Thomas Alva Edison earned global respect for his contributions in creating the modern world. Although he lived in New England most of his lifetime, Fort Myers became the beloved winter home to the inventor. Edison established his winter retreat in Fort Myers in 1885 and spent many seasons at his estate until his death in 1931. While in Fort Myers, Edison brought national recognition to what was then a small town, enticing other notables to relocate to the area. Thomas Edison believed in giving back to the community. His contributions and character hold an unequaled meaning for Southwest Florida and the Edison Festival of Light has become the premier winter event to celebrate his life.
Mission StatementThe Edison Festival of Light, Inc. is an organization that 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.
Since 1938, we have been celebrating Thomas Edison and his contributions in Fort Myers. We acknowledge now even more than ever, the importance of continuing the history while strengthening the economy and culture of our community. Fort Myers has an ever-changing population and it is important to continually re-introduce the knowledge, history and tradition of the contributions Mr. Edison gave not only to Southwest Florida, but to the world. For generations, the rich tradition of the Edison Festival of Light has helped to bring the people of Fort Myers together for many common goals.
Relationships and CollaborationAs a non-profit 501(c) 3 tax-exempt organization, the Edison Festival of Light strives to work with many other local non-profit and profit organizations to promote the arts, culture and history of Fort Myers and Southwest Florida. Through scheduled and sanctioned events, the Festival helps to promote and support local groups including the Thomas Alva Edison Science and Inventors Fairs, The Edison & Ford Winter Estates, School Board of Lee County, South Florida Museum of History, Imaginarium, Great Calusa Blueway, ECHO, Boy & Girl Scouts, Lee County Library, Mosquito Control, Mound House, Turtle Time, Red Cross, LARC, Lee County Supervisor of Elections, Ding Darling, Emergency Management Services, Mosquito Control, Shriner’s Hospital, Stay Alive…Just Drive, Lee Memorial Blood Center, Southwest Florida Astronomical Society, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and many more. In addition, strong partnerships with countless local businesses and volunteer groups ensure the vitality of the Festival events as well as cultivate mutually beneficial relationships that continue throughout the year. When faced with a challenging economy, many heroes from within the community and the City of Fort Myers contribute what they can for the success of the Festival. This collaboration comes in many forms including monetary funding, in-kind donations, expertise, advice, media support and volunteerism.