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Red, White & BOOM! — July 4th in the Cape

June 28, 2018
Pine Island Eagle

Ah, the Fourth of July.

Summer. Cookouts. Baseball. 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 we're able to feel just a bit on July 4th each year.

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 in today's day and age.

The single biggest event the Cape puts on every year, Red, White & BOOM! is the largest fireworks display in all of Southwest Florida.

This will mark the 50th year Cape Coral has held a fireworks presentation for area residents on July 4.

More than 30,000 people will come to watch the "American Fireworks Spectacular," with over 4,000 shells to illuminate the night sky, synchronized to music.

"It's the 4th of July, there's tons of energy around Independence Day. It's fun to see the community come out and enjoy the show we put on," said Todd King, Cape Coral Parks and Recreations Special Events coordinator- which puts on the event. "This is our favorite, but most challenging task we have all year."

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 10:30.

Live music and entertainment will take the stage all night featuring Completely Unchained: a Van Halen tribute band, James Barker Band, a country group out of Ontario and Nashville country singer/songwriter Chase Bryant.

For an up-close and personal experience, the Cat Country Pit Zone has the best view of the stage and live performances. In the past, it may have cost you for such access. But now, King says, "Bust down the gate and let people have a good time."

Cat Country 107.1 will also be transmitting the music that accompanies the firework show, so boaters and those who may not be as close can listen along.

Red, White and boomers wanting to lock-down premiere real estate can purchase the all new "BOOM Pass" which includes food, drinks and the best seats in the house.

"This can make the day easier for families," said King. "You can get your pre-planned seats, along with your meal and things for the kids to do. We're excited about the area and hope as many people as possible take advantage of it."

Only 500 tickets are available. You may bring your own seating or rent a chair for $2 (limited availability). Food will be supplied by Mission BBQ.

Adult Tickets are $25 and children $20, the kids ticket includes time at "Patriot Park" that has rides and activities for youth.

Patriot Park will be open to those who do not buy the BOOM Pass. All-you-can-ride time limit wristbands can be purchased before hand with limitations day of- broken down into one hour and 15-minute time frames.

Rides will include the "Mechanical Meltdown,",Black Ops Obstacle Course, 27 foot-2 lane slide, basketball, a 52 foot long Toxic Jump and a 26 foot rock-wall.

BOOM Passes, along with Patriot Park wristbands, can be secured by calling 239-573-3124.

The Cape Coral Bridge will be closed beginning at 3 a.m. the morning of July 4 until 3 a.m. July 5.

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.

General admission to Red, White & BOOM is free to the public. More information can be found at

A great way to kick off your 4th of July morning is the Priority Business Solutions Freedom 5K.

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.

"This event is for the whole family. It's challenging but fun," said Annette Warren, Special Events director for the Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce.

Participants will also 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.

The Kids Fun Run is for children under 12 and will be one mile, ribbons and T-shirts will be given to all participants.

"Track Signs" will be available to purchase to recognize a past or present military member, or even just someone you'd like to cheer on.

Prices are $40 for friends and family and $50 for businesses.

These signs will line the race route and be accompanied with a photo, name of the honoree and quote.

"You can write a quote of remembrance or encouragement-or even something funny," said Warren.

One hundred percent of all proceeds from the track signs will go towards the Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library, along with the Special Operations Communicators Association.

"We try and find one local and one national veteran organization to work with, and these two do so much for veterans, they're great causes we support," added Warren.

All military participants will receive a challenge coin to commemorate their successful run.

Coral Ridge Funeral Home and Cemetery will be the veteran sponsors and present the coins, as well as honor all personnel that came out.

Warren expects more than 500 participants this year, reminding runners to keep hydrated before, during and after the race.

"We'll have plenty of water and Gatorade, as well as buckets of water if people want to carry a small towel and dunk them in to keep cool. We've even moved the race time back from prior years to beat the heat."

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).

Race packet pick up will be Monday, July 2 at Priority Business Solutions from 2-6 p.m. at 4814 Vincennes Street in Cape Coral, or at 6 a.m. on race day.

There will be overall awards and age group awards distributed for numerous categories, given out after the race at the party.

Runners will also be given a goodie bag, including a Freedom 5K T-shirt (guaranteed for the first 600), discount coupons to local hot spots and a chance at a raffle to win two tickets on the Key West Express.

"This is a great day-trip to Key West without the drive! The raffle money from these tickets will also benefit our two wonderful military organizations," Warren said.

Registration, along with track signs, can be found at

Red, White and Brew, a pre-July 4th event hosted by South Cape Hospitality & Entertainment Associations, is set for Saturday, June 30, from 7-11 p.m.

The pub crawl will take participants to 12 South Cape establishments for American-made beer and appetizer samples with a chance for prizes along the way. Tickets are $15 in advance, available on

Fort Myers Beach will celebrate the Fourth with a parade, fireworks and a whole lot more:

* Free pre Fourth of July Ostego Bay Marine Science Center Kids Fishing Tournament set for Saturday, June 30, from 9 a.m. to noon at Bonita Bill's Waterfront Cafe, 702 Fisherman's Wharf. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Cut bait will be provided, young anglers 3-15 need to bring their own poles. Prizes, free lunch.

For more information contact the Ostego Bay Marine Science Center, 765-8101.

* Fort Myers Beach Fourth of July parade. The parade featuring floats and costumed participants will make its way down Estero Boulevard from the Bay Oaks Recreation Center to Times Square beginning at 10 a.m.

Be aware the Matanzas Pass Bridge will be closed from 9 a.m. until noon on July 4 for the parade.

* July 4th Parks & Recreation Department "Patriotic Event" at Times Square from noon to 2 p.m. Activities will include "patriotic crafts," a watermelon eating contest and a dunk tank.

* The Fort Myers Beach Fourth of July fireworks show will begin at approximately 8:45 p.m. at Times Square.

The Matanzas Pass bridge will be closed from to oncoming traffic from 9:30 p.m.-11 p.m.

For more information visit the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce website,

The Fort Myers River District Alliance will present Freedom Fest from 4- 10 p.m. on July 4.

Freedom Fest will feature "free and family friendly fun down in front of the waterfront" on Edwards Drive including live entertainment and kids activities as well as food and trinket vendors.

Fireworks will start at 9:30.

A special viewing area specifically for veterans will be available.

* The Fort Myers Miracle will hold an Independence Day Celebration on July 4. Admission will be free for veterans with their biggest fireworks show of the year to follow the game.

Food and drink specials will be available and Miracle players will be wearing special USA themed jerseys up for auction. Proceeds will go to charity. Game time is 7 p.m. versus the Dunedin Blue Jays.

Hammond Stadium is at 14100 6 Mile Cypress Pkwy, Fort Myers,



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