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Times of the Islands Magazine

Reasons for the Season: Feasts and festivals

Oct 25, 2017 06:21PM ● By Mandy Carter

'Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa on Captiva holds its annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony on the Friday following Thanksgiving. Photo courtesy of 'Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa.


On Sunday, Nov. 12, from noon to 5 p.m., restaurants from the islands take part in this annual fundraiser benefiting the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, Inc. (CROW). It’s the 36th year for the event, which will take place at Sanibel community Park. The premier island food festival showcases the vibrant and diverse restaurant community of Sanibel and Captiva with new, exciting culinary experiences—along with long-time favorites. For further details, visit


Each year on the Friday following Thanksgiving, ’Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa hosts one of the holiday season's most anticipated events: The annual lighting of its Christmas tree! On Friday, Nov. 24, starting at 5:30 p.m., islanders and visitors will gather at ’Tweenies for food, drinks, caroling, live music, the tree lighting and a fireworks display on the beach. Find out more information by going to


During the holiday season, from Thanksgiving weekend throughout the month of December, Captiva Island transforms into a magical holiday village. Businesses, restaurants and resorts will twinkle with lovely lights and daring decorations. Planned events include fire dancing, musical performances and colorful parades.


Sanibel Island & Captiva Island Chamber of Commerce sponsors the annual Luminary Festival. It’s a “community-wide holiday event that brings together residents, visitors, businesses and organizations, promoting goodwill and community spirit.” The beautiful festival, now in its 33rd year, will take place on Sanibel on Friday, Dec. 1, and on Captiva on Saturday, Dec. 2. According to the chamber, “as you travel the trail, look for the many fun places to stop and enjoy. There will be a tree lighting ceremony, complementary trolley service, Santa visits, photos with Santa, a live nativity scene, music and activities for the entire family.” For all the news, check out
Luminary Festivals take place each year on both islands. Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.


Mandy Carter is a local mom with a passion for family travel, a popular travel blogger including her own family blog at and the Digital Content & Engagement Editor for TOTI Media.