Cape High to hold inaugural community festival
Food trucks, bands, school clubs, and community groups will all converge on Cape Coral High School Saturday for its inaugural Community Festival this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The event grew out of a large, damaging flood that destroyed the school’s culinary arts room last year. Cape High’s Chef Instructor Derek Stone initially came up with the idea of having a food truck festival as a fundraiser for his department and it evolved from there.
“After talking about it to other teachers in the building, I decided to make it into a community festival instead of just a food truck festival so I could involve different clubs such as JROTC, SADD, our school’s newspaper, Art Honor Society,” Stone said. “And (the clubs) could do things to raise funds for their programs, and we could bring community awareness to the school as well as safety issues.”
The Students Against Destructive Decisions Club will bring together multiple agencies, including the Cape Coral Police and Fire departments, Lee Health, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Florida Highway Patrol, and more. Among the demonstrations will be a texting and driving simulation.
The food component of the festival will be supplied by about 20 different vendors.
“Some of the more well known or award-winning ones (we will be hosting) are Coasting Donuts, Slider City, Red Roc Cravings, Currie’s BBQ, Kona Ice as well as newcomers like Buddha Blends who sell delicious healthy options,” Stone said. “My students will also be cooking.”
Stone’s most advanced students will have a booth named “Cape Cajun” where they will make and sell authentic Cajun food such as gumbo, red beans and rice, VooDoo blackened shrimp and fish, jambalaya and more.
“My lower level students will be selling food more geared towards the little kids,” Stone said. “These include peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, hot dogs, mini meatballs, little smokies, macaroni and cheese. They will also sell many concession-stand favorites such as pulled pork nachos and homemade lemonade.”
The little ones also will be entertained by face painting, bounce houses, and other games.
Stone and his advanced students aren’t strangers to cooking for the public.
“We do many catering outings per year,” Stone said. “We do events like Taste of Bonita Springs, Stemtastic at Harborside, weddings, Senior Picnic Day, church functions, et cetera. This gets them real world culinary experience and helps raise money for our program.”
Raising money has become a priority since that flood last year.
“We lost so much stuff,” Stone said. “The floors, counters and cabinets were replaced by insurance but none of the equipment was replaced. I wanted to find a way to go after a large fundraiser to get the program not only back on the right track but on a track to much better days.”
Stone and his students also will be welcoming other high schools’ culinary programs to the festival.
The festival’s music is all donated by local bands.
“We will have two student bands from Cape High to open the festival,” Stone said, “then bands named Not Sure, rule of three, High Tide, GTO and The Bucking Wild Band. So we’ll have new rock, classic rock, reggae, jazz and more.”
Stone is billing the festival as an inaugural one as he’s hoping to make it an annual event.
“That is the goal based on how this one goes,” Stone said.
Admission to the festival is free and parking is $5 a car load. Bring blankets and chairs to sit on, but no coolers, alcohol, smoking or pets are allowed.
Cape Coral High School is at 2300 Santa Barbara Blvd.