The Edison Festival of Light celebrates 80 years at the Grand Parade this weekend!!

What began in 1938 as a tribute to Thomas Alva Edison, Lee County’s most famous winter resident, has grown to be the largest series of events in the region. This year, the Edison Festival of Light continues the rich tradition and culture that has helped to bring the community together for eight decades. Following are just a few of the highlights!

Crafts on the River and Classic Car Show – The Craft show begins on February 16 and lasts all the way through the 18th, which is also a day of more than 100 classic cars along Edwards Drive. Food vendors and free entry to both! (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)

Grand Parade Day!
February 17 – 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Find your spot and settle in! Some have had their chairs out by the road since November! On Edwards Drive you can enjoy free entertainment all day, plop down in a reserved Street Seat. At 7 p.m. the largest night parade in the Southeast kicks off at Fort Myers High and travels down US 41 to the River District and ends on Jackson and Second Streets. Catch the fireworks show before enjoying the many local establishments!

  • Parade Celebration – Begins at 11 a.m. and bands begin at 3 p.m. on Edwards Drive you can catch free entertainment on the stage. Cloggers, vocalist, dancers! Food vendors and beverages too!
  • 5K Race 5:45 p.m. shotgun start and thousands of local, national, and international runners and walkers will take it to the streets just before parade time. Race starts on Edwards Drive!
  • VIP Tickets – $50 gets you prime seating at Harborside Event Center, dinner and beverages too!
  • Reserved Street Seats – Local non-profits offer seats right on the street for $10!
  • Clydesdales are coming!  Suncoast Beverages and Anheuser-Busch is bringing back the heralded breed of horses, which will join two other local horse groups and the Wells Fargo stagecoach during the Grand Parade.
  • Hurricane Heroes and Mandy Harvey honored as Grand Marshals! FPL and LCEC representatives will be this year’s Grand Marshals in honor of their work during Hurricane Irma restoration. Honorary Grand Marshal Mandy Harvey, the deaf ‘America’s got Talent’ singer finalist will also be honored in the parade thanks to her local ties. Many other dignitaries will join in the festivities as well!
  • Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Motorcycle Drill Team will perform tricks on their Harley Davidson Road King bikes all along the route. They have performed in six presidential inaugural parades, many Bowl parades, at the Kentucky Derby and all across the United States and Australia.
  • Bands, bands, bands! At least 18 marching bands will play throughout the Grand Parade.  More than a dozen local bands, including Gulfcoast High School with nearly 300+ members will put on a show that will be remembered for a long time. In addition, we cannot forget the Second Time Arounders from St. Petersburg, which is the largest permanent adult marching band in the world!

For more information about the Edison Festival of Light, visit www.edisonfestival.org.

Press Release: Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade Celebrates 80th Anniversary

FORT MYERS, FL — It is time to “Illuminate.  Innovate.  Celebrate.” in Southwest Florida.  The Edison Festival of Light, Southwest Florida’s largest and longest running festival announces details for the upcoming Festival.  “Our Board of Directors has been working to produce a multitude of fun and exciting events over the next two weeks,” said Greg Edsell, Edison Festival of Light Board President.

The largest event of the Edison Festival, the Grand Parade of Light held on Saturday, Feb. 17 will dazzle downtown Fort Myers and has many new and exciting participants.  The 2018 Grand Marshals are the FPL & LCEC Hurricane Heroes. Utility workers will represent the thousands who worked tirelessly to restore power after Hurricane Irma. In addition, the Honorary Grand Marshal is Mandy Harvey, the deaf singer who was a finalist on America’s got talent. Her rich, captivating vocals captured the hearts of judges when she used her ukulele while performing original songs.

There will be many new entries and some favorites such as the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Motorcycle Drill Team, the Budweiser Clydesdales, more than 18 marching bands, lots of floats, and the LCEC light bulb balloon.

Seats are still available for the Grand Parade of Light.  Street seats are $10 and tickets to the VIP event at Harborside Event Center that includes food and beverages are $50 per person.  Information on all parade tickets can be found at the Edison Festival website under Tickets.

Volunteers are still needed for the Grand Parade and for all the Edison Festival of Light events.  Information on opportunities can be found at www.edisonfestival.org/p/volunteer.

Other Edison Festival of Light highlights include:

Crafts on the River – Feb. 16 – 18, 2018   10 am – 5 pm Friday and Saturday, 10 am – 3 pm Sunday – Centennial Park.  Join local and national craft vendors as they showcase their talent and wares throughout Centennial Park.    Free admission.

