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Memorial Day weekend revelers treated to Ice cold entertainment

By Staff | May 25, 2009

The hundreds of concert-goers that gathered Saturday at the Pearl Jam Memorial Block Party in Big John’s Plaza in Cape Coral cheered wildly when the headliner, Robert Van Winkle, was introduced.
The problem? It wasn’t the Robert Van Winkle they were expecting.
NBC2 meteorologist Robert Van Winkle was brought onstage to introduce the performing artist of the same name, better known by his one-hit-wonder moniker, Vanilla Ice.
Robert Van Winkle – the performer – followed a paltry amount of smoke onstage as he belted out rap lyrics to driving hard rock chords. A surreal clown with orange hair wearing a Santa suit joined him onstage, spraying the crowd with water.
The concert was part of the three-day Pearl Jam Block Party that kicked off Friday and featured more than 20 bands and more than 50 vendors.
Event organizer Lisa Maglione-Chenault estimated 3,500 people attended Saturday, and said the inaugural event was conceived as a fund-raiser for Journey’s Academy, a school for students with learning disabilities in Naples, but also as a boon for local businesses in tough economic times.
“We thought that with the economy as crappy as it was, to do a community event for charity and bring all of our local people together,” Maglione-Chenault said.
She was pleased with the turnout for the block party and plans to do another one Labor Day weekend.
“There was a line around the block (to see Vanilla Ice). For us and what we were trying to do I think it was successful,” Maglione-Chenault said.
While she may have been excited about the community response to the first-time event, managing the contract demands of the headline performer was less thrilling.
So what does Vanilla Ice and his entourage need before doing a show? One bottle of Jagermeister, one bottle of Stoli, two cases of bottled water, two cases of Red Bull, two cartons of cigarettes (Marlboro Lights), and 15 hand towels should do the trick.
But Vanilla Ice’s lingering early ’90s fame packed the house, as hundreds clamored to hear his new songs.
Tents covering the block party’s bars and vending areas also piqued the curiosity of passers-by.
“We drove by and it just looked so cool,” Jackson Hunt, a Cape resident, said Sunday.