From the Pilgrims’ first courageous footsteps on America’s shore to Neil Armstrong’s first footsteps on the Moon; from the defiant signatures of the Founding Fathers on the Declaration of Independence to the subsequent generations of soldiers who protected, and continue to protect, that freedom; from the invention of the car to the discovery of the atom and the creation of the Internet; from family traditions to baseball and apple pie — the spirit of America is unique.
And, as photographer Brian Blanco discovered, that spirit is well represented here in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Blanco photographed residents who embody the spirit of courage, ingenuity, tradition, youth and family. His poignant pictures grace the pages of our “Spirit of America” special section.
In addition, the winners of The Observer’s first online photo contest “Spirit of America” are featured in this section, along with a few of our favorite entries. Almost 8,000 votes were cast in the contest.
As you commemerate this Fourth of July, be mindful of all those things that have made America great and celebrate — with spirit, of course.
— The Editor
To view the entire "Spirit of America" special section, please click on the following link.
To view all the entries in the "Spirit of America" Photo Contest, click here.
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1 Floridafitfest and 5K Treasure Run
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
8 World Oceans Day Family Festival
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Hat's off to Dee Pelton, volunteers
Dee Pelton held a luncheon that will be tough to top.
Youth sailors descend on City Island
Approximately 250 people hit the water Saturday, April 20 through Sunday, April 21, for Sailfest. The regatta, Sarasota Youth Sailing's biggest fundraiser of the year, included four classes of competition — Optimus, 420, Laser and Multi-hull — and a barbecue feast.
Book club sunsets for the season
The Sunset Beach Book Club, in its 10th year, ended this season with a luncheon and discussion of the book “Gone Girl,” by Gillian Flynn, April 18, at Lazy Lobster. Discussion moderator was Ricki Carroll. Together, the group read five books this season.