Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands, Fla. (Aug. 14, 2013) – Year round there’s a calendar of special events taking place in Southwest Florida’s Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands. Come Harvest through the winter Holidays, the air is a bit more festive with activities celebrating the season.
2013 Haunting on the Harbor. Oct. 25 - Oct. 27; Haunted House open Oct. 30 & 31
Charlotte County’s largest haunted house and three-day festival located on the corner of US 41 and US 17, Downtown Punta Gorda. www.puntagordahaunting.com. Tel: 941-637-5953.
Charlotte Harbor Nature Festival. Saturday, Nov. 23.
This annual festival is a fun-filled day to learn more about the natural environment. Natural landscape demonstrations, guided walks and wagon rides, children’s play area and musicians. www.charlotteharbornep.org. 2300 El Jobean Road, Charlotte County Sports Park, Port Charlotte.
Festival of Lights at Fishermen’s Village. Nov. 16 - Dec. 31.
“Lighting of the Village” on Nov. 165:30 - 9:00 p.m., will kick off the Festival of Lights celebration. Over one million lights and themed decorations will be lit in sequence with ribbon cutting with city officials at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Lee County Pipes & Drums parade. Other festivities include Luis the Balloon Man, Airbrush Art for Face & Body, Dickens Carolers from Charlotte Chorale, visits with Santa (bring your camera), complimentary refreshments by village merchants and live music with the Boogiemen Band 5:00 - 9:00 p.m., Center Court. Admission: Bring a canned good for the Good Samaritans Food Pantry. Festival of Lights will be on display through Dec. 31. 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Fishermen’s Village, Punta Gorda.
Olde Englewood Village Association Winter Arts Festival. Dec. 7 - 8, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Explore the unique shops and restaurants in the Olde Englewood Village when West Dearborn Street becomes a pedestrian-only exhibit area showcasing the works of over 100 artists. http://oldeenglewood.com
Lemon Bay Playhouse presents “A Christmas Cactus” a comedy. Dec. 4 - 22.
Curtain times: 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 2:00 p.m. Sunday matinees. Reserved tickets $18.00.
96 West Dearborn Street, Englewood. Tel: 941-475-6756 or www.lemonbayplayhouse.com.
Christmas Light Canal Cruises. Nightly, Dec. 4 – 31.
Christmas Canal Cruises have been a tradition in Punta Gorda for more than 30 years. These popular, family-oriented cruises tour the residential canals to view Christmas lights, displays and decorations on homes, boats, seawalls and docks. Three departures are offered each night at 6:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and at 9:00 p.m. Trip length is one hour, cost is $15.00 for adults, half price for kids 3-11, free under 3. Private charters and group rates also available. Call to reserve: 941-639-0969. www.kingfisherfleet.com.
For a private canal cruise aboard the 47’ Smoke and Roses catamaran, for a party up to six persons, Dec. 4 - 30 running between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Tel: 605-366-7673 or www.smokeandroses.com; cost is $50 per person based on six passengers.
"A Christmas Odyssey." Saturday, Dec. 14, 4:00 p.m.
The Charlotte Chorale presents its annual holiday concert at the Center for Performing Arts. Tickets are $20 and $10 for students. 701 Carmalita Street, Punta Gorda. Tel: 941-204-0033 to purchase or for additional information or visit www.charlottechorale.net.
Gasparilla Marina Christmas Boat Parade. Saturday, Dec. 14, 6 p.m.
The parade of boats leaves the marina at 6:00 p.m. heading north on the Intracoastal to Palm Island, then back to the marina for the awarding of prizes at the marina’s Waterside Grill restaurant. 15001 Gasparilla Road, Placida. Tel: 941-697-2280
24th Annual Peace River Lighted Boat Parade. Sunday, Dec. 15, 6:00 p.m.
The festive display of lights and gorgeous reflections on the water make this annual event a definite must see! Viewings from land or on the harbor by chartered cruise or personal watercraft. Admission: Free. Punta Gorda, Tel: 941-639-3720.
Punta Gorda Boat Parade. Saturday, Dec. 21, 6:00 p.m.
Viewers get up very close to the boats at this parade that includes carolers, performers and great decorations. The 7.5-mile route is within the canal system of Punta Gorda Islesstarting at Albatross Lagoon and finishing with a Grand Parade Circle at Yellow Fish Lagoon. Tel: 941-639-0002. www.puntagordaboatparade.com
Fishermen’s Village New Year’s Eve Extravaganza! Beginning at 5:00 p.m. Dec. 31 and continuing until midnight. Family friendly festivities will include: Live Music/Dancing 5:00 p.m.- midnight in the Center Court; Caricaturist and Fun Photos; Hair Glitter Designs/Airbrush Art for Face & Body; Luis The Balloon Man with Balloon Creations. 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Fishermen’s Village, Punta Gorda.
Charlotte County Big Band “Swingin’ on Mondays” at 7:00 p.m. on the 3rd Monday of the month Oct. 15 - Apr. 15 at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County, 2280 Aaron St., Port Charlotte. Tickets: $10. Tel: 941-625-4175. www.theculturalcenter.com
Wading Sea-grass Adventures on select days with Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center. Explore the aquatic environment using nets and viewers. http://checflorida.org Tel: 941-575-5435 and 941-475-0769.
Gilchrest Park Waterfront Music Jam Session, every Thursday 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. at Gilchrest Park, 400 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda. Tel: 941-661-5622.
Discovery Punta Gorda Trolley Tours conducted by the Chamber of Commerce most Fridays Nov. - May. Tel: 941-639-3720 for times and pricing. http://puntagordachamber.com
Muscle Car City’s Monthly Car Show. 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. the third Saturday of the month, 3811 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda. Free. http://musclecarcity.net Tel: 941-575-5959.
About Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands
Located halfway between Tampa and Naples on the Southwest Florida Gulf coast, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands is a charming collection of nine coastal communities surrounding the state’s second largest harbor. Florida’s premier year-round eco-tourism destination, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands offers a pristine unspoiled beauty that has served as the backdrop for seven major feature films as well as countless memorable vacations. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands has been named to SAIL magazine’s “10 Greatest Places to Sail in the United States,” ranked by Golf Digest as “Third Best Place to Live and Play Golf in America,” and rated by MONEY magazine as one of the “Best Places to Live in the South.” The city of Punta Gorda was named in one of “Top Ten Places to Retire Healthy” by U.S. News & World Report. Englewood was named as #2 of the Top Ten emerging travel destinations in the U.S. by TripAdvisor.com.
For information about area events, activities and attractions, contact the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau, 18500 Murdock Circle, Suite B104, Port Charlotte, FL 33948; 941-743-1900, or call toll free at 1-800-652-6090 for a free Visitor’s Guide; or visit the Web site at www.CharlotteHarborTravel.com.
Tourism Public Relations Manager
Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau
Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau
18500 Murdock Circle, Suite B104, Port Charlotte, FL 33948
941-743-1900, FAX: 941-764-4932