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Photo of children on stage in costume holding busts of Edison
Royal Pages of the Edison Pageant of Light

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Edison Pageant of Light
A Local Legacy

Do you know what the kids in the photo are doing? They are holding busts of Thomas Edison for a performance in the Edison Pageant of Light.

The people in Fort Myers, Florida, have been celebrating Thomas Edison's birthday since February 1938. Edison moved to Fort Myers with his wife, Mina, for health reasons. In the bright, warm sunshine and under big blue skies, Edison's health was restored. He liked Fort Myers so much that he stayed and built a laboratory there in 1887. Every year he threw himself a birthday party, and important guests like Harvey Firestone and Henry Ford would attend.

Today, Edison's birthday is celebrated as a three-day event that includes a royal pageant with the highlight being the crowning of a king and queen of the mythical realm of Edisonia. Edison's birthday party also includes many bands and floats, a Baby Parade, fireworks, stadium show, a flower show, arts and crafts show, golf and tennis tournaments, professional square dancing and musical performances.

Now that's a big birthday party! But most people would agree that someone who invented the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and 1,000 other inventions deserves to be honored in this way!

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