Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands Commemorates Festive Season with
Events and Activities for the Young and Young at Heart

CHARLOTTE HARBOR & THE GULF ISLANDS, Fla. (June 19, 2014) –Holidays are celebrated family-style in the delightfully diverse Southwest Florida communities that comprise Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands.  And as expected, many of the festivities take place on or near the water.  Following is just a sampling of seasonal fun to enjoy this year…

Festival of Lights at Fishermen’s Village - Saturday, Nov. 15 – Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014, 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Fishermen’s Village, Punta Gorda. “Lighting of the Village” 5:30 – 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 15. 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 5-9 p.m. in 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.

Christmas Light Canal Cruises nightly Dec. 4 – 31, 2014. 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 nightly at 6:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and at 9:00 p.m. Trip length is one hour, cost is $16.00 for adults, half price for kids 3-11, free under 3. Private charters and group rates also available. Tel: 941-639-0969.  

Experience the joy of a private, approximately two-hour Catamaran Christmas Canal Cruise aboard the 47’ Smoke and Roses, for a party up to six persons, Dec. 5 - 30 running between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Cost is $50 per person based on six passengers. Then relax and enjoy their New Year’s Eve Overnight Sail-A-Bration starting at sunset, followed by dinner at a dockside restaurant, the viewing of fireworks at anchor, and then overnight onboard in a comfortable berth and return home New Year’s Day at 10:00 a.m. $175.00 per person based on six passengers; dinner and gratuity not included. Tel: 605-366-7673 or

Olde Englewood Village Association Winter Arts Festival. Dec. 6 – 7, 2014, 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.

Lemon Bay Playhouse presents “Greetings!” a Christmas Eve comedy. Dec. 3 – 21, 2014. Curtain times: 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 2:00 p.m. Sunday matinees. Reserved tickets are $18.00. 96 West Dearborn Street, Englewood. Tel: 941-475-6756 or

"Images of the Season" holiday concert, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, 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

25th Annual Peace River Lighted Boat Parade. Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, 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 of Lights. Sat., Dec. 20, 2014. No entry fees, no judging, just a great time viewing the decorated boats cruising along the smooth waters of the PGI canal system. Starting at dark, around 6:00 p.m. For route map visit

Fishermen’s Village New Year’s Eve Extravaganza! Beginning at 5:00 p.m. Dec. 31, 2014 and continuing until midnight. Family friendly festivities will include: Live Music/Dancing with Gator DJ in Center Court; Singer/Guitarist Michael Hirst, 8 pm to midnight, Hair Glitter Designs/Airbrush Art for Face & Body; Luis The Balloon Man with Balloon Creations, Tarot Card readings by Pamela, and Metamasque Face Painting. 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Fishermen’s Village, Punta Gorda.


Whether you’re visiting from the cold north, or from across the Florida peninsula, accommodations are reasonably priced and suit the needs of singles, couples and large families.

Fishermen’s Village Waterfront Mall, Resort & Marina Located on Charlotte Harbor in Punta Gorda, Fla., Fishermen’s Village is Southwest Florida’s quintessential stay and play destination!  Multigenerational families enjoy the rich history of the Village, dating back to the 1900’s which sits on the site of the docks that used to service the fish and ice-packing house industry.  Fishermen’s Village features independently owned shops, boutiques, waterfront dining, villa vacation rentals (with two bedrooms, a loft, kitchen and living room area), water recreation, full service marina, military museum, live entertainment, and special events.  The entire family will find a plethora of activities in one convenient location, free bike loaner program, Christmas Canal Light Cruises, Festival of Lights and more.  Room rates during the holiday season: $190 per night plus 12% tax. 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda. Tel:  941-639-8721.

Palm Island Resort
Palm Island Resort is a true-out island resort.  There are no bridges or causeways to the island, which ensures a relaxed, tropical vacation setting. Guests travel to the island via car ferry and park their car in the island parking area.  Cars are not allowed in the resort.  Beachfront accommodations consist of 80 vacation villas with one, two, or three-bedrooms.  Each villa offers fully equipped kitchen, living and dining rooms, laundry facilities, and a screened porch overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.  The villas’ décor focuses on island-style charm and casual elegance.  King beds are in each master suite and the second and third bedrooms have twin beds in most cases. The resort offers 5 heated pools, plus hydra spas and gas BBQ grills at each pool area.  There are 11 hard tennis courts available for play at no charge.  The recreation center offers a variety of rentals to include golf carts, bicycles, canoes and kayaks, fishing equipment, beach umbrellas; and arrange for wave-runners, motor boats and fishing charters.  Palm Island Resort offers pre-/post-holiday specials: Dec. 3 – Dec. 17 and again Jan. 5 – Feb. 17 stay two nights and enjoy your third night free. 97092 Placida Road, Cape Haze.  Tel: 800-824-5412.  

Weston’s wannaB Inn
Located on Manasota Key in between the Gulf of Mexico, Lemon Bay and Stump Pass Beach State Park, the 80-unit property is newly renovated and offers the best of the open ocean, Intracoastal waterways and one of the most beautiful stretches of beach in the world.  Ideal for multigenerational families are the two-bedroom efficiencies and two- and three-bedroom hotel rooms. During the holiday season efficiencies start at $100/night, with 2-bedroom units starting at $225 nightly, rates are based on double occupancy and extra persons are $20/night. 985 Gulf Blvd., Englewood. Tel:   

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, the area offers a pristine unspoiled beauty.  In 2014 Port Charlotte has been named the top U.S. Best Value Destination by trivago, the world’s largest online hotel search site, and the Charlotte Sports Park, spring training home of the Tampa Bay Rays, was voted “Best Spring Training Facility” by readers of USA TODAY. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Charlotte Harbor & the Gulf Islands has been named one of 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.” Englewood was named second of the Top Ten emerging travel destinations in the U.S. by  The area is served by five airports: The Punta Gorda Airport (PDG) with private and charter air service, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), Southwest Florida International Airport, Ft. Myers, (RSW), St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) and Tampa International Airport (TPA).

For more information on visiting Charlotte Harbor visit or call 1-800-652-6090.

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Jennifer Huber
Tourism Public Relations Manager
Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau
(941) 743-1900

Mary Jane Kolassa / Cindy Dobyns
Above Water Public Relations & Marketing
(407) 463-0040 / (239) 596-9149  /

Charlotte Harbor Visitor 
& Convention Bureau
18500 Murdock Circle, Suite B104
Port Charlotte, FL 33948
941-743-1900, FAX: 941-764-4932