Daytona Beach, FL – Shriners from around the world will converge on Daytona Beach from July 14 to 19 as they attend the Shriners International 2018 Imperial Session at the Ocean Center, 101 N. Atlantic Ave.
Most people know the Shriners by the funny hats they wear, the tiny cars they drive, and the big cigars they smoke. These attention getters show the social side of Shriners International, which has a very serious mission.
The group owns and operates Shriners Hospitals for Children, a network of 22 nonprofit medical facilities and one of the largest charitable organizations in the United States.
When members gather at meetings and conventions, you could say they have “fun with a purpose.”
“Shriners really know how to have fun while we raise awareness and funds to benefit causes that change people’s lives,” said Gary Bergenske, an Orlando businessman and the Shriners’ Imperial Potentate. “We invite the public to join us at our awesome night parade and the Oakridge Boys concert. On our charitable side, the ‘Walk, Ride or Drive for Love’ at the Speedway is a great way for Volusia County locals to join us for fun while we raise money for Shriners Hospitals.”
Locals are invited to join the fun-loving group during these public events and fundraisers:
● Shriners Marketplace: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 14 to 18. The marketplace inside the Ocean Center will feature hundreds of vendors selling Shriner keepsakes as well as apparel, food, jewelry and other items. Admission is free.
● Shriners Golf Tournament: 8 a.m. Sunday, July 15. Join the Shriners for a scramble-style golf tournament at LPGA International, 1000 Champions Drive, Daytona Beach. Registration begins at 7 a.m. with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. The $75 fee includes greens and cart fees and a buffet lunch.
● Shriners Walk, Ride or Drive for Love: 9 to 11 a.m. Sunday, July 15. This fundraiser at Daytona International Speedway will benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children, which recently played a key role in assisting Guatemalan children burnt in the volcano disaster. Participants can walk through the UNOH Fan Zone, garage area and victory lane; or ride their motorcycle or car around the most famous track in racing. Participants are asked to make a $25 donation; there is no charge for spectators. Registration begins at 7 a.m., and the walk starts at 9 a.m. Click here for more information.
● Shriners Church Service: 1 p.m. Sunday, July 15. Join the Shriners for a nondenominational service at Peabody Auditorium, 600 Auditorium Blvd., Daytona Beach. Kechi, the Shriners Hospitals for Children patient who made it to the finals of “America’s Got Talent,” will sing.
● Motorcycle Ride: 8:30 a.m. to noon Monday, July 16. This is a police-escorted ride and after-party starting and ending on Main Street in Daytona Beach. It includes a visit to Destination Daytona. On-site registration will be from 9 to 10 a.m., with kickstands up at 10:30 a.m. Registration is $25 in advance or $30 on July 16. Click here to register.
● Smoking Fezzes Smoke-out: 2 to 9 p.m. Monday, July 16. This event will feature entertainment, food and libations at the Bandshell. Admission is $53.25 per person. Click here to register.
● Shriners Parade and Fireworks: 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 17. Watch the festive parade along A1A from Sun Splash Park to the Ocean Center. For the first time in the Shriners history, the parade will include a Grand Marshall and the participation of local community organizations. Daytona Beach Shores Mayor Harry Jennings will be the Grand Marshall and invited first responders and other local groups will also participate in the parade. Fireworks will follow at the Bandshell. Admission is free.
● Oak Ridge Boys concert: 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 18. The Grammy-winning foursome will perform in the Ocean Center arena. General admission tickets are available for $27 per person, which is less than half of a regular admission ticket to see them perform at another venue. Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here.
For more information about the Imperial Session, click here.
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