Michelle Thomas

Naples National Art Festival 2019

Henri Matisse reportedly once said “Creativity takes courage.” Ralph Waldo Emerson declared “Every artist was first an amateur.” And, of course, Bob Ross famously stated on his PBS television show “We don’t make mistakes. Just happy little accidents.” Art is just as important as math and science to creating a world worth living in. Creativity should be nurtured and encouraged. You can do both when you attend the Naples National Art Festival 2019.

Dozens of talented artists from all over the country compete in the juried Naples National Art Festival 2019 at Cambier Park. Support their talents by visiting the festival.

What: Naples National Art Festival 2019
Where: Cambier Park (585 Park St)
When: February 23rd, 10 am to 7 pm & February 24th, 10 am to 5 pm
Admission: $5 per person donation suggested
Contact: Naples Art Association (239) 262-6517

Naples National Art Festival 2019

Literally, thousands of people visit Cambier Park each year for the Naples National Art Festival. As a juried art show, it attracts some of the finest artists from around the country. They vie for cash prizes in 18 different categories in a wide variety of mediums, such as painting, sculpture, jewelry, wood, and metal. The quality of work displayed here helped last year’s Naples National Art Festival rank in the top 25 of Sunshine Artist Magazine’s Best Classic & Contemporary Art Shows. It also made the top 50 of ArtFairCalendar.com’s America’s Best Art Fairs.

New for this year, the festival includes a live performance by the Blu-Tones on Saturday. In fact, Saturday’s hours have been extended specifically to bring their music to the public. This Naples-based band plays rock-n-roll hits from the ’50s to the ’70s, Elvis to The Eagles. You’re going to love them! Also, local favorites Artichoke and Co and Naples Smoked BBQ provide tasty treats for sale. When thirst hits, quench it with beverages from The Wine Store and Rip Tide Brewery.

Admission & Parking for Naples National Art Festival 2019

Technically, everyone is welcome to attend the 2019 Naples National Art Festival free of charge. However, organizers suggest a $5 per person donation at the gate. Money raised from the festival helps fund their educational art programs. So, every bit helps. Parking is provided free of charge in the designated parking spots in Cambier Park and along 5th Ave S.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos

Naples Chubb Classic 2019 Hits the Links at Lely

Golf has been a staple in America ever since it first came to our shores back in the mid-1700s. What was once considered a sport for the elite has become popular with the masses in recent decades. In fact, approximately 25 million Americans aim for par or better every year. In less than a week, PGA Tour Champions from all over the country hit the links at our beautiful Lely Resort when they compete in the Naples Chubb Classic 2019.

If you love golf and food, you're going to want to be at Lely Resort next weekend. In addition to the Naples Chubb Classic 2019, Lely also hosts the Taste of SW Florida event.

What: Chubb Classic 2019
Where: The Classics Country Club, Lely Resort (7989 Grand Lely Dr, Naples, FL)
When: February 11-17
General Admission: $15 per day/$30 per week (Feb 13th to 17th)
Contact: Chubb Classic Tournament Office (239) 593-3900

Naples Chubb Classic 2019

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Some of the best of the best players in the world compete in the Naples Chubb Classic 2019. Designed by Gary Player, the winner of the very first Chubb Classic back in 1988, the par 72 course highlights all the natural beauty found in Southwest Florida. This year’s line-up includes Joe Durant, Lee Janzen, Corey Pavin, John Daly, and many others. More and more players will be added as the tournament approaches.

The Naples Chubb Classic 2019 tournament play is only one aspect of this multi-day event. You won’t want to miss the First Tee Champions Challenge or the Subway Family Putt for Dough. And, of course, foodies will love the Taste of SW Florida event on the 15th and 16th.

Taste of SW Florida 2019

That’s right! In addition to the tournament, Lely Resort hosts the Taste of SW Florida 2019 event. Some of the most talented chefs from the best local restaurants serve up a sample menu unlike anything you’ll find elsewhere. Also available to all guests ages 21 or older will be a selection of craft beers, wine, and other alcoholic beverages. Tickets cost just $40 each and are available for Friday or Saturday only.

