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03/28/2013 at 3:55pm

FGCU BasketballThe Party is Here on Dunk City Beach

All hail Dunk City Beach! In true community spirit, businesses, organizations and governments across Lee County came together this week to create an 'out of this world' event for an 'out of this world' team – Friday night's NCAA basketball game between Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles and University of Florida Gators will be shown on a giant screen in Time Square.

"This is happening thanks to the Times Square Merchants and Events Association, the Town of Fort Myers Beach and the Friends of FGCU,” said Francesca Dolan, Communications Manager for the Visitors and Convention Bureau. "Immediately after Big Al and the Fat Cats get done playing at 9pm, on the stage set up for the Sunset Celebration, the screen will be set up on the stage in preparation for the big event.”

Giant screens have been offered by both the City of Cape Coral and Bay Oaks Recreational Campus and one of them will be used for the event. Dolan also told us that all parking at Lynn Hall Park and under the Matanzas Pass Bridge will be free after 9pm.

"And Lee County Parks and Recreation has said that – while the bathrooms at Lynn Hall will be locked, they are supplying four porta-potties,” Dolan said.

The FGCU Eagles soared to national popularity after they soundly defeated basketball powerhouse Georgetown and pounded San Diego State, making them the first ever 15-seed team to make it to the Sweet Sixteen and sending folks all over the country scurrying to their computers to find out just where on the map Fort Myers is located and earning the town the moniker, "Dunk City”. The hype has risen to a fever pitch over this past week as people all over the world wanting to know more about this loveable underdog that has fought, dunked and jumped their way through the tournament. In the words of Time Magazine, "Play like you don't have a care in the world, and the world will care about you”.

Watch parties are scheduled all over both Lee and Collier Counties but the one in Time Square is the only outdoor party in the county.Dolan says she hopes the one being held on Dunk City Beach will also result in more folks discovering our beautiful island.

"We here at the VCB are so excited and so grateful to the merchants in Time Square for helping us to piggyback this event onto their Sunset Celebration,” Dolan said. "Also to Town Manager Terry Stewart for getting the permitting through and everyone who has come together to make this possible.”

"Get ready to celebrate!” she concluded. "We want the whole world to see what a gorgeous beach we have!”

Keri Hendry Weeg