A true community event, more than 20,000 holiday revelers gathered on the first weekend in December in downtown Cape Coral for the annual Holiday Festival of Lights hosted by the Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce. This is the biggest and most anticipated event of the year that kicks off the official start of the holiday season. This is the largest celebration between Tampa and Miami for more than 25 years.
The Holiday Festival of Lights brings together families, neighbors, friends and strangers together for one evening under the stars that stretches nearly a mile long. The celebration includes the official tree lighting ceremony, photos with Santa Claus, the free Kidz Street play area, Tiny Tots Train ride, carriage rides, an elf workshop for making Christmas cards and gifts, a 25- ton snowdrift slide and basket auction. Live entertainment features local dance troupes, schools and choirs.
More than 20 performances take place on 4 stages, in addition to 3 food courts of festival foods and drinks. More than 40 businesses and organizations sponsor the event, with lots of prize giveaways and special deals. Many local vendors participate on a mile along Cape Coral Parkway. The Chamber of Commerce also hosts a silent auction with proceeds funding scholarships for local students. Other local charities raise money to directly benefit the local community.