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Cats & Coffee: Celebrate 4th of July at the BB&T Center

by Jameson Olive / Florida Panthers

Good morning and welcome to “Cats & Coffee,” a weekly segment presented by Community Coffee in which we get you caffeinated with an exciting look at the week ahead for the Florida Panthers.

The Florida Panthers would like to invite all of South Florida to start their week off with a bang by celebrating the Fourth of July surrounded by food, fun and fireworks at the BB&T Center in Sunrise.

In what has become one of the biggest summer gatherings in the area, the annual Independence Day celebration is guaranteed to have a little something for everyone, including live music, fireworks, food and beverage vendors, and children's rides and inflatables -- if you’ve never watched festive aerial explosions from a bounce house, this is your chance!

The music is slated to begin at 6:00 p.m. with a set by local pop-rock cover band Havoc 305, playing rock and Top 40 hits. At 7:30 p.m., headliners Big Bad Voodoo Daddy -- the masters of contemporary swing, jazz and big band – will take the stage to provide an upbeat soundtrack to your evening of red, white and blue fun.

Since forming in California in the early nineties, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has toured virtually nonstop – performing more than 2,700 live shows – and producing 10 albums. Their horn-infused, high-energy tunes have been featured in numerous films and TV shows, including Despicable Me, Friends, Third Rock from the Sun, and Phineas and Ferb.

The band has also appeared live during the Super Bowl XXXIII Halftime Show, NBC’s Christmas in Rockefeller Center, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade – In other words, these guys definitely know how headline a party.

The event concludes with a dazzling fireworks show at 9 p.m.

Parking and admission are free.

The following items, however, may not be brought into the event area:

- Large bags

- Coolers

- Glass containers

- Alcohol

- Pets (Not even cats!)

- Weapons

- Bicycles

- Fireworks (I promise ours will be more than enough)

- Any other items deemed inappropriate by site management


If you’ve been keeping up on current cat-related events, then you likely already know that the real fireworks actually started a few days ago for the Stanley Cup-hungry Panthers.

One of the most active teams in the entire league over this past weekend, the Panthers are fresh off a flurry of moves that not only improved their outlook for the upcoming season, but also made sure that the team would have a large crop of top-tier talent for many years to come.

In addition to re-signing core players such as Vincent Trocheck, Reilly Smith and Aaron Ekblad to lengthy extensions, the team also made a series of savvy moves on the free agent market, signing goaltender James Reimer, defenseman Jason Demers and forwards Colton Sceviour and Jonathan Marchessault.

“They’ve got a great team and great management and ownership,” Reimer said of the Panthers. “They’re passionate about winning. As a player, that’s the organization you want to be a part of.”

Make sure to check back here tomorrow for a full recap of these exciting additions!

COLD COFFEE (In case you missed it)

- Logan Shaw recently volunteered as a special guest instructor during the Panthers Ultimate Hockey School at the Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs.

- In our final installment of this summer’s “Season Rewind” series, we took a look at Reilly Smith’s breakout season with the Panthers, including a very special look at one of his career-high 25 goals during his 2015-16 campaign.

- The Panthers signed forward Connor Brickley and goaltender Sam Brittain to a pair of one-year, two-way contracts.

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