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Captiva Luminary Night begins with first annual golf cart parade

By Staff | Nov 24, 2010

This year, Captiva business owners will add a new element to their traditional participation in the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Luminary Night by hosting the first ever “Light the Way” golf cart parade.

In October, when Captiva business owners and residents first began discussing the concept of the Captiva Holiday Village, one of the earliest event ideas was a golf cart parade, suggested by Denice Beggs of Royal Shell Real Estate.

“My neighbor and friend Nathalie Pyle has been saying for a few years that we need to have a golf cart parade on Captiva,” Beggs said of her inspired idea. “She and her husband Dick have decorated theirs for the past few years with lights, just for fun. When we started planning these events, I thought about Nathalie and I thought this would be the perfect time to do a golf cart parade.”

Beggs said that anyone can participate in the golf cart parade — as long as you have a golf cart, a holiday decoration theme and of course, the $10 entry fee.

Half of all the money made from registration fees will be donated to the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation — and to show their thanks, the SCCF will be sending along three very special people to the parade.

Two of them are Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will participate in this inaugural holiday event.

The other one is SCCF Executive Director Erick Lindblad, who will join Craig Wolf of NBC-2 and an as yet undisclosed family of guests as the judges for the event.

To participate in the parade, residents and guests may use their own golf carts or rent one from Yolo, located at 11534 Andy Rosse Lane. South Seas guests will be able to rent from Best Boat and Cart Rental at the resort, but all parade entry forms must be submitted with the non-refundable, cash entry fee of $10 at Yolo.

Before the parade begins at 3:30 p.m., participants will be allowed to start decorating their golf carts at 2 p.m. in the staging area in Chadwick’s Square, where the parade will start and finish.

And to help put everyone in the holiday spirit as they make their vehicles parade-ready, actors from the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre will perform their “Holly Jolly Christmas Show” in Chadwick’s Square beginning at 2:30 p.m.

The Key Lime Bistro on Andy Rosse will serve as a viewing stand, offering food and drinks throughout the parade.

There will be major prizes awarded to the best golf carts in three categories — business, resident and guest — and a special awards ceremony will take place at the Mucky Duck at 7 p.m. with Victor Mayeron acting as parade marshall.

“Captiva is unique — where else can you come and do this kind of thing with your family, benefit a good cause and have good holiday fun?” Beggs said. “It’s going to be great way to kick off Luminary.”

For more information about how to participate in the golf cart parade, call Yolo Watersports, 472-9656, or go to www.CaptivaHolidayVillage.com.

Captiva Luminary will take place at island establishments from 5 to 9 p.m.