We had a major celebration on July 4th with three bands, three food trucks, three security guards, and one stage.
Which is kind of a miracle given that Elsa was chugging towards us and rain in July is not exactly uncommon around here. But skies cleared the day before and we had sunshine all day long allowing a nice mix of folks from the neighborhood, the broader community via our online promotions, and friends old and new.
It was hot though with temps in the 90’s and a cloudless sky for most of the afternoon. Which meant our performers were baking in the sun, but they all performed with great energy on the stage on St. Luke’s lawn with a sound system that Frank the soundman made sound awesome! The performances by Pangea, PJ Aviles, and The Real Deal Band were all top notch as we knew they would be. Fortunately for the rest of us shade was plentiful under the trees and by the time Pangea went on around 6:30 the temps had dipped a bit and the full promise of the event showed itself with folks gathering from the community to see what was going on.
There was also melancholy in the atmosphere as we remembered the Surfside tragedy unfolding as we went with our flags at half-staff. This also meant speaker(s) bowed out, which we understood. We had rethought whether we were going to move forward at all given the circumstances but decided to move ahead as we felt this July 4th in particular needed to be celebrated given the year we all just lived through.
This was the first attempt at an event like this at St. Luke’s and while we were sure we would pull it off we had our share of issues. Like where the stage would go exactly, how long it would take to set up and get going given that we didn’t want to interrupt morning services, where the food trucks should park, how many security guards were needed, how many portable toilets, etc.
It was a great way to kick off our fundraising effort for So Flo Guns (SoFloGuns.com) which begins in earnest next week. I am still struck that another Miami mass shooting happened less than two miles from our office at St. Luke’s in Kendall just weeks ago. (Deadly mass shooting near Miami area college campus | Miami Herald) This continues to be a poignant reminder that the issues our documentary addresses affect all of us. None of us are immune to these risks in our midst. Our events going forward will focus on gun violence and 2nd Amendment issues – with elements from the film’s musicians, music, experts, and footage to forge engaging events.
So Flo Guns is the new feature documentary from TheoEco about guns in South Florida past, present, and the future. From Ponce De Leon’s arrival on Key Biscayne in 1513, to pirates in the Keys, throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, to Seminoles and Soldiers in the 1800s, to gangsters in the early 1900s, to the Cocaine Cowboys, to Parkland, we have a long and tangled relationship with guns, and their evolving lethalness.
For this event we departed from the So Flo Guns theme. July 4th is meant to be celebrated as those that came can attest given all the dancing going on. Thanks very much to Ariel Eva, Dorian Reyes, Raymond Daniel, Pangea, The Real Deal Band, Jim Cribb, Lyle Lingle, the food trucks, Eddie Baez at Professional Security, Moe’s Rental, the Ladies of St. Luke’s, and all the rest.
And if you haven’t yet donated we would greatly appreciate any size donation to help defray our costs of the event. We have extended the date to July 31st and have so far raised about $1,500 of our $6,800 breakeven goal. To donate click here.