CAPTIVA ISLAND, Fla. (July 22, 2013) – Summertime is amongst us but that hasn’t stopped the hoteliers, merchants, attraction owners and restaurateurs of Captiva Island to be in the holiday spirit and busily preparing for the 4th Annual Captiva Holiday Village.

The three-weekend-long Captiva Holiday Village launches its 2013 spectacular the Friday after Thanksgiving with fireworks, tree lightings, holiday readings, musical performances and more.

Each special-themed weekend will be a fun-filled extravaganza of sight and sound, set against the backdrop of the Gulf of Mexico and evening sunsets. During the event weekends, visitors will enjoy everything from decorated golf cart and lighted boat parades to Junkanoo dancers, live music and even a Marching Mullet Parade.

“Captiva is a remarkable island village and known as a magnet for creative people,” said Paul McCarthy of Captiva Cruises. “It’s famous for its beautiful beaches, wildlife-filled waters, family-friendly atmosphere, and a quirky, relaxed way of life. This island is a perfect place to unwind from holiday stress.”

All three weekends of events take place in Captiva’s “village” center, where its colorful restaurants and shops will be festively decorated.

The village is the heart of the island: a quirky, colorful, pedestrian-friendly hub where people stroll from place to place, enjoying live music, tropical food and drink and the island’s legendary sunsets.

Back by popular demand, a feature of this year’s Captiva Holiday Village is Community Chautauqua, offering educational workshops, entertainment, films, a carol sing, boat cruises, tastings and natural history talks—all offering locals and visitors a chance to learn more about quirky Captiva.

“Captiva is a wonderful contrast from the hustle and bustle of normal daily life,” said Jeff Shuff, ‘Tween Waters Inn general manager. “When you add in all the fun with these three holiday event weekends, Captiva should be at the top of your holiday must-do list; it’s going to be one heck of a party this year.”

A production crew from the Travel Channel filmed last year’s annual Captiva Holiday Village Golf Cart Parade as part of a proposed show called ‘Xtreme Xmas’ based on unique Christmas events across the United States.

“We were looking to showcase the best of the best across America but wanted to get away from the typical stories like the Radio City Rockettes or the lighting of the Rockefeller Center tree in New York City,” said Travel Channel Creative Producer Nicole Dunn.

The show, which also featured a festival in Jennings, Louisiana, a parade in New Mexico and Trappist monks in Missouri making fruitcakes for the holidays, will air seven to 10 times between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“This was such a great opportunity to bring our quirky island festivities to the world,” said 2012 Golf Cart Parade Chair Denice Beggs. “This parade is such a unique and fun event for locals to be involved in. The competition has really increased, and many participants plan their decorations a year in advance.”

Each year, Captiva locals try to outdo their neighbor by extravagantly decorating their personal or rented golf carts in lights, garland, hats and even plastic flamingos. Fun, festive and sometimes gaudy outfits go along with the tradition.

In addition to Holiday Village festivities, the island offers easy access to an abundance of water sports: kayaking, guided fishing, parasailing, world-renowned shelling and wildlife cruises to the outer islands.

Captiva is ranked as one of TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Travelers’ Choice U.S. Beach Destinations.

As a highlight of this annual event, local hoteliers and restaurants have once again teamed up to offer six free two-night Captiva Holiday Village weekends for the 2013 event. Online entries are now being accepted at

Captiva Island resorts, inns, cottages and vacation homes are also offering lodging specials in conjunction with this year’s event.

For a list of all events and hotel packages, visit

The 2013 event schedule is as follows:

November 29

• Tree Lighting and Fireworks at ‘Tween Waters Inn


November 30

• South Seas Tree Lighting

• Sunset Arias at ‘Tween Waters Inn


December 5

• Captiva Memorial Library Children’s Program


December 6

• Sunset Arias at ‘Tween Waters Inn

• Sanibel Luminary


December 7

• Royal Shell’s Decorated Golf Cart Parade

• Golf Cart Awards & Party

• Captiva Luminary

• Researching Dolphins in Pine Island Sound at ‘Tween Waters Inn sponsored by SCCF


December 12

• Early Maritime History in Pine Island Sound sponsored by SCCF


December 13

• Mullet March at Jensen’s Twin Palms at 5 p.m.

• Captiva Memories and Holiday Captiva Island Historical Society film at Jensen’s Twin Palms


December 14

• Seafood and Fishing Festival at Jensen’s Twin Palms all day

• American Realty of Captiva Junkanoo Parade

• The Sanibel Captiva Trust Company Lighted Boat Parade

• Post Boat Parade Party


December 15

• Carol Sing at Chapel By the Sea followed by refreshments at the Captiva Community Center


About Captiva Island

Captiva Island is a barrier island in the tranquil Gulf of Mexico on Florida’s southwest coast. North of Sanibel Island and West of Fort Myers, world-renowned Captiva is also just three hours from Tampa and Fort Lauderdale by car. A narrow seashell-laden island famous for its dramatic sunrises and sunsets, celebrity visitors and creative residents, Captiva is home to private waterfront estates, two large resorts and several charming small inns. The heart of the island is its vibrant ‘downtown,’ coined “the village,” in which visitors and locals stroll among colorful galleries, shops and restaurants with live music and water views. As the gateway to the out-islands within Pine Island Sound, Captiva is also a watersports destination and offers boaters multiple marinas with overnight dockage. It has been featured in countless magazines and newspapers around the world.