Cape celebrates ‘Festival of Lights’
The Holiday Festival of Lights returned for another year of holiday festivities, as thousands of people packed the downtown corridor to ring in the season with fun, food and good tidings.
Sponsored by Comcast, this year’s Festival of Light featured even more fun and excitement than in years past, with an expanded kid’s area and added live entertainment.
Felix Torres and his family, Cape residents for 19 years, said each Festival of Lights just keeps getting better.
“This is wonderful, there’s so much here,” Torres said. “When I first came here there was nothing. Now there’s more food, more entertainment, its great.”
A plethora of activities dotted Cape Coral Parkway from Coronado to Del Prado, as DJs, live bands, vendors and even the Grinch made people smile and dance as they strolled.
The Publix parking lot had its very own snow drift; made from shaved ice, the “snow” kept kids happy as they slid down the hill and threw snowballs at each other.
“This year the line moved much faster,” Joe Mirra said of the line to slide down the snow hill. “I’ve got to hand it to these guys, its even better from last year.”
Originally from New York, Mirra said the snow was “cute”, but couldn’t compare to the weather up north.
Yet, according to Cape’s Special Events Director Todd King, that was exactly the point: to give those who’ve never seen snow the chance to experience it and to give a taste of home back to northerners who would otherwise miss the winter wonderland.
“I grew up in the north, but for a lot of these kids its the first time they’ve seen snow,” King said. “It’s cool to see kids put their hands in it and say wow.”
The highlight of the event was the tree lighting at Big John’s Plaza and the arrival of Santa Claus, who made his big entrance sliding down a makeshift chimney.
Kids and parents standing in line waiting to see the big guy chanted “Santa! Santa! Santa” while waiting for his arrival.
New Mayor Jim Burch got the crowd ready for both the lighting and Santa, while giving thanks to community whom he now serves.
“This is what Cape Coral is all about,” Burch said.