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Fun filled weekend planned for Charlotte County

From sports to cuisine, there are events for all tastes in Charlotte County.
Posted at 5:32 PM, Feb 23, 2024

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. — Charlotte County is filled with fun events and activities this weekend. From sports to history and cuisine, there is something for everyone.

The two-day World Pickleball Tour qualifier started on Friday, bringing over 500 amateur players to Punta Gorda's Pickleplex.

Hailed as the fastest growing sport in the world, pickleball can be played by all ages, abilities and skill levels.

"There is still room to grow in certain aspects, like juniors starting to play the sport and picking it up at a young age," said Ethan Swincicki, said operations and tournament director for WPT "We at the World Pickleball Tour believe that the growth and future of the sport is at the amateur level."

Although the players may be amateurs, winners at the tournament can qualify for the WPT end of the year championship and could win a share of a $175,000 prize. The prize money means pickleballers like Kevin Cafarelli bring their A game.

"The competition is really good, if you're looking for competition this is a good place to start," said Cafarelli.

Across the city, at the Punta Gorda History Park, the Frontier Days Festivalkicked off giving a look back at the state's history.

The two-day festival is run by, and benefits the Charlotte County Historical Society. At the festival, traditional skills and ways of life throughout Florida's early years are highlighted and passed down by volunteers donned in traditional settler clothing.

"What we are hoping to do is to try and reenact what it was like to live in Florida back in the pioneer days," said Frank Desguin, President of the Charlotte County Historical Society.

Over the bridge in Port Charlotte, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church's Greek Festivalbegan.

The 30th annual festival benefits the church and celebrates the Greek culture with food, dancing and other traditional activities all weekend.

"The Greek festival for us is not only ensuring our traditions and cultures are passed on through generations, but we're also raising money for our church," said Margeaux McCarthy, Marketing Director for the church. "Its always a good time, opa!"

Lastly, on Saturday, the Tampa Bay Rays will take on the Atlanta Bravesin their first spring training game back in Port Charlotte since 2022.