Parade Celebration –Feb. 17, 2018,  11 am – 7 pm, Edwards Drive, downtown Fort Myers.  Start the celebration for the Grand Parade of Light and listen to bands and local talent while having more beverages and food.  Multiple food locations include the boat ramp, the corner of Dean and Edwards, and Hendry and Edwards.  Free admission.

Edison Festival of Light 5K – Feb. 17, 2018, 5:45 pm Centennial Park, Fort Myers.  Join 1,500 participants in this sanctioned race that has earned national recognition thanks to its rich history, list of participants and thousands of cheering fans.  Participants race along the Grand Parade route and cross the finish line in time for the parade to begin.  Registration is $25 until Feb. 10, $30 Feb. 11-16, and $40 race day and includes a t-shirt.

Classic Car Show – Feb. 18, 2018 – 10 am – 3 pm, Edwards Drive, Fort Myers.   Celebrate classic cars and hot rods that include antiques, muscle cars and more.  Free admission.

All festival event details are listed on the Edison Festival of Light website (www.edisonfestival.org).

Designed to “Illuminate. Innovate. Celebrate.” , the Edison Festival of Light, Inc. honors Thomas Alva Edison’s contributions to mankind including Southwest Florida, and seeks to improve the community by education and activities relating to Edison’s works and values.

For more information, visit www.edisonfestival.org or call 239-334-2999. Become a fan by following us on Facebook (Facebook.com/edisonfestival) and Twitter and Instagram (@edisonfestival).  The Edison Festival of Light is a member of the Florida Festivals and Events Association and the International Festivals and Events Association.

 

PHOTO INFORMATION:

Photo courtesy of the Edison Festival of Light

###

Street Closings February 10-11, 2017

Below you can find the streets that will be closed for STEMtastic Day of Discovery, Mutt Strutt, Food Trucks & Craft Beer and the Junior Events.

Street Closings:

SATURDAY, February 10 8:00 AM – SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11 4:00 PM, 2018
Edwards from Heitman to Jackson
Dean from Bay to Edwards
Hendry from Bay to City Pier
Boat Ramp parking lot
City Pier parking lot
Limited access to Post Office parking lot (for business only)

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2018
JUNIOR PARADE, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
First Street from Virginia to Heitman (Barricades on all cross streets from McGregor)
First Street from Heitman to Lee (Barricades one block on either side – Second and Bay)

Press Release: Edison Festival of Light Announces 2018 Official Poster Contest Winner

To commemorate the 80th Anniversary, the Edison Festival of Light held a poster design contest that was promoted on social media. Local graphic designer and illustrator, Todd Calfee’s design was selected and posters were displayed throughout the Downtown River District.

Todd graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2005 and is proud to be teaching at Cape Coral Technical College. While there, he helps emerging designers begin their careers. Attending the Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade has become a family tradition for the Calfee family. They have a special spot near Fort Myers High School where the kids love to see the floats and sway to the music of the passing bands.

Todd’s love for Fort Myers and its rich history led to an interest in the vintage signs at venues like the Arcade and Edison Theatres. His colorful poster design captures part of the history while also paying tribute to the Festival of Light 80th Anniversary. Don’t be surprised if you see more of Todd’s work promoting our great City and the events held here.

Press Release: Edison Festival of Light JUNIOR PARADE this SUNDAY!

small-logo-header

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Immediate Release

Contact:                     Ted Fitzgeorge – 239-560-5563

Greg Edsell, President – 239-313-8870

Edison Festival of Light JUNIOR PARADE this SUNDAY!

February 9, Fort Myers, FL – The Edison Festival of Light offers a day full of historical events for the young-at-heart this SundayFree for spectators!

Junior Fun Run

Sunday, Noon – 2 p.m. – First Street in the downtown River District, starting and ending at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center. Kids of all ages take to the brick streets and everyone’s a winner!

Junior Parade

Sunday 2:45 – 4 p.m. – Downtown River District, beginning at Centennial Park and ending on Edwards Drive (see attached map for route). The Junior Parade features strollers, bikes, wagons, floats, clowns, many marching bands, and more! Years ago, the parade was held on a Wednesday afternoon and schools closed so children could participate. Now, there’s no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Junior Coronation & Awards

Sunday 4 p.m. (or when the parade ends) – Sydney & Berne Davis Art Center. Everyone gathers at the SBDAC to crown the new Junior King and Queen. Parade participants are on the edge of their seats to see who wins awards and who is invited to join the Grand Parade of Light on February 17.

