A long-standing tradition for over two decades, dozens of Cincinnatti Firemen and EMTs migrate down to the soft sands and gentle surf of Fort Myers Beach during the spring break season, bringing with them lots of charm, style, philanthropy and a ton of great dance moves!
The firemen are held in high regard by the locals who are sure to make their way down to the Lani Kai for their daily, well-choreographed shows during their stay. You'll see anything from the Village People's "YMCA"?and "Macho Man" to Michael Jackson's "Thriller," songs (and skits) from "Grease," and so many more, with the routine regularly changing every year, to keep the acts fresh and new.
Kicking off their 2014 spring break season at the Lani Kai Fort Myers Beach, you can catch the Cincy Firemen atop the resort's float in the Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival Parade Saturday, March 8, with their first show on the custom-built stage in the sand behind the resort March 9 to 14, and March 16 to 19, once again collecting donations for the Araba Shriners, who, last year, received right around $11,000 from the fund-raising firemen.
The Cincinnati Firemen are proud to return to their spring-breaking retreat to the south, Fort Myers?Beach, for non-stop fun, laughs, singing and dancing in the sand behind the Lani Kai March 8 to 19, raising funds for the local Araba Shriners during their choreographed shows almost every afternoon.
"We are super psyched about getting back to entertaining in the sand and raising money for a great local charity again," said Angelo "Scar"?Scarlato, one of the lead firemen and founders of the spring-breaking group, along with Joe Diebold. "Our partnership with the Lani Kai has been completely awesome. [Lani Kai owner] Mr. Conidaris and his entire staff treat myself and all of my firefighters/performers just like we are a part of their own family!"
The firemen's 1.5-hour-long routine will feature several of the great skits and songs from past shows, along with a couple of new ones sprinkled in, all choreographed by fellow fireman, Jeff Yount.
The boys won't tell us exactly what their new routines are, but, Scar is sure to drop a tantalizing implication. "Hints are 'VMA?awards' and 'The Dark Side.'"
As you're enjoying the show, dancing and singing along in the sand, keep your eyes peeled for the fireman's boot going around the crowd, where you can place a donation for the Shriners. Other ways to donate to the local organization is by purchasing commemorative memorobilia the boys will be selling by the stage.
"We will be selling T-shirts and koozies again for the cause," Scar said. "This year, we also have 250 14-ounce plastic mugs for sale. With that mug, the Lani Kai will offer $1 off Rum Runners every day, from March 9 through 19!"
What a deal you get to see a great FREE show, make a donation to a great local cause and get discounted drinks during the firemen's stay!
"We'll have about 15 to 20 guys coming this year. You'll see all the regulars, like Joe, Jeff, Ricky D., Kevin, Brad, Jason, Neil and Jesse, and the new guys are all still trying work the time in for their vacation, so you'll meet some new firemen, too," Scar said. "We've been having regular rehearsals to get ready for the show, and we're all super excited!"
Over the four years the boys have partnered with the Lani Kai during their spring break trips down to the island, the fireman have raised about $40,000 for local charities, and eager to once again "shake, shake, shake"?for the Shriners this year.
"The Shriners were so great to work with last year, and we believe what they are doing with the money, helping local children, is a great cause," Scar said. "I'm just hoping to get $10,000 for them this year. If we get that, it's an amazing year. We can't wait!"
Danielle Pierce, wedding and events coordinator for the island resort, is sure to share some kind words about the visiting firemen.
"They are so much fun they're the most unique, fun-loving, charitable people I've ever met. They go out and raise money every year, taking their own time from their vacations, getting out there and making it fun for everyone," she said. "I've seen 5-year-olds and 90-year-olds out there dancing with them. We're so happy to have them back with us!"
All shows start right around 1:30 p.m. behind the Lani Kai (1400 Estero Blvd.), but get there earlier for a closer spot to all the non-stop action.