Serving St. Lucie, Martin, Brevard and Indian River counties.
Covering Stuart, Jensen Beach, Palm City, Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Sebastian, Melbourne, Cocoa Beach, Rockledge, Palm Bay, Viera and Eau Gallie.
Vote for your favorite Treasure Coast restaurants, bars, tourist attractions and other businesses in our Best of the Treasure Coast contest. Last day for voting is Dec. 3.
What does the word “season” mean to you? Does it call to mind that time of the year on the Treasure Coast when the weather gets a little cooler, the roads get a little busier and the calendar gets a lot fuller? Us, too. Or does it make you think of turkey stuffing, strands of lights and “Auld Lang Syne?” We’re right with you. In this issue, we celebrate it all.
In our special section, Season of the Arts, we preview the exciting performances and exhibits coming to our theaters, museums, gardens and galleries, as well as a feature about the 65-year history of the Brevard Symphony Orchestra, which opens its season with an out-of-this-world concert to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. We also take a stroll through the Eau Gallie Arts District, a virtual outdoor museum with its 30-some vibrant and thought-provoking murals. Art lovers will also want to read our festivals feature which lists a number of art shows up and down the coast, but that’s just the start. Name your interest — boats, buccaneers, bacon — there’s a festival for you, too.
Like the Festival of Trees at Riverside Theatre and the Christmas parade on Ocean Drive, the St. Lucia Swedish Christmas Festival at the Hallstrom House has become a familiar harbinger of the holidays in Indian River County.
The Swedish festival, named for an early Christian who was martyred in Rome in A.D. 304, will take place Dec. 8 in the distinctive brick house on Old Dixie Highway built by Swedish immigrant Axel Hallstrom in 1918. Admission is free, but guests are asked to bring a food item that will be donated to a local food bank.
It’s traditional. Children on ice skates laughing, a tall tree springing into sparkling colored lights against the dark of the evening, graceful dancers performing The Nutcracker, a parade of lighted boats with Rudolph and Santa aboard cruising softly through the night are all December highlights.
Wait. A traditional boat parade? We can’t be talking about the frozen rivers of the north. So welcome to the holidays on Florida’s Treasure Coast, where hearts are as warm as the weather. Holiday excitement and laughter from the children is the same no matter the locale.
Each of the three counties that make up the Treasure Coast has a boat parade in December where thousands of shoreline spectators can marvel at the ingenuity and creativity of the boat captains and crews. If you see one parade and are hooked, gather up the family and go see another one on a different weekend.
Sunday, Dec. 1-Dec. 31
• Winter Wonderland Light Show – One-of-a-kind light show at the Port St. Lucie Community Center on Airoso. It’s on daily through Dec. 31 from 6-9 p.m. 878.2277
Friday, Dec. 6
• Stuart Christmas Parade – On East Ocean Boulevard starting at Monterey Road and heading north. The theme is “It’s a Green Christmas” and prizes will be awarded for the best illustration of the theme. The colorful parade is filled with sparkling lights and beautiful floats that will enchant viewers, 7-9 p.m. 286.1844
• Guild on the Go Singers: Puttin’ on the Ritz – Vero Beach Theatre Guild, 7:30 p.m. 562.8300
• Star of Wonder – Hallstrom Planetarium, 6 and 7:30 p.m. Indian River State College, 462.4750
• Celtic Angels – Emerson Center, Vero Beach – Here from Ireland with contemporary and traditional Irish music and song. 3 and 7 p.m. 234.4412
Things to buy and do
You won’t have to travel far for holiday gifts this season. Treasure Coast businesses and organizations offer some of these unique gifts and ideas.
Vintage Chic Dining
Steeped in early Stuart history, Café Martier at the Post Office Arcade has been restored to its original grandeur and now boasts an eclectic fine dining menu with Prohibition-era cocktails served in the original speakeasy bar.
The Post Office Arcade opened in 1925 to attract new business from travelers taking Henry Flagler’s railroad to Stuart. It was billed as “the most modern grand post office in America” and introduced the first 24-hour post office boxes in the country, says Café Martier co-owner Lisa Councilman, who loves to retell the history of the building and the 1920s era in Stuart.
Smokin' Hot Turkey
Thanksgiving is once again upon us — a time for family and friends to gather and give thanks for the many blessings throughout the year. And while many look forward to a Rockwellian event replete with mountains of scrumptious fare, most home chefs can attest to at least a few stories of Thanksgiving disasters.
