9 Punta Gorda Holiday Happenings that are More Fun than Shoveling Snow

Punta Gorda boat parade watchers

Crowds gather to watch the 2012 lighted boat parade

Occasionally (and a bit humorously), northerners will ask me if I miss snow. It seems we, Floridians, have it easy. All year long, I drive out of my driveway without stopping to scrap ice or shovel a path. There are no layers to put on every morning or take off at night. I skip the weather report. This time of year it is chilly in the morning (in the 50s or 60s usually—brrr!) and in the 70s or 80s the rest of the day. You’d think I’d be bored.

However, the holiday season in Punta Gorda keeps everyone busy. It is hard to keep up with it all. So you don’t miss anything, I have compiled a list of Punta Gorda holiday happenings that will distract you from missing your snow shovel.

  1. Festival of Lights—Throughout December, you can experience over one million lights and decorations at Fishermen’s Village. The Village is gorgeous this time of year, make sure you stop by.
  2. Sit on Santa’s Lap and Visit the Grinch—Every Saturday and Sunday, Santa and the Grinch in Whoville visit Fishermen’s Village. The times vary a bit, so check the schedule here to ensure your little one doesn’t miss out.
  3. King Fisher Canal Cruises—See the canals lit up with holiday cheer from a boat. For reservations, call 941-639-0969.
  4. Lighted boat parade #1—Lighted boat parades are a big holiday tradition around here. There are two in Punta Gorda. The first one happens on December 15, 2013 at 6:00 pm. You can watch this parade from Fishermen’s Village, the US 41 bridges (no chairs are allowed on the bridges), or Laishley Park Marina. Download a parade map here.
  5. Charlotte County Chamber’s 35th Annual Christmas Parade—This year’s theme is Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child. The parade starts at noon on December 14 and travels from Charlotte High School up Taylor Street to the Events Center.
  6. A Christmas Odyssey—At the Performing Arts center, the Charlotte County Chorale will perform their annual holiday concert on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 4:00 pm. Tickets cost $20 for adults and $10 for students. To purchase call 941-whale204-0033.
  7. The Mistletoe Ball—Benefiting the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition, Inc., the ball begins at 6:00 pm on December 14, 2013 at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference center. Dance the night away and help an excellent cause. This year’s theme is A Christmas in Paris. For ticket information, call Tina Figluelio at 941-627-4313 ext. 118.
  8. The Gallery Walk—Every third Thursday of the month, downtown shops stay open late for the Gallery Walk. There is live music, demonstrations and samples. The December 19 Gallery Walk is special, because the town is lit up in holiday style. The walk starts at 5:00 pm and ends at 8:00.
  9. Lighted boat parade #2—If you missed lighted boat parade #1, you are in luck! On Saturday, December 21, a second lighted boat parade will cruise through Punta Gorda. I recommend watching them both. The second parade starts around 6:00 pm. You can find more tips on where to view the parade here.

Did I miss any? What is your favorite Punta Gorda happening this time of year? Let me know in the comments below or hop on over to our Facebook page and let us know.

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