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75th Edison Festival of Light delivers chills and thrills in Fort Myers

Weather uncooperative, but it doesn't matter to parade fans.

Feb. 17, 2013
2013 Edison Festival's Grand Parade
2013 Edison Festival's Grand Parade: The parade makes its way through Monroe and First streets. Cynthia Roldan/News-Press
Queen and King of Edisonia, Shelby Renae, and Brian Schults wave during the Edison Festival of Lights Parade on Saturday. /
Markesha Kinchen, 30, hoisted her daughter, Jamari Jones, 2, so she could wave at the fire trucks and police cars with wailing sirens. The Fort Myers mother has been attending the Edison Festival of Light Grande Parade since she was 1. / Amy Sowder/


Go to or our mobile site,, for photo galleries and video coverage of Saturday’s Grand Parade, including the pre-parade party, the Edison 5K race and more.

Watch Festival Videos Here

Edison Grand Parade floats | Parade scenes | Part 2 | Part 3
Edison Grand Parade begins
Scenes from the parade and the 5K race
Edison 5K Race Part 1 | Part 2
Pre-parade festivities Part 1 | Part 2

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Markesha Kinchen hoisted her 2-year-old daughter wrapped in a puffy, pink, hooded jacket lined with white fur around her face so she could see the oversized eagle perched atop the American Red Cross float.

“Look, a bird!” the Fort Myers mother told her daughter, Jamari Jones, who pointed and gazed wide-eyed at the floats drifting along the Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade on Saturday night.

Family tradition is at the heart of this 75th annual festival honoring Fort Myers’ most famous inventor, Thomas Edison.

“I’ve been going since I was 1,” Kinchen, 30, said. “It never gets old.”

The swelling sounds of the Guns and Hoses Pipe Band, the clickety-clacking of the Bayshore Cloggers and the wailing police car sirens created a welcome symphony for thousands of festival-goers.

They wrapped up in blankets and sweaters in the 57-degree weather that felt much colder with 14 mph winds. Parade organizers had to cancel the post-parade fireworks show because of the wind.

Tim Hasty, 54, of Fort Myers blocked off a parade-viewing area three weeks ago for 25 family and friends, some visiting from Wisconsin and southern Illinois.

“I keep coming just for the fun of it,” Hasty said.

Read more: Parade stories and memories

Your view: Southwest Florida celebrates 75 years of Edison

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