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Let the Cape’s festivals begin!

January 11, 2018
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

We must confess, January is one of our favorite months.

The holidays - much as we enjoy them - are behind us, a new year dawns ahead, and, best of all, a whole new round of community events kick off with some of the Cape's biggest and best.

Clubs, organizations and the city of Cape Coral itself will open 2018 with a number of traditional favorites - and some surprises.

The Rotary Club of Cape Coral will again jumpstart the community's yearly major events schedule, this year with a twist.

The service organization has renamed and revamped its ever-popular Festival of the Arts juried show and street fair into the Cape Coral Arts & Music Festival, set for Saturday and Sunday along Cape Coral Parkway.

One of the Cape's largest fests, the annual art showcase recognized as one of the top 100 held nationwide draws an estimated 100,000-plus visitors to the city's traditional downtown, the South Cape.

The new nuance?

A music component - a full afternoon and evening of offerings at a variety of venues on opening day, thanks to a partnership with the South Cape Hospitality and Entertainment Association.

The festival, a major fundraiser for Rotary, will run from 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

As always, admission and parking are free for festival attendees.

We thank Rotary and the innumerable volunteers who make this event possible. Through its 33 years, the festival has grown to become one of the Cape's biggest and best - and one of our personal favorites.

Also this weekend is a major fund raiser for another Cape institution.

St. Andrew Catholic School will continue its four-day festival through the weekend.

Now in its 27th year, the St. Andrew Festival held on the school grounds on Del Prado Boulevard features carnival rides, games, live entertainment - and a $10,000 grand prize raffle.

Hours are 6-11 p.m. today, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.

Next weekend will see the return of Tour de Cape, a multi-distance bike ride packaged with a short-course kids ride and a walk-run for novice and experienced runners alike.

Also marking its 27th year, the city of Cape Coral's annual Tour de Cape will commence next Friday night with a "pre-event packet pickup celebration" from 5-8 p.m. at Fathoms Restaurant & Bar; step off Saturday with a 5K run/walk and a 3-mile Kids Ride. Tour then continue Sunday with the main attraction - the 15-, 30-, 60-, and 100-mile Tour de Cape Bike Rides starting at Cape Harbour and running through the west and north sections of the city.

If all this isn't enough, the event-packed month will wrap up the weekend of Jan. 27 with three more events, including the 12th annual Best South Cape Martini Competition.

Organized by the South Cape Hospitality and Entertainment Associations, the "taste" will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, at various venues in the South Cape entertainment district.

Participants will travel via trolleys, stop at the participating establishments, try custom martini samples and specialty appetizers, and then vote for their favorite drink, food and experience.

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 on the day of the event - if tickets are still available to what is always a sellout.

Ready for two more?

The third annual Cape Coral Historical Museum Bluegrass Jamboree with BBQ will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, at the Cape Coral Historical Museum, 544 Cultural Park Blvd.

Tickets for the outdoor concert are $15 in advance or $20 day of event. There also will be VIP tickets available for $40 in advance, or $50 day of event. Pick them up at the museum or online at

Meanwhile, a Pine Island event will be held the same weekend in our backyard at the German American Club.

ClamJam will feature two full days of art and craft vendors, lots of fresh local Pine Island seafood - including a variety of clam-based specialties - live music, and games and rides for children.

Hours will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is $8 at the gate. Parking is free.

Yes, we do like January - and any - or all - of these events are a great way to start 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 Holiday Festival of Lights - are a primary reason the Cape is such a great place to live, work 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.

In addition to Rotary, we thank all of the organizations, businesses and volunteers who make such things possible.

The new year is again shaping up with another round of hometown spirit.

Mark your calendars for good times to come.

- Breeze editorial



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