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On May 7, 1986, 50 people were present at the first meeting of The Village Civic Association. They decided to christen themselves the Longbeach Village Association as a nod to the old village of Longbeach’s post office, which stood within their neighborhood.
Longbeach Village has grown gently in the almost 30 years since. To date, there are about 155 regis- tered members of the Village Association - and not all of these members actually live in the Village. Re- flective of the place’s welcoming spirit, anyone who has an interest is invited to join. With regular pot- luck dinners and holiday-themed parties, this group both lives and socializes together. The residents also make the most of each other’s talents and have formed conversational French groups, a play group for dogs, and gather for regular softball games.
Privacy is also respected in the Village, so there are plenty of places to revel in the peace and quiet. The beach is a soothing spot to stroll, sun or read.
Longboat Village is a haven for a colorful me- nagerie of creatures. Besides regal peacocks, there are ibis, wild parrots, egrets and tortoises. How the
peacocks actually made their way to the Village is a mystery and the basis of several vivid stories. Some believe the peacocks were gifts from a few town commissioners, while others swear the birds were liberated from cages and somehow made their way to the Village. Over the years, the peacocks have propagated into a spirited flock who love to flaunt their vibrant plumage and strut
up and down the streets, never turning down a photo op. d
Historic L LongbeachVillage
ongbeach Village has a different vibe than the rest of the Key. The pace is slower, the aura slightly magical. A peacock could stroll by at any given moment or your neighbor might invite you for an impromptu barbecue. There’s still the feeling of a laid-back fishing village here.
To reach Longbeach Village, simply turn onto Broadway off Gulf of Mexico Drive. Hidden away on the north end of Longboat Key is historic Long- beach Village. In its earliest days, it was a transient fishing enclave but most recently, it’s attracting year- round residents who treasure its slower pace and down-home charm.
Longbeach Village’s draw is not only its old-world ties to the Key and to Florida in general, but also its unique footprint and vibrant energy. Houses that date back to the 1920s blend harmoniously with new, more contemporary structures.
Driving down Broadway, Longbeach Village’s main “strip,” the water and docks beckon at the oth- er end. Circling Bay Drive, might reveal a kayaker or a fisherman laying anchor with a fresh catch for nearby restaurants. It exudes a relaxed, easygoing feel that’s contagious. Just across the road, the Gulf of Mexico kisses the sands of Whitney Beach. d
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