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Rec center reopens in time for Fall fest

October 18, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

The North Fort Myers Recreation Center, closed for a month due to Hurricane Irma, has reopened in time for the 17th annual Fall Festival.

The recreational facilities and programs opened last Thursday after serving as a shelter for people displaced following the storm.

The sheltering operations ceased on Oct. 6, and staff has restored the rec center to pre-hurricane condition so it regular public recreation, programs, classes, and after-school activities could resume.

Among the more popular is the Fall Festival, set for this Friday from 6 to 9 p.m.

For parents, it's another safe place to take the kids for pre-Halloween fun. Admission is free, and there will be a costume contest, candy, face painting, bounce houses, photo booth, a live DJ, games, prizes and much more.

Also, the first 200 kids who sign up for the costume contest will get a bag of candy.

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"It's a fun safe event for the kids to come and enjoy the holiday," said Lisa Weaver, the rec center's supervisor who expects about 1,000 children to attend.

The event, which had grown every year from humble origins, is also big for the local business community. They, as well as non-profit organizations, come to promote their business and hand out candy to attendees.

"They are looking to get their names out there. The kids can get candy while the parents can learn more about what they are about and what they offer," O'Dell said, adding there was still space available for vendors who want to get involved.

The vendor spots are free. The only rule is that businesses are not allowed to sell their merchandise, with the exception being that North Fort Myers Pop Warner will sell concessions to help their league.

Jaime O'Dell has taken over the event from James Pittro, who took a supervisor position in Alva.

Meanwhile, Club Rec will return to the center Thursday. The popular after-school program has been held at an adjacent Lee County facility while the center was a shelter.

The North Fort Myers Recreation Center is one of more than 120 parks in Lee County that have reopened since Irma.

As of last Thursday, 43 centers remained closed due to downed trees, standing water and blocked pathways.

The North Fort Myers Rec Center is at 2000 North Recreation Park Way, North Fort Myers.

For more information about the festival, contact the center at 239-533-7200.

To volunteer or become a festival sponsor, contact



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