Tickets for Naples Chubb Classic 2019

The tournament opens up to the public February 13th to February 17th. General admission tickets for the Naples Chubb Classic 2019 cost $15 per day or $30 for the entire week. Parking costs just $5 per vehicle per day or $20 per vehicle for the week. For a true VIP experience, pay $150 per day for the Friday, Saturday or Sunday Legends Lounge. Guests watch over the 18 green from a private open-air suite. A full buffet, bar and private restrooms help make your Naples Chubb Classic 2019 experience as comfortable as possible. To purchase your tickets now, please visit the Chubb Classic online box office here. Legends Lounge tickets are sold on a first come/first served basis and are limited in number. So, you need to hurry before they’re all gone!

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos

Naples Cars on Fifth 2019

Do you love luxury cars? Ever dream of seeing a Ferrari, Bentley or Porsche in person? You’ll have your chance on February 9th. That’s when the Naples Cars on Fifth 2019 event takes place. Money raised from this event goes right back into helping the community.

Calling all luxury car enthusiasts. Come see more than 575 high end automobiles at the Naples Cars on Fifth 2019 event. All money raised directly benefits St Matthew's House, who help the homeless and hungry in the Naples area.

What: Naples Cars on Fifth 2019
Where: 701 5th Ave S
When: Saturday, February 9th, 10 am to 4 pm
Admission: $20 General Admission (ages 12+), $40 VIP tickets
Contact: Ferrari Club of Naples (via email)

Naples Cars on Fifth 2019

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Since 2005, the Ferrari Club of Naples has hosted their annual Cars on Fifth event to showcase fine luxury automobiles and to help local charities. Since its inception, they’ve raised over $1,000,000. This year’s featured charity is the St. Matthew’s House. They help the provide food and clothing to the homeless and hungry in our Naples neighborhood.

Luxury dealers and individual car enthusiasts bring their very best automobiles to Naples Cars on Fifth 2019. You’ll see everything from Jaguar to Lotus, Bentley to Triumph and more. Ferrari promises more than 125 vintage and modern V-8s and V-12s, including brand new Spiders and 488GTBs. Not to be outdone, classic American muscle cars make an appearance as well.

After you take a look at the cars, visit the market. Here, you’ll find fine jewelry and artwork for sale. Want to accessorize your car? Need some service performed on your vehicle? Talk to vendors about show-only specials. Then, at 4 pm, listen to the symphony of sound as 575 cars start up at once and drive off the lot.

Tickets for Naples Cars on Fifth 2019

This year, tickets for Naples Cars on Fifth 2019 cost $20 per person for general admission. Kids under age 12 get in absolutely free. For a truly special experience, spend $40 for VIP tickets. Each ticket allows you access to the special VIP area, where some of the most exotic and highest priced automobiles are shown. In addition, you’ll be able to see the specially-designed Pininfarina boats. Each VIP ticket holder receives two drink tickets and access to private restrooms. For more information and to purchase your tickets, please visit the Naples Cars on Fifth 2019 website here.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos

Naples Winter Wine Festival 2019

What could make a delicious meal and a great glass of wine even better? Knowing that you’re helping underprivileged children at the same time. At the Naples Winter Wine Festival 2019, you do all of these things at the same time.

Enjoy fine wine, fabulous food, and a great atmosphere during the multi-day, multi-venue event known as Naples Winter Wine Festival 2019. Proceeds benefit the Naples Children & Education Foundation.

What: Naples Winter Wine Festival 2019
Where: Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort (2600 Tiburon)
When: January 24th-27th, 2019
Contact: Barrett Farmer, Naples Winter Wine Festival (239) 514-2239 or via email

Naples Winter Wine Festival 2019

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The multi-day, multi-venue event known as Naples Winter Wine Festival 2019 features amazing food created by world-class chefs and some of the most tantalizing wines you’ll find anywhere. The event kicks off with a casual wine tasting and luncheon at The Vintage Cellar from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm on January 24th.

On Friday, January 25th, meet some of the kids whose lives have been enriched by donations provided by generous people such as yourself who support the Naples Winter Wine Festival. Later that evening, enjoy a special Vintner Dinner. Chefs and vintners from all over the country pair up with various Festival Trustees in both private homes and other esteemed locations around the city.

Get ready to bid on some outrageous prizes at the live auction on Saturday, January 26th at the Ritz-Carlton. These include luxury travel packages, rare wines, and more. In fact, one of the wines to be auctioned off will be eight extremely rare Screaming Eagle verticals dating between 1992 and 1999 which are expected to fetch a record-setting price. After bidding is complete, join the Wine Down serving delicious food and wine with a healthy dollop of live music and dancing. The finale for the festivities comes at the Ritz-Carlton’s Celebration Brunch on Sunday, the 27th.

Online Auction Open Now!