Along with the plethora of side dishes and desserts to orchestrate, there’s the perennial question of how to cook the perfect turkey. In the days leading up to the big day, the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line keeps a-buzzing with burning questions from concerned cooks. How does one avoid the breast meat ending up as dry as a bone while the dark meat remains raw? Will salmonella be the star of the show rather than the turkey?
After seeing it for the first time, world traveler and nature-lover Diane Wynne knew she wanted to buy the Mediterranean Revival-style home with a rich history and sweeping views of the Indian River in Fort Pierce.
One of three 1920s mansions built over six years on 2.5-acre lots on Indian River Drive, the home is preserved in the historic style of the era’s competing architects in the high-end South Florida market, including Addison Mizner and Marion Sims Wyeth.
The Beat Goes On
There is nothing like the sound of 50 to 100 professional musicians playing in perfect harmony. The melodic songs of the strings and the mystical tones of the woodwinds contrast with the resonant brass and powerful percussions, yet their movement and tempos stir emotions from deep within the soul. The Brevard Symphony Orchestra has been performing live symphonic music that leaves the audience breathless for more than 65 years.
It all started in 1954 when accompaniment was needed for a performance of The Mikado, which was being presented by the Northrop Glee Club. Thirteen musicians gathered for the performance and decided to remain together, calling themselves the Brevard Light Concert Orchestra. Concerts were held regularly over the next several years, and a decade later the Brevard Symphony Orchestra (BSO) was incorporated as a nonprofit organization. The BSO grew exponentially over the next 20 years and in 1987 was designated the “orchestra-in-residence” for the new Brevard Performing Arts Center now known as the King Center for the Performing Arts.
The Curtain Calls
Once again Treasure Coast theater-goers can expect a blockbuster season with shows that can transport them to a different place — one where the internet, the phone, the worries don’t intrude.
Shows can be magical. They can make you laugh, inspire you, walk you down memory lane, teach you things you never knew and sometimes make you wish you could see the whole thing twice.
Grab the calendar and start filling in the blanks with festivals and special events around the Treasure Coast. They are a great way to relax and have some fun, enjoy the fresh air, meet some new people and get away from it all. Almost everything is family-friendly so you can bring the kids for an unforgettable good time.
Not every festival or special event is on this list but you’ll find many of them below. If you’re looking for holiday events in December, see the Holiday Datebook.
A vibrant and creative downtown
Main Street America programs throughout the country have painted their blighted downtown districts with murals, but few have elevated their artwork to the degree of the Eau Gallie Arts District. The provocative murals and sculptures have created a genuine outdoor art museum. More than 30 thought-provoking murals grace the sides of historic buildings housing eclectic shops, art galleries and restaurants. The revitalized arts district, quaintly nestled within the live oak-lined streets, has breathed new life into the authentic original neighborhood of Eau Gallie established in 1860.
The CRITTER RESCUER
Gary Brady’s executive office is a cramped corner of an overflowing herpetarium-aquarium building. He is comfortable seated in his worn leather chair at his desk wedged between massive saltwater aquariums teeming with colorful tropical fish and temperature-controlled herpetariums accommodating exotic reptiles’ special needs for light and heat.
The MUSEUM KEEPER
When LaVaine Wrigley walked into the original Elliott Museum in the summer of 1996, she was looking for a volunteer position to keep her busy for a couple of days a week. As a 70-year-old with secretarial experience, she wasn’t quite ready to retire. So she inquired to find meaningful work.
The GUITAR MAKER
Many people find themselves lounging on the couch after a long workday, but then there’s boatbuilder Jeff Warner, who spends his free time building guitars and ukuleles. A “mad scientist” of sorts, Warner was always taking toys apart and tinkering with things from a very young age. His father fostered his interest in mechanics and restoration.
Former Fort Pierce woman joins global voyage to fight plastic pollution
Growing up on Hutchinson Island with the Indian River as a playground, Rikki Grober Eriksen relished long sails with her father, the late and loved orthopeadic surgeon Ron Grober, and developed a love of all things marine.
Little wonder that she became a marine scientist, earning her phD and going on to hold her current position of marine ecologist at the California Marine Sanctuary Foundation. And next week she will embark on a leg of a journey, leaving the Azores Oct. 27 and arriving in Antigua Nov. 18, that is taking women on a voyage around the world to raise awareness of plastic pollution and its effect women’s health.
