Although Islanders this week will be stuffing themselves with turkey, ham and other delectable offerings from their Thanksgiving Holiday, 25 members of the Christmas Island Style committee will be busy working on the assembly of not one, but two beautiful community Christmas Trees and preparing for several other great activities.
Christmas Trees Go Up
Volunteers joined with the committee as they erected the trees at Veterans Community Park and Founders Park at the corner of North Barfield and Collier Boulevard on Tuesday, November 26. “This year we will be assembling a new tree to welcome residents and visitors to the island at Founders Park. The new tree will replace a 17-year-old tree which was originally donated by the Italian American Society here on the island,” said Greg Schneider, a long-time member of the committee itself, who serves as the Head Elf for the assembly of the trees. Schneider and his team from Condee Cooling and Electric will direct numerous volunteers which include the CIS Committee, the Newcomers Club, the Italian American Club, the Marco Fire/Rescue Department and members of the community at large. Volunteers should assemble at Veterans Community Park at 8:30 AM on November 26 to help with the erection of the two wonderful symbols of the Christmas Season.
Santa’s Arrival on Friday November 28th
After enjoying a great Thanksgiving feast on Thursday, November 28th, Islanders will have the opportunity to join neighbors and friends as the Solon Botanica at the Shops of Marco on the corner of San Marco and Barfield Drive to welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus to the island at 6 PM.
Mike Held, the owner of Keep in Touch at the Shops and a member of the CIS Committee, along with Bill and Debbie Schroeder of the Salon Botanica, will open their doors for Santa to have pictures taken of their children and grandchildren inside the Salon.
The photos are free and will be able to be downloaded from the Christmas Island Style web site over the next week. Many of the stores at the Shops of Marco will be open that evening to allow for the Black Friday Shopping which is traditional that day.
Holiday Canine Parade
Once again, it’s time to dress up your favorite canine member of the family and join with neighbors and friends as they watch them strut themselves down the red carpet at CJs on the Bay at the Esplanade. That event will be held on Tuesday evening on December 3rd.
“This is one of the most enjoyable evenings of the month-long celebration of Christmas events that we do,” said Wanda Day Burson, who manages that event for Christmas Island Style.
The event itself will begin at 5:30 PM and will be hosted by Jackie and Kurt Koon, owners of CJs on the Bay. “The event is free for islanders and all are welcomed, but we encourage canine owners to dress up their favorite pooch and themselves in festive Christmas Costumes,” said Burson.
Annual Tree Lighting
One of the largest single events held on the island is the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Celebration. That event is held at Veterans Community Park and will kick off at 6 PM on Saturday, December 7th, as the Christmas Island Style Committee welcomes the entire community together in celebration of the holiday season.
Entertainment, tailgating and great food are the highlight of the event, just before the symbolic lighting of the tree at Veterans Community Park and simultaneously at Founders Park. Both new trees were made possible by the generous fundraising by the CIS Committee and present a spectacular display of beautiful lights for all to enjoy.
“Attendees are encouraged to bring food goods to the event to be dropped off at a collection point with the Our Daily Bread Food Pantry Volunteers, who this year have joined with the Christmas Island Style Committee to continue the groups’ continuing efforts to feed the hungry in our area,” said Barbra Dasti of the Christmas Island Style Committee.
“A special spot near the restroom and parking area will be set aside for the group and will be appropriately lighted near the entrance to the park,” said Dasti.
To see a listing of all the Christmas Events sponsored by CIS, you should go to their website at www.christmasislandstyle.com or call Steve Stefanides the Chairman of CIS at 239-250-8348.