ANNA MARIA – The community task force called For the Love of Anna Maria Island will host its inaugural Thanks-Living community gathering on Wednesday, Nov. 27.
The community gathering will take place under the shade sail at City Pier Park in Anna Maria from 5 to 7 p.m. City Pier Park is located at the corner of Pine Avenue and North Bay Boulevard.
Everyone who lives on Anna Maria Island is encouraged to attend this free community event. Attendees are encouraged to bring finger foods, appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, a bottle of wine, an adult beverage or soft drinks to share with others.
“It could even be a bag of chips – anything you’d bring to a party,” said task force member and Anna Maria resident Janet Kingan.
Attendees are also welcome to make cash donations for All Island Denominations and/or bring non-perishable food items for the Roser Food Pantry.
Inspired by “For the Love of Cities” author Peter Kageyama’s presentation at The Center earlier this year, the community task force also includes Anna Maria residents Carol Carter and Barbara Zdravecky and Holmes Beach resident Bruce Meyer.
“Your neighbors are further and further apart even though we’re on a seven-mile island. This is a way to bring our neighbors together, for people in Anna Maria to get to know people in Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach and vice versa,” Carter said.
“Peter’s message was about why people love their community. We feel that people love their community because of their relationships with other people and this is an opportunity for people to build new relationships,” Meyer said.
“We’re going to have live music. Will Corr and his band will be performing. We’re going to have all the Island mayors and people will talk about why we love living on Anna Maria. This is a little get together to thank each other for this wonderful Island,” Kingan said.
“We’ll have water, plates and napkins, so they don’t need to bring that. We’ll have tables, we’ll have it lighted, it’ll be festive and we’ll have decorations,” Carter said. “It’s being supported and promoted by the city of Anna Maria and the Anna Maria Island Sun. We have a banner up at City Pier Park and 15 or 20 signs out promoting the gathering,” Carter said.
“We’re hoping this becomes an annual event – the night before Thanksgiving, where people come out with whatever family members are visiting and have a gathering,” Kingan said.
Kingan said Thanks-Living might one day become a pot-luck dinner but for now, it’s simply a party and a chance for people to get to know one another.
The Thanks-Living gathering will feature a blackboard upon which people can share in chalk their thoughts about living on Anna Maria Island.
“A few years ago, there was a chalk festival on Pine Avenue and one of the most parts was a blackboard where people could draw and write their impressions about the chalk festival. So, I designed a free-standing, three-sided blackboard that says, ‘I love AMI because…’ at the top. We welcome anyone to write what they love about Anna Maria Island. Photographs will be taken and then it will be erased, put in storage and taken out for the next community event,” Kingan said. “I also have another prop – one of those things you put your head through and take a picture.”