CityFest returns this weekend with Stiletto Sprint and LipDub

And they're off! Hundreds raced down Fifth Avenue South Friday evening in high heels, including a few intrepid males, in the Stiletto Sprint, to benefit the Garden of Hope and Courage & Susan G. Komen Southwest Florida.  Lance Shearer/Special to the Daily News

Photo by LANCE SHEARER // Buy this photo

And they're off! Hundreds raced down Fifth Avenue South Friday evening in high heels, including a few intrepid males, in the Stiletto Sprint, to benefit the Garden of Hope and Courage & Susan G. Komen Southwest Florida. Lance Shearer/Special to the Daily News

So you’re the sort to break out into a song.

But only after you’ve broken out into a sprint.

Either way, the fall CityFest has something that's likely to tickle your festival fancy. From Saturday to Wednesday, Oct. 31, the downtown Naples area will host an array of events intended to showcase the best of the area. The lineup includes the 2012 Monster Bash at Tavern on the Bay in Bayfront, the annual Stone Crab Festival (see story, page 20), Crayton Cove's Palette to Palate restaurant and gallery hop and the Naples Concert Band at Cambier Park.

Click here for a complete CityFest event guide

Pink is Power

City Fest also marks the return of the Pink is Power street party and the Stiletto Sprint fundraiser.

The event invites women — and brave men — to slip into their favorite pair of high heels and run a short course down Fifth Avenue South to benefit the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Southwest Florida affiliate, which raises money for breast cancer education and research, and the Garden of Hope and Courage on the downtown campus of NCH Healthcare System.

"It's unusual that two nonprofits will come together and actually plan an event together, but it works out well," said Miriam Ross, Komen's executive director.

The sprint was held on a Friday night in previous years. Now in its third year, the sprint will be Saturday and will offer expanded activities. In the first year, about 300 people participated in the sprint; in the second year, that number grew to about 400. In addition to those attendees, "there are thousands of people on the street who want to watch this," Ross said.

To find ways to engage spectators in the event — and possibly encourage them to financially support it, too — Pink is Power organizers worked to design an event this year that has all the hallmarks of a true street festival. To begin, they decided to close Fifth Avenue South, allowing more activities and events.

Pink is Power Stiletto Sprint

What: Street festival featuring live music, children’s activities and a stiletto sprint to benefit Susan G. Komen Southwest Florida and the Garden of Hope and Courage

Where: Fifth Avenue South, downtown Naples

Cost: $25, adult sprinter (no T-shirt) or $50 (includes T-shirt); $10, child sprinter; free, street festival. Tickets for the Pink is Power activities will be available to purchase on site.

Information: www.komenswfl.org

Organizers added 10 bands, all volunteering their performances, to help create a lively festival atmosphere.

When attendees arrive at this year's festival, they'll find a classic car display and pick-a-prize raffle, too. Registrants in the sprint also have the chance to win a pink diamond ring valued at $12,800 and donated by Port Royal Jewelers.

Many of Fifth Avenue's vendors have joined the effort by offering special food or drink items and sidewalk sales. For weeks, donation boxes topped with colorful stilettos have waited in shop windows.

When: 4:30 p.m. activities and registration, 6 p.m. sprint, Saturday, Oct. 20

Children haven't been overlooked this year, either. There's a host of activities to keep the younger set entertained, including flower pot decorating, arcade games, children's chalk art, a miniature bowling alley and more.

For breast cancer survivors, there's an opportunity to sign a large pink construction crane that regularly makes the rounds to such cancer-support events. Named "Mary Helen" in honor of a breast cancer survivor, the 70-ton crane has already collected more than 300,000 signatures.

Because the sprint seems to stir up the creativity of its participants, this year's event includes a costume contest. Prizes will be awarded in the categories of best individual, best group and best costume by decade. Ross expects the costume contest to be one of the event's highlights; some participants have been preparing for weeks, she said.

"I have to tell you, there are going to be some crazy costumes," she said.

Finally, for those who may complete the sprint and then swear to never again wear another pair of high heels, no worries: Goodwill will be on hand to relieve racers of any unwanted high heels as well as other donations.

Dancing in the streets

CityFest also marks the third try for LipDub Naples, a video performance that features community members lip syncing and dancing through the streets of Old Naples. Organizers made two previous attempts in April, only to be foiled by rainy weather.

They'll give it a final try on Sunday, Oct. 28. The video's parting scene will be at the Naples Pier, explains David Elliott, LipDub Naples' chairman and organizer.

LipDub Naples

What: A community lip-sync to the tunes of “Dancing in the Streets,” “Dynamite” and “Let the Sun Shine In” along the streets of Naples

When: Sunday, Oct. 28. Attendees should arrive at the Naples Pier at 9 a.m. with a pool noodle

Where: Third Street South district, ending at the Naples Pier

Cost: Free. Pool noodles may be purchased at the event for $3.

Information: www.lipdubnaples.com

The hope is to have thousands of people appear in that final shot, Elliott said. All they must do is meet at the Naples Pier at 9 a.m. on Oct. 28, armed with a pool noodle. If you don't have a pool noodle, you can buy one on-site for $3 from Kiwanis Club of East Naples.

"It ends with a shot — we think, we hope, a monumental shot — on the beach taken from the Pier," he said.

Elliott was inspired to assemble a LipDub Naples after seeing LipDub performances in other cities. Combining lip syncing and audio dubbing, the LipDub video will be made in one single, unedited shot; Elliott estimates that the planned route, which starts at Broad Avenue South and Third Street South and ends at the Naples Pier, will require about 30 minutes per take.

"In order for us to get a good take, we're probably going to do it three or four times," he said.

LipDub Naples features a mix of three songs, "Dancing in the Streets," "Dynamite" and "Let the Sun Shine In." Before the final shot, prominent community figures will lip sync the lyrics of the songs and dance their way along the route. These figures include members of the news media, government officials and "some surprises," Elliott said.

In cities such as Grand Rapids, Mich., LipDub performers were given weeks to rehearse. LipDub Naples won't have quite as much time to prepare — just a few hours before they shoot. But Elliott believes he's written a more manageable script than in other LipDub communities, one that gives each performer a "small little section they're responsible for." There will be as many as 150 volunteers along the route to assist with the production.

"It's more like a flash mob, except it's extremely choreographed," he said. "A lot of time has gone into this with the team, and they're all phenomenal."

Once the video is completed, it will premiere at Silverspot Cinema at the Mercato, with all proceeds benefiting an as-of-yet-undecided local charity. It will also be posted online, where Elliott hopes the video will dispel the myth that Naples is solely a retirement community, devoid of youthful excitement.

"I want to show people that Naples isn't the place where old white guys go to die," he said. "I want to show them that it's a fun, vibrant community where families love to live."

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