Editorial | Ring in the holidays
Yes, the chill in the air means the one thing we here in the Cape look forward to all year – snow!
The snowflakes-drifting-through-the-night-air-around-the-community-Christmas-tree kind.
The packed-to-perfection-for-tiny sledders kind.
“Snow” courtesy of the magic of the Holiday Festival of Lights, a 30-plus year tradition that brings thousands to the South Cape to officially kick off Cape Coral’s season of giving and gratitude.
The festival, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral and presented this year by Incredible Bank, is set for 4-10 p.m. Saturday along a three-quarter mile stretch of Cape Coral Parkway from Del Prado Boulevard to Candia Street.
Touted as the largest such celebration between Tampa and Miami, it will again feature pictures with Santa, a grand tree lighting, food, live entertainment with three stages and more.
A snow drift featuring tons of slippery, slidey “snow.”
A Tiny Tots Train Ride around Snowcap Square.
Food and drink, entertainment on three stages, lap time to share secrets with Santa and oh, that tree lighting amidst the snow drifting down from the rooftop at Big John Plaza!
What more could one ask for to ring in the holidays?
We think not much.
As do the 20,000 or so attendees who each year stroll Cape Coral Parkway, check out the wares of visiting vendors, crowd the stage areas to enjoy the holiday magic and visit the South Cape businesses that get into the spirit by staying open late to welcome revelers with specials and the opportunity to enjoy their deck-the-halls efforts.
The opening ceremony will begin at 5:45 p.m. with Santa arriving at 6:15 for the tree lighting set for 6:30.
Pictures with Santa will follow immediately after the lighting and, 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. or so.
While there is no admission charge, the festival also has a charitable component — a Holiday Food Drive to benefit the Cape Coral Caring Center, an initiative especially important this year.
Attendees moved by the 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 traditions 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 hometown holiday spirit, another Cape Coral tradition of long and happy standing.
Happy holidays, an early Merry Christmas and a very Happy Hanukkah.