In addition to the live auction on Saturday evening, bidding for the online auction is currently underway. You have until January 30th to bid on great prizes such as a private dinner party on Keewaydin Island, Collier County Sheriff-for-a-Day, private cruises, an all-inclusive four-night stay at Riviera Cancun, and a VIP stay at the Ritz-Carlton. Register for the Naples Winter Wine Festival 2019 online auction here. Then, view all of the things up for auction this year. Finally, make your bid. Good luck!

Naples Children & Education Foundation

Proceeds from the Naples Winter Wine Festival 2019 directly benefit the Naples Children & Education Foundation. This foundation supports charities that work with underprivileged Collier County children in an effort to improve their education, physical development, and emotional well-being. For the past 18 years, the annual Naples Winter Wine Festival has managed to raise over $160 million for local children in need.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos

Empty Bowls Naples Fundraiser 2019

Did you know that, across the country, approximately 40 million Americans are considered “food insecure”? Of those 40 million people, 12 million are children. Almost 40,000 live in Collier County alone. In a hugely successful country like ours, this is a travesty. One way you can help fight this issue is to join the Empty Bowls Naples Fundraiser 2019 later on this month.

Help end food insecurity in Collier County one bowl at a time by attending the Empty Bowls Naples Fundraiser 2019 on Jan 26th at Cambier Park.

What: Empty Bowls Naples Fundraiser 2019
Where: Cambier Park (580 8th South St)
When: Saturday, January 26th, 11 am to 2 pm
Admission: $20-$60 per person
Contact: City of Naples Parks & Recreation (239) 213-3058

Empty Bowls Naples Fundraiser 2019

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Dozens of local artists, teachers, potters, students, and volunteers design and paint hundreds of ceramic bowls specifically for the Empty Bowls Naples Fundraiser 2019. Several chefs from some of the best local Naples restaurants prepare various soups for guests to choose from. Prominent community members line up next to dozens of amazing volunteers to serve this soup to the community at the event. All money raised goes directly to local Naples-Marco Island organizations that provide food to those in need.

Tickets for the Empty Bowls Naples Fundraiser 2019

Until 12 pm on January 23rd, purchase an advance ticket for just $30 each. This grants you early access (10:30 am) to the Empty Bowls Naples Fundraiser 2019. That’s an extra half an hour to view the Pay-N-Take Auction as well as early shopping at the on-site Boutique. Or, become a Friend of Empty Bowls for $60 per person. That gives you even earlier access to Empty Bowls Naples (10:15 am) as well as the Boutique and the Pay-N-Take Auction. In addition, you receive a special commemorative mini-bowl, you will be specially acknowledged at the event, and you’ll receive exclusive invitations to all workshops in the future. If you wait until the day of the event, tickets cost $20 per person and you will be allowed in at the 11 am general admission start time.

Whether you order your tickets in advance or make a last-minute decision to come, everyone is welcome to join the Empty Bowls Naples Fundraiser 2019. All donations are accepted and very much welcome. Together, we can end food insecurity in the US one bowl at a time!

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos

2019 Naples Boat Show: 1st Boat Show of the Year!

On the shores of Southwest Florida, boating is a way of life. We love our time out on the water. Even though we’re in the middle of winter, 80 degree weather means that any time’s a great time to go boating. If you’re looking to upgrade to a new model or want to buy your first seafaring vessel, then you need to make sure you head over to the 2019 Naples Boat Show!

Looking to buy your first Day Cruiser or do you want to upgrade from your current Runabout? Need new safety gear? Visit the 2019 Naples Boat Show Jan 17th - 20th at the Naples Municipal Airport for great deals in the new year!

What: 2019 Naples Boat Show
Where: Naples Municipal Airport (160 Aviation Dr N)
When: January 17th-20th, 10 am to 5 pm
Admission: $10/day for adults, Kids 12 & under FREE, parking FREE
Contact: Marine Industries Association of Collier County (MIACC) (239) 682-0900 or via email

2019 Naples Boat Show

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Whether you’re in the market for a day cruiser or a yacht, a pontoon or a sailboat, the 2019 Naples Boat Show offers something for everyone. You’ll see offerings from the best boat manufacturers around today, including Chaparral, MasterCraft, Sea Ray, Viking Yachts, and so many more. Update your emergency equipment. Outfit everyone onboard with the right sized vests. Remember, Florida law states that all children under the age of six must wear a life jacket at all times on any 26 foot or under vessel. Also, anyone on a PWC or being towed behind a boat must always wear a life jacket. So, it’s a good time to make sure you have life jackets that fit every passenger on your boat.