 

Press Release: Edison Festival of Light Announces 2018 Official Poster Contest

FORT MYERS, FL (April 18, 2017) The Edison Festival of Light is calling for entries for the 2018 Official Poster in celebration of the  80th Anniversary of the Edison Festival to be held in February 10-18, 2018.  Artists and graphic designers are welcome to submit entries for the competition.  The art can be of any medium and must be a completely original concept not used in other posters, promotions, events organizations, or materials.    The deadline for submissions is at noon on June 15, 2017.

The Edison Festival of Light is the largest and longest running festival in Southwest Florida.  Designed to “Illuminate. Innovate. Celebrate.”, the Edison Festival recognizes  the inventions of Thomas Edison, along with his contributions to Fort Myers and Southwest Florida.  The artwork should represent the activities and events of the Edison Festival, the contributions and/or images of Thomas Edison, and imagery of Fort Myers and Southwest Florida.  The poster is used for advertising the festival and in merchandising products and opportunities.  Entries will be considered based on concept, artistic imagery, visual presentation, and merchandising opportunities.

Detailed information on the contest rules and submission methods can be found at this link.

Designed to “Illuminate. Innovate. Celebrate.” , the Edison Festival of Light, Inc. honors Thomas Alva Edison’s contributions to mankind including Southwest Florida, and seeks to improve the community by education and activities relating to Edison’s works and values. For more information, visit www.edisonfestival.org or call 239-334-2999. Become a fan by following us on Facebook (Facebook.com/edisonfestival) and Twitter and Instagram (@edisonfestival).  The Edison Festival of Light is a member of the Florida Festivals and Events Association and the International Festivals and Events Association.

###

Lee County Students Qualify for the International Science Fair

The Thomas Alva Edison Regional Science & Inventors Fair is excited to announce that Lee County students have qualified for the International Science Fair. The TAERSIF organized events are a sanctioned part of the Edison Festival of Light each year and highlight the talented minds of some of our area’s brightest students.

The following students received top honors at the Thomas Alva Edison Regional Science and Engineering Fair and at the 62nd Annual State Science and Engineering Fair, and now their projects qualify to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles, CA in May.

Dahlia Dry of Fort Myers High School, is a 10th grader in the IB program.  She designed and conducted her project on her own.  Her project, “Looking into the Past for Insight on the Future: Predictive Analytics and Data Science for Time Series Data”, uses data generated with a Raspberry pi and then adapted a financial projection program to see if she could predict wind shifts in a more localized area.  Dahlia is an avid competitive sailor and is interested in predicting wind shifts for sailing.  She placed 3rd in the State Science Fair, she is a State Finalist and an FGCU Scholarship recipient.

Jash Patel, Ethan Leung & Shaan Chaudhari of Fort Myers High School, placed 4th, in Physics & Astronomy (Senior Division), at the State Science Fair.  All three young men are in the IB program at Fort Myers High, they each won FGCU Scholarships for their project, “Effects of Neodymium Magnetic Fields in Rhizochlonium Algae”.  The project used small, but powerful, neodymium magnets to generate a magnetic field around growing algae.  Their project also placed 2nd Runner Up in the Physical Science Division.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), a program of Society for Science & the Public (the Society), is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition.

Each year, approximately 1,800 high school students from more than 75 countries, regions, and territories are awarded the opportunity to showcase their independent research and compete for on average $4 million in prizes.

Intel ISEF unites these top young scientific minds, showcasing their talents on an international stage, where doctoral level scientists review and judge their work.

This news story was originally posted at http://www.leeschools.net/news?ID=3FB5A367-FCD1-469C-8923-F037F365DFDA

Press Release: Edison Festival of Light Announces Parades Broadcast Schedule

FORT MYERS, FL (March 1, 2016) Designed to “Illuminate.  Innovate.  Celebrate.” The Edison Festival of Light, Southwest Florida’s largest and longest running festival announces its broadcast schedule for their recent parades.

 

“The Edison Festival parades are great community events designed to involve various organizations and nonprofits and bring out the citizens of Southwest Florida to enjoy and commemorate the works of Thomas Edison,” said Kevin Anderson Board President. “This year’s parades had something for everyone and included new balloons and even traditional ones as Chico’s brought back their shopping bag balloon which was created for this event and not seen in over ten years.”

 

The Junior Parade will be broadcast on Sunday, March 5 from 7pm – 8pm and the Grand Parade of Light will be broadcast on Sunday, March 12 from 7pm – 9pm.  All broadcasts will be on MeTV, which can be found over the air on 26.2, on Comcast Cable 208, Century Link 8, and Marco Island Cable 7.

