Chamber Takes Lead on City’s 50th Celebration; Luminary Postponed

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

In partnership with the city of Sanibel and other Sanibel Island organizations, the SanCap Chamber has taken the lead in planning a 13-month-long celebration of the city’s 50th anniversary. In anticipation of two super Holiday Luminaries upcoming in that time frame, the chamber has postponed the 2023 Luminary.

Holiday Luminary will return to Sanibel and Captiva bigger than ever in 2024. Photo credit: Fort Myers – Islands, Beaches and Neighborhoods.

“I think I speak for most island businesses when I say we all wanted desperately to bring Luminary back to the islands this year, but the confidence and resources just aren’t falling into place in time,” said John Lai, chamber president and chief executive officer. “The Luminary mission promotes the message to ‘shop small,’ but hurricane recovery efforts still are causing a lack of critical mass in the island retail arena. The inability to nail down commitments for shopping center reopenings has made it impossible to move into the planning stages where we should be right now to pull that off. We vow, however, to make up for it in a big way next December.”

The 50th anniversary of the city’s incorporation in 1974 falls on Nov. 5, 2024, and that will kick off a continuous celebration ending with Holiday Luminary 2025. “We are literally going to blow it out with ‘Super Luminaries’ in 2024 and 2025,” said Lai. “In the meantime, we’re forming an anniversary committee and reaching out to all island nonprofit organizations, resident groups, homeowner associations, and faith-based institutions to participate.”

The chamber would like to see all island festivals and events between Nov. 5, 2024, and Dec. 6, 2025, co-branded with the 50th anniversary celebration. Lai requests representatives from all targeted groups contact him for information about sitting on the anniversary committee to plan the year’s calendar. Interested parties can reach him at 239-472-2348 or or contact Andrea Miller with the Sanibel Recreation Center at, 239-472-0345.

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting the prosperity of its members and preserving the quality of life of our community. The Chamber plays a key role in facilitating communication and cooperation between business, residents, and government to enhance the economic health of the islands. Its website,, receives over 1.3 million visits per year. For more information about the chamber, visit or contact John Lai, president and CEO, at 239-472-2348 or

Comments (1)

  1. Jude Sincoskie

    Wow, really? Shouldn’t we be doing everything thing we can to facilitate the return of island businesses to sanibel? What planning does it take. How can residents and businesses help?

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