When the clock starts ticking down the final seconds of 2011, chances are many will be watching another year slip past at Cape Harbour.
For six straight years, Cape Harbour has become the place to be to ring in the New Year and 2012 will be no different.
Featuring a "gala" midnight fireworks display and a ball drop from 170 feet, thousands of people are expected to Cape Harbour on Saturday.
Glenda Swager from Realmark Realty, event sponsors, said people in the Cape are proud to have a big time New Year's Eve event to call their own.
"I feel they like that it's local," Swager said of the event's popularity. "They like keeping it in the Cape, in their backyard, so they don't have to travel."
The event began more than a half decade ago when Cape Harbour developer Will Stout decided Cape Coral needed its own signature celebration.
The waterfront development regularly hosts popular events that cater to a wide range of interests; whether it's the Tour De Cape, weekly farmer's markets or other special events, Cape Harbour is a natural draw for many.
But their New Year's Eve Celebration is another animal entirely, so popular, in part, because it's free and open to the public.
Live music, fireworks and a stellar ball drop are all offered at no charge. Swager said that was the focus of Will Stout's mission, to offer free fun for families and people of all ages.
"There's a lot of negativity in the world right now and this is a chance for people to come out and just enjoy themselves," Swager said. "Mr. Stout has never asked for any money for these events. He just wants families to have fun."
Live entertainment has been a staple at Cape Harbour's New Year's Eve Celebration and this year is no different.
Local favorite "PUSH" is the featured act this year and their set begins at 8 p.m. PUSH has performed as special guests of national bands this year such as, Foghat, Eve 6, Gin Blossoms, and Tonic, according to their press release.
Of course, the center piece every year is the fireworks and ball drop. This year, the ball is dropping 170 feet to the ground, from atop the residential towers. In previous years, it was dropped from half that distance.
"We keep trying to improve, to make it more exciting," Swager said.
Revelers are invited to come early to the event and enjoy Cape Harbour's dining options.
Unfortunately, Rumrunners is already filled for New Year's Eve but is open New Year's Day.
The Joint will feature drinks and party favors with a tasty menu, while Cafe Pignoli will serve a special, all inclusive menu accompanied by live music from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Another feature at Cape Harbour is the many shops, boutiques and galleries, which will remain open during the event.
Swager said those shops look forward to showcasing their wares at during the party because of the exposure it affords them. They not only catch the attention of Cape Coral and Lee County residents, but the many visitors from out of state who come to check out all the festivities.
Organizing the event is part of Swager's enjoyment, she said. It allows her to make a positive impact on the community while enjoying the holiday.
"I love coordinating and putting it all together," she said. "There's an adrenaline rush before the event. I'm excited two days before."
Swager is likely not alone. As the featured New Year's Eve event in Cape Coral, Cape Harbour will be the place to be on Dec. 31, when thousands band together to say goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012.
"New Year's Eve is the best time because everyone is looking forward to the New Year," Swager added. "It's a great time for everyone to come together."
For more information about the event, go to capeharbour.com and click "Events", or call Cape Harbour at 945-6116.