Embark on a Cruise Along the Jimmy Buffett Memorial Highway with a Cool Margaritaville License Plate!

Embark on a Cruise Along the Jimmy Buffett Memorial Highway with a Cool Margaritaville License Plate!

For half a century, the stages of Florida have echoed with the lyrics, “Strollin’ down the avenue that’s known as A1A,” from Jimmy Buffett’s timeless classic, “Trying to Reason With Hurricane Season.” Now, in a posthumous tribute to the legendary singer-songwriter, the coastal highway A1A might be renamed the Jimmy Buffett Memorial Highway, with the unanimous support of the Florida House behind House Bill 91.

The connection between Buffett and State Highway A1A is profound, as evidenced by his 1974 album “A1A.” If Governor Ron DeSantis signs House Bill 91, this coastal route, stretching from Key West’s Mile Marker 0 to Fernandina Beach near the Georgia border, will forever bear the name of the iconic musician.

House Bill 403 adds another layer to this homage, proposing a Florida specialty license plate featuring the word “Margaritaville.” With unanimous approval, this plate, adorned with “Florida” at the top and “Margaritaville” at the bottom, not only commemorates Buffett’s first Billboard Top 10 single but also supports Singing for Change, one of his cherished charities.

Key West emerges as a pivotal location in Buffett’s musical journey, marking his national breakthrough in the early 1970s. His series of “Key West albums,” from “A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean” to “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” showcased his celebration of Florida’s unique charm.

Even his final studio album, “Equal Strain on All Parts,” completed in Key West in the spring of 2023, further solidifies the city’s significance in his illustrious career.

The origins of Buffett’s iconic song, “Margaritaville,” add a touch of serendipity to the narrative. Penned while stuck in traffic on the Seven Mile Bridge, the lyrics emerged after a fender-bender. The picturesque surroundings and the resulting three-minute song became an enduring testament to Buffett’s ability to capture the essence of Florida in his music.

Embark on a Cruise Along the Jimmy Buffett Memorial Highway with a Cool Margaritaville License Plate!

If House Bill 91 is signed into law, the Jimmy Buffett Memorial Highway would not be limited to A1A alone. It would span across the 13 counties nestled along the route, connecting Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and others to Buffett’s musical legacy.

This legislative tribute, prompted by Rep. Chuck Clemons and Rep. Jim Mooney, both Republicans, signifies the impact Buffett had on the entire state.

The bipartisan support for these bills draws a playful nod to Buffett’s lyrics from “Fins,” emphasizing unity in acknowledging the musician’s cultural significance. Following Buffett’s passing at 76 from a rare form of skin cancer in September, Governor DeSantis ordered flags to fly at half-staff in Key West and Tallahassee.

Buffett, known for leveraging his popularity to campaign for Democrats, left an indelible mark on Florida’s political landscape.

Senator Lauren Book, a Democratic sponsor of the Buffett bill, captures the sentiment perfectly, stating, “As Jimmy once said, ‘It’s a sweet life living by the salty sea,’ and we could not think of a better way to honor him than by memorializing him along Florida’s coastal highway.”

The bill, if enacted, directs Florida’s Department of Transportation to place “suitable markers” by August 30, 2024, designating A1A as the Jimmy Buffett Memorial Highway.

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As Floridians anticipate the Governor’s signature on House Bills 91 and 403, the prospect of cruising this memorial highway with a Margaritaville license plate beckons—an ode to a musician who turned coastal highways into lyrical masterpieces and left an enduring legacy in the Sunshine State.

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