Red White & BOOM! is a Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral event no more.
Unable to secure a sponsor willing to commit $50,000 per year for the next three years to absorb the infrastructure costs necessary to make the July 4th street party possible, the chamber's board has been forced to strike the city's largest single-day event from its business plan for 2014.
It's a sad day for Cape Coral, indeed.
We thank the Chamber and its army of volunteers for a 20-plus year effort that has been nothing short of a smash success. Its efforts spearheaded a volunteer/business community/city partnership that built BOOM! into the biggest and best Independence Day event in Southwest Florida, drawing in excess of 20,000 people each year to the foot of the Cape Coral Bridge.
We thank, as well, the donors and sponsors who have not only made the event possible, but kept it free. That, of course, absolutely includes the "title" sponsors over the years. Without the generous contributions of business such as Re/Max Realty Team, LCEC, the Lee Memorial Health System and Century 21 Sunbelt, this celebration would have stumbled years ago, a victim of its own success, which has added substantially to costs for things like fencing, tents, restroom facilities and other required "infrastructure" that underpins large public events.
The Chamber notified the city Wednesday and, according to Chamber President Mike Quaintance, staff within the city's Parks and Recreation Department will look to prepare a numbers-driven business plan for possible council consideration.
This is both good news and a good plan.
Although the clock is ticking and planning time is decidedly short, the city's current involvement - providing security, public safety assistance and funding the fireworks - and event-planning expertise provides a foundation upon which to consider adding Red White & BOOM! to the Cape's impressive queue of city-organized events.
At minimum, it's worth careful consideration and we urge council to vet the possibility ASAP.
- Breeze editorial