By Monte Lazarus
Santa’s back with the missus and the elves; Christmas 2011 is over. Marco Island’s own Christmas Island Style wrapped up on January 17th with a festive awards ceremony. Unlike Hollywood, there were no red carpets, no speeches thanking agents, families and producers. It was simply down-home thanks and recognition of the judges’ selections as best in all the classes and categories.
About 80 attendees were at the Historical Society’s Rose Hall to enjoy some food and libations before distribution of the awards. Steve Stefanides served as emcee for the Mutual of Omaha sponsored event. Steve, or “Stef” as he is more popularly known, has been chairman of Christmas Island Style for a number of years, and the results each year have been spectacular. Participants have worked diligently on the boat parade, the street parade and, most recently, tree ornament decoration. Every year Santa has arrived in a different way – by boat, by helicopter and, this year by horse drawn carriage. At the outset of the evening Stef received a deserved standing ovation from the crowd for a job well done.
For the Boat Parade, awards were made to:
• Most Entertaining – Fun/Fun (Karen Pontier Ingram, Don and Patty Dicomo)
• Most Creative – Gem Remotes (Richard Shanahan)
• Best Holiday Spirit – Cecilia (Chuck Brace)
• Best in Parade – Marco Mania (Dave Besuden, Bill and CEA Horton)
The Peoples’ Choice Award went to Gem Remote.
First Place for Ornament Design was awarded to Jaryn Pellant of Marco Island Charter Middle School.
There were eight awards for the Street Parade:
• Best Holiday Traditional – Marco Island Knights of Columbus.
• Most Original – Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce.
• Most Patriotic – U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
• Most Entertaining – Just Friends.
• Most Original Children’s Organization – Marco Island YMCA.
• Best Marching Band – Lely High School.
• Best Overall Band – Florida Drum and Bugle Corps.
• Best in Parade – Mutual of Omaha Bank and Marco Island Fire-Rescue Foundation.
As Stef pointed out in closing the ceremony, “On to 2012!”