Thursday, April 14, 2005

Myakka Spring Fling Roundup

Myakka festival is a little bit country
Proceeds from Saturday to benefit community center's children's programsLISA MARIE LENTZHerald Staff Writer

MYAKKA CITY - If hog callin' and horseshoe tossin' aren't part of your normal weekend routine, this is your opportunity to experience a bit of Manatee County culture that's slipping away as fast as development moves eastward.

Myakka's Spring Fling Roundup on Saturday will offer good, clean country fun during the day, followed by another country tradition - a community dance - during the evening.
Proceeds from both events will benefit the Myakka City Community Center, executive director Ginki Miller said.

Admission to the festival buys soft drink and a choice of either a Bloomin' Onion or a hot dog, and access to activities for all ages, including horseshoes, hog and turkey calling, moon walks, water slides, and other bouncy toys.

There will be raffles and drawings, with such prizes as a Suzuki mini-bike and two sets of Pepsi 400 NASCAR tickets. "All this for the price to get in, which for most of them will be nothing," Miller said. The dance will feature the music of Jake Murphy and The Rough Stock, a band renowned throughout Florida.

Miller is hoping both events are a success - the money will be used for the center's children's programs and for its building fund. With less than two months left before the end of the school year, Miller is once again scrambling to find space to house her summer camp. She hoped renovations to the Old Myakka Schoolhouse would be finished by summer, which would have given the camp the room it needs. Delays plagued the project, however, and the earliest they can expect to be finished is July, Miller said. By then, half the summer will be over.

What the community really needs, she said, is to be free from reliance on the school board, which recently began charging the center for the use of Myakka City Elementary School facilities; and area churches, which have volunteered space but whose use would require more transportation between locations.

The county presented preliminary designs for a center they were willing to fund, but the facility was deemed too small for the community's needs, said Cheri Coryea of the county's community services department.

The center's board has started a building fund to help facilitate their vision for the Myakka area.
And the community is pitching in. Miller credits Myakka City Grocery owner Bobby Smith with engineering the entire affair.

"He's the one who has really put the whole thing together," Miller said. "He's got a tremendous day planned." Smith, who donates most everything, including the land on which the event is held, the hot dogs people eat and the rides the children play on, said he feels a responsibility to give back to the community he's been part of for 20 years. "I just do this for the kids," he said.

Lisa Marie Lentz, Herald reporter, can be reached at 708-7906 or at
If you go

WHAT: Spring Fling Roundup and dance

WHEN: Festival from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday ; dance from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.

WHERE: Myakka City Grocery and Gas, 37155 S.R. 70

COST: Festival: 12 and younger, free; 13 and older, $5; dance, $10.


Valeo License Number: 3.120.4415433-125325

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