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Future Fest 2K16 set for Sun Splash

By Staff | Dec 24, 2015

In just a few short weeks, Cape Coral Parks & Recreation pulled together an exciting new community event for teens, a New Year’s Eve celebration dubbed Future Fest 2K16.

“I think it will be an amazing night for the teens,” said Parks & Rec special events coordinator Todd King. “I think the teens are excited to have something for them to do.”

Open to all Lee County students and homeschoolers, ages 13-18, with a valid student ID, general admission tickets are selling for $10 in advance or at the event on Dec. 31 at the Festival Grounds at Sun Splash Family Waterpark. The gates open at 7 p.m. with DJ music beginning at 8 p.m.

Students are invited to ring in the new year to the sound of music, dancing, a laser light show and a bonfire. The party runs until after the midnight ball drop accompanied by confetti cannons and fireworks.

“Parents are invited to attend as well to check it out,” said King. “If they want to, the parents can go in for free.”

A VIP ticket also is available for $15, which includes a custom Future Fest T-shirt, glow bracelets and glow wand. Advance tickets are on sale through next Tuesday at the Parks & Recreation office in City Hall. Vendors will be selling water, soda drinks and food items, like pizzas and hot dogs, that the teens like.

“We estimate we’ve been able to reach 15,000 to 20,000 teens through social media sites by tracking the Facebook posts,” said King. “We worked trade promos with two local radio stations that start this week.”

City Council members agreed last month with city staff that to make the event cost neutral it was better to open the event up to all Lee County students and draw attendance from a much larger group of teens than just Cape residents.

Officials estimated that a gate of 3,500 tickets would defray the significant expense of a production that will make a lasting impression on the teens and make them want to come back next year.

“I think 3,500 is possible,” said King. “I hope we are pleasantly surprised with the turnout and we find out in the end how social media worked to promote it.”

King indicated sponsorships will be sought from local individuals, businesses and organizations for next year, but Storm Smart and Acheiva Credit Union both bumped their contribution this year for city-sponsored events to be part of Future Fest 2K16.

Police Chief Bart Connelly assured city officials that his department can provide security for Future Fest 2K16 just as it does any other city community event.

“We’re dealing with teenagers,” said King. “There will be adequate security provided for the event. We all look forward to a great evening for our teens.”