breakfast at the "Lighthouse" United Methodist Church at Third and Gilchrest between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Great food and great fellowship. If you haven't been, it's time to stop by for breakfast.
On a related subject, Beth Moore presents her "Believing God" interdenominational Bible studies for women at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church.
For glitz and glamour, stop by the Gasparilla Inn & Club trunk show featuring Helga Wagner Jewelry, Peter Blair Neckties and Anita Ford.
On the sports scene, the three-day Boca Grande Invitational Croquet Tournament opens with three flights (champion, first and second flight) at The Gasparilla Inn and Club's croquet courts.
March 17 features five events, which makes it the second-busiest day of the month. But what a day this St. Patrick's Day will be.
Start with a leisurely walk at from Wildflower Preserve to Amberjack from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. by gathering first in the parking lot at 3120 Gasparilla Pines Blvd.
But you might want to cut the walk short to make the Boca Grande Woman's Club Island Fair, which opens with the popular Bike Parade at 10:30 a.m. Saturday followed by the fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. featuring children's games, the famous bake sale, annual cakewalk, book sale, hamburgers, hot dogs and plant sale.
The Boca Grande Art Alliance Spring Art Show runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 236 Banyan St. on the second day of its three-day stint as is the trunk show featuring Three Islands, Mott 50 and AU Bags at the Gasparilla Inn & Club.
The evening closes with the 7 p.m. Friends of Boca Grande presentation of National Theatre Live "The Comedy of Errors" at the Boca Grande Community Center Auditorium. Ticket prices: $25 for adults, $15 for students with valid school ID, box office hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday or one hour before show time at the door. Contact: 964-0827, go to friendsofbocagrande.org or e-mail email@example.com.