One of the most popular events in Southwest Florida each and every year is the Edison Festival of Light, which takes place every February in downtown Fort Myers. We have the information you need to see one of the country’s best festivals that culminates in one of the most popular parades in the Southeastern United States.
What is the Edison Festival of Light?
Although he lived most of the time in New England, Thomas Alva Edison, the inventor of the light bulb among other inventions, preferred the warmer temperatures of his Fort Myers winter estate for many years. The Edison Festival of Light is a non-profit organization that honors Edison’s contributions to the community through this eight-day event that many call the premier Southwest Florida event of the season each year.
Feb. 11 and 12 Edison Festival of Lights Events Guide
Eight days of events means there is a lot to do during the Edison Festival of Lights. Here is your guide to the biggest events the weekend of Feb. 11-12:
- The Edison Garden Festival is held 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 11 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. Dozens of flower vendors from all over the state converge to sell flowers, herbs, arts and crafts, pots and garden tools. There will also be a kiddie craft table available.
- Thomas Edison’s Birthday Party will be held 10 a.m. Feb. 11 at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates and will include a science presentation by local students and birthday cake.
- The second annual Edison Festival of Light Food Trucks and Craft Beer event will be held 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 11 and includes local food and drinks from participating food trucks along Edwards Drive in downtown Fort Myers.
- Dog lovers unite for the Mutt Strutt 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 11. This free event allows dogs and their owners to strut their stuff in their finest outfits and jewelry along Hendry Street.
- The Junior Fun Run is a run for children in grades five and below that starts at the corner of First and Lee streets. There is a $7 entry fee and the run includes a T-shirt and a ribbon. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. and the race begins at 1 p.m.
- Florida’s largest youth parade, The Junior Parade, showcases more than 100 floats, marching bands, dancers and more from local children at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 12. The Junior Parade starts at the Downtown River District.
- Following the Junior Parade, gather for the Junior Coronation & Parade Awards and witness the crowning of the Junior King and Junior Queen at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 12, which will get a place on a royalty float in the Grand Parade.
Feb. 17-19 Edison Festival of Lights Events Guide
- The annual Crafts on the River event is a non-juried event open to local and national artisan and crafters at Bicentennial Park. The event is open to the public 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 17.
- Celebrate food, beer and music during the Music Walk Block Party 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 17 at Bicentennial Park.
- The grand event, the Parade Celebration, is an all-day affair from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 18. Beat the traffic by coming out early to Centennial Park and enjoy a day of music while you get a spot for the fireworks later in the evening.
- More than 1,400 participants enter the Edison Festival of Light 5K Run each year in the Downtown River District, which runs from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Feb. 18. For registration information, call (239) 225-0234.
Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade
The largest parade in the Southeastern United States, the Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade, starts 7 p.m. Feb. 18 at Fort Myers High School and heads to the riverfront. It is a two-hour extravaganza of lights, floats, marching bands and more. Review the parade route to plan your parade watching spot ahead of time.
Edison Festival of Light Classic Car Show
Say farewell to the eight days of Festival of Light festivities with a Classic Car Show 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Downtown River District. Enjoy owners showing off their classic cars while you enjoy food, drinks and craft booth vendors along the river.
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