Seven years of successfully fundraising, Music On The Bay is your “Live Music Vacation” in Tampa Bay Florida at Whiskey Joe’s Barefoot Beach Bar. The only seven year itch here is they will be doing it again in 2019.
Tampa Bay Parrot Head Club put on the largest event outside of PHIP’s Meeting of the Minds in Key West. TBPHC has more plans in store for next year and the club volunteers are always updating new ideas to throw in the venue. “It’s all about the community coming together for Shriner’s Children Hospital to share in music and the party. We wouldn‘t be here if it was not a good thing. Having great volunteers is very important. There is no I in Team.” explained Mike Peacock. Mike who leads his merry men and women in “Registration” like a modern day Robin Hood, only they take your registration money and hand you a badge to paradise in the name of charity.
Goodie bags are a wonderful incentive to get folks to register by a the cutoff date. TBPHC has an awesome line of sponsors helping to insure a nice goodie bag comes your way. Republic National Distributing (Rep. Coleen Karcher) has been proud to help sponsor a few little bottles of spirits in all the bags for some extra adult cheer. A cozy roll up and carry blanket in place of an event t-shirt was inserted this year.
Raising money for Shriner’s Children’s Hospital is what this goodie bag represented this year coming in a “Blue” all in one plastic handle bag like you get when leaving a hospital. It is the extra little fun touches and thought that go into everything that makes this Event of the Year. Thanks to Terry and Shelia Varvil (members of Sarasota and Tampa Bay PHC) for the savings on the goodie bags so the Children could have more.
Event vendors, Parrot Head Clubs and other private donors generously turn in their “Raffle Baskets” for the 3 day event. These daily “Raffle Basket” drawings bring a lot of money in for the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital. Coordination and team work all come together for the large 3 day raffle team headed up by TBPHC member Sharon Leverett. It’s a new day of collectables, one of a kind items and decorative pieces all going up for raffle daily to encourage your visit to the raffle tent all weekend.
Auctions with donations of guitars and memorabilia were signed by Music on the Bay artists/musicians. A special banner setup by Coleen Karcher near the registration booth was signed by all for Boat Drunks Mike Miller who was unable to attend this years event. This was the only item signed for a purpose as a “Get Well” gift of love by all who attended MOTB 2018. Colleen Karcher said she could not find a card big enough so “I donated a banner”.
Tampa Bay Parrot Club continued another promo primo VIP “Music Never Ends” party for the first 50 registrants that signed up last year for 2018, special guests, Palapa winners and sponsors. It was an epic stage collaboration of Steve Hopper & The Wolf Island Band, Corned Beef & Curry, Rudy Cox and Rich “Schooner” McGuire & Cabana Dogs all making their music harmonize with many other special guests.
This type of fundraiser starts MOTB off with their pre-sales for next years event. Friday morning around 10:30 am TBPHC President Dorothy Bedlins announced the first 50 registrants (incentive program) to fill out their registration form in the event book and turn into registration will be joining the VIP party in 2019. If you missed this chance, the sponsor packages will be up on website soon.
Monkeys for adoption with their own papers has become a staple fundraiser for the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital during a James “Sunny Jim” White stage performance. During the performance the multi-personality sock monkey’s that were adopted out this year raised over a thousand dollars. These adorable sock monkeys are yours to dance with and keep as memento of your donation. The newest line of stuff monkeys that made their debut this year had Music On The Bay 2018 across their chest area and the embroidery was done by Tampa Bay Member Trish Carney. They were a bit larger and deserving of a higher donation with the MOTB 2018 emblem. The monkeys really do have a party during Music on the Bay.
Music on both stages filled the event air with many sounds of Trop Rock. The diversity of instruments on one stage made so many people listen to how a banjo, violin, cow bell and harmonicas can help conform into tropical waves of rhythm.
Jim Asbell and the Tropiholics showcased a 4 piece brass section to carry their trop rock tunes across the bay. Given the chance to mix instruments with artists from different bands is what you will see and hear at MOTB. Bob Banerjee of Cornbeef and Curry showcased his violin talent with a variety of trop rock artists proving a violin fits right into trop rock. Banjos are here to stay in trop rock when you hear Jimmy Maventino’s band (The Parrots) play their signature version of songs by Jimmy Buffett and their originals.
No show like the big show when Jeff Pike and A1A take the stage to fill your Buffett frenzy. Jerry Diaz and Hanna’s Reef brought the Gulf Coast music to the sands of Whiskey Joe’s. “Beach people like beach music” for sure at this event as Jerry performed his famous song. Draw in the crowd with some southern country rock is what Southern Drawl is all about. Bring your boots to the beach with Mike Nash and JD Edge originals kicking it.
It was nice that Mike Nash started the set off with a few of our trop rock favorites like “Just Another Day in Paradise.” Rich “Schooner” Mcguire and Cabana Dogs gave us a taste of the old trop rock with a blend of cover songs to keep us hip on the beach as we danced. With so many memorable artist in the line-up at MOTB it is hard to cover them all. Two stages one venue and over a hundred artists is enough reason to pull up your beach chair and sit at this event for 4 days (dancing is always subject to happen).
Sauce Boss (Bill Wharton) has made his name into the Florida Music Hall of Fame in 2017 and a tag line in the 1999 Jimmy Buffett song “I will play for Gumbo.” Playing for homeless shelters and countless charities Chef Bill Wharton entertains with his Blues/Cajun rock sound while cooking a big silver pot of gumbo for charitable donations. This is a big part of Saturday afternoon at MOTB to help raise the donations needed for the children. A few children with their donations bucket start the line off to your bowl of gumbo.
Every year as more repeat attendees return to this magical moment on the bay, I notice not only dollars going into the buckets, but teddy bears, gifts, colorful beads/Lei’s around the children’s necks. Hugs and thank you play a big part in your donation for gumbo. I have seen grown parrot heads weep as they pass their donation and feel a small hand touch them to say “Thanks.” Charity is a huge part of this event and to see the Children you are giving to just warms your heart and thanks to Chef Bill, your belly too. Don’t forget this also the time when Whiskey Joe’s private stock of Mermaids come out to play.
A contest for hats themed to a Jimmy Buffett song playing and a moment to “Stroll” it off as you walk down the runway to center stage. Parrot Heads love hat contests full of fun and music that help raise money for charity. “Party with a Purpose” it’s the Parrot Head way of life. Atlanta PHC member Beverly Thompson won the hat contest with her oversized boat hat themed “The Big Boat Conky Tonkin.”
Parrot Heads from all over brought their members in great numbers to win the “Parrot Head Club” award for most attendees. Pittsburgh Steel City Fins came in a close 2nd and the PHC of Tidewater Virginia took 3rd. First place “Club” award remains with Parrot Heads of North Carolina 2017 & 2018 winners. What a beautiful way to party with a purpose and win a club award.
Tamp Bay Parrot Head Club brings so much fun and joy together in a truly amazing event. A huge shout to all that make this event a real Parrot Head Party with a Purpose.
Go ahead and get registered for next year’s event, taking place Feb. 27th – March 3rd, 2019. Come early for the TBPHC Meeting on Wednesday, February 26th: Music on the Bay