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Spanish Point offers a host of holiday events

By STEVEN J. SMITH

SUN CORRESPONDENT

If there aren’t enough reasons already to take in Historic Spanish Point, the wondrous outdoor museum on Little Sarasota Bay has added more — a series of fall and winter events guaranteed to please visitors of all ages.

Aside from the stimulating art history lunches, lectures and tours that have become a staple of Historic Spanish Point, the museum plans to augment its recent anniversary of the arrival of the Webb family on the property with “Halloween Happenings” in October.

The Happenings will comprise ghost hunting and ghost story tours.

There will also be a Victorian era funeral reenactment, which will mirror the funerary customs of that era.

It will be fascinating … and spooky.

Spanish Point’s annual fundraiser gala, “Dancing Through the Decades,” will be Nov. 17. Tickets are $200 and will include dinner, dancing and live entertainment. The event will serve as a fundraiser for the museum.

November will also feature “Holly Days and Mangrove Lights” the Friday after Thanksgiving and running through Jan. 1. Visitors will experience the beauty of the museum and grounds decorated for the holiday season, featuring miniature white lights on the trees and in the mangroves.

There will be holiday lights, music and parties for a six-week long celebration.

Holidays or not, a visit to Historic Spanish Point offers education and entertainment for the entire family. There are 30 acres of history, splendor and archaeological mystery to explore at the former home of Bertha Palmer, considered the largest landowner in Sarasota and Manatee counties in the early years of the 20th century.

This includes such popular attractions as Mrs. Potter Palmer’s Jungle Walk, the beautiful and lush Sunken Garden and the Butterfly Garden, which is one of the largest on the Gulf Coast.

In addition, visitors can see how Florida’s intrepid pioneer homesteaders built and ran Sarasota’s first produce packing house, adjacent to a charming chapel, pioneer cemetery and the beautifully preserved Guptill House, which was built in 1901.

Visitors get a great sense of what Florida history is all about.

Spanish Point specializes in 5,000 years of Florida history — everything from prehistoric archaeology through the pioneers in the early 20th century that gave this area its identity.

People can get a sense of how people lived here through all that time.

Historic Spanish Point is located at 337 N. Tamiami Trail, in Osprey. Admission to the museum and grounds is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for children.

“Halloween Happenings” tours run an additional $20 and the Victorian funeral costs $15, while the “Holly Days and Mangrove Lights” event is available at no extra charge.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information, call 941-966-5214, log onto www.HistoricSpanishPoint. org or visit: Facebook.com/ HistoricSpanishPoint.

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