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Editorial | Popular hometown events jumpstart Cape’s calendar

By Staff | Jan 4, 2024

What better way to kick off the new year than with a Cape Coral tradition — or two or three?

The Rotary Club of Cape Coral will again jumpstart the Cape’s annual major events schedule with its popular Cape Coral Art Festival & Market Place set for Jan. 13 & 14 along Cape Coral Parkway.

One of the Cape’s largest events, the art-centric festival now in its 39th year is recognized as one of the top 100 held nationwide, featuring noted artists as well as a student showcase, Artway on the Parkway.

The event draws an estimated 140,000-plus visitors to the city’s traditional downtown, the South Cape.

Did we mention food vendors and more?

The festival, a major fundraiser for Rotary, will run from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day.

As always, admission and parking are free for attendees.

We again thank Rotary and the innumerable volunteers who make this event possible. Through the course of its near four decades, the festival has evolved into one of the Cape’s biggest and best events– and long one of our collective favorites.

The following week brings the city of Cape Coral’s annual Tour de Cape.

Tour de Cape will open with a “kick-off celebration” at Rotary Park on Friday, Jan. 19. The celebration will run from 4-7 p.m. and participants can pick up race packets, maps and T-shirts at the park at 5505 Rose Garden Road.

The event then steps off Saturday, Jan. 20, with a 5K run/walk and a mini kids bike ride.

Sunday, Jan. 21, brings the main attraction — the 15-, 30-, 62- and 100-mile Tour de Cape itself, with bike tours in the southwest, northwest and northeast sectors of the city.

The event, now in its 33th year, is a city tradition that also draws cyclists from across the state and beyond.

Visit tourdecape.net for more information on this event sponsored by the Cape Coral Parks and Recreation Department.

If all this isn’t enough, the event-packed month will wrap up its final weekend with the 18th annual Best South Cape Martini Competition Trolley Event.

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 $30 in advance ($25 for designated drivers) and $35 on the day of the event — if tickets are still available to what is most always a sellout.

Yes, we do love January and any — or all three — of these events are a great way to start 2024.

They — like numerous other events such the city’s recent inaugural New Year’s Celebration, the various South Cape Bike Nights (with the first of ’24 is set for Feb. 10), Burrowing Owl Festival, and, of course, the July 4th Red, White & Boom!, Oktoberfest, 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 the city, its employees, and all of the organizations, businesses and volunteers who make such things possible.

Breeze editorial