** UPDATE: Since the boys were rained out Tuesday afternoon, they will put on a special performance Friday, March 15, at 1:30 p.m., on their very own stage behind the Lani Kai. Come one, come all!
Dancing and shaking their way back to the warm sand of Fort Myers Beach, the seasonal Cincinnati Firemen are returning to the island this week, with their first show at the Lani Kai, 1400 Estero Blvd., scheduled for Sunday, March 10, the day after their participation aboard the resort's float in the Shrimp Festival Parade Saturday.
"We're happy to be back on Fort Myers Beach, performing our variety show at the Lani Kai throughout mid-March, while raising funds for local charity," said Angelo "Scar" Scarlato, the lead coordinator of the annual trip down to the island, who has returned year after year since his first trip down in the late '80s.
The Cincy Firemen will begin their daily shows March 10, finishing March 20, with no show March 15. Photo by MELISSA SCHNEIDER.
Beginning around 1:30 p.m. every afternoon from March 10 to March 20, except for a day off March 15, you can catch the 20-something firemen performing an hour-long variety show that's full of laughs, cheers, comedy, surprises and plenty of dance routines!
Throughout the years, thousands and thousands of people have flocked to the sands specifically to catch a show or two (or three or more) from these Cincy boys, and this year is sure to be no different.
"Jeff [Yount] is the lead choreographer, and we've all been rehearsing and practicing to get our routines down for the show," Angelo said.
If you've seen their performances before, you know the set list is always changing, with new routines constantly added to keep them fresh, new and exciting.
This year, look forward to two top-secret, brand new routines, complete with new costumes and new dance moves.
As for a hint, Angelo said "I'm only going to say that one of them is from a very popular newer movie."
Cincy Firemen Variety Shows
AT THE LANI KAI RESORT
WHEN: March 10 to 20, 1:30 p.m. (no show March 15)
What: About 20 Cincinnatti Firemen sing, dance and perform a great selection of songs fromseveral genres and movies. There's no cost, and it's an all-ages show.
During their previous variety shows, the Cincy Firemen have performed all types of songs from the movies and the top of the music charts, including scenes from Grease, Thriller, songs from the Black Eyed Peas, the Village People, Elvis, Tom Jones, Kid Rock and much, much more. It's always entertaining and it's always a fun time.
"This year, we have about 20 guys making it down about four or five new guys, a couple returning after not coming down for a few years, and lots that you all know and love," Angelo said.
Entertaining the folks on the Lani Kai's official stage isn't enough the boys are always sure they're raising funds for local charity while they're at it.
Last year alone, over the series of 10-or-so shows, they raised nearly $10,000.
"We've been coming to Fort Myers Beach for 26 years now, and the town has always supported us and loved us. We've received so much support that we always like to give back, and giving to charity is the best way to do it," Angelo said. "We have the support and the crowd, and we want to give back to a community that has taken us in as their own."
During the shows, a fireman's boot is passed, raising funds for the local charity, and proceeds from their commemorative Cincy-Firemen-on-FMB T-shirt and beer koozie sales also go to the charity fund.
Be sure to stop by for at least one of their shows for a great and entertaining way to spend the day on Fort Myers Beach. For more info, or to show some Facebook love, log onto Facebook and search "Greater Cincinnati Firefighters Show Group at Lani Kai Ft. Myers Beach."