On Saturday, November 11 the 5th Annual Wharf Walk was celebrated in Downtown LaBelle. The event, hosted by the LaBelle Downtown Revitalization Corporation, (LDRC), in cooperation with the City of LaBelle each November, brings visitors and locals into downtown LaBelle for an evening of entertainment, local artisans and restaurants.
The event began as a celebration of the initial phase of the LaBelle City Boat Wharf construction being completed. Less than five years later, the city has completed two additional phases producing a unique stop along the Caloosahatchee River for travelers to rest and visit the downtown area.
This year’s event featured a ZZ Top Tribute Band, Trezz Hombres and showcased over 25 local vendors. In honor of Veteran’s Day, the American Legion opened the event with a prayer followed by Country Rhythm Cloggers performing a tribute to our military in true American USO style. A lantern ceremony was scheduled at the closing of the event as a moment to honor our veterans. Due to the unexpected rainfall, the lantern lighting was cancelled, but will be rescheduled at a later date. LDRC is asking for donations for the lanterns with proceeds being given to the American Legion for a Memorial Wall in the Veteran’s Park in downtown LaBelle.
“We were worried that our attendance would be lower this year than in the previous year’s,” said event Chairman Keitha Daniels. “Hurricane Irma really set us back in our planning and promotion of the event. We had to improvise and make some changes that we thought might not work. With LaBelle in the midst of cleanup and recovery, we were starting to wonder if we should re-schedule the event or cancel it altogether. As we started to get back on our feet, the response we began receiving from local vendors and the public was overwhelmingly positive and we knew we couldn’t cancel the event. Wharf Walk has grown from a celebration of a construction project to a celebration of community. We would like to thank everyone who attended and supported the event.”