July 7th, 2014 6:49 AM by Tammy Vaughn
Bobble Fest is another way to describe the continuing tradition of 23 years... The Charlotte Harbor Freedom Swim. For those who don't live in Charlotte County, in the areas of Punta Gorda, and Port Charlotte .. yet.. you would probably just think everyone who lives here is a little bit nuts on Independence Day. For a small town though, Punta Gorda has got some serious Spirit! The story goes, 23+ years ago, local Attorney Michael Haymans and some buddies decided to take the plunge, and swim the Charlotte Harbor on Independence Day. Rumor has it, the swim was swum Au Natural.. or Free-style by the Attorney, and ever since has been called the Charlotte Harbor Freedom Swim. All ages of children and adults, meet on the Northern side of the Bridge with Noodles, Rafts, Canoes, Kayaks, SUP boards, and any other potential water craft that will make it from side A to side B. Mostly everyone is dressed in some sort of red, white and blue, from speedos to- one guy sported a Captain America suit on a Sup board this year.
Over the past couple of years the swim has included about 600 participants, of which about 300 actually swim. I also swam across the Charlotte Harbor this year, with my husband, and Real Estate partner, Chuck, as my spotter in a kayak along side. The distance is 1.6 miles, straight across from Charlotte Harbor Northern side of the bridge to Fishermens Village on the Punta Gorda side. To me, this event, gives me such a feeling of Pride, pride in myself for swimming across a pretty large body of water, but also pride in my hometown of Punta Gorda, and pride in the residents, who make the event so fun. When I made it to the other side, at Fishermens Village, to see all of the smiling, happy faces, music playing, people laughing, and just pure happiness all around.. that's what it's all about! That is why, I love, love, love Punta Gorda! Did I mention.. I love Punta Gorda! So, maybe next year, I'll see you all there !
To take a look at a few pictures of the event, and other events, communities in the area, go to my website www.TheVaughnTeamSells.com click on tab to left 'Pictures of Area Attractions'