Historic Cocoa Village Things You Should Know

Historic Cocoa Village a bit of American history

If you’re into a bit of American history, you should plan to visit Historic Cocoa Village, Cocoa Village Playhouse, and cocoa riverfront park. It is the downtown core of the City of Cocoa.
Cocoa Village is a measure aside from busyness and a step back into time. It is a quaint part of town that offers artsy, coastal- free market, clothes boutiques, bamboo, and themed stores, together with a mixed bag of cafes and eateries.

It is Ideal for window shopping or enjoying just a pleasant stroll with your spouse in the afternoon. I don’t recommend you visit on Sundays because most of the shops are closed.
It’s only two maybe three blocks, with tree-lined streets that give you the feel like you’re somewhere in European. If you want to immerse yourself in the culture of the village, I recommend you park your car and walk.
Cocoa Village is one of those unique shopping and dining experience in a relaxing setting with a small town vibe.
Each store is exceptional and unique, and all have great finds, In comparison to those cookie cutter stores you find in malls.
Cocoa Village has loads of benches outside for the guys to sit, relax, and people watch as your partner or spouse hunt for that unique souvenirs to take home.
Stroll along the old, tree-lined roads, store and enjoy the relaxing feeling of a riverside community that is homesick.
Dine at one of our gourmet restaurants or have lunch at Ryan’s with a great view of the river.
If you are into theater and plays, the highlight of your visit should include a show at the historic Cocoa Village Playhouse. Cocoa Village is renowned for its local theater that has top-notch musical productions.
The Historic Cocoa Village Association
The Historic Cocoa Village Association (HCVA) represents nearly all the retailers in Cocoa Village. The HCVA’s mandate it to help support and boost the City of Cocoa and development of the Historic Cocoa Village community generally by sponsoring and coordinating actions and community events in the area.
Capital raised, support various promotions, tourism development, and general marketing. The HCVA’s occasions that are most notable includes four Art and Craft Fairs, the Spring and Autumn Central Florida Car Shows, four yearly sip & stroll and Blues & BBQ.
The HCVA also partners with Cocoa Main Street in the demonstration of various other community and the City of Cocoa supporting actions and events through the year.

Cocoa Riverfront Park

This 10 acres riverfront park is right next to Historic Cocoa Village’s restaurants and shops! They provide restrooms, a sand volleyball court, huge, majestic oaks tree for shade and a kids’ playground. There is a fantastic ground level cascading fountain for kids – and big “kids”- to run through and cool off.
The park has many beautiful shady areas, including a covered pavilion walkway around the open-air amphitheater where there are sometimes performances.
There’s always a fun event or festival going on and many summertime activities including monthly Friday kids’ movie nights on the grass in the remarkable Cocoa Riverfront Park Amphitheater – and incredible fireworks and concert on July 4th! Lots of music events throughout the year!
There is also an extensive riverfront boardwalk that connects to Lee Wenner Park, which is predominantly a fishing spot, marina/boat ramp area.

Cocoa Village Playhouse

Created as the “Aladdin” theater, the doors opened showing silent movies. Afterward, Brevard’s first “talkie movie house that is ” became known as “the showplace of the Indian River section”. Several decades and several owners after, the Town of Cocoa bought the building and renamed The Cocoa Village Playhouse.

Brevard Community College District Board of Trustees got the building the school make the theater work in the best interest of the community and would take the duty of possession.
The Trustees promptly created a 501(c)(3) not for profit Direct Support Organization with its Board of Directors. The mandate of the board was to make the Playhouse self-supporting.
The Playhouse started making community-based musicals in 1989 and was re-established working. As the scheduling became popular and grew, the Stars of Tomorrow Youth program was created in 1992 starting with eight young people and has over 264 participants each season featuring youth ages 7.
The performer foundation has grown to over 600 volunteers who rotate with a core group referred to as the “Gold Star Performers” who perform in back-to-back performances each season throughout the generations each year.

Each year the Playhouse is supported by a crowd foundation of 4,000 season supporters and performances are run till each production finishes

In the summer of 2014, a $500,000 renovation job financed by a grant through the State of Florida to update the foyer and of areas mezzanine the theater was completed. The Directors for the Playhouse and the City are excited about the future of the historical community theater in Cocoa Village.
To date, the Playhouse has experienced remarkable renovations, including the building of a three-story technical support annex attached to the historic facility. The annex has empowered its operations to enlarge to include community occasions, peculiarity performances, and a community ballet company. Each year the theater is supported by a recognized crowd base of 4,200 season patrons. Each production regularly sells out before the run of each production is finished
Known to all as “Broadway on Brevard” this team, staff, and volunteers are an excellent example of quality community best theaters in the state of Florida.

A bit of History

The first families to find Cocoa were Fishermen
They erected a post office at Magnolia Point, and the first commercial building of the city was built around 1881.
The source of the name of the town is not certain. In 1925, the Cocoa Tribune printed several subscriber-provided reports of the naming of the city.
One reader credited Captain R.C. May for advocating the name at a town meeting in 1884. At Captain May’s idea, the group eventually picked the name “Cocoa” for the town’s organization with the cocoa tree.

Another narrative implies that a box of baker’s hot chocolate inspired an old woman and her idea was adopted. Another variation suggests that the bank of the Indian River dwelt an old woman who does provide sailors with hot cocoa as they traveled along the river.
As they passed, they might call out “hot chocolate, hot chocolate” until the girl provided them with refreshment. Whatever its source the name Cocoa had become forever connected with what was then an infant settlement.

The city was chartered in 1895. In the winter of 1894-1895, Cocoa endured a second serious economic setback when the “Great Freeze” ruined the citrus harvest and driven many citrus workers to seek new professions.
During the second decade of the 20th century, economic development and population growth in Cocoa quickened. By 1930, the population had increased to 2,200.
The population increased dramatically following the development of the space industry, quadrupling from 3,098 in 1940 to 12,244 in 1960. The surrounding region and cocoa also became incorporated for the very first time with the tourist industry as the region to watch thousands saw the launches.
Segregation was in full effect up un the 1960s, at which time elementary schools for black pupils and Monroe High School were closed.
In 1964, the city assembled the Cocoa Expo Sports Center (Cocoa Stadium) for the Colt 45s spring baseball training and Grapefruit League games.
The team became the Houston Astros. In the early 1980s, by requesting the Astros to pay for needed repairs the city tried to update the arena. In 1985, the team reacted by transferring its training. Because of this, it was determined that the county authorities would do future discussions with major league teams.

Sometime in the 1970’s the downtown area of Cocoa went through a was revitalized with music nightclubs, a shopping district and Waterfront Park.

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