NEED TO KNOW: 2020 Edison Festival of Light celebration routes and road closures

Roads in and around downtown Fort Myers will be closed starting early Saturday morning for one of Southwest Florida’s biggest events. The Grand Parade is a two-hour extravaganza featuring national participants & local marching bands, floats, local government and law enforcement officials, clowns and more.

Crafts on the River – The Craft show is from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. along on Hendry and Main Street spanning to Broadway and Main.

Parade Celebration – Begins at 11 a.m. and bands begin at 3 p.m. also on Edwards Drive you can catch free entertainment on the stage. Cloggers, vocalists, dancers! Food vendors and beverages too.

Edison Festival of Light 5K Run

Over the years, the Edison Festival 5K Race has gained international notoriety. Well over 1,400 participants and thousands of spectators take over the streets of the Downtown River District. Register your team for this 3.1mile race for fun and a chance to win cash prizes.

The event is coordinated from start to finish by the Fort Myers Track Club and includes chip timing and an after-event awards program.

Packet Pickup / Registration

Saturday, Feb. 15
Campo Felice
3:00 PM – 5:30 PM
2500 Edwards Dr, Fort Myers

5K Run
The shotgun start is at 5:45 p.m. and thousands of local, national, and international runners and walkers will take it to the streets just before parade time. The race starts on Edwards Drive.

Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade

On Saturday people from all over the world will be lining the streets along US 41 and throughout the Downtown River District to watch the biggest night parade in the Southeast.

The parade is from 7 – 10 p.m.

This year, a few favorite viewing spots will change due to a new route to accommodate the construction progress of a new hotel.

Where to watch the Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade?

  • Do not plan to sit on Monroe St. or Edwards Dr. in front of Harborside Event Center.
  • Instead, you can go to Main Street or Hendry.
  • Or find a prime spot on US 41 between Lions Park and MLK.

Fireworks will be set off from Centennial Park at the end of the parade around 8:30 p.m.

Traffic:

The Fort Myers Police Department stresses that traffic will be extremely restricted along the parade route and motorists must seek alternate routes.

  • The parade exit route from downtown will be along Jackson Street to Edison Avenue which will be closed as well.
  • Southbound traffic on US 41 will be diverted off the Caloosahatchee Bridge and detoured onto McGregor Boulevard.
  • Lee Memorial Hospital entrance after road closures will be at Cleveland Avenue and Canal Streets.
  • The Fort Myers Police Department stresses that traffic will be extremely restricted along the parade route and motorists must seek alternate routes.

“The parking is always difficult because there’s so many people here, you know, coming to see the festival,” Debbie Jordan said. “… You have to just park wherever you can find a space.”

Parking Tips:

    • Park in parking garages
    • Local churches and businesses allow free parking on their lots
    • Be prepared to walk

“Park away from it. Catch a ride maybe,” Chris Keiling said. “Buddy up with somebody, your family or friends.”

People say it’s worth it.

“We normally do come early, and we just enjoy the day,” Jordan said. “I think it’s worth it. It’s been here so long. It’s tradition.”

More than 200,000 people attend the parade and there are more than 200 units including floats, marching bands, trucks, dignitaries, and much more participating! For more information about the route or other Edison Festival of Light activities visit edisonfestival.org.

Reporter:Justin Kase
Writer:WINK News
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