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Cape Coral’s ‘Big John’ statue masks up

One of Cape Coral’s most famous landmarks is now part of the push to get you to wear a mask.

The 28-foot “Big John” statue donned a face mask Thursday.

“We all want to be safe; we all want to be a healthy community and Big John wants to be a part of it,” said Elmer Tabor, who owns half of Big John’s Plaza between Cape Coral Parkway East and SE 47th Terrace in downtown Cape Coral.

For the time being, Big John will be a part of the city’s new “Mask Up” campaign to encourage everyone to cover up anywhere social distancing isn’t possible.

Using a ladder truck, rope and lots of hands, the Cape Coral Fire Department spent hours making sure Big John’s mask fit just right.

“We’re coming in direct contact with COVID, so wearing a mask is very important for us,” said Christopher Moore, battalion chief with the Cape Coral Fire Department.

To give you an idea of how large Big John’s mask is, a normal face mask is about six inches long. Big John’s is almost three feet. Clinton Strand of Brand 1 Ink helped with the design.

“It’s actually proportionate to an actual surgical mask, so we took Big John’s measurements and then scaled out a real mask and then made it out of banner material to fit,” Strand said.

The decorating caused quite the spectacle.

“I thought at first Big John’s on fire and then I realized they’re putting a beautiful mask on his face,” said Paul David Adamick, Cape Coral

Big John also sports the city’s “Mask Up” campaign logo, which is also spotlighted on billboards and posters all around town.

“It’s for my benefit, other people’s benefit,” Adamick said.

The mask’s designers said they still have to put the final touches on Big John’s mask. They plan to add a nose wire so it doesn’t fall off.

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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