Experience the Edison Festival of Light
Are you planning a vacation in Southwest Florida in February? You’re in for a treat, since Fort Myers is celebrating an annual birthday bash all month long!
To honor the birthday of the city’s most celebrated winter resident, inventor Thomas A. Edison, the community shines with events ranging from road races to car shows and, the icing on the cake, the Grand Parade. Spectators come from near and far to enjoy this event and often begin marking their viewing spot weeks in advance! The Mutt Strut is where dog lovers, families, vendors and pet agencies gather for fun and food. Pooches and owners in costumes - or their finest bling - mix it up with even a few doggie floats.
Over the years, the Edison Festival 5-K Race has gained international notoriety. Well over 1,400 participants and thousands of spectators take over the streets of the Downtown River District. Register your team for this 3.1 mile race for fun and a chance to win cash prizes.
One of the best ways to beat the traffic and have a prime spot for the Grand Parade is to come early and enjoy an entire day of festivities. The downtown Parade Party includes all-day entertainment and music and is a prime spot for watching the fireworks that kick off the signature event of the season with a bang! Fun, food, music and crafts make this a family event in the Downtown River District. It’s excitement and amusement until the arrival of the Grand Parade right after dark.
Named as the largest night parade in the Southeast year after year, the Grand Parade is a more than two-hour extravaganza, featuring a national celebrity as their Grand Marshal and marching bands, colorfully decorated floats, costumes, dancers, clowns and much more. The traditional parade route starts in downtown Fort Myers and ends at the Fort Myers High School Edison Stadium.
Many events are organized or sanctioned by the nonprofit Edison Festival of Light and most are free and open to the public. Annual festivities include Edison’s Birthday Party at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. An Antique Car Show and Cruise-In features hundreds of classic vehicles and hotrods along Edwards Drive for a day of nostalgia and pride. Cruise in with your classic, browse others, meet the owners and, above all, enjoy the Florida sunshine.
For more information, visit edisonfordwinterestates.org.