Celebrate Cape Coral Night Parade set for March 4

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In 1957, Leonard and Jack Rosen purchased 103 square miles of land in Southwest Florida, and under the name, Gulf American Land Corporation began building their Waterfront Wonderland, Cape Coral.

To mark the sixtieth anniversary of the land purchase, the South Cape Hospitality and Entertainment Associations (SCHEA) is organizing the first Celebrate Cape Coral Night Parade in the heart of the Cape Coral's Entertainment District.

Taking place March 4 on SE 47th Terrace, SCHEA Executive Director Donna Meola says the parade will be a gala affair, filled with floats, bands, dignitaries, and more from local businesses, clubs, organizations, and residents, "It will be a wonderful evening of the community coming together to celebrate what we all consider paradise."

The event marks the first nighttime parade in Cape Coral in over ten years, and Meola says the response to the return of an evening event has been well received, "Clubs and organizations have shown a great deal of excitement to share in the celebration and bring back Cape Coral's only night time parade."

While the response has been strong, Meola says the parade is looking for even more participants, "We have extended the deadline to allow more people to participate. The more involved, the bigger the parade will be, the better experience it will be for all."

In preparation for the event, SCHEA recently announced that official Cape Coral Historian Paul Sanborn would serve as the parade's Grand Marshal.

93-year-old Sanborn first moved to Cape Coral in 1962 and served as the assistant to the managing director of Gulf American. Since that time, Sanborn has played an integral role in the city's development from a dream to Florida's tenth largest city in population.

Over the years, Sanborn has helped create the city's first fire, police station, high school, and hospital, to name a few. He was also a charter member of such organizations as the Rotary Club of Cape Coral, American Legion Post 90, and Cape Coral United Methodist Church.

Meola says when deciding who would be the parade's grand marshal, Sanborn was the obvious choice, "When we were choosing a grand marshal, we at SCHEA thought of no better way to give back to Mr. Sanborn for his years of service and commitment to our community," says Meola.

To recreate the year, the Rosen Brothers purchased the land, during the parade Sanborn will ride in a 1957 Ford Thunderbird along with two actors portraying Jack and Leonard Rosen.

With the grand marshal chosen, and participants lining up to join in, Meola is confident the parade will be something to remember, "Our goal is to create a new annual tradition in Cape Coral, that we can all call our own."

The Celebrate Cape Coral Night Parade will take place Saturday, March 4 at 7:00pm along SE 47th Terrace between SE 15th Avenue and SE 8th Court.

If you, your business, club, or organization would like to participate in the parade, contact Donna Meola at donna@southcapeentertainment.com or (239) 900-4028. The registration deadline is February 22.

For more information and updates on the event, click here.