Ahhhhhhh, yes, it's that time of year again on Fort Myers Beach: The sun is shining but it's not too hot; there's not a rain cloud in the sky but it's not too bright; it's glorious weather, lots of traffic and people, and there are about 20 firemen getting ready to entertain at the Lani Kai. Yes, Spring Break is certainly here!
Entertaining on Fort Myers Beach for more than two decades, the Cincinnati Firemen have been making the annual trip down south in droves as a way to relax, unwind, and show off some wild dance moves. And since teaming up with the Lani Kai a few years ago, the group of about 20 handsome firefighters raises thousands of dollars each and every year to help a local non-profit cause. Get ready to see them live and in action, yet again, between March 11 and March 21, on their own special stage on the ground floor of the Lani Kai Resort, 1400 Estero Blvd.
"We all love being part of the Lani Kai family and doing our part to make each spring break bigger and better for Fort Myers Beach," said Angelo "Scar" Scarlato, one of the founding members of the visiting group, along with Joe "Duke" Diebold, who will also be returning.
Jeff Yount performs as Tom Jones! Photo by MELISSA SCHNEIDER.
"It's always a great time with the Cincinnati Firemen," said Larry Puccia, general manager of the island resort. "It's all for charity, so everyone benefits from that. Mr. Conidaris (owner of the Lani Kai) has always pushed the charity aspect of it. Their all-ages show appeals to so many people young, old, men, women, it's a really great, entertaining time for everyone."
Thousands have flocked the island to see the firemen's show in the past, and even during a wild season, such as the one we're experiencing right now, it's a safe bet that thousands more will show up for the show.
Arriving March 9, you can first catch the Cincinnati Firemen on a float sailing down Estero Boulevard during the annual Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival Saturday, March 10. Then, on Sunday, March 11, catch their first show of the season, with an extra large blowout bash to welcome the group.
Cincinnati Firemen at The Lani Kai
1400 Estero Blvd..
Where: On the back stage, ground floor
When: March 11 to 15 and March 17 to 21, all beginning around 1 p.m.
What: A 90-minute revue, with plenty of singing, dancing, shaking, acting, bead-throwing and more!
During the approximately 90-minute performance, complete with plenty of singing, dancing and non-stop shenanigans, along with bead-tossing and crowd participation, you'll see several of the "staple" Cincy skits, like Michael Jackson's "Thriller," "Shake Your Tail Feather," "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy," "Somebody Call 9-1-1," and others along with a few surprise new routines all brilliantly choreographed by fellow Cincy firemen Jeff Yount.
These guys go all-out with their routine, from the hand-sewn-and-designed costumes and accessories, to the dance moves, wigs, masks, and, uhhh, makeup. You just have to see it to believe it!
Throughout the routine, the "firemen's boot" is passed around, collecting funds that all go to a local cause. Continuing this year, the Pete Renner Foundation will once again be the recipient of the proceeds, a local non-profit organization whose sole purpose is helping local families with children who have life-threatening illnesses or conditions but can't afford to get them the medical attention they require.
Last year alone, the group raised a whopping $10,216 for the local foundation!
So, be ready to see wild shows, awesome contests and lots of song and dance routines within the next few weeks, when the Lani Kai is jam-packed with hot bods and rockin' beats.
Official shows will start around 1 p.m. every afternoon Sunday March 11 to Thursday, March 15; then Saturday, March 17 to Wednesday, March 21.
"Come to the Lani Kai: a fun place, where everyone's been coming for 33 years for a great time," Larry said.
For more information on the upcoming Cincy Firemen shows, call the Lani Kai, 463-3111, or find the group on Facebook by searching "Greater Cincinnati Firefighters Show group at Lani Kai Ft. Myers Beach."