Holiday Festival of Lights: Kick off the season with CenturyLink, Chamber event
Kick off the yuletide season with the CenturyLink Holiday Festival of Lights on Saturday.
Hosted by the Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral, the event will feature an official tree lighting ceremony and a visit by Santa Claus, sponsored by LCEC. Split into four zones, the festival will include over 20 performers on four stages, a Snow Slide, Tiny Tots Train Ride and activities for all.
It will be held on Cape Coral Parkway, from Candia Street to Southeast 15th Place.
“It’s just a feel-good event for families to kick off the holiday season,” the chamber’s Special Events Director Annette Siner said. “We want a free event for the community to come out and get together.”
There is no cost for admission, and all of the attractions are free.
On average, approximately 25,000 to 30,000 people attend the event every year.
“Last year was our biggest turnout with about 30,000,” she said.
The festival will run from 4 to 10 p.m., with the opening ceremony set for 5:30 p.m. At 6:15 p.m., Santa will arrive in style at the Cape Coral Town Center for the lighting of the Christmas tree.
“We have a mini-parade that is going to bring Santa in,” Siner said, adding that a marching band, fire truck and more will accompany him. “As Santa is showing up, his magic kind of lights up the tree.”
This year, the 22-foot tree is new and decorated differently.
“We’ve added color to it, so it’s much more colorful and bright,” she said.
Pictures with Santa will be available after the lighting until 10 p.m.
“We actually have a photographer,” Siner said, noting that the photographs are free.
“We have a long line for pictures with Santa,” she added.
There will be performances by local acts like the Kobayashi Dojo, Cape Coral High School Choir, The Silver Foxes, Cape Coral Academy of Music, Robin Dawn Academy of Performing Arts and more.
The event’s activities, vendors and such will be broken down into four zones. From east to west, there will be Candy Cane Inflatable Park, Holiday Village, Christmas Town Center and Snowcap Square.
Sponsored by Cape Coral Christian Fellowship, Candy Cane Inflatable Park will contain Kidz Street, which will include several inflatables and a rock climbing wall. There will also be a stage set up.
“From six to 10 different inflatables, including the rock climbing wall,” Siner said.
Holiday Village will feature craft vendors and food vendors.
“We have craft, food and business vendors,” she said. “Different vendors for holiday shopping.”
Some booths will offer giveaways and games.
“Some people have a spin wheel,” Siner said. “Different games and giveaways for people to do.”
The Christmas Town Center will contain the Christmas tree and Santa.
Snowcap Square will have the Tiny Tots Train Ride run by the Kiwanis Club of Cape Coral, as well as the 25-ton Snow Slide, which is sponsored by The Gunterberg Charitable Foundation’s Culliton Family.
She noted that the slide is open to all ages, even adults.
“It’s one of our biggest attractions,” Siner said.
For attendees interested in giving back, a donation box will be set up by the Snow Slide to benefit the Cape Coral Caring Center. Non-perishable foods items and monetary donations will be accepted.
“The holidays are a big time for everybody in the city,” she said. “We don’t want anybody left out.”
Parking is available on a first come, first served basis in the public lots.
Starting at 6 a.m., the stretch of Cape Coral Parkway where the festival takes place will be closed to through traffic; motorists should plan alternate routes. The roadway will reopen at 2 a.m. Dec. 3.
The community is encouraged to come out.
“Enjoy the festivities and meet new people, become one with the community,” Siner said.
“It’s a lot of fun,” she added.
For more information, visit www.holidayfestivalcc.com or call 239-549-6900.
The chamber’s Welcome Center is at 2051 Cape Coral Parkway E.