“Dancin’ in the Streets“ drew them in on Saturday, Aug. 20th, for a carefree day in downtown Stuart. It was the 26th annual celebration, and the vendors went wild - there were over a dozen food stands to please the crowds. It was a hot day, but who cared? Festival-goers were in the mood for fun, and this is Stuart’s biggest fundraiser of the summer, supporting free community events year-round. Five stages and 17 live bands kept people dancing and partying from 3:00 p.m. till midnight.
Hey, this is FUN! Take a full day with back-to-back constant events, fill the spaces with people primed for participation, and you have a sure success - even in the rain!
You start out at an early hour with people on the move, walking or biking all over the place. This is followed by a tricky version of golf playfully named "Golf Shuffleboard" using a putter on carpeting. At the same time there is real putting on the practice putting green with prize money being rewarded. Then there is the aesthetic appeal of visiting other people's carefully chosen units, and looking at the interior decorating and the very smart use of space.
Right after lunch and an inopportune rain shower, comes a water show featuring twenty mermaids. It is a short show but a spectacular one, and the viewers are truly charmed and entertained. Meanwhile, two hundred little yellow ducks, turned loose in the pond for a race to the bridge, needed to be coaxed along, due to a lack of wind and waves. No matter, two kayaks solved the problem by churning things up, and the ducks made the expected progress. Alas, the kayaks dumped their riders bringing about unanticipated high spirits on the part of onlookers.
You think that's the end? No, no, no, there's more to come: additional golf competitions, shuffleboard, billiards, and the event you can always count on to draw a crowd - BINGO.
Later in the evening, inside where rain cannot disrupt pleasure, came the music and dancing which brought the day of fun to a restful though upbeat conclusion.
The Main Clubhouse was transformed into an art gallery on Monday, March 14,when fifteen Monterey artists displayed selections of their work for the viewing of fellow residents. Attendance, conveniently spread throughout the five-plus hour showing, was estimated at well over one hundred fifty. Some of the viewers came and left and then came again.
Water colors, oils, ink drawings, even photography, thoughtfully displayed for comfortable viewing, were pleasingly admired. Some of the pieces were for sale, and many of the artists, wearing ART GROUP stickers, were right there for a bit of discussion and praise. Organizers Betty Moore and Carol Martz were pleased with the turnout for their second annual show. A listing of Exhibitors, along with phone numbers and local addresses is available for people wishing to make contact or a purchase.
March Madness has come and gone, as it has done each year since Monterey's Golf Community has taken on the additional identity of a Bocce Community with all the enthusiasm that surrounds this busy, fast-paced game.
In two weeks of tournament play, sixty-four pairs of players filter down to four couples before one couple rises to the top and claims the bocce championship for the season, their names joining seven others on the list of winners beginning in 2009.
All during the tournament, crowds of bocce players and friends gather for every session, not only to cheer for friends but because bocce is, after all, a lot of fun to watch. By the time players are successful enough to reach tournament status, they are pretty good at some of the more dynamic techniques that can wallop the balls and change instantly the expected outcome of a particular round.
Fun to play, fun to watch - bocce gets bigger and bigger with every season at Monterey.
Following close on the heels of March Madness bocce playoffs, with the Sophisticats' tuning up routine actually providing a bit of background music for the final teams' endeavors, the Dancing Under the Stars celebrants convened in high spirits promptly at six p.m. Small tent tops provided cover for an adornment of goodies prepared and gradually demolished by those in attendance. There were not so many stars that evening to carry out the title, but a very charming slender moon against a black sky captured the essence of the theme perfectly.
The entire space beside the Main Clubhouse was transformed into a huge dance floor, and this time partygoers knew just what to expect. Music and gaiety prevailed! Plenty of chairs were set up around the edges for dancers to take time off the dance floor, but something energizing about being out-of-doors seemed to propel those dancers to stay on their feet. You had to ask yourself: Was this space actually filled with parked cars just hours before?