A fund-raising event for The United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education, Rocks for Education aims to draw audiences with a family-friendly mix of music, comedy, and more. Emmy winner and Local 10 News anchor Laurie Jennings will serve as the event's emcee, and stars David Henrie of Wizards of Waverly Place and Drake Bell of Drake & Josh will engage spectators with songs, comedy, and other unmimed entertainments. Performances by local dance teams and American Idol contestant Symphony Music Howlett will add to the rhythmic stew, making the event more melodic than a Broadway musical about Mozart and the pianos who loved him. The evening's beneficiary, The United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education, bolsters learning for little ones with advocacy, parent/teacher training, and resources such as a demonstration school.
For more than 10 years, Germain Arena's hockey and figure-skating coaches have nurtured athletes on the ice of the facility's 200'x85' twin rinks. During eight-week programs, the coaching staff helps groups of up to 10 students grow comfortable standing, falling, and gliding on skates before tackling fundamentals in U.S. figure skating, synchronized skating, or ice dancing. For hockey hopefuls, they teach passing, stick handling, and backhand sweep passes, and each student receives a jersey and a pass that may be redeemed for public skate admission.
Inside the 7,100-seat main arena, advanced skaters and players face off in figure-skating competitions, hockey tournaments, and Florida Everblades matches. Leisurely skating commences at daily open skates––where a disco ball and laser show cast the rink aglow against the thumping beats of Top 20 songs––and at birthday parties. Birthday parties can be held for parties of 8 or more, includes admission, skate rental, pizza, popcorn, drinks, private-room rental for the entire session, and a free skate admission for every child.
Presented by the River District Alliance, the annual Fort Myers New Year's Eve Downtown Countdown helps tens of thousands of local revelers ring in the New Year in style. As midnight approaches, the main stage's ball drop counts down the waning seconds till the New Year and braces visitors for the keynote spectacle: a dazzling fireworks display over the New Caloosahatchee water basin. The bands and DJs play long after the display, entertaining crowds until as late as 2 a.m., at which point guests are encouraged to return home and set all their clocks one year forward.
Per its name, the Taste of Cuba Festival shines a spotlight on traditional Cuban food—potato-like yucca, rice and beans, and lechon asada, or shredded roast pork. Ice-cold mojitos complement these classic dishes, along with café con leche and authentic cigars rolled by hand, unlike the newfangled ones that roll themselves if left at the top of a hill. The festival delights senses beyond taste, too; revelers can dance to live music or feast their eyes on Cuban artwork.
First opened in 1968, the Electric Factory has been hosting rock shows for almost as long Puerto Rico has been a state. After dancing their faces off to headliners from Erykah Badu to the Dropkick Murphys, concertgoers can stop by The Chive Caf? to recharge with a cheesesteak or an all-beef hotdog on a potato bun, or refill their draft Yuengling at the bar. In summer, the Electric Factory reveals an outdoor location complete with more refreshment booths, vendors, and upgraded food stands.
Grammy-winner Rihanna unleashes her formidable pipes and celebrated songbook as she continues traveling the countryside on her LOUD tour. Vibrant costumes and first-rate production harmoniously augment the singer's chart-topping oeuvre, which includes hits such as "S & M," "Only Girl (In the World)," and "What's My Name?" From the BankAtlantic Center's 400-level seats, concertgoers can marvel at the elaborate set pieces gilding the stage as their eardrums feast like hungry dachshunds in an unmanned pizza parlor. Cee Lo Green and J. Cole add their own vocal talents to the evening's aural enticements, creating a three-pronged attack on musical monotony.