It’s a remarkable journey for a woman who, as a Florida State University student at age 19,survived a kidnapping ordeal in Tallahassee in early 1984 at the hands of Chris Wilder, who was known as the Beauty Queen Killer and was successful at killing at least eight women.
Insect released at Adams Ranch will target Brazilian peppertree
Mike Adams spends $250,000 every year to manage Brazilian peppertrees spread over the family’s 40,000 acres of ranches in Osceola and St. Lucie counties, where his family has developed the Braford breed of cattle. Adams, whose family ranch was founded in 1937, recounts years when the invasive tree from South America overtook natural areas on the ranches, pushing out pasture and grasslands.
War on the river
There was a time when bridge tenders weren’t just maintaining the safe passage of water and vehicle traffic. Other voluntary duties came in handy when World War II broke out.
Janet Walker Anderson and others who lived in the drawbridge houses in Indian River County knew what they did to help was more than just giving access across the river. Allowing people across was an important way to help keep the lines of communication open between the mainland and the barrier island.
For people who are homeless in the tri-county area, there are a variety of places to receive immediate care for their physical and mental well-being. Non-profit organizations with hundreds of volunteers support efforts to provide medical treatment, mental health counseling and services that include meals, clothing and rides to doctors’ appointments.
Cancer. The word alone sends chills up and down the spine. Images of sitting in a room for hours at a time, worrying about the outcome, run through the mind. It’s part of the treatment process, but it doesn’t have to be as miserable as some think. What if one could pass that time by creating a work of art or by listening to some cool jazz? It might just make the treatment a little more tolerable.
Chrysanthemum Ball raises life-saving funds for a quarter century
The Chrysanthemum Ball, or the Mum Ball as locals call it, is one of the premier fundraising events that kicks off the social season in Martin County. Attendees come dressed to the nines at the black tie affair, anticipating a top-notch soirée. And they’re never disappointed. For 25 years, the ball has been held at numerous venues, including elegant waterfront estates. Many events feature a special theme — stunning themes like Cirque du Soleil, Night in Spain, Pulse of the Future — leaving guests feeling surprised, wowed and delighted. And for all of their fun, patrons have raised millions of dollars to provide top quality medical services at Cleveland Clinic Martin Health, formerly known as Martin Memorial.
Indian River Magazine took home two top statewide awards during the annual Florida Magazine Association’s Charlie Awards banquet held Friday at the Vinoy Resort in St. Petersburg.
The magazine won a Charlie Award for general excellence in the best custom publication division for Vero at 100, a 128-page special edition on the history of Vero Beach from prehistoric times to today. The magazine was produced as part of the celebration of Vero Beach’s 100th anniversary as a city and in conjunction with the Vero Beach Centennial Committee.
Treasure Coast Business a quarterly magazine serving St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River and Okeechobee counties, has begun publication, with the inaugural issue arriving this week.
The magazine was launched under a unique partnership between Indian River Magazine Inc. and the Florida Small Business Development Center at Indian River State College.
Beacon of romance
In Martin County, there is a historic, scenic, coastal setting that has been a beacon to lovers for more than a hundred years. Situated on a bluff of strikingly picturesque rocks at the southerly end of Hutchinson Island, the Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge looks out over a vast expanse of aquamarine water that melts into the horizon. A soothing rhythm of white-foamed waves splashing is heard on the rocky coast, while a cool sea breeze calms the senses.
When pirates scoured the Treasure Coast
One man. One crew. One ship can take on the entire British Empire without a hiccough or regret. However grandiose Bellamy’s assertion may sound today, it was not without sincerity.
Engaging as their legends are, the true story of the pirates of the Treasure Coast was even more captivating; it is a long-lost tale of tyranny and resistance, a maritime revolt on the seas. The foundation of the British Empire was shaken by these rogues.
Nothing exemplifies ultimate luxury like the mega yachts that quietly make their way up and down the Florida coast and occasionally take harbor in coves from Key West to Jacksonville. These beautiful ships may spend months crisscrossing the oceans, but eventually they must come to port.
The MARINE ADVOCATE
Like father like daughter, April Price is a second-generation advocate for marine interests in Florida. She helps with the improvement and preservation of the waterways in the tri-county area.
