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

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!








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.