Tickets for the 2019 Naples Boat Show

Admission for the 2019 Naples Boat Show runs just $10 per day per adult. All kids ages 12 and under get in for free. Parking is also FREE on-site during the boat show. Please keep your pets at home. They aren’t allowed on the airport premises during the boat show. To order your tickets now, visit the 2019 Naples Boat Show’s online box office here.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos

Naples New Year’s Art Show 2019

It’s the last day of 2018. What will you be doing to celebrate? Watch the fireworks show at 5th Avenue South? Festivities start at 7 pm, if that’s your plan. How about starting 2019 off with a beautiful light show at the Botanical Garden tomorrow night? It closes on January 3rd. So, you have a few days left to enjoy it. But the first major event for January takes place on the first weekend of the year at the Naples New Year’s Art Show 2019. And, if you love art, you absolutely must come to this show!

Naples New Year's Art Show 2019 starts off with Art in the Park on Jan 5th and continues with artist booths set up around 5th Ave South on the 6th. Free admission for everyone.

What: Naples New Year’s Art Show 2019
Where: Fifth Ave South (701 5th Ave South)
When: January 5th & 6th, 10 am to 5 pm
Admission: FREE
Contact: Fifth Ave South (239) 692-8436

Naples New Year’s Art Show 2019

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The Naples New Year’s Art Show 2019 starts off with Art in the Park on Saturday, January 5th. Located in the first block of Park St, just south of 5th Ave South, Art in the Park features dozens of talented artists showcasing their skills in all kinds of media, including paintings, photographs, handmade items, and sculptures.

With winter temperatures in the mid-70’s, it’s no wonder that artists flock to Southwest Florida for things like the Naples New Year’s Art Show 2019! In addition to Art in the Park, dozens of artists and artisans set up booths all around the 5th Ave South shopping center. Set amidst beautiful Mediterranean-style buildings, you can’t tell that it’s actually the middle of winter here.

Visit with the individual artists responsible for each work of art on display. If you fall in love with certain pieces, purchase them for your own personal art collection and take them home with you. And if you want your children to develop a love of the arts as well, events like the Naples New Year’s Art Show 2019 provide the perfect introduction.

On a final note, keep this in mind. However you choose to welcome in the new year, please make sure you do it responsibly. Never drink and drive. Arrange for safe travel home before you head out for the evening. That way, everyone starts 2019 off in the best way possible…alive. Happy New Year!

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos

Creating the Perfect Home Office Space

According to the New York Times, 43% of Americans worked from home at least part of the time in 2016. Experts predict that this could increase to 50% by 2020. Therefore, creating the perfect home office space becomes a priority for Naples and Marco Island homeowners. Here are a few key components you’ll need to set up your home office space and be as productive as possible throughout your workday.

Several elements come in to play when creating the perfect home office space for your Naples home. It must be functional as well as aesthetically pleasing in order to make it a place you want to work in.

Home Office Space Essentials

Dedicated Home Office Space

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First and foremost, you’ll need a dedicated space specifically used as a home office. One of the requirements necessary to utilize a home office deduction on your taxes is that you use the space exclusively for business and nothing more. For example, an office that doubles as a guest room might hinder your ability to deduct part of your household expenses for the home office. Consult your tax accountant or preparer if you have any questions about this.

Proper Lighting

If you’ve spent any time in a traditional office setting, you know how harsh overhead fluorescent lights can be on your eyes. Sometimes, you might need a stronger light source for particular projects. Other times, a softer light works just fine. Since this is your personal home office, you get to choose which light fixtures work best for your circumstances. Home improvement stores offer a wide variety of lighting choices. Discuss what you need with a sales associate to help determine which fixtures to install in your Naples home.

Comfortable Furnishings

Plan on working full-time from home? Even a few hours a day wreaks havoc on your body. Therefore, you need comfortable yet supportive furnishings for your home office. Test out several chairs. Make sure the desk can handle all the work you must complete. Include storage bins or other organizational tools to keep all of your supplies in order and available when you need them.

Technology Must-Haves

Since you’ll be working remotely from your Marco Island home office, you’re going to need a good internet connection. If you work in multiple windows at one time, you need a higher speed connection than browsing for recipes or checking your Facebook status require. Also, as technology develops, you might need to update your computer every couple of years to keep up. Consider using an ergonomic keyboard and mouse if you do a lot of typing every day. These help reduce the fatigue in your fingers and wrists.