The DOLPHIN RESEARCHER
For Nicole Mader, going to her job hardly seems like work. It’s almost a mini-vacation. As a volunteer field biologist with the Dolphin Ecology Project, she studies and monitors Atlantic bottlenose dolphins in the southern part of the Indian River Lagoon down to Jupiter Inlet.
Lin Reading, a 20-year survivor of breast cancer and melanoma, co-founded a cancer support organization in Indian River County called Friends After Diagnosis that, among other things, offers survivors an introduction to the sport of crew rowing to help women with cancer regain their strength.
Late in the afternoon, sandhill cranes land in the shallow water of a sand pond to roost for the night. Later, ducks, ibises, wood storks and herrings will join them. The middle bird is a young crane almost ready to leave his parents. They have been in the fields all day hunting for insects, seeds, small mammals and small snakes. They are busy preening their feathers; most birds do this twice a day. The water protects them from predators at night.
Shakespeare may have written that “all the world’s a stage,” but at Hazel House, to stage is the business at hand and it’s done with precision, not simply As You Like It.
An airborne missionary unit connects Florida with the Caribbean, ministering and bringing lifesaving provisions to people in poverty-stricken areas. Missionary Flights International is one of 32 businesses operating out of Treasure Coast International Airport and Business Park, off St. Lucie Boulevard in northern St. Lucie County.
Just one tiny pebble will cause a wave along the shore. The hope for the new Treasure Coast Technical College, located in the heart of Gifford, is that those who take advantage of its programs will be on that wave to their future.
Hundreds of students have gone through its doors since it opened in 2018. Although the effect on the local economy is yet to be seen, the expectation is that it will have a noticeable impact.
'Our Soldier Boy’ of World War I'
The name Stephen N. Gladwin was a familiar one to me growing up in Fort Pierce. I first saw the name etched in the World War I memorial monument on the grounds of the St. Lucie County Courthouse, undoubtedly after seeing a movie at the Sunrise Theatre across the street.
Saving history one page at a time
When I was a rookie reporter at the Fort Pierce News-Tribune back in the late 1970s, I wore a variety of hats (but never a green eye-shade like you see in the old movies). As the youngest and least-tenured reporter on the staff, I was thrown a variety of assignments the senior reporters were able to avoid. Most of these involved putting together items that had templates so they could be easily or quickly written. In other words, things that didn’t require much writing talent.
Country star comes home
Jake Owen searches the world for country music talent, participates in at least a dozen charity events every year and just raised more than $1.5 million for the Jake Owen Charity Foundation to help children. And that’s just his side job.
Best of the Treasure Coast
Readers choose their favorites. From Best Restaurant to Best Places to Work, Indian River Magazine and its readers reveal the best the Treasure Coast has to offer for 2019.
Chef Matt Piscitelli was having a really good day.
He opened the door of Sunshine Kitchen and there in front of him stood 4,600 square feet of gleaming new commercial kitchen space waiting for its first use. Behind him were years of making do, from renting kitchen space in restaurants to cooking in clients’ kitchens as he pursued his passion for catering.
The brightest receive recognition
A distinct group of business leaders stand out from the rest on the Treasure Coast. They have made a big economic impact, showing that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in our region.
Institute boosts economic activity
Step into the Dan K. Richardson Entrepreneur Development Institute (EDI) at Indian River State College and you will discover a hotbed of economic activity on the Treasure Coast.
Many people know Jose Ubilla as the owner of Real Stone & Granite Corp., one of the largest stone businesses on the Treasure Coast.
African-American writer Zora Neale Hurston, who achieved prominence during the Harlem Renaissance by penning such classics as Their Eyes Were Watching God, left behind an unpublished manuscript when she died penniless in Fort Pierce in 1960.
All Aboard Florida’s high-speed train
When All Aboard Florida, a subsidiary of Florida East Coast Industries, revealed plans for high-speed passenger train service from Miami to Orlando, opponents raised many concerns. Now that its trains are on track, literally, the Treasure Coast hopes to convince the company to add a stop closer to home. Both Fort Pierce and Stuart have submitted proposals. The trains will be zipping their way through Treasure Coast counties regardless, but adding a stop is certain to positively impact whichever city is selected.
Treasure Coast History
We Hardly Knew Ye
As Vero Beach prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2019, no one figure stands taller in the city’s history than Waldo Sexton. He is Vero Beach’s most iconic figure celebrated and written about more than any other.