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BOOM! : July 4th bash another blast

By JOHNATHAN MINEHAN - | Jul 9, 2024

National country act and headliner Parmalee rocked the Cape Coral’s Red, White & BOOM! stage during Thursday's annual celebration. JOHNATHAN MINEHAN

Cape Coral’s Red, White & BOOM! celebration was a blast, with live music and fireworks again taking center stage at Cape Coral’s annual Fourth of July street fair.

National country act and headliner Parmalee performed some of its top hits, including “Carolina,” “Boyfriend,” and “Take My Name.” They also performed hits from other artists, including The Kid Laroi’s “Stay” and Usher’s “Yeah.”

Ashlyn Peterson, a repeat attendee, said she was excited to see Parmalee perform and also enjoyed the late-night fireworks extravaganza.

“For the last couple of years, my boyfriend Shawn, who I met down here when (we) started working at the hospital together, and we have come with his little sister,” Peterson said. “We usually have a barbecue every year at my uncle’s house.”

The Fourth of July means a lot to residents like Peterson, who has a sister, brother, and dad in the military.

They were among the thousands of celebrants who filled Cape Coral Parkway at the foot of the Cape Coral Bridge.

Kiaya Sunn was given the opportunity to sing the national anthem at the city-organized event and spent some time at a vendor tent set up with her family’s roofing business.

“I’m most excited to sing the national anthem. I had a bit of a breakdown yesterday, but I’m ready today,” Sunn said Thursday. “Fourth of July is about coming together with my friends and family and being patriotic. There’s just so much for you to do here. There’s so many different things that you can really just enjoy.”

Sunn has sung the national anthem at multiple events, including high school games and other sporting events, and was excited to have the opportunity to do so again, this time at the largest July 4th celebration in Southwest Florida.

Red, White & BOOM! included various food trucks, vendors, and opportunities for businesses to showcase and advertise.

The event was free to attend but also included a VIP admissions option replete with a catered meal from Mission BBQ, two adult beverages or soda/water, shaded dining seating, air-conditioned restrooms, customized swag and prime viewing for the fireworks show.

Food trucks, meanwhile, offered lemonade, funnel cakes, hot dogs, and more to the crowd.

Chuck Tomlin was among those getting food for his family and enjoying the live music.

“I’ve been (in Southwest Florida) a while, but I haven’t had the opportunity to go to the event until now,” Tomlin said. “It’s always a nice day with the family. I’m from Cape May, New Jersey, and I watch the fireworks there every summer, but here is the first time.”

After the concert wrapped up in the “Boom Zone,” the always-much-anticipated fireworks show took to the sky and did not disappoint — the display could be seen from streets away near the Cape Coral Bridge.

Attendees had some advice for those attending next year.

With his first Red, White & BOOM! now behind him, Tomlin said not to be afraid to go to a big event in Cape Coral, just make sure to wear cool clothing and lots of sunscreen.

Peterson had similar advice.

“Wear sunscreen, bring lots of water, and come early,” she said.