Cape Coral City Council will consider on Monday a staff recommendation that the city organize one of the Cape's most popular events, Red, White & BOOM!
According to a memo prepared by Parks and Recreation Director Steven Pohlman and Financial Services Director Vicki Bateman, the Special Events Division can produce the Independence Day event, previously put on jointly by the city and the Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral, with no additional tax dollars spent.
The city, which last year budgeted $30,000 for public safety and $20,000 for the fireworks, believes it can cull the additional money needed - an estimated $59,300 - from food vendors, beverage concessions and "tradeouts" for other services required.
Staff also believes it can rely on volunteer help, including support from the Chamber, which organized the event for more than 15 years before escalating costs and lack of a title sponsor commitment caused the group to drop the event from its business plan.
If the staff analysis is on target -and we have little doubt that it is - we strongly urge council to approve the recommendation and let the special events team get on with the herculean task of organization.
That includes securing vendors, bands, insurance, volunteers and more - including sponsors.
That's where those of us in the business community can step forward.
While the inability to secure a three-year title commitment of $50,000 per year was a deal breaker for the chamber, the city could well find success in securing smaller sponsorships without the long-term obligation.
There's some good opportunity here for both the city and those who would like to be part of a high-profile celebration that typically draws as many as 30,000 attendees from across Southwest Florida.
We, like staff, think the money will fall in place.
Grill staff on their numbers and, if they remain solid, give this project a unanimous nod.
No celebration says Cape Coral quite like Red, White & BOOM!
Under city direction, it will no doubt hold its position as the premier Fourth of July celebration in Lee County and THE place for local families to spend the holiday.
- Breeze editorial