BABCOCK RANCH — Master Developer Kitson & Partners is inviting the public to come enjoy the progress being made at Babcock Ranch during a two-day Founder’s Festival event on Saturday, March 11 from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 12 from noon to 6 p.m. The opening of the festival will be preceded by the 2017 Sun Run that will include 10-K and 5-K races and a one-mile Fun Run beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday.Babcock Ranch is a new eco-centric town being developed by Kitson in Charlotte County east of Fort Myers off State Road 31 north of the Lee County Civic Center.
Babcock Ranch is the first solar powered town in the world and will ultimately include 19,500 homes, nearly 50,000 residents, and 6 million square feet of commercial space.The Founder’s Festival will celebrate the completion of Founder’s Square’s event lawn, band shell and boardwalk, the first buildings in Babcock’s Downtown District, including Woodlea Hall, Curry Creek Outfitters, and the Table & Tap restaurant, as well as a fishing pier, dog park, the first four miles of the new town’s trail network, and a number of new model homes. The celebration will feature two days of music, food trucks, a farmer’s market, model home tours, kids’ games, family activities, and more.Before the dedication of Founder’s Square at 10:30 on Saturday, March 11, Babcock Ranch will host the 2017 Sun Run that will include a 10-K timed chip race starting at 7:30, a 5-K timed chip race starting at 8:00, and a one-mile Fun Run at 9:00. Online registration for the 10-K and 5-K at www.foundersfest.net ends on March 8 and includes a $5 race fee and a $2 sign-up fee. The fee for registration on the day of the event is $20. The free one-mile Fun Run is open to runners and walkers of all ages and strollers are allowed. Dana Miller of Cypress Lake High School’s Performing Arts group will perform the national anthem prior to the start of the 10-K. Awards will be presented at 9:30 at Founder’s Square.Kitson & Partners’ Chairman and CEO Syd Kitson will welcome festival visitors from the lakefront band shell at Founder’s Square at 10:30 Saturday morning.
Kitson will be joined on the stage by Babcock Ranch President Rick Severance, representatives from numerous partner organizations, and Charlotte and Lee County Commissioners as he formally dedicates Founder’s Square with a ribbon cutting. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy the festivities while sitting on the Square’s open green.Furnished models by Stock Development and Homes by Towne from Lake Timber’s Longleaf and Heritage Collections, respectively, will be open for viewing on Saturday and Sunday. Games and activities will be held on both days. The DeSoto Arts & Humanities Council and Peace River Arts & Humanities Council will feature active painting by artists on the Square’s boardwalk overlooking Lake Babcock. Food and beverages will be available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday in the Downtown District and at locations in Lake Timber. Those attending the Festival will also have an opportunity to experience Sunset Trail, the first stage of the 50-mile network of nature trails that will be enjoyed by Babcock’s residents and visitors.Musical performances at Founders Square’s band shell will be held throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday.The approximately 13-acre Founder’s Square is the heart of the Downtown District at Babcock Ranch and serves as Babcock’s central gathering place and the site of community events and celebrations. It also anchors every aspect of life in the new town. Kitson’s development strategy at Babcock Ranch is focused on creating a sense of place that will be embraced by residents and visitors alike. Founder’s Square epitomizes that vision.
Visitors to the festival will have an opportunity to visit the information center at Woodlea Hall, Babcock’s first civic building situated on the western edge of Founder’s Square. Hikers, bikers, kayakers, boaters, and fishing enthusiasts will enjoy Curry Creek Outfitters located next door to Woodlea Hall. The lakefront Table & Tap restaurant includes indoor and outdoor dining and a beer garden immediately adjacent to the green at Founder’s Square. An 80-year old oak tree transplanted from the Babcock property provides a backdrop for the beer garden. Children will enjoy the Square’s splash pad. Benches offer a place to relax and the lakefront boardwalk at the northern edge of the green beckons visitors to take a stroll along the lake.To learn more about the Founder’s Festival at Babcock Ranch on March 11 and 12t or to register for the 2017 Sun Run, visit www.foundersfest.net.To learn more about living at the eco-centric, solar powered town being created by Kitson & Partners at Babcock Ranch, visit www.babcockranch.com.