The Rotary Club of Cape Coral will again kick off the city's major events schedule with Festival of the Arts this weekend.
The two-day event will be held along Cape Coral Parkway from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Organizers are again expecting more than 100,000 people to attend their annual festival, which, in its 29-year tenure, has grown to become one of the Cape's biggest and best - and one of our personal favorites.
In addition to more than 300 artist booths offering everything from fine art, sculpture, pottery, jewelry, photography and more, there will be an area for children as well as an array of food vendors, which add to the street fair flavor.
We thank the Rotary Club and the many volunteers who make the event possible and who make the Cape what it is: A city we're proud to call home.
Also in the queue for the first month of 2014 are the city's annual Tour de Cape and the Best South Cape Martini Competition.
Now in its 23rd year, the Tour de Cape, a three-day event to open next Friday with a pre-event celebration, features a 5K run and rides of various lengths from 15 to 100 miles.
This year, the city has added a new component to the family oriented affair - a Kids/Family Fun Mini Tour de Cape Ride, which is set for Saturday, Jan.18. Registration is only $5.
Activities are all held or start at Cape Harbour Resort, the "host" of the city-organized event.
The eighth annual Best South Cape Martini Competition, hosted and organized by the South Cape Hospitality and Entertainment Associations, is set for Jan. 25.
South Cape venues take part in a effort to win the honor of producing the "Best South Cape Martini" in various categories.
Tickets are required and participants take trolleys from venue to venue to sample a martini and appetizer at each stop. Participants are also given a "passport" that allows them to cast their vote for their favorite martini and appetizer.
The top three martinis will be declared winners.
As always, these events are a great start to the new year.
And they -like numerous other events such as Cape Harbour's recent New Year's ball drop and party, the Harney Point Kiwanis annual KidsFest, the various downtown Bike Nights, and of course the July 4th Red White & Boom!, Oktoberfest, Coconut Festival, and the Holiday Festival of Lights -are the reason the Cape is such a great place to live and visit.
The crowded community calendar gives thousands of families from throughout Lee County a chance to come to Cape Coral to enjoy a day, an afternoon, or an evening of free or bargain-priced fun.
Our thanks again to all of the organizations, businesses and volunteers who make such things possible.
The new year is indeed shaping up.
- Breeze editorial