Red White & BOOM!: Cape Coral celebrates the Fourth
A time to reflect on the freedoms given to us by our forefathers while enjoying all this country has to offer.
Cookouts, family, friends, sporting events, fireworks.
All of America’s favorite pastimes rolled into one big sha’bang to celebrate the independence of our country.
The mind goes back to a youthful time, no matter what your age may be. Stirring memories of neighborhood parties, when everyone knew everyone — the smell of barbecue and smoke from the sparklers dancing past your nose.
The first time your eyes looked to the sky and suddenly — boom! — it was pure magic.
We all hold onto these magic moments, and strive to create new ones. On July 4th each year, we’re able to give life to new memories.
Here in Cape Coral, the Fourth can be celebrated to its fullest extent between the beautiful weather, abundance of events and firework tents popping up across Southwest Florida.
Whether you plan on kicking back and relaxing at home or getting out early to snag a good seat for the fireworks show, we can all appreciate the freedoms our founding fathers adopted in the Declaration of Independence back in 1776 that we continue to try and instill today.
The single biggest event the Cape puts on every year, Red, White & BOOM! is the largest fireworks display in all of Southwest Florida.
“There’s no comparison,” said Cape Coral Parks and Recreation specialist Kristin Bean.
This will mark the 51st year Cape Coral has held a fireworks presentation for area residents on July 4.
Approximately 30,000 to 40,000 people will come to watch the fireworks spectacular in the South Cape, put on by Pyrotecnico, with well over 20,000 shells to illuminate the night sky, synchronized to music.
All in all, the overall impact of Red, White & BOOM! extends to 100,000 people, whether that be in the South Cape or in neighborhoods across the region, the reach of this event is vast.
“There’s something for everyone,” said Bean. “Kids can enjoy Patriot Park, live music, national entertainment and a variety of food trucks.”
Todd King, Cape Coral Parks and Recreations special events coordinator, said the Fourth of July is different than your traditional holiday.
“Christmas, Easter — you spend it with your family. On the Fourth, you can come out and celebrate with your community,” King said. “You can link up with your family and friends, eat some great food — this is a great holiday to strengthen ou national bond and community partnership.”
The street party begins at 5 p.m. at the foot of the Cape Coral Bridge on Cape Coral Parkway, fireworks ready to launch at 9:30 and festivities ending at 10.
Live music and entertainment will take the stage all night, featuring Neon Summer at 5, Hailey and Michaels at 6:30 and popular country duo, LOCASH, performing at 8.
“We’re going All-American country on the main stage,” said Bean. “We’re really excited about our headliner and they’re going to bring the party for sure.”
LOCASH is a country duo made up of Chris Lucas and Preston Brust. The duo has charted seven singles of the Billboard Hot Country Songs or Country Airplay charts. Their single, “I Love This Life,” charted No. 1 on US Country Airplays in 2016. They released their newest record, “Brothers,” in March of this year.
105.5 The Beat will host “Party Central” towards the entrance of the event with local deejays playing music, light shows, food trucks and more.
Bean and King said that 105.5, along with live entertainment, will provide music all walks of life will enjoy listening to.
“This is, hands down, my favorite event of the year,” said King.
Bean, each year, has an interesting perspective of the gathering of people that come out to celebrate our independence as a country.
“One of my favorite things to do each year during the fireworks is just to watch people and see how they’re all in the moment,” she said. “To see how many people are there. Children on parents shoulders, couples holding hands, families smiling together. Everyone is just looking up at the sky and enjoying themselves. It’s a beautiful thing.”
Residents can tune into Cat Country 107.1 to listen to the firework display synchronized to music.
You can also watch the fireworks display on 1PRo Media, the city’s television station.
Kids can have a blast at Patriot Park, where they can experience the “Mechanical Meltdown,” “Toxic Twist Obstacle Course,” slides, basketball, rock wall and more.
All-you-can-ride wristbands are available to purchase for one hour and 15- minute time frames.
The number of wristbands are limited, and can be obtained by calling 239-573-3128 prior to the event.
Prices of wristbands range from $5 to $15 depending on the time slot. Later time slots are more expensive. Patriot Park is open until 9:15 p.m.
The city of Cape Coral also took extra precautions this year to ensure no burrowing owl burrows were damaged or intruded upon during the event.
“We want to protect the owls,” said Bean.
A permit was issued for the parks and recreation department to go and scope the two burrows on site for fledglings. They have put a perimeter around one of the burrows with a 10-foot radius. One of the other burrows was inactive. One mother and father owl will be safely relocated to another burrow in the area.
Parking will be free at Club Square, Iguana Mia, Veterans Museum and Big Johns Plaza. A BOOM! Bus with handicap accessibility will be picking up at these locations to the party site.
The Cape Coral Bridge will be closed beginning at 3 a.m. the morning of July 4 until 3 a.m. July 5.
General admission to Red, White & BOOM is free to the public. More information can be found at www.CapeBoom.com .
— Freedom 5K and Kid’s Fun Run
One way to step off your Independence Day morning is to take part in the Priority Solutions Freedom 5K and Gunterberg Charitable Foundation Kid’s Fun Run, put on by the Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral.
Race time is 7 a.m. starting at the Chamber of Commerce building at the base of the Cape Coral Bridge at 2051 Cape Coral Parkway East.
Runners will cross over the bridge and turn around at the overpass above McGregor Boulevard to make their way back across to the finish line.
