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Cape Coral will be busy on the Fourth of July

By Staff | Jul 2, 2015

There won’t be any shortage of things to do in Cape Coral this July 4, with two huge events guaranteed to keep you busy during the holiday.

For those looking for an early start, The Marina at Cape Harbour will host the 10th annual “Great American Picnic” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Things kick off with an Honor Guard presentation and the Island Coast High School marching band. From there, entertainment includes Chris the DJ with the “Juke Box Hero,” the Dixie Roadhouse Dance Team and the Calendar Girls.

At 12:30 p.m. pets and owners contend in the “Patriotic Pet Contest.” There also will be a watermelon eating contest and a water balloon contest for kids.

Dennis Bessey, manager of Cape Harbour, promises a day of fun and the biggest celebration to date.

“It’s going to be a great family event. We have a lot of activities for the kids,” Bessey said.

Rumrunners, Fathoms, the French Press and Pignoli’s on the Harbour will be open for food and drink, while merchants along the Marina Promenade will be open, featuring holiday specials. There will even be a Farmer’s Market.

“The restaurants will have barbecues set up. It depends on what they set up for. I know Pignoli’s has something planned. Fathom’s is going to do something in the alleyway,” Bessey said.

Banana Bay Tour Company will host its annual fireworks cruise. Boarding begins at 7:45 p.m. dockside at Rumrunners.

Event is free and open to the public, with no charge for parking. All contests are free.

After that comes the big one. Storm Smart and the Cape Coral Parks and Recreation Department will present the largest single-day event in Southwest Florida; Red, White, and Boom, where more than 30,000 people will cram downtown for food, music and the area’s best fireworks display.

For Brian Rist, CEO of Smart Companies, for which Storm Smart is a subsidiary and title sponsor for the second straight year, there something special about Red, White & Boom. To him, it’s something he can’t imagine the city without.

“We felt it was a great thing for us to step up. Cape Coral has been very good to us, so it was our way of giving back,” Rist said. “It’s a good thing for families. It goes through all ages, types, size and shapes of people. We’re proud to be part of it.”

The event runs from 5 to 10:30 p.m. and will feature great music from Mickey Guyton, Keep the Faith, a Bon Jovi tribute band, and the headliner country performer Chase Rice.

For the kids, there will be the Kids Patriot Park, featuring Inflat-a-hoop, speed pitch, rock climbing and for the first time, water elements including a water slide. Kids can ride all day for $5.

Of course there will be numerous vendors selling everything from food and drink to fine arts and services.

The show ends with a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m., a full music synchronized show featuring more than 4,000 shells exploding over the Caloosahatchee.

“Traditionally, it is something that pulls the community together,” Councilmember John Carioscia. “It brings people from other communities to the Cape.

“We put on a heck of a show,” he added. “Our staff is second to none, they’ve put in many hours to make sure it is very successful, and I’m proud to be part of it.”

The Cape Coral Bridge, as well as Cape Coral Parkway from Del Prado Boulevard to the bridge, will be closing at 4:30 a.m. on July 4.

For those looking for an early early start, there also will be the Freedom 5K, which starts and ends at the foot of the Cape Coral Bridge at 7:30 a.m.

Runners can register for the race at the Fort Myers Track Club website: freedom5kcc.com. Sign-ups are welcome on the event day.