provided to The Santiva Chronicle
Nearly 30 years after giving birth to Islands Night, Bailey’s General Store has turned over management and promotion of the annual event at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers to the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce. This year’s event is scheduled for Wednesday, June 1, when the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels meet the Tampa Tarpons for an evening of baseball, a pre-game parade showcasing businesses and organizations from Sanibel and Captiva islands, and islander camaraderie.
“We are super excited to make the Sam Bailey’s Islands Night a chamber event, especially since it’s the first of the islands’ full tradition – parade and all – to be held in three years,” said John Lai, chamber president and chief executive officer. (Past years’ games were canceled because of rain or played without celebration).
“The event tightens the chamber’s close, historical connection with the Bailey family, and we’re honored to carry the tradition forward,” he added. “The Baileys have long served the chamber and, in fact, our incoming board chair, Calli Johnson, is Sam’s great-niece.”
The chamber is seeking sponsors for the 2022 Islands Night on four levels: Homerun ($500), Triple ($300), Double ($200), and Single ($100). Sponsorship benefits include unlimited game tickets, a spot in the parade, and various degrees of publicity, depending on level of sponsorship. Find more details at sanibel-captiva.org or contact Landen Collins at 239-472-8255 or Landen@sanibel-captiva.org.
“It’s a bittersweet occasion handing over the reins to Islands Night, a deep Bailey family and island tradition,” said Richard Johnson, current family co-owner of Bailey’s. “But what better hands to take over and do it right than our trusty chamber of commerce? We look forward to continued success for this cherished event.
Game time on June 1 is 7 p.m. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the parade takes place starting at 6:15.