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Viva Cape Coral!: Hispanic celebration returns Saturday

By Staff | Jan 15, 2016

One of the largest Hispanic celebrations in the area will return to Cape Coral this weekend. The annual Viva Cape Coral! will take place on Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. at Sun Splash Family Waterpark. Hosted by the Southwest Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and The Pendas Law Firm, the festival will feature live entertainment, a variety of cuisine and youth-friendly activities.

Veronica Culbertson, president of the chamber, explained that the event is a celebration of Hispanic heritage and of all countries and cultures. The festival has been going on for at least six years.

“We don’t have big Hispanic festivals in our area,” she said.

“This is an opportunity to bring the community together,” Culbertson added.

Attendance typically reaches the thousands.

Free and open to the public, the celebration is being held at Sun Splash for the first time.

“We like the layout over there,” she said, adding that there is less traffic and less congestion as compared to the South Cape and more parking available. “It’s much easier to work with.”

Parking will cost $5 per vehicle.

Also new this year, the chamber changed when the festival is being held.

“Hopefully with it being in season, there’s more people down here, so we’re hoping that makes it a larger crowd,” Culbertson said. “And because it’s cooler, we hope more people come out early.”

The headline performer this year is international artist Ken-Y, from Puerto Rico.

“He’s on the radio a lot right now,” she said.

“His music is a cross between reggaeton, pop, bachata and merengue,” Culbertson said.

Ken-Y will take the stage at around 9 p.m. for about an hour.

The earlier lineup includes a handful of local bands, like Tercera Dimension and its reggaeton, Will Plus, whose music is more pop, and Orquesta Tropical Sound, which specializes in salsa sounds.

Salsa group Grupo Espali will also perform, as well as Arteaga y El Yen with its reggaeton.

“They’re the ones who play our area and they’re very popular,” she said.

The children’s area will feature activities, such as rock climbing wall and water bubbles, along with rides like a train, mini-ferris wheel and more. Tickets will be available for purchase on site.

Entertainment will be provided by Galacctin the Clown, a longtime local performer.

Approximately eight different vendors will serve up tasty dishes.

“Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Venezuelan, Nicaraguan,” Culbertson said.

Local businesses will be on hand with products and services, as well as merchandise vendors.

“It’s very diverse,” she said.

Organizers urged the public to come out and enjoy the celebration.

“I think it’s an extremely fun event for everybody,” she said.

For more information, call (239) 418-1441 or visit: www.vivacapecoral.com.

Sun Splash Family Water Park is at 400 Santa Barbara Blvd.