Video: Happy Birthday, Florida!

On this day in 1845, Florida became the 27th state of the United States. We want to celebrate this special day the only way we know how, through storytelling. So, we hit the streets of downtown Fort Myers, where tourists, locals and merchants, gather in the heart of the city. We approach individuals from various states, even Canada. Many didn’t know our reason for celebrating this special day, but they expressed a great fondness for Southwest Florida.

We met two young women walking along the river mention “dolphin day” when asked if today has a particularly special meaning. A man sits near Centennial Park, bicycle in hand, passionately naming Fort Myers his city, as he has resided there his entire life. Three women from Montreal contest that Florida is youthful, in comparison to Quebec’s more than 300 years of existence.

From the barbershop owner at Blake’s on First Street, to a local enjoying a walk along the Caloosahatchee River, despite varying backgrounds everyone finds a piece of Southwest Florida they hold close to heart. Through our interactions with the community, we are overcome with a great sense of pride for the state in which we reside. Every rich interaction provides a unique perspective. Whether from near or far, it became clear that Southwest Florida (SWFL) makes a great impact on all who visit it. Today is not just a day to celebrate the state we call home, but also the unique stories and communities that reside within it.

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