Area residents looking to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday will have ample opportunity in the Cape with festivities all weekend long.
The festivities kick off today with Red, White and Brew, a familiar event with a new organizer, the Kiwanis South club.
Those looking to get a jumpstart on the three-day weekend can sample a variety of beers and appetizers at various locations throughout the South Cape.
Tickets are $15 and include a trolley pass to get celebrants from venue to venue.
Check-in will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Leapin Lizard and the Big John Plaza and money raised will go to a great cause - the Kiwanis Backpack Program, a free food program that feeds 1,000 children a week.
On Saturday, the Great American Picnic at Cape Harbour will offer a wealth of activities including an apple pie baking contest, a banana split eating contest and a best-dressed pet competition with a patriotic theme.
Music, activities for the kids, and an opportunity to send a thank you to our troops round out the free event that is sure to attract a crowd from noon to 3:30 p.m.
Independence Day itself will open with some new events this year.
"A Tribute to America in Honor of Our Veterans," a free concert at the Eco Park Pavilion, will kick things off with patriotic fervor at 10 a.m. Monday.
The concert will feature the Cultural Park Theatre Players.
Plan to grab a chair and head out to Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve for the patriotic salute.
The main event, of course, is Red White & Boom, organized by the Chamber of Commerce and the city of Cape Coral and title sponsored this year yet again by RE/MAX Reality.
The street party, which will take place at the foot of the Cape Coral Bridge on Cape Coral Parkway, will run from 4-10 p.m. or so.
Dozens of vendors will line the street offering food, drink and various merchandise, the Kid's Zone will provide bounce houses and other delights, while live music - including headliner Heidi Newfield - will add to the rollicking atmosphere of one of the Cape's most popular parties.
New this year will be an over-the-bridge 5k Race at 6:30 p.m. to be followed by a motorcycle tribute to our veterans.
And lest anyone forget, the holiday weekend will end with what is always the best fireworks display in Southwest Florida.
Beer and food, apple pie and pets on parade, patriotic songs and thanks yous to those who serve, street eats and fireworks.
Sounds like a down-home, can't-be-beat Fourth of July to us.
A big thank you to those who have made it possible.
- Breeze editorial