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Coconut Festival next weekend at Sun Splash

November 8, 2009
By MEGHAN McCOY, mmccoy@breezenewspapers.com

The 5th annual Coconut Festival will be held at Sun Splash Family Waterpark Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 13-15.

"As a city, we are excited to celebrate CocoFest 2009," city of Cape Coral Special Events Coordinator Todd King said.

The festival will feature a full carnival, festival foods, live bands, street entertainers, carnival games, contests, children's crafts, community entertainment and fireworks.

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Paul Easton of Talent Ventures Inc. and Squire Management Group Inc. was the coordinator of the entertainment for the festival this year. He said he has been providing the entertainment for the Coconut Festival since it started five years ago.

He has worked with the city for more than 20 years providing musical acts for various festivities and events that have been held here in Cape Coral.

This year he said he had the pleasure of booking Molly Hatchet, James Otto and the Guns N Roses Tribute Band for the event.

Every year Easton and the city of Cape Coral come up with a list of available artist within the budget range for the festival. From there he said King circulates the information around and then a joint decision is made of who will be pursued for the entertainment, along with which band will headline the show.

The weekend event will kick off with CoCo Country Night on Friday with Cape Coral city employee Suzan Lopez singing the national anthem. Cat Country 107.1 will then announce its contest winners at 5:30 p.m.

Casey Weston, a singer-songwriter who lives in Naples, Fla., will take the stage at 6:30 p.m. She recently recorded her self-titled album Casey Weston, which features both her songwriting and vocal talents.

Easton said that Weston played at the Coconut Festival last year after the Cat Country showdown. He said the singer impressed everyone so much that she was asked to come back this year to play for those who attend the event.

The Bombshel will begin its performance Friday at 7:30 p.m. The country woman duo engaged the country scene with their song "Fight Like a Girl" several years ago.

After fireworks light up the sky at 9 p.m., national country star James Otto will begin his performance at 9:15.

His new single, "Since You Brought It Up," is on his CD, which is due out this fall. Otto's first single, "Just Got Started Lovin' You," was the most played single of 2008 at country radio and Billboards No. 1 Hot Country Song of 2008.

King said, "We are really excited to have him" because he is up for some awards at the Country Music Awards prior to the event.

Easton said that Otto is a rising star, "which is a nice addition to the festival." He said that Bombshel will be "making some noise" too.

"The two bands have played together before," he said.

The Friday night festivities will conclude at midnight.

The Saturday musical entertainment for CoCo Rock Night, will kick off at 4 p.m. with Retrolight, a teen band.

The New Kings, which is composed of Tag Graves, Stet Howland and Jimmy Cartermembers, will perform at 6:30 p.m.

The Guns N' Roses Tribute Band will perform such hits like "Welcome to the Jungle" and "November Rain" at 7:30 p.m.

"Todd (King) was very anxious to get a tribute band on the bill as well," Easton said.

Molly Hatchet will perform at 9:15 on Saturday following the firework display.

The album, "Flirtin' With Disaster" was released in 1979 began Molly Hatchets' musical journey and many concerts.

Easton said Molly Hatchet is coming out with a new record soon and will be breaking away from the studio just to do a show for Cape Coral at the Coconut Festival.

"They are breaking away from the studio to do this show and then they are off to Europe," he said. "A quick stop on their crazy schedule."

The Saturday night festivities will wrap up at midnight.

The Coco Family event will be held on Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. with local community entertainment on center stage.

King said the Sunday performance will feature Toa Tropical performers for their South Pacific theme, which will take place on the Taco Bell Volcano Stage. Fire and hula dancers will take part in the entertainment.

King said he expects 40,000 people to attend the weekend festivities.

"Come on out and have some fun, the line up is great," Easton said.

"I think the turnout will be good and you can't beat the price," he said. "In this economy I think people are looking for good, affordable entertainment."

He said the city constantly offers great entertainment for a great price that the whole family can enjoy.

"For $5 a head they get a lot of entertainment," Easton said.

Admission for the festival is $5 per day. Children 5 years old and younger will receive free admission.

Advanced tickets are available at any TIB location, City Hall any Parks and Recreation facility or online at www.CocoFest.com. Tickets are $20 a person, which includes a one-day admission plus an all you can ride carnival band. The advanced tickets have to be purchased by Nov. 12.

Free gate entry will be given with the purchase of an advance ride band.

Sun Splash Family Waterpark is located at 400 Santa Barbara Blvd. in Cape Coral. For information, call (239) 573-3125.

 
 

 

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