SUN CITY CENTER – Get ready, people. FunFest 2014 is Saturday.
More than 5,000 residents are expected to join the community’s largest party, which celebrates the 152 clubs and organizations in Sun City Center. About 100 of them are expected to participate.
FunFest is an opportunity for the groups to show the public what they do and raise money for their activities. Many even recruit new members at the event.
For example, the Woman’s Club will host a flea market; the Horseshoe Club will be selling Italian sausages, brats and hot dogs; and the Stained Glass Club will showcase and sell items made by its members.
The event has lots of entertainment, food, a new car show and health fair to go along with the various club exhibits. And nonprofit organizations like Southeastern Guide Dogs, the Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort no-kill shelter and Elmira’s Animal Sanctuary will be on hand.
No matter what folks come for, they’ll find plenty of things to interest them, said Susan Muise, FunFest chairwoman.
“(FunFest) started 15 years ago to showcase our clubs to Sun City Center residents,” she said. “Then area business vendors were added to give them the opportunity to promote their products and services. Only the CA-sponsored clubs can sell anything, however.”
The festivities are open to the public and will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Community Association central campus at North Pebble Beach Boulevard and Cherry Hills Drive.
Organizers strongly suggest everyone park at Community Hall at 1910 S. Pebble Beach Blvd. and take a free shuttle to the event.
Starting at 8:45 a.m., buses will make continuous loops throughout the day to move people back and forth. The last bus departs the central campus at 3:30 p.m. As a reminder, buses can transport power chairs.
Folks who have trouble walking may be dropped off at the Atrium entrance, and there will be limited handicap parking for golf carts at the Information Center.
Entertainment will take place in a number of venues.
Jack Craig will emcee the program in the main tent, which has been moved this year away from the business vendors area across Cherry Hills Drive to the east side of the Arts and Crafts building. There will be morning and afternoon performances there by Bill “Elvis” Lindsey, The Dukes and Solid Gold.
In the Florida Room, host John Cortese will introduce the Line Dance Club, Country Cloggers, Solo Line Dance Club, Academy Ballroom Dance Club and two showings – at 12:45 and 1:15 p.m. – of Wonders of Nature.
And over at the Rollins Theater, Mary Jane Tovey will announce performances by the German American Club Singers, Par for the Chorus, Pelican Players, Performing Arts Club, Women’s Chorus, Men’s Chorus, Swingers Square and singer/comedian John Foster.
At the Dance Studio there will be demonstrations by the Tai Chi Club, Timesteppers, Latin Fitness Club, Jazzmatazz Club and the SCC and Solo Line Dance clubs.
There will also be poolside entertainment at 11 and 12:15 p.m. by the Front Porch Pickers. The Swim Dancers will perform at 10:30 a.m.
The Fitness Center will be open for tours as will many of the club rooms. And over in the Heritage Room visitors can glimpse – for the first time – a nine-foot, detailed model of the U.S. Capitol Building built by Don Crescent and Shirley Carroll over the past three-and-a-half years.
About 30 health care professionals, including staffers from South Bay Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital South, will be on hand to perform screenings and offer information on healthier living in the Caper and Horizon rooms in the Atrium. Free screenings for eyesight, cholesterol, blood pressure, skin cancer, balance and more will be offered.
“The health fair is fantastic,” said Sun City Center resident Andrea Peterson, who has visited FunFest for the past seven years. “It’s a great way to get free health screenings for skin cancer, hearing and cholesterol, have your eyes and balanced checked and more.
“It’s also a great way to find out what all the clubs are doing and to buy things some of them make. You see everyone you know and there’s good food choices. It’s just a lot of fun.”
For Muise, FunFest is a labor of love.
“As complex as this event seems, chairing FunFest is the easiest job I’ve ever had,” Muise said. “The committee is filled with 17 experienced people who know what they’re doing. (The event) is all about showcasing our clubs and helping them make some money. The CA recoups its expenses and the public sees how much we love Sun City Center.”
FunFest is cash only. For information, call (813) 633-3500.