Gasparilla Island Kids Classic Tarpon Tournament this weekend

Gasparilla Island Kids Classic Tarpon Tournament this weekend

■ STAFF REPORT

The Gasparilla Island Kids Classic Tarpon Tournament, the world’s greatest kids fishing tournament for children ages 15 and under, will kick off today, May 31, with a tarpon symposium and lecture about the history of Boca Grande tarpon fishing, beginning at 6 p.m.

Fishing will begin on Saturday evening at 5 p.m., after a day of fun at the Boca Grande Community Center, 131 1st St. W.

With great support from their sponsors and contributors, and in just eight short years, Boca Grande Charities, Inc. has now raised more than $225,000 for institutions and programs such as Moffitt Cancer Center, All Children’s Hospital, The Englewood Community Care Clinic, The Island School, Lemon Bay Conservancy, the Charlotte County School System’s S.T.E.M Camp program, EasterSeals of Southwest Florida and the Dee Wheeler Scholarship Fund.

Friday, May 31

6 p.m.

Tarpon symposium & history of Boca Grande fishery Speakers: Betsy Joiner and researcher JoEllen Wilson of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

7 p.m.

Event Kickoff Reception/Entertainment – FREE!

Saturday, June 1

Noon – 2 p.m.

Tournament registration at Boca Grande Community Center pavilion Captains, anglers and observers must check in at registration.

Noon – 3 p.m.

Camp Margaritaville – complimentary food & drinks, games, exhibits, family interactive art show at the Community Center grounds.

3:30 p.m.

Boat check begins at Pink Elephant docks and Whidden’s Marina. All teams must check in and receive the official tournament flag to participate.

4:40 p.m.

Conservation message – Dr. Aaron Adams, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

4:42 p.m.

Blessing of the event

4:45 p.m.

Lemon Bay High School ROTC presents colors honoring troops and veterans, followed by the singing of the national anthem.

4:50 p.m.

Saluting our troops and veterans with a flyover by the Charlotte County Warbirds vintage aircraft club.

5 to 8 p.m.

Tournament competition

8:30 p.m.

Awards presentation at Boca Grande Community Center. Food, drinks and entertainment.