Get ready Cape Coral - despite rumors of its possible demise, this year's Red White & BOOM! promises all the bells, whistles -and fireworks -that draw thousands to the foot of the Cape Coral Bridge each Fourth of July.
Despite some changes on the organizational side and a reconfigured layout that promises to be more "user friendly," the event will again feature live entertainment, plenty of food and drink vendors, the popular kids area and, of course, the biggest and best fireworks display in Southwest Florida.
All of this is thanks to the city of Cape Coral - which absorbed all the organizational responsibility after the Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce stepped aside due to lack of a major sponsor - and the numerous "smaller" sponsors who stepped forward to make the annual street possible once again.
And admission is still free!
BOOM! will run from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. along Cape Coral Parkway from Del Prado Boulevard to the bridge, which will be closed from 6 a.m. today to 3 a.m. July 5. Fireworks are set for 9:30 p.m., weather permitting.
We thank the city and the innumerable volunteers, including those with the Chamber, for making the event possible. We thank, too, the sponsors who again dug deep. That includes title sponsor StormSmart, which contributed $30,000, presenting sponsors American Brokers Realty Group, Waste Pro, LCEC and Achieva, and nearly a dozen and half more.
For those who would like either an early start or some alternatives, there are plenty, including a Craft Beer Festival at Ford's Garage; the "God Bless America from Sea to Shining Sea Tour of America" at the Italian American Club, and the Great American Picnic at Cape Harbour.
The Great American Picnic, which will feature a Pet Parade, Patriotic Hat Contest, Best Patriotic Cupcake Contest, live music and more to benefit the Adopt-A-Troop Foundation, takes place today beginning at 11 a.m. at 5703 Cape Harbour Drive. Admission is free as is participation in the contests.
Ford's Craft Beer Fest will open shortly before BOOM! at 2 p.m. at the restaurant at 1719 Cape Coral Parkway.
In addition to great seating for the fireworks, the fest will feature 40 different craft beers and a burger and dog for $30 day-of.
Doors at the Italian American Club open at 4:30 p.m. for a patriotic music program (7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.) and an "All American Buffet" (5:45 p.m.) before moving outside for downtown seating for BOOM!
Tickets at the door of the club at 4725 Vincennes Blvd. are $22 for members, $25 for non-members.
For information on additional area Independence Day events, see the Lee County Shopper inserted with today's Breeze.
Have a very happy and safe Fourth!
- Breeze editorial