Coco Fest continues
The 2017 Cape Coral Coconut Festival will continue today and run through the weekend.
Hosted by the city of Cape Coral, the event’s COCO Country Night will be held today from 5 p.m. to midnight at Sun Splash Family Waterpark. Headliner High Valley will take the stage at 10 p.m. Prior to that, Grayson Rogers is at 5:30 p.m., Walker Hayes is at 7 p.m. and Russell Dickerson is at 8:30 p.m.
“It’s going to be one of our largest COCO Country Nights,” Todd King, special events coordinator for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, said. “We’ve brought in four national acts for the first time, so we’re pretty excited about the package – a lot of them are young country artists.”
The celebration kicked off on Thursday as a sneak peek, with free admission for all.
“It’s kind of a soft opening to work out our bugs to make sure we’re good to go,” King said.
Asked about attendance on opening night, he explained that it is not the biggest night.
“Being a school night, there won’t be a lot of kids,” King said. “People might come and buy their tickets for the weekend activities.”
The festival also features a midway with carnival rides and food, including coconut-themed ones, as well as performances by Polynesian dancers, Cirque acts, stilt walkers and more. For the first time this year, there will be a craft beer garden on site, including a signature beer of created just for the event.
“A couple thousand people will ride rides tonight,” he said on Thursday.
Tonight, a fireworks show will take place before the final performance at 9:30 p.m.
Nov. 11 will mark COCO Rock Night, with the festival running from noon to midnight. Headliner Vince Neil – The Voice of Motley Crue – will take the stage at 9:30 p.m. Beforehand, Eagles tribute band On The Border will play at 6 p.m., followed by Tom Petty tribute band Refugee at 7:45 p.m.
“On occasion we get a shot at rock icons. There’s a lot of Motley Crue fans out there,” he said. “We’re pretty much considering this one of the biggest shows we’ve brought on at COCO Rock Night.”
King also pointed to the other groups performing.
“We’re doing some really cool tributes,” he said. “A little bit for everybody.”
A fireworks show will be held before the final act at 9:15 p.m.
The festival will wrap up on Nov. 12 with COCO Family Day, which will run from noon to 10 p.m. Inside of the big tent, the city will play the locally-televised NFL games on its giant jumbotron.
“We try to make it a nice afternoon that all the families can share,” King said.
The Achieva Coconut Run 5K & Kids Run will also take place, with the proceeds helping to support grants for local schools. A two-loop course through the festival grounds, the 5K starts at 7:30 a.m.
“They draw about 300 runners to run for the schools,” he said.
The 5K participants will receive two, free festival tickets.
Open to children ages 12 and under, the Kids Run will be held at 8:15 a.m.
Youth participants get a festival ticket and ride wristband.
The cost for the 5K is $30 for adults and $20 for 17 and under; the Kids Run is $15.
The entry fees include a free pancake breakfast.
To register, visit achievacu.com/cocorun or contact email@example.com or 727-431-7362.
Today through Nov. 12, admission into the festival is $7 or $5 with a valid college ID; children 5 and under are free. On Nov. 12, however, ages 13 and under get in free with one paid adult admission.
“Over the weekend, we usually do about 25,000 guests,” King said.
One-day unlimited ride wristbands are $25; it does not include gate admission.
“We usually do about 20 rides,” he said. “We try to break that up evenly (for the age groups).”
King urged the community to come out.
“This is where you live, this is a part of our town, this is how we celebrate,” he said. “We look forward to everybody taking advantage of this great celebration.”
For more information, call 239-573-3128 or visit online at www.cocofest.com.
Sun Splash Family Waterpark is at 400 Santa Barbara Blvd.