Thousands ring in the New Year at Cape Harbour; enjoy ‘ball drop’
Around the globe, people saw 2009 explode into being with a barrage of fireworks and many sipped the evening away with champagne and friends.
At Cape Harbour, thousands of residents and visitors celebrated the occasion shoulder to shoulder, doing those very things.
But, only those at Cape Harbour were privy to the 170-foot ball drop to top the 77-foot drop in Time Square.
The ’09 celebration marks Cape Harbour’s fourth year of ringing in the new year with all their Cape Coral neighbors.
“It evolved the first year with one of the restaurant owners setting off some fireworks by himself, and Realmark (Cape Harbour developer) built a ball out of plumbing pipes and some lights,” said Laura Straus, VP of sales and marketing at Cape Harbour. “It was a little cheesy, but it was very much enjoyed and really appreciated. This year the ball has been built out of metal, and we have a pyrotechnician that lives out of Cape Harbour that did the fireworks last year and who did the fireworks this year.”
The fireworks, ball drop and Cape Harbour shops and artist galleries opened from 6 p.m. to midnight allowed residents to enjoy their New Year’s Eve festivities without having to pay bridge tolls and burn gas.
“Realmark really believes in trying to keep it in the Cape,” she said. “This is for the Cape Harbour residents, but it’s also for the Cape Coral residents. And, we do have people coming in from Sarasota, Naples and flying in from New York and the midwest who were here last year.”
Food and drink was available to patrons at several outdoor locations, and the various restaurants were open for dining as well. Many stores and restaurants were packed as event-goers waited in long lines to buy drinks or food.
Also, partiers danced to live music beneath the glowing New Year’s ball.
“I think the residents really appreciate (the event),” Straus said. “In this economy I think it’s a wonderful statement that it’s a developer that’s still doing things, and you can have wonderful events that are open to the public and it’s free to the public unless they choose to buy things. Or they could just come down and see the fireworks and have a nice time.”
Straus said Cape Harbour vacation suites were booked solid, many by returning customers.
Additionally, “As of Jan. 2 last year, they started booking their boat slips,” she said. “A lot of people come in by boat and they said it was the best New Year’s they’ve ever had.”
More than 2,000 people came to see 2009 in Cape Harbour, topping numbers in previous years, Straus said.