It was a beautiful sunny day, just cool enough for comfort. As we boarded the bus to Clewiston you could feel everyone’s enthusiasm about what a happy, good day this would be. The ride both ways was a fun-filled party. We had snacks including muffins, cookies, fruit, etc., games, and the musical movie “Chicago”.
Bobby, our tour guide, greeted us when we arrived and the best was yet to come. The Clewiston Museum was the former City Hall built in 1928. It featured an exceptional record of the early days and reminded me of old Florida. We watched a short interesting film and had time to visit the gift shop and of course browse.
The Clewiston Inn built in 1938 was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places. It’s restored without losing it beauty and charm. The dining room was ready for us when we arrived. It was a welcoming setting and a perfect place for lunch. After dessert and coffee and a little socializing we once again boarded our bus for a wonderful informative tour.
There was so much to see and so much to learn. We had a close up view of sugarcane harvesting operations. We went to the U.S. Sugar Corporation Mills in Clewiston where they process nearly 45,000 tons of sugarcane per day, producing 700,000 tons of sugar per year.
In addition, they own Southern Gardens Citrus, one of the largest orange juice suppliers in North America. They process more than 100 million gallons of not-fromconcentrate (NFC) orange juice yearly. First opened in 1994 they process up to 20 million boxes of oranges in a season, producing more than 100 million gallons of NFC annually.
The tour was detailed where we could see and we had an expert guide to tell us about each step both at Sugarland and Southern Gardens Citrus. We drove along the waterfront, saw the park and scenic trail. There was something for everyone to enjoy, including the beautiful residential areas. We saw “The Captain Deane Duff House.” His impressive French Normandy Revival residence is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. We saw the schools and learned a little about government in this city whose population is less than half of Sunny Isles Beach.
My thanks to Sunny Isles Beach Mayor and Commission, Susan Simpson and Carrie Martinez of the Cultural and Human Services Department, and to my colleague Chairman Dennis Stubbolo for making this “Vacation Day” possible.
Join us for our next trip, The Schnebly Winery Tour on Thursday, February 16th. Purchase tickets at Pelican Park or Sunny Isles Beach Government Center. For information call Roz Brezin 305-949- 1522.