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Area beach events land on tourism Top 20 list

By Staff | May 18, 2012

The Southeast Tourism Society (STS) has named four events on the Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel to their Top 20 Events List for October – December 2012.

Events making the list were: The 26th American Sandsculpting Championship, the 7th Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival, the 28th Christmas Luminary Trail and Open House, and the 38th Holiday Nights at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates.?The American Sandsculpting Championship takes place on Fort Myers Beach each November. The five-day celebration attracts dozens of renowned sand sculptors from around the world, along with more than 50,000 spectators.?The Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival is a fun-filled celebration on the Great Calusa Blueway, a 190-mile marked trail once navigated by the Calusa Indians. This four-day celebration of all things “paddling,” takes place at several locations throughout the county in November.?The Christmas Luminary Trail and Open House is held on Sanibel Island on Dec.7 and Captiva Island on Dec. 8. The streets sparkle in the night as 2,000 holiday candles and decorations illuminate the islands’ pathways, storefronts and houses for a three-mile stretch. ?Edison and Ford Holiday Nights oozes with “old Florida” charm. During the month-long celebration, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates comes to life with holiday decorations, reflecting the 1920s-30s era. Visitors tour the properties at their own pace or opt for a guided tour with a historian. This event is open Dec. 1-30, except on Christmas Eve and Day.?The STS Top 20 Events List recognizes festivals and special events across the Southeast each month. STS’s acknowledgement is validation of an event’s success and caliber, and often gains the winners extensive exposure and media coverage.

To qualify for the Top 20 List, events must have a minimum of 1,000 people in attendance and be in at least its third year of existence. The Top 20 List is published quarterly and winners are chosen through a nomination process.?