CAPTIVA ISLAND, Fla. - An annual Christmas event on Captiva Island is getting some national publicity this year. Its Holiday Village Golf Cart Parade is set to be part of a proposed TV show highlighting unique Christmas events all over the country.
Instead of snow, there's sand. Instead of sleighs, there are golf carts It's not your typical winter wonderland. Then again, the Travel Channel doesn't come to Captiva Island looking for anything typical.
"It's a magical place and we just love coming," visitor Barbara Florey said. A production crew is working on a show tentatively called "Cross-country Christmas," and it's Captiva's quirky Christmas carts that caught their attention.
"It's just great for our whole community here, not just Captiva and Sanibel, but also it'll help Fort Myers and our whole region," Tony Lapi of 'Tween Waters Inn said.
It's the third year for Captiva's Holiday Village Golf Cart Parade. Saturday, the carts rolled, decked in garland, lights and even alligators. Competition to have the best set of wheels is fierce, with some planning theirs a year in advance.
"The idea of course is to give entertainment and to give a reason for visitors to come here this time of year," Lapi said.
"We've been coming for 4 years and we come from New Mexico," Florey said. "We just love it. It's beautiful the way they put it together."
The Christmas Village event itself has been going on for three weekends, featuring a boat parade, fire dancing, and a mullet march. But for many, the golf cart parade is the culmination.
"It is just a very magical experience," Florey said.
And, it's a rare opportunity for Southwest Florida to share its traditions with the world, leaving viewers dreaming of a warm Christmas.
Golf carts are awarded prizes for Best in Class, Commercial, Non-commercial, and Best in Show. In addition to Captiva, the show will also feature a festival in Louisiana, a parade in New Mexico and Trappist Monks in Missouri making fruitcakes.