The committee is preparing to light up the island with a variety of events for all ages. Even before the turkey has had a chance to be digested the fun will begin. On Friday, November 24th at 6 PM, Christmas Island Style (CIS) and the Shops of Marco host the first official festivity — the arrival of Santa. The Shops of Marco are located at the intersection of Barfield Drive and San Marco Road. An evening of photos with Santa at the Salon and Spa Botanica, located in the shopping plaza, will be the highlight of the evening after Santa and Mrs. Claus make their dramatic arrival.Parents will be able to download the photos for free a few days after the event from the Christmas Island Style website (www.christmasislandstyle.com).
New Tree to be Erected and Lit
On Tuesday, November 28th the community is invited to help assemble and decorate the new 40-foot high tree, which is replacing the 15-year-old tree that was donated by the Italian American Society. That tree will be repurposed and placed in Founders Park, which is located at the corner of Barfield Drive and North Collier Boulevard. It too will be assembled in a smaller scale and moved to its new position of prominence as a welcome to residents and visitors to the island.“The community is invited to come together at 9 AM on Tuesday the 28th to help us assemble the tree,” said Wanda Day Burson, who is co-chair of the event along with Greg Schneider. Both are longtime members of the committee. The trees will be assembled on the morning of the 28th at the park.
The new tree will be lit as part of the annual community celebration held on Saturday, December 2nd at Veterans Community Park. The lighting ceremony and entertainment will begin at 6 PM. Over the years the event has grown to well over 3,500 in attendance and has become a staple of island events during the holiday season. “We advise those that are attending to bring a comfortable chair to enjoy the event which will have dancers, music and other entertainment,” said Burson. Tailgating has also become popular, as people make the most of the evening with great food and refreshments while they watch the event and mingle with friends and neighbors.
Chamber Hosts Christmas Gala
On December 3rd the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Christmas Gala, which will be held at the Bistro Soleil in the Old Marco Inn on Palm Street in Old Marco. Tickets are available at the Chamber by calling 239-394- 7549.
Pets on Parade at the Esplanade
One of the most fun evenings of the season is the Annual Canine Pet Parade, hosted by Christmas Island Style and CJ’s on the Bay. The event will be held on Tuesday, December 5th at 5:30 PM, according to Samantha Morris Navedo, who chairs it as a member of the Christmas Island Style group. “This is going to be a great evening of fun for everyone,” said Navedo. This year the Collier County Humane Society will be there to distribute information and spotlight the adoption for pets looking for a loving home, said Navedo.
The event is free for those that enter their pets and for those that just wish to cheer on the most festively dressed canines and their owners. CJ’s on the Bay offers an evening of specials for those wishing to enjoy dinner and refreshments.
Christmas Boat Parade Cancelled
The annual Christmas Boat Parade that was scheduled to hit the waterways around the island on Saturday evening, December 9th has been cancelled for 2017, but will return in 2018. Lingering issues after Hurricane Irma regarding safety has caused the group to cancel the evening event out of an abundance of caution. “Our concern is to provide our participants with a totally safe environment to work within,” said Gene Burson, who was organizing the event this year. If a group or an individual wish to join with the Isle of Capri Christmas Boat Parade they should contact Mike Cox, event chair at 832-731-8140 for more information.
For more information regarding other upcoming scheduled events, visit the CIS website at www.christmasislandstyle.com or call Steve Stefanides at 239- 250-8348.
Other Island Activities
The Marco Island Center for the Arts will be hosting their Festival of Trees Fundraiser on November 28, 29 & 30 from 9 AM to 6 PM, and invites the public to come to their Art Center and Gallery to view and bid on decorated trees that are the work of a number of local individuals, businesses and organizations. They are also hosting a Gingerbread House Party on November 28th from 4 to 6 PM as part of their holiday celebration. The Marco Island Center for the Arts is located at 1010 Winterberry Drive. For more information call 239-394-4221.
For ongoing updates of other events being held on or around Marco Island visit the Coast Breeze website at www.coastalbreezenews.com