 

Designed to “Illuminate. Innovate. Celebrate.”, the Edison Festival of Light, Inc. honors Thomas Alva Edison’s contributions to mankind including Southwest Florida, and seeks to improve the community by education and activities relating to Edison’s works and values.  Sponsors include the City of Fort Myers, Florida Power and Light, Budweiser, Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Lee County Visitors and Convention Bureau, Chico’s FAS Inc., Family Thrift Center, LCEC, MedExpress Urgent Care, Morgan & Morgan, Downtown Property Owner’s Association, Florida Lottery, Fort Myers Pest Control, Wells Fargo, Applebee’s, Pepsi, Lipman Produce, Liberty Tax Service, Rasmussen College, B&I Contractors, and Florida Vacation Auction.  Media Partners include Beasley Radio, Happenings and Family News, iHeartMedia, Lamar, The News-Press, Parent and Child magazine, TOTI publications, and ValPak.

 

For more information, visit www.edisonfestival.org or call 239-334-2999. Become a fan by following us on Facebook (Facebook.com/edisonfestival) and Twitter and Instagram (@EdisonFestival).  The Edison Festival of Light is a member of the Florida Festivals and Events Association and the International Festivals and Events Association.

2017 Crafts on the River Lineup

You can find the following crafters set up in the east end of Centennial Park Friday (10am-5pm), Saturday (10am-5pm) and Sunday (10am-4pm):

 

  1. Gloria Janell
  2. MC Stoneworks LLC
  3. My Urban Poncho
  4. Trophies, Novelties & More
  5. Trophies, Novelties & More
  6. Everything Seaglass
  7. Artsy Jewelz
  8. RachelMade Products, LLC.
  9. David Austin
  10. All Natural Dips
  11. Costco
  12. Treasures
  13. Nectar of the Vine
  14. Freedom Handles
  15. Storm Shield
  16. Piedmont Home & Gift
  17. County Argyle
  18. Simply Savory Gourmet Blends
  19. Simply Savory Gourmet Blends
  20. Moon Shadow Soaps
  21. Inca Expression
  22. N&G Cornhole
  23. JR Designs, LLC.
  24. Linda Popper – Natures Artistry
  25. Cork Time Design
  26. Daydreamer’s Art
  27. Expedia Cruises
  28. Liberty Tax
  29. Amber & Christmas Ornaments
  30. Red Hot Art
  31. The Busted Hourglass
  32. Hey Mon Caribbean Cooking
  33. Bobbie Ferraro
  34. Cozy Quilts & Fabrics
  35. Queen Bee Creative Co.
  36. Trae’s Redneck Steak Beef Jerky
  37. Victor Bradford
  38. Artoons by Full Circle
  39. Flamingo Art Center
  40. Hudson River Inlay
  41. SheCre8s
  42. Ayala’s Aqua Marbles
  43. Gemstones by Nora
  44. Jemhil’s Collection
  45. Kinderdoodles, LLC.
  46. Best Bamboo Bedding
  47. L’Harmonie Jewelry

2017 Junior Parade Award Winners

2017 Junior King & Queen
Queen Chloe Heidt
King Dozier Bartlett

 

If your organization won an award in the parade, you may stop by the Festival office to pick up your trophy. Please call (239) 334-2999 to schedule a time for pickup.

 

Most Outstanding Units
Bayshore Elementary School
Bright Beginnings Preschool
Littleton Elementary School

 

First Place Units
Tri County Challenger Baseball
Meloday Lane Performing Arts Center
Kennedy Family
Evangelical Christian School
Neubert, Underhill, Jolliff & Price Families
Youngblood & Kendrix Family
Spring Family
St. Michael Lutheran School
Family Thrift’s Georgetown Pirates
Fort Myers High School Little Wave

 

Second Place Units
Belinda the Master Stylist
Definitely Dancers/Rhythm in Motion
Pruett Family
Holistic Homeschoolers of SWFL
Greenberg Family
Shultz Family
Holloway, Watkinds & Ward Families

 

 Honorable Mentions
Pelican Elementary School
Lehigh Acres Middle School
Kincaide Family
Sandlin Family
Wright Family
Amati Family
Lucas Family
Gates, May & Didio Families
Lee County Jr. Drill Team
Sharks Lacrosse Team
Oak Hammock Middle School Jr. Leaders Program
American Red Cross
Ride Nature
Watch DOGS
Relevance Community Awana