by Beth Brainard, Executive Director
Creating community is at the heart of the mission of Naples Pathways Coalition (NPC). By creating safe, bikeable, walkable neighborhoods NPC enables Naples residents and visitors to escape the confines of their cars and walk or bicycle and actually interact with others in a more sociable way. By hosting special educational programs and outdoor events, NPC brings people together around shared interests.
January marks the 10th anniversary of one of Naples’ most favorite community get togethers, the NPC Naples Bike Brunch & Family Festival. It is a celebration of family and fitness and offers activities for everyone.
BRING YOUR BIKE! BRING YOUR KIDS (OR GRANDKIDS)! BRING YOUR DOG!
Community festivities begin and end in beautiful beachside Lowdermilk Park on Sunday, January 24. For adults and older children there are bicycle rides of varying distances (62, 30 and 14 miles). Ride marshals will lead and follow each group to ensure no one gets lost, and there will be rest stops along the way with delicious energizing refreshments. Local bike shops including The Bike Route and Trek will travel the routes to provide service for flat tires and other emergencies.
If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, join old friends and new neighbors of all ages on one of the walks (1, 2, 3 and 4 miles) along beautiful palm lined Gulf Shore Boulevard. Walkers can also stroll the beach and browse the Vendor Expo where local businesses and non-profit organizations dedicated to family and fitness will showcase their most community centered products and services.
Dog lovers who want to keep their pets healthy and pampered will enjoy the Pooch-Fit Parade to the Naples Beach Hotel, a Frisbee catch and obstacle course, and a doggie ice cream eating contest – all new features this year. Delightfully, event co-sponsor TD Bank is dog friendly, so canine family members are welcome at the early check-in/packet pick-up, which will take place the day before the Bike Brunch at the TD store at 375 Fifth Avenue South.
Also new in 2016 is an entire Kids’ Events Area where children 12 and under will have a blast decorating their bikes and helmets, riding in the Kids’ Parade, mastering the bike rodeo course, coloring and jumping in the bounce house.
All these great activities have a subtle bicycle safety learning component – except the bounce house which is purely for fun. Best of all – the Kids’ Events activities are FREE.
EAT, DRINK, AND DO A GOOD DEED
A delicious and “healthy as you want to be” brunch buffet will be served from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. by event co-sponsor Moe’s Southwest Grill. Brunch is included in the registration for a ride or walk or can be purchased separately for those who just want a leisurely meal and perhaps to peruse the auction table or the “Good Deed” Board.
Just a few choice items will be auctioned. The Good Deed Board will offer an opportunity to donate to the completion of charitable projects such as providing 20 sets of bike lights for at-risk commuter cyclists or six new tires for bicycles for kids in need.
All this merriment will be accompanied by beautiful background music from a local musician and interesting interviews with local people.
The proceeds from the Good Deed Board will be earmarked for specific projects. Other proceeds will help support the advocacy work of Naples Pathways Coalition on behalf of the greater Naples community.
If you love being a part of the Naples community, if you love bicycling or walking, if you love that your kids or grandkids can learn and have fun at the same time , even if you just love Mexican food – don’t miss this great community get together!
For more information about the 10th Annual NPC Naples Bike Brunch & Family Festival email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.naplespathways.org/events.
What: 10th Annual Naples Bike Brunch & Family Festival
When: Sunday, January 24, 7:30 registration
Where: Lowdermilk Park
Activities: Bicycle rides, walks, Pooch-Fit Parade, free Kids’ Event Area, vendor expo, brunch, live entertainment, good deed auction, and a raffle.
Who could ask for more?
Information and Registration: www.naplespathways.org/events
Contact: Beth Brainard
email@example.com or 239.777.7718