Cape cancels anniversary celebration
After moving the traditional July 4th celebration to Labor Day weekend in recognition of the city of Cape Coral’s 50th anniversary, officials on Monday cancelled the event, citing the coronavirus pandemic.
Kerry Runyon, Parks and Recreation director, said there was simply no way they could safely hold Red, White & BOOM! — the city’s largest one-day event. She added there were other issues as well.
“Because of COVID-19 and because Chase Rice, who was to be our entertainer, was not available,” Runyon said. “The fireworks display, we had to put down a deposit and we don’t get that back, and with the mass gatherings of 50 or less, we could not have an event.”
Instead of a big event, the city will hold a reenactment of the signing of Cape Coral becoming a city on Tuesday, Aug. 18, which will be aired on Cape TV.
The city had decided in June to move BOOM to Sept. 5 and call it a celebration of the city’s anniversary. The Independence Day event is expected to return next year on July 4.
The cancellation became official Monday as Cape Coral City Council approved it as part of its consent agenda item.
Runyon said a lot of work went into planning both events, so not being able to hold them has made everyone a little sad.
“They’re disappointed. They understand the circumstances and we’ll push for next year,” Runyon said.
Two consent agenda items were pulled for discussion. One was the first design of the proposed park at the location of the D&D Bait Shop in Matlacha.
While it was approved unanimously, there were some concerns. Mayor Joe Coviello said the design of the parking lot and the proximity to the boat ramp made no sense.
Public Works supervisor Mike Ilczyszyn said that there was no clear direction on the project, since it is unknown whether there will be a restaurant at the city-owned location.
Councilmember Rick Williams has said he does not want a restaurant there, as it would make an already busy Pine Island Road even busier. He approved the design, but promised to always reject any restaurant proposal.
Th council also decided to push back a decision on the proposed repaving of the Coral Oaks Country Club parking lot to the Oct. 19 meeting, after the new fiscal year begins. The item was continued from last Monday’s meeting.
Coviello said he wanted to know what the personnel situation was before committing to it.