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Annual Coconut Festival opens tonight in Cape

By Staff | Nov 10, 2008

A bigger, better, more extreme Coconut Festival kicks off tonight featuring three days of live entertainment, carnival rides and concerts with Grammy Award-winning musicians.

Held for the fourth year at the Sun Splash festival grounds, this unique blend of fun is being billed as the largest ever festival to hit the shores of Lake Kennedy.

More than 30,000 people are expected over the three-day span, making it one of the premier events in Cape Coral and maybe even Southwest Florida.

Todd King of the city’s Special Events Division said the Coconut Festival, along with the Jazz Festival and the Cape Bike Nights, are all aimed at showcasing the Cape while giving back to the residents.

“They (the city) wanted me to develop a signature city event the entire community could celebrate,” King said in an interview last week.

Coconut Fest has evolved over its four-year life span to become the behemoth it is today.

This year’s festival features even more than previous years, with country music, rock n’ roll and extreme sports events all packed into the weekend.

Mike Quaintance, president of the Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce, said these events are absolutely crucial to the community.

“The special events the city and the chamber do are important because it brings the community together,” Quaintance said. “It really is an opportunity for the community to get together and have some fun.”

For Quaintance, special events are at the heart of what makes the Cape such an interesting place to live, drawing people from Fort Myers and other parts of Lee County to see what the city has to offer.

“Our special events and quality of life make Cape Coral what it is today,” he said.

Entry fees are $3 per person, per day, with tickets individually sold for the carnival rides.

People can also purchase $20 wristbands at Riverside Bank branches for unlimited rides on all the carnival attractions.

King was ecstatic last week about the value of the admission price to the Coconut Festival, which features live entertainment with a different theme all weekend long.

Things get going tonight when the evening’s theme will be “Coco Country,” as country music star Craig Morgan takes the stage to perform his hits, including “Red Neck Yacht Club.” Morgan was recently inducted into the Grand Ole Oprey Hall of Fame.

On Saturday the stage becomes “Coco Rock N’ Roll,” when a Journey tribute band proceeds the big event, Grammy Award-winning Survivor, whose major hit was featured in multiple “Rocky” films.

Sunday’s event features something brand new this year, an X-Games BMX show with X-Games athletes featured on ESPN.

“For the first time ever we’re bringing in X-Game star athletes to perform BMX stunts on a giant half pipe. These are the same guys you would see on ESPN,” King said. “The value of the event really is unparalleled.”