“Aside from assisting and promoting businesses in our community, the Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral also enjoys bringing our community together with various special events and programs we facilitate throughout each year,” said Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral President/CEO, Donna Germain.
The 3.1 mile journey over the Cape Coral Bridge provides some beautiful views of the Caloosahatchee River.
As always, remembering those who gave us our freedom is the central theme of the event.
“Track signs memorializing and honoring our heroes will line the starting route and we will also have a special ceremony sponsored by Coral Ridge Funeral Home and Cemetery honoring all our veterans,” said Germain.
All military participants will receive a challenge coin to commemorate their successful run.
All entrants in the Freedom 5K and Kids Fun Run will be treated to a post race party next to the chamber building where refreshments, beer and music will be available at no cost. Yes, free beer.
The Gunterberg Charitable Foundation Kids Fun Run will begin immediately following the 5K, around 8 a.m.
The Kids Fun Run is for children under 12 and will be one mile. Ribbons and T-shirts will be given to all participants.
Each year, a portion of the proceeds from the race go to two veteran organizations.
“This year, we will be donating to the Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library and the Special Operations Communicators Association,” said Germain. “These volunteer-driven organizations have been selected due to their mission to support military both past and present and their families. Our donation helps support their respective mission and we feel it is so important to give back to those who sacrifice so much for us.”
Pre-registration brings star spangled savings — $30 for adults, $25 for youth(17 and under), $20 for military and $10 for the Kids Fun Run. Day of registration will be $40 for the 5K (military will remain $20).
There will be two packet pick up days. First, on June 29 from 9 a.m. until noon at the Chamber Welcome Center and on July 2 at Priority Business Solutions from 4-6 p.m. You can also register for the race on packet pick up days if you have not done so online.
Race-day check in starts at 6 a.m.
“It’s a great way to kick off your Fourth of July holiday, celebrate our great country, honor our veterans and active military and get a little bit of exercise in before we all go on to the day’s festivities of barbecues and fireworks celebrations,” Germain said.
Sweltering temperatures recently are also being taken into consideration, as they are every year in July, as water will be available along the route and first responders on scene.
“Stay hydrated,” said Germain. “We will have two water stations along the course and at the finish line. We also have a shower station along the course. Listen to your body and don’t overdo it. We will also have EMS on hand for any issues.”
The event will also be raffling off a trip for two on the Key West Express.
Parking is available at The Apostolic Life Church and the public lots at Club Square, Big John Plaza and Iguana Mia.
Other Fourth of July events in Southwest Florida:
* Parade and fireworks on Fort Myers Beach
Fort Myers Beach will celebrate July 4th with a parade, live music, fireworks and more.
The Fort Myers Beach Fourth of July parade will step off at 10 a.m. and make its way down Estero Boulevard from the Bay Oaks Recreation Center to Times Square.
The Matanzas Pass Bridge will be closed from 9 a.m. until noon for the parade.
Live music then will be featured in Times Square. Remedy will play from 1 to 5 p.m. followed by High Tide from 6 to 11 p.m.
The Fort Myers Beach Fourth of July fireworks show will begin at around 9 p.m. at Times Square.
The Matanzas Pass bridge will close from 9:30 -11 p.m. to oncoming traffic meaning during that time you will be able to get off the island but not on.
* Fort Myers Freedom Fest
The Fort Myers River District Alliance will present its annual July Fourth event, Freedom Fest!, in front of the waterfront on Edwards Drive from 6-10 p.m.
The free and family friendly celebration will feature live music, kids activities, food and vendors.
The Thunder Beach Band will perform from 6-9 p.m. and DJ Tom’s Tunes will play some tunes with special games for prizes.
Fireworks are expected to start at 9:30.
* Fort Myers Miracle
The Fort Myers Miracle will host an Independence Day firework show that’s twice as long as usual post-game shows that are put on each Friday night during the season.
The year’s Fourth show will feature nearly four times as many pyrotechnics.
“We plan to light up the sky on Independence Day,” said Chris Peters, president and general manager of the Fort Myers Miracle, in a release. “Hammond Stadium has become THE place to celebrate July 4th with family and friends, and this year’s fireworks show will be bigger and better than ever.”
The Miracle take on the Palm Beach Cardinals at 7 p.m. at Hammond Stadium.
A patriotic jersey auction, with proceeds going to charity, will also take place.
* Legion to host 4th of July Parade, picnic and fireworks
Pine Island’s God Bless America 4th of July Parade will be start at 10 a.m. in the Winn-Dixie parking lot. American Legion Post #136, which is sponsoring the July Fourth activities on the island, will be serving hamburgers and hot dogs after the parade at the post.
Fireworks at dusk will close out the evening.
This is a community event and the Legion, at 4106 Stringfellow Road, is open to the public all day.
Attendees are asked to help by making a tax free donation.
For more information, call 239-283-4434, or log onto www.post136FL.org.
* Red, White & Tunes 4th of July Celebration
Red, White & Tunes, 4th of July Celebration brings you live music, vendors, water slides and more at Barron Park, Downtown LaBelle.
Plan to stay for the City of LaBelle fireworks at dusk!
The Stars & Stripes Parade Kicks off at 3:30 p.m.
Party like it’s 1.776K Run–Color Fun Run starts at 5 p.m. To register visit www.eventbrite.com/e/party-like-its-1776k-color-fun-run-registration-61100250494
See details & sponsors at www.downtownlabelle.com
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