Holidays on the Harbor, Holiday Light Canal Tours with King Fisher Fleet Well, I know it's *only* October but since the department and discount stores are doing it, I'll do it, too. And that's talk about the holidays. We have some fantastic holiday happenings this season and collectively we call the season "Holidays on the Harbor." We hope you'll join us this December and take advantage of these cheerful specials and events. In the picturesque area of Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands, we deck the decks, docks, seawalls, ship's masts, palm trees, and anything and everything that can be strung with holiday lights.  During the annual “Holidays on the Harbor” celebration throughout December, the destination sparkles with a boat parade, harbor cruises, concerts, art fairs and more – all illuminated with thousands upon thousands of holiday lights. Those planning the holidays here can enjoy the best of both worlds: holiday foods and festivities with all of the warmth not found at home. Here are some specials that will make for a more affordable vacation, followed by highlights of holiday events. Lodging Specials "No Snowballs, Just Plenty of Golf Balls" Valid Dec 15, 2010 – Jan 15, 2011 Free Golf with select vacation home rentals, including a dozen free golf balls Homes from $930 + 12% tax per week (plus cart fees). Place in the Sun Vacation Rentals Tel: (941) 465 6888 Holiday Escape Getaway November 20 - December 30, 2010 Get away for the holidays at the Four Points by Sheraton Punta Gorda Harborside for a relaxing experience away from all the hustle and bustle. Marina view room and a full breakfast for 2, $129 per night, plus tax. Stop by the bar to receive 99-cent draft beers during your stay. Subject to availability. Terms and conditions may apply. For reservations, call (941) 637-6770 and ask for the Holiday Escape Getaway package or visit Four Points by Sheraton Harborside Punta Gorda 33 Tamiami Trail Punta Gorda, FL Tel: (941) 637-6770 Punta Gorda Peace River Boat Tours Christmas Light Canal Cruise Enjoy a 1.5 hr. cruise with Capt. Louie Desguin on board his boat "The Peggy Jean," through the holiday-bedecked canals of Punta Gorda Isles. Cruises depart nightly, Dec. 2 thru Dec. 31, at 5:30 and 7 pm. Save $5.00 per person of the regular price if booked by Nov. 1st.  Reservations are required.  Call Capt. Louie Desguin at 941-380-6814 or visit Punta Gorda Peace River Boat Tours 25 Nesbit St.   Slip E-2 Laishley Park Marina Punta Gorda Fl. Tel: (941) 380-6814 Intimate Punta Gorda Holiday Lights Tours Join our captain and nature guide aboard a comfortable 20 ft pontoon boat while we leisurely cruise the colorfully lit waterways through Punta Gorda Isles.  6 passenger maximum, $22 per person.  Call for discounts. Trips begin at sundown on December 1st, call for scheduling and more information. Nature By Boat Excursions Tel: (941) 626-7590 Sailing School Special Discover the joys of sailing during a day on Charlotte Harbor and start the adventure of a lifetime. This is an introduction to the fascinating sport of sailing during which you will experience how to handle a 35' yacht.  See dolphins and white pelicans. $115.00 per person (min. 2 and max. 6 people) Advance reservations required, subject to availability of yacht and captain. Black-out dates are December 24, 25, 31 and January 1. Yachting Vacations 3190B Matecumbe Key Rd. (Burnt Store Marina) Punta Gorda, FL, 33955 (941) 637-6634 e-mail: Holiday Fright Deal Description: buy one, get one free Cost: regularly $10/person now 2 for $10 Restrictions: Must mention Holiday Fright Deal, advance reservations required Historic Ghost Tours of Punta Gorda Danse Macabre Productions Tel: (941) 421-5265 December Cooking Classes and Meal Prep Learn to make holiday treats, from Cannolis to Yuletide Mousse, sugar alternatives, African and Southern cuisine and more.  Many classes are $10, no class is more than $40 including a full meal. Next door, Prepped & Ready is an easy meal assembly program where guests prepare healthy entrées for their family in just minutes.  Classes occur Tues, Dec. Dec. 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 15, 16 and 21. Pies & Plates Culinary Academy 2310 Tamiami Trail, Ste. 3117 Punta Gorda, FL Tel: (941) 505-7437 Holiday Happenings in Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands Including Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, Englewood, Boca Grande and Placida For a full listing, visit Festival of Lights at Fishermen's Village Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010 Punta Gorda, Fishermen's Village Call (941) 639-8721 for more information. Official kick off of the Holiday Shopping Season. Festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. with Lee County Pipes & Drums. Balloon Creations by Luis The Balloon Man, Airbrush Art for Face & Body, complimentary refreshments courtesy of Village Merchants, Visits with Santa (bring your camera), live music in center court 5-9 p.m. Check the Website for additional events all season long at Admission: Free - Open to the public. Hours: 5:30 p.m. Rotonda West Association Hosts Christmas Parade Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010 Rotonda The Rotonda West Association will be hosting a Christmas Parade beginning at 2:00 p.m. The parade route will begin on Rotonda Boulevard East traveling east to Rotonda Circle ending at the Oakland Hills Marina (across from the Rotonda Hills restaurant). Upon entering any of the roads leading into Rotonda West greeters will be present with directions for parking and viewing. There is no entry fee however donations of food, holiday gifts and monetary donations will be collected for the Englewood Helping Hand organization. Rain date is scheduled for Sunday, November 28th, listen to Ken Birdsong on WENG (1530 am) for weather cancellations and complete parade commentary. Admission: Free, donations of food, holiday gifts and monetary donations will be collected. Hours: 2:00 p.m. 30th Annual Christmas Light Canal Tours Friday, Dec. 3 – Friday, Dec. 31, 2010 Punta Gorda, King Fisher Fleet at Fishermen's Village Cruise the canals of Punta Gorda for this family tradition of evening enjoyment with spectacular illumination of community holiday spirit. Call for Reservations. Admission: Call for prices Hours: Departure times: 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tel: (941) 639-0969 Holly Days Tree Lighting Friday, Dec. 3, 2010 Punta Gorda, Downtown Punta Gorda Celebrate the lighting of our Christmas Tree 2010. Downtown merchants will offer festive cheer, will be open for Holiday shopping and offering their own entertainment all evening. Watch it snow in Florida! Hours: 6 - 8 p.m. 21st Annual Peace River Lighted Boat Parade Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010 Punta Gorda, Charlotte Harbor 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 Hours: Begins at dusk. Tel: (941) 639-3720 "Tiz the Season" - Charlotte Symphony Orchestra POPS Concert Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010 New Englander Ida Zecco gets listeners acquainted with lesser-known Christmas songs. Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center 75 Taylor Rd. Punta Gorda, FL 33950 Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. Tiz the Season Charlotte Symphony Orchestra POPS Christmas Concert. Admission: $35 Adults/$15 Students Hours: 7:00 PM Tel: (941) 833-5444