FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — September 1, 2023, singer and songwriter Jimmy Buffett died at age 76. The legend was often known as the "King of Escapism" because of his care-free, paradise-themed, songs.
People from all over Southwest Florida joined Cruisin' Tikis with margaritas in hand and singing iconic paradise tunes.
“We’re hoping for a Margarita and to celebrate Jimmy Buffett," said Mary Dahl, a Fort Myers local and Buffett fan.
Cruisin' Tikis gave Buffett fans the ability to say goodbye to the multi-generational iconic the best way they knew how.
“We’re in Fort Myers Beach where he has a big influence on kind of everybody’s lives," said Nick Becker, Cruisin' Tikis Fort Myers Beach. "Hearing him pass away I think the whole world was shocked.”
Becker says the chain has a special connection to the artist.
“Cruisin' Tikis is a company that was started in Key West by Greg Darby, and he was a huge Jimmy Buffett supporter," said Becker. "If it wasn’t for Jimmy Buffett and Greg Darby, these tikis wouldn’t even exist.”
According to Becker, over 100 people were able to celebrate Buffett's life and the legacy he leaves behind.
“Being able to come out here on the water, have some drinks, some margaritas. It was perfect," said Becker.
Although the parade was on the water, people were able to join in on the remembrance from the beach.
“He’s our age and so we were like 'Oh it’s not time yet, especially for Jimmy,'" said Dahl. "He lived the good life.”
Now, Fort Myers Beach is gearing up for the opening of the new Jimmy Buffett-inspired Margaritaville Resort coming soon.
According to the Margaritaville Fort Myers Beach website, the resort is now taking reservations for as early as February 1, 2024.
“I think it’s great! I think it should be an attraction for other things to come down here," said Ralph Kertz, parade-goer and Buffett fan.