Personalizing Your Space

Finally, you’re going to want to personalize your space. Just because it’s a home office doesn’t mean it has to be stuffy. Add pictures, artwork, and miscellaneous tchotchkes that mean something to you. Make this a space that you want to work in. Since you’re the only one there, you get to create whatever kind of a work environment you desire. Your only limitation is your imagination.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos

Naples Botanical Garden Night Lights 2018

Can you believe that Christmas Eve takes place just two weeks from today? That’s incredible! Did you watch the Naples Boat Parade of Lights last week? Dozens of beautifully decorated boats floated along the Venetian Bay. Gorgeous! Looking for more fun Christmas-time things to do this season? Check out the Naples Botanical Garden Night Lights 2018. Millions of lights set the garden aglow each night into the new year.

If you thought the Naples Botanical Garden was beautiful during the day, it's absolutely magical during its Night Lights 2018 event now through Jan 3rd, 2019.

What: Naples Botanical Garden Night Lights 2018
Where: 4820 Bayshore Dr
When: Now thru Jan 3rd (closed Dec 24th, 25th & 31st) 6 pm to 9 pm
Admission: $5-$25
Contact: Naples Botanical Garden (239) 643-7275

Naples Botanical Garden Night Lights 2018

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While the garden provides a lovely walk through its natural beauty during the daytime, it outdoes itself in elegance and grace when night falls. From 6 pm to 9 pm every evening, Naples Botanical Garden takes on a distinguished glimmer courtesy of Night Lights 2018. In addition to the millions of twinkling lights throughout the garden, guests enjoy live music performed by talented local artists.

Fogg Cafe serves light refreshments to guests (for a fee) each night as well. And, while you’re there, pick up unique Christmas presents for your loved ones at the Naples Botanical Garden’s gift shop. December 14th, 16th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 29th & 30th includes your chance to wish upon the Wishing Tree. But the tree only makes its appearance on those special days.

Naples Botanical Garden Night Lights 2018 Tickets

Tickets for Night Lights 2018 cost $20 per adult and $10 per child ages 4 to 14 through December 14th. After that, they cost $25 per adult and $15 per child ages 4 to 14. Children under the age of 4 enter free of charge (but still need a ticket). Are you a Naples Botanical Garden member? pay just $10 per adult and $5 per child any night during the Naples Botanical Garden’s Night Lights 2018. Members can purchase their tickets online here. Non-members can purchase their tickets ahead of time online here.

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos

Naples and Marco Island Boat Parades 2018

The holidays are in full swing here in Southwest Florida. Just before Thanksgiving, we saw the Naples Christmas tree light up for the first time this year. After that, we experienced the 3rd St Celebration of Lights. Now that we’ve entered the final month of 2018, we have the Naples and Marco Island boat parades to look forward to. And they start up tomorrow.

You can't have Christmas in Southwest Florida without the Naples and Marco Island boat parades. Create timeless holiday memories for free.

Naples and Marco Island Boat Parades 2018

Naples Boat Parade 2018

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Visit the Village Shops on Venetian Bay tomorrow night (December 4th). Beginning at 5 pm, guests enjoy live entertainment, a snow show, balloon art, and carolers performing. Get your face painted while you wait for the boats to pass by in the bay. Listen up as Mrs. Claus tells stories of Christmases past. Then, grab your camera for a photo-op with Santa Claus. Admission to the Naples Boat Parade 2018 is absolutely free.

Marco Island Boat Parade 2018

If you’re in Marco Island this weekend, stick around for nightfall. At 6 pm, the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce hosts their annual Marco Island Boat Parade. Your best view takes place from The Esplanade (760 N Collier Blvd). Dozens of decorated boats float by boasting thousands of twinkling lights right out on the water. This is truly a sight you will want to behold!

The Naples and Marco Island Boat Parades aren’t the only fun events taking place in the next couple of weeks. Fifth Ave South hosts a grand outdoor tuba concert to celebrate the season as well. Listen to 70 musicians of all ages as they play Christmas classics on the tuba. With no seating available, feel free to bring your own chair to Sugden Plaza at 6:30 pm on Friday, December 14th. The concert only lasts for one hour. Then, continue with your holiday shopping at Fifth Ave South’s fine shops. Take some time to enjoy the season everyone!

Michelle Thomas, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury Naples/Marco Island Homes & Condos