Cape Coral residents and visitors are invited to ring in the New Year with live music, a dazzling fireworks display and a real ball drop at Cape Harbour.
The seventh annual New Year's Party kicks off at 8 p.m. Monday at 5703 Cape Harbour Drive. The event is free and open to the public; parking available.
"We're going to have fireworks and a spectacular ball drop," Glenda Swager, event manager at Cape Harbour, said. "They improve it every year."
She called the 170-foot ball drop "dynamic."
"The main thing we focused on big this year was the ball drop," Swager said, adding that construction on it started in November. "I think, over the years, we keep on improving."
Super Bot will perform at The Joint beginning at 8 a.m. There also will be food, drinks and party favors available. The restaurants will be open.
Rumrummers will offer waterfront dining from 5-10 p.m. Reservations are recommended at 542-0200. Pignoli on the Harbour, located on the marina, will host a party from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. with live music. Reservations a must.
Pignoli on the Harbour can be reached at 541-0800.
Swager noted that the shops at Cape Harbour also will be open.
"It helps to promote Cape Harbour," she said, adding that a new perfume store recently opened at the marina that offers designer fragrances.
An estimated 2,000 to 3,000 attended last year's event.
"It could be even higher," Swager said. "We didn't count them."
She encouraged people to come out and "kick up" their heels.
"The excitement that's generated out here is very uplifting," Swager said. "It's very encouraging - we've had some tough years."
For those interested in something outside of the Cape, the River District Alliance will host the 2013 Fort Myers New Year's Eve Downtown Countdown from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Free general admission; preferred viewing available.Parking in designated lots for a nominal fee.
The free downtown trolley will run until 10:30 p.m.
"We're closing off the entire downtown for the event," Robin Dermer, a spokeswoman for the River District Alliance, said.
Preferred viewing tickets are sold by level for $10 or $15 each. Preferred viewing ticket holders are welcome to bring chairs for enjoying the show.
There is also a VIP pavilion for $99 per ticket. The tickets includes food, drinks, a champagne toast at midnight, party favors and private cash bar.
There will be five stages, with the main stage kicking off at 6:45 p.m.
Eleven bands are scheduled to perform, most of which include Low Rent, Paige Miles, The U.S. Stones, The Jewmaicans, Trezz Hombres, Lawrence Dermer and The Miami Sound, Hands Up Music, Influential and Son Salvaje.
"They're going to have a lot of great music going on," she said.
There will be a ball drop with countdown and deejay tower.
Dermer noted that the fireworks will be spectacular.
A first this year will be the Everblades Kid Zone. It will feature bounce houses, crafts, games and a karaoke tent, along with its own stage, where the Florida Rep Theater will host a performance of "School House Rock."
"We're trying to open it up and expose it to more families, make it a little more family friendly," Dermer said.
Admission is free for children 6 and under. Bracelets are available for ages 7 and older as a cost of $12 for one, $20 for two or $25 for three. Children with bracelets do not need a separate ticket for the preferred viewing area.
"With this economy, we want to make this an event that they (families) can come down to and make it affordable," she said.
The Everblades Kid Zone will be open from 6-11 p.m.
The event also will feature a Craft Beer Garden that includes several speciality beers, along with the typical food and drink vendors. Florida's longest congo line and Flash Electric Slide will also be part of the fun.
According to Dermer, last year's event drew more than 16,000 people.
"This year, we're expecting in excess of 20,000," she said.
For information or to purchase tickets or bracelets, visit online at: www.fortmyersdowntowncountdown.com or call (855) 732-3836.
A map is also available online that shows the event layout.
For more information on the seventh annual New Year's Party, call 945-6116 or visit the Web site online at: www.capeharbour.com and click on "Events."