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Festival of the Arts today and Sunday

By Staff | Jan 14, 2012

The Cape Coral Festival of the Arts, one of the biggest festivals of its kind in the region, returns to the city’s downtown this weekend.

Three hundred artists will line Cape Coral Parkway for two days -Saturday and Sunday – welcoming thousands of people to the city.

Organizer John Jacobsen was busy Friday putting all the finishing touches on the festival.

Things were progressing smoothly, he said, but added there’s always one or two hiccups along the way.

Regardless, the festival will be ready to go at 10 a.m. today.

“It’s the feeling you get when you just sat down in the roller coaster seat and the bar just snapped shut,” he said of the preparations. “The ride hasn’t started yet but it’s too late to get off.”

Jacobsen was somewhat joking, of course, but realistically, the festival is a complex affair that shuts down one of the city’s main thoroughfares.

Once Cape Coral Parkway is quieted, the artists begin setting up shop, a scene Jacobsen described as “organized pandemonium.”

Event volunteers try to make it as easy as possible to set up their booths, Jacobsen said, but there’s always first-timers who don’t quite know what to expect. That goes for business owners in the city’s downtown, too, he said.

“So far everything is going smoothly but there’s always one or two breakdowns in communication,” he said.

An estimated 100,000 visitors are expected to attend the festival over the two- day stretch.

The event produced by The Rotary Club of Cape Coral and the city.

Entering its 27th year, the festival was founded by Jacobsen because Lee County had no such festival, which greatly annoyed the Rotary Club member, CRA executive director and one-time painter.

Now, almost three decades later the festival features hundreds of artists from multiple mediums, all vying for that special bond that Jacobsen says is at the heart of what the festival is trying to accomplish: a special communication between creator and admirer.

The festival, which also features food and drink vendors, runs Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day.

Admission is free and open to the public.

While parking is also free around downtown Cape Coral, Jacobsen warned to pay close attention to no parking signs and tow-a-way signs.

Jacobsen suggests parking on the north side of Cape Coral Parkway, using Club Square and Big John’s lots.

For more information visit capecoralfestival.com.