Holidays on Sanibel and Captiva are special, affording visitors and islanders the excitement of festivals and festivities. It’s an amazing few weeks that require added planning. TOTI Media’s holiday guide is compiled from the local chamber and other sources.
SANIBEL/CAPTIVA LUMINARY FESTIVALS Date: Dec. 2 and 3 Time: 5:30-9 p.m.
As the sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico on Dec. 2, the bik e paths next to Periwinkle Way will twinkle with the lights from hundreds of luminaria. Visitors to the annual Luminary Festival on Sanibel will follow a lighted walkway to a tree-lighting ceremony, nativity scenes, music and family activities. Holiday singing will fill the air along with many refreshments and even Santa visits. Ultimately the goal is to encourage shopping while providing fun. Complimentary trolley service is available. Captiva’s version of the event takes place Dec. 3. Luminary bags will line Andy Rosse Lane. The golf cart parade will begin before dusk, rain or shine, ending at Chadwick Square by South Seas with live music and socializing. Open to everyone. The events are organized by the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce. For more information, see sanibel-captiva.org.
BIG ARTS, SANIBEL Date: Throughout the season
Exhibits, performances and other holiday-related fun and activities at the island’s centerpiece performing arts hall.
SANIBEL HISTORICAL MUSEUM AND VILLAGE, SANIBEL Date: Throughout the season
A collection of cottages, a school, municipal buildings, homes and shops reflecting the island’s heritage are arrayed in holiday splendor. Admission fees, open to everyone.
CAPTIVA HOLIDAY VILLAGE Date: Throughout the holiday season
Captiva transforms from a quaint town into a magical holiday village. Businesses twinkle with lights and island-inspired decorations. Special events are planned for every weekend. Open to everyone.
’TWEEN WATERS INN ISLAND RESORT― CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING AND FIREWORKS, CAPTIVA Date: Nov. 25
On the Friday following Thanksgiving, ’Tween Waters hosts its lighting of Christmas decorations. Fireworks on the beach follow sunset. Open to everyone.
CAPTIVA ISLAND BOAT PARADE Date: Dec. 10
Begins at South Seas Island Resort Marina and cruises through Pine Island Sound to ’Tween Waters Inn Marina on Roosevelt Channel. Visitors can ride with Captiva Cruises or watch the event from McCarthy’s Marina, ’Tween Waters Inn Island Resort and the Green Flash restaurant. Must register your boat to join the parade.
CHAPEL-BY-THE-SEA COMMUNITY CAROLING, CAPTIVA
Chapel-by-the-Sea in December hosts traditional Christmas carols and holiday songs. Guest soloists and special performers are featured. Check the church’s calendar for times. Chapel-bythe-Sea is nondenominational and open November through April.
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE AT LIGHTHOUSE BEACH, SANIBEL Time: Just before dusk.
Services led by pastor John Danner of the Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ. Open to everyone.
MARCHING MULLET BAND PARADE, JENSEN’S TWIN PALM RESORT & MARINA, CAPTIVA Organized to honor veterans, the Mardi
Gras-like event starts at Jensen’s and proceeds down Andy Rosse Lane to the beach in front of the Mucky Duck restaurant. All those in the parade then enjoy sharing the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. The parade generally has no set time or annual date, but occurs at will. Open to everyone.