Punta Gorda Chamber Guide 2022

Punta Gorda Chamber Guide 2022

2022 Members and Visitors Guide for the Punta Gorda Area

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Page 103 of 143

Page 104 2022 Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce Members & Visitors Guide F orget the party favor noise makers. When New Year's Eve rolls around in Southwest Florida, people have a very different way of calling in the New Year. In fact, in Punta Gorda, it's a tradition to go to Gilchrist Park on the harbor and blow a conch shell horn. In many parts of Florida, sounding the conch shell horn (blowing the conch) calls attention to an important event or celebration To blow a conch horn — and actually get a sound — you must take a deep breath, pucker your mouth, hold your lips tightly together and blow, much as you would with a trumpet. According to www. blowtheconch.com, the tradi- tion of blowing a conch horn goes back to ancient Peru. The Greek god Triton, it is said, blew the conch to control the waves of the oceans, and Portuguese sailors translated the original Sanskrit word "shankha" in describing the shell to the word "Concha," which the English explorers changed to "conch." The sound of a conch horn has been utilized for many rituals, including battle cries, calls to prayer and marriage blessings. In the Caribbean and Key West, there has long been a tradition of blowing the conch horn as the sun dips into the ocean. The belief is that it brings good fortune. Our local yachtsmen in Charlotte County, as well as some residents, regularly practice this age-old tradition. The tradition of blowing conch shells Sun file photos Nancy Quillen practices with her conch shell horn, at the annual New Year's Eve Sunset Conch Horn Blow at Gilchrist Park in Punta Gorda. Patty Eaton practices with her Conch shell horn.

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