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Festival of Lights tonight

By Staff | Dec 6, 2008

The Holiday Festival of Lights returns today to kick off the holiday season for the Cape and all of Southwest Florida
Sponsored by Comcast, this seasonal tradition is expected the draw between 20,000 – 30,000 to the downtown Cape corridor for a fun-filled evening of family entertainment that’s bigger and better than previous years.
Event Chair Bob Knickman was busy Friday putting the final touches on the grand event.
He had been downtown since well before breakfast, sacrificing a shower to make sure the set-up would run smoothly.
“I’ve been on site since 1 a.m.,” Knickman said. “I didn’t even take my morning shower.”
With his phone ringing “every five minutes,” Knickman was bracing for the possibility of loose ends.
He added that with all big events, some things are bound to go wrong, but it would not not have a negative effect.
“We tried to look at everything to prepare but there’s always something that happens that you don’t expect,” he said.
New for this year’s Festival of Lights, held along Cape Coral Parkway off Del Prado Boulevard, is the addition of a second children’s area, a third food court, a fourth performance area, a special presentation of “Where’s Rudolph” from Over the Top Productions, and a game show from Da Bomb Entertainment.
Knickman previously said the festival had “grown by leaps and bounds” since its inception, getting bigger and better.
Organizers began to model their plan of action after their very own Red, White, & Boom event, which also draws thousands upon thousands of people to downtown.
The sheer scope of the event is staggering, effectively covering all of downtown with a variety of entertainment options for the whole family.
There’s multiple stages of live music, Santa Claus coming down a chimney, food and adult beverages, even snow, which will fall on the Publix parking lot with slides and photo opportunities for the entire family.
Knickman was putting the “final touches” on Santa’s chimney late Friday afternoon, prepping the big man’s new entrance.
Previous year’s saw Father Christmas arrive via fire truck, but as the crowds grew it became evident Santa needed a new way to make his grand entrance.
Knickman was tired during a quick phone interview, but was excited for this year’s events.
“We’re pretty excited,” Knickman said. “But it’s been a very, very busy morning.”