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Cape Coral: Fairs, festivals and so much more
January 11, 2019

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What better way to kick off the new year than with a Cape tradition?

The Rotary Club of Cape Coral will again jumpstart our community's yearly major events schedule with its ever-popular 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.

For the second year, it will also include a music component on opening day - music at a variety of venues, thanks to a partnership with the South Cape Hospitality and Entertainment Associations.

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 with a live music offered at a variety of South Cape venues from 3-9 p.m. Saturday as well as staged outside during the fest.

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

We thank Rotary and the innumerable volunteers who make this event possible. Through its 34 years, the festival has grown to become one of the Cape's biggest and best - and one of our personal favorites.

Next week brings the city of Cape Coral's annual Tour the Cape and St. Andrew Catholic School's annual festival.

Tour de Cape will "soft open" next Friday night, Jan. 18, 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.

The event, now in its 28th year, is a city tradition that also draws cyclists from across the state and beyond.

Also next week, and also in its 28th year, is the St. Andrew Festival, held on the school grounds on Del Prado Boulevard.

The school carnival and major fundraiser, which features rides, games, live entertainment and raffles, opens next Thursday, Jan. 17, and continues through the weekend.

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

If you have a child who loves rides, get your advance tickets now at standrewcs.org . Unlimited ride pre-sale tickets for the four-day carnival are $55 with the price going up to $75 on Jan. 17. Admission itself is free.

If all this isn't enough, the event-packed month will wrap up the weekend of Jan. 26 with three more events, including the 13th 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. 26, 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 fourth annual Cape Coral Historical Museum Bluegrass Jamboree will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, 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. Pick them up at the museum or online at www.capecoralhistoricalmuseum.org.

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

The ClamJam of Southwest Florida Seafood & Music Festival 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 Jan. 26-27.

If you don't like seafood?

Other offerings will include burgers, hot dogs, pulled pork and barbecue - chicken, ribs and even goat.

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

Admission is $9 in advance; $10 at the gate. Parking is free.

Yes, we do love 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 the South Cape 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 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.

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.

Set a reminder for good times to come.

- Breeze editorial

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