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Tick tock, tick tock…Santa Claus is coming to town

October 30, 2023

Santa and his elves are extremely busy preparing for his visit to Charlotte County. The deadline is fast approaching to submit your entry form to participate in our 45th annual Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 9.

This holiday community event is filled with so much excitement and Christmas spirit that brings the sidewalks alive along the parade route.

Whether you are a chamber member or not, all businesses and organizations are encouraged to participate with a “Tropical Christmas” themed car, truck, float, golf cart, or boat to amaze the 3,000 spectators that line the streets of downtown Punta Gorda. The deadline to submit your entry form is Friday, Nov. 10.

The countdown has begun, and the anticipation is building. Our 45th annual Christmas Parade promises to be a celebration of pure joy and wonder and a dazzling spectacle that will leave you in a holiday spirit. So, mark your calendars, gather your loved ones, and get ready for a magical experience to share with your family and friends.

To complete your entry form, visit and click on the home page link. Please feel free to call the chamber office with any questions.

Chamber Activities

Networking at Noon Lunch (member event): 11:45 a.m.–1 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 8 at Village Brewhouse, 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda. Registration and lunch selection required. To RSVP, visit

Third Wednesday Coffee (member event): 8-9 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 15 at Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center, 75 Taylor St., Punta Gorda. Coffee sponsor: Virginia B. Andes Volunteer Community Clinic. Guest speaker/program: Mark Vianello, superintendent of Charlotte County Public Schools. You don’t want to miss this. Hear from our new superintendent about his vision and his strategic trajectory for our school system. Registration is requested to make proper arrangements. To RSVP, visit Immediately follow our program, we’ll have a ribbon-cutting for True Fence (1 year anniversary). Quarterly New Member Orientation: 9:15-10 a.m. Great opportunity for our new members to get a firm understanding how to utilize their benefits to ensure success.

Business Card Exchange (member event): 5-7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 16 at Centennial Bank, 401 Taylor St., Punta Gorda. Their grill will be fired up for their famous hot dogs, beer/wine, and refreshments provided. Toys for Tots Gift Drive. Everyone, please bring one unwrapped gift. Fun Icebreaker game. Bring a gift to promote your business.


Ribbon-cuttings are an effective way to meet the business owners (and fellow chamber members) in an informal atmosphere and develop great connections. Plus, you get familiar with their products and services provided. Please take the time to show your support and attend our ribbon cuttings!

Dandelion Behavioral Health (one-year anniversary): 5:30-7 p.m. (ribbon-cutting at 5:30 p.m.) Thursday, Nov. 9 at 1777 Tamiami Trail, Suite 500, Port Charlotte. Snacks and refreshments provided. Registration is requested to make proper arrangements.

Special Announcement

13th annual Business Expo (Hottest Business Day in Paradise): 10 a.m.–3 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024 at Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center, 75 Taylor St., Punta Gorda. Free and open to the public. Imagine marketing your business in an 8’ x 10’ booth (piped/draped) and having 1,000-plus visitors and residents see the products and services you provide. You will have the opportunity to see more folks in a matter of five hours than you may see in a month. This will be an excellent environment for maximum business exposure for sales, lead generation and develop great connections. Plus, there will be over 90 other exhibitors for business-to-business to develop client/customer relationships. Deadline to reserve you booth is Tuesday, Jan. 23. There will be no late entries accepted. To reserve your booth,  visit or call the chamber office at 941-627-2222.

Bob White is executive director of the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce.