Last time I mentioned all the activity and new businesses popping up downtown. There are so many, in fact, that I could not fit them all in one column, so here is a continuation of that theme. Naples really is an exciting place to be a part of right now. I cannot wait until the downtown revitalization is complete. Until then, yes, we will have to put up with inconvenience, but the result will be well worth the sacrifice.

Construction update

Naples Main Street has done a great service by distributing a flyer informing the public about what to expect this summer. It is hard for us living through it right now to imagine how the Causeway could be an inviting place this summer. Craig Hurd, project resident engineer for MDOT and Naples Main Street both are assuring us it will be. According to the brochure, the bridge will be open to boat traffic from Memorial Day to Sept. 15. Both lanes of traffic will be open continuously during the high season. Sidewalks to all businesses on the Causeway will be open and safe to travel by. There will be a minimum of 35 parking spaces on the causeway with additional parking available from Route 35 down.

The Songo River Queen will be continuing its traditional services until Sept. 15.

“During the next weeks up to Memorial Day weekend the contractor will be building docks and seawall and also excavating the roadway on the causeway and rebuilding the road,” Hurd said. “So everything will be dug up, traffic will be bad, it will be dusty. The plan right now is to have a large area paved back in for the summer and the contractor will be mostly up by the bridge but will be along the entire causeway working in isolated areas. There will be some parking and will be a walkway from one end to the other with access to the docks during the summer. (The Causeway) should be inviting for people, especially people curious about the construction and what’s being built.”

The Naples Main Street brochure emphasizes that the Causeway is “abuzz.” Visitors will be excited to see the work done and hear about the plans being made. Change is good!

Here and now

To get around in an efficient manner right now is tricky, but can be done! I am taking the back way (Gore Road to Route 114 to State Park Road) to get my kids to school. Adds an extra 5 minutes or so, but no big deal.

When entering Naples, I try to take Songo School Road to State Park Road to 114. A bit out of the way, but I am thankful to at least have options. Luckily there are options. If you are going to Harrison or Bridgton, you could turn at Route 35. Or if you are going to Bridgton, travel 114 to 107. You can get there from here.

Golf outing

The Naples Recreation Department is holding the ninth Annual Lake Region Youth Football Golf Outing at the Naples Golf and Country Club on June 4 at 2 p.m. The cost to participate in this event is $65 a person and all proceeds go to help make tackle football affordable in the area. If you are a business in the area and would like to donate prizes or sponsor a hole please contact the Naples Recreation Director Harvey Price Jr. at 595-0602.

Local cookbook

Naples Main Street is busy trying to raise money for the Causeway Revitalization Project. Wouldn’t it be fun to see your family’s favorite recipe featured in this worthwhile book that is sure to become a treasured keepsake for years to come.

Old-time family photos to accompany the recipe are encouraged. Submit your recipe to Deborah Berlant at [email protected] or mail it to D. Berlant, PO Box 1292, Naples, ME 04055. The recipes (3-5 preferably) should be the ones your family makes over and over again at family celebrations. Enter the name of the recipe as you would like to see it appear in the book. Please also enter your contact info including email address, phone number and return address. The deadline is this Friday, May 6, so get your recipes in today.

Spring Cleanup Day

I did mention that Naples Main Street was busy. On Saturday, May 21, the Inn at Long Lake and Main Street group are getting together to participate in Naples’ first Annual Clean Up Day. Please help out if you can that day. Meet at the Inn at 8:30 a.m. to get your assignment. Volunteers are asked to bring gloves, rakes, and bottles of water. Trash Bags will be provided. Work ends at 12:30 p.m. with a BBQ back at the Inn. FMI, contact Keith at 693-6226 or Connie at 831-0890.

New Gift Shop

Michelle Granfield, of Naples, has opened a new gift shop, Mainely-4-You, on Route 302 next to the Naples Library. She had been visiting the Lakes Region area for over 30 years enjoying the beauty and tranquility with her family. Michelle took the plunge and purchased a home here in Naples in 2004 and she is glad she did.

“I love being able to boat and snowmobile right out of my front yard. Maine has claimed my soul and I am proud to call it home,” she states.

Coming up with a name for her new shop was easy. “Loving Maine, having four children, and wanting to serve the public, hence Mainely-4-You! We offer great gifts for all occasions! Our shop is filled with wonderful creations from local artisans. Almost everything is handmade right here in the Naples area. You can choose from a huge selection of gift baskets, paintings, and jewelry. Join her for the shop’s grand opening May 14. Light refreshments will be served and all purchases will include a free card. The Ribbon cutting ceremony will be May 19 at 8:30 a.m. Hours of operation will expand during heavy tourist months. For now, the shop will be open Thursday through Sunday.

No Bonz about it: BBQ is still available

Yes, good news for all the Bear Bonz BBQ fans: That fantastic smoked BBQ goodness, including their famous BBQ wings, will be available at A2M Variety, which is located in the same plaza as the former Bear Bonz Restaurant (and The Galley Seafood Restaurant coming soon).

Mike Mason, owner of A2M along with his wife, Anne, and owners of the former Bear Bonz Restaurant, wanted all of his loyal customers to know that this food is being added to the ever popular A2M menu and the best news is you can get it delivered. A2M offers delivery from 5-9 p.m.

Closing the restaurant was a family decision, choosing instead to stick to their core businesses. But the food was so popular that after closing, the restaurant patrons were asking the Masons to bring back those yummy BBQ goodies. Thanks for offering them at A2M and for delivering!

Benefit Yard Sale

Join Coldwell Bankers of Naples on the weekend of Sat and Sunday, May 28 and 29 as they host their annual yard sale to benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. They are now looking for your gently used items that you have cleaned out of your attic or garage that you would like to donate. You can drop them off at Coldwell Banker (route 35, right next to Bray’s) or they will come pick them up. Contact Heather at 693-7000 FMI. The sale runs from 9-4 on both of those days.

Open house

Naples Custom Motorsports, located on Route 302 and Kansas Road, is hosting their Third Annual Open House and Pig Roast this Saturday, May 7, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Rain or shine. This free event offers a Philly-style pig roast, raffles, bikini bike wash, live music and more. Bikers and non-bikers welcome.

Come shake it

Zumba and Lake Region High School’s Project Grad meet! Grab your dancing sneakers (after all Zumba is exercise in disguise) and have some healthy fun with your friends and family at the Zumba Fundraiser to be held Thursday, May 19, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the High School Gym. No previous dance experience or coordination needed. Just come work up a great sweat, have a good laugh, and help the kids have a safe celebration night upon Graduation.

Certified Zumba instructor Vicki Toole will be going over a few of the basic steps right before start time. Tickets are $10 at the door. All proceeds go to Project Graduation. Call Vicki at 787-3327 FMI.

Comedy Night

Thank you all who came to the sixth annual Naples Fire Department Comedy Night. It is just a lovely thing when the community comes together to break bread and support our local firefighters!

Mother’s Day brunch

Need something to do? Want to be on the first cruise of the season? Take your mom on a lovely Brunch Cruise on the Songo River Queen from 10-12 p.m. Visit for info and tickets.

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