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It’s time to ring in the holidays

By Staff | Dec 2, 2021

Song, Santa and, yes, snow! — the holiday season officially kicks off in Cape Coral Saturday night with the annual Festival of Lights – touted by organizers as the largest holiday celebration between Tampa and Miami.

The block party, coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral and title sponsored this year by The Gunterberg Charitable Foundation, will feature live entertainment spread among three stages; food courts; a free play area for children complete with a 15-ton snowdrift slide, train rides, bounce houses and inflatables, all capped with a tree lighting and the opportunity to share Christmas wishes with Santa Claus.

Each year an estimated 20,000 attendees stroll Cape Coral Parkway, check out the wares of visiting vendors and crowd the stage areas to enjoy the holiday magic.

South Cape businesses get into the spirit, staying open late to welcome revelers with specials and an opportunity to enjoy their deck-the-halls efforts.

Now three decades strong, 2021’s festival promises to be another good one with lots of festival traditions slated to run from 4-10 p.m.

For those most interested in the holiday pageantry – centered, of course, around the Jolly Old Elf, himself – the opening ceremony will begin at 5:45 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus then will arrive for the official tree lighting at 6:15 p.m.

As always, Santa will remain on hand to meet all of the Cape’s good little girls and boys, with picture opportunities offered until 9:45 p.m.

While there is no admission charge, the festival also has a charitable component – a Holiday Food Drive to benefit the Cape Coral Caring Center.

Attendees moved by the holiday spirit of giving can bring food or monetary donations to the Snow Slide area to help families in need.

Food, fun, Santa and a neighbor-helping-neighbor food and fund drive – hometown festivals like this are one of the best things about living in the Cape.

We thank all of the parties that make these events possible – the organizers and, especially, the volunteers and the businesses that offer sponsorships, which have helped keep admissions free.

That’s another thing that separates Cape events from those “across the river” – the biggest and the best, like Red, White & BOOM!, the Rotary Festival of the Arts, and the Festival of Lights, are no or low cost (depending on how much one chooses to indulge), thanks to the efforts of local organizations and business participation.

That’s hometown holiday spirit epitomized – and we’re lucky enough to enjoy it year-round.

Once again, happy holidays and an early Merry Christmas.

– Breeze editorial