When newly settled Marco Islanders celebrate their first Thanksgiving/Christmas Season here in our tropical paradise its hard for them to associate the season with the weather. It doesn’t take long though for them to realize it’s a bit nicer to celebrate these special holidays without a ski parka or bulky mukluk boots.
The Christmas Island Style committee goes out of its way to make sure all our residents enjoy a wonderful season of joy and celebration to share with their family, friends and neighbors. During our holidays they’ll be treated to a number of visits by Santa.
On December 4th at 6pm residents and visitors alike will marvel at the lighting of the community Christmas tree at the Veterans Community Park at 6pm. They’ll be treated to some of the best hometown entertainment on Marco Island and enjoy a night filled with fun, food and drink. The committee will provide the entertainment….the food and drink will be provided by the attendees and the fun will be a natural by-product.
On December 5th islanders will have the opportunity to attend the annual Christmas Island Style Gala at the historic Old MarcoInn. This popular event which is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce is always sold out so get your tickets early.
Islanders will have an opportunity to say thank you to our service men and women as Christmas Island Style sponsors a Holiday Salute to Veterans. This event which will start at 6:30pm will be held again at the Charter Middle School Auditorium and feature an address from Lt. Col. William Howey (Ret) U.S.M.C. and a free concert by the Charter Middle School Band.
Santa will make another arrival to Marco Island for a picture taking opportunity at the Marco Island Town Center Mall on December 8th at 6pm. The merchants there have planned grand celebrations with gift certificates, food, music and of course Santa arriving on the big red fire truck courtesy of the men and women of the Marco Island Fire Department. You should get there early and stay late, but don’t forget to bring your cameras for an opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap under the gazebo.
What would Christmas be without a wonderful parade? The CIS committee has two great ones planned for the island!
The first being theannual street parade on Saturday night, December 11th. The parade will again start at Balfour Drive and proceed down San Marco Road to the intersection of South Barfield. We’ll have bands, floats, clowns, antique cars and marchers from many different organizations and clubs. The parade normally lasts approximately 2 hours and islanders will be staking out their spots early.
There has been some road construction on the route, so the committee urges viewers and participants to use extreme caution and keep safety front and center throughout the evening. Come early, get your spot and enjoy a wonderful evening.
Now if you have children (and even if you don’t) and want a great night out, you should join us by the Christmas tree at Veterans Community Park on Friday night the 17th of December. Santa’s special elves who live here on Marco, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Birkeland who are Christmas Island Style committee members, have arranged with Mindy Matusiak from the Marco Island Parks and Recreation Department to show the special Christmas movie: The Grinch that Stole Christmas. Bring your blankets, chairs and snacks and enjoy this movie which will start at6:15pm. In case of inclement weather the movie will be held inside at Mackle Park.
The second parade of the season will be on December 18th and that is the annual boat parade for the island. Island boaters have always put on a great show for our residents and guests as the parade winds around the shoreline of the Marco River, saying hello to the party goers at the Marco Island Yacht Club and down the shoreline and turning into Factory Bay and past the Marco Island Marina and the Pier 81 docks. The parade will pass the judges stands at the Snook Inn, where it will then proceed into Collier Bay and make its way into Smokehouse Bay. The boats, led by the Marco Island Princess will then pass by the Esplanade complex and back out into Collier Bay and proceed out to the Marco River where they will wind along the shoreline of Hideaway Beach and across the river where it will follow the Isle of Capri shoreline east to the end and will disperse from there.
Now what child doesn’t like to know Santa is thinking about them?Dottie Weiner of the YMCA understands that and the Sunday before Christmas (December 19th) she hosts the ever popular event, Santa’s calling. By filling out a form at the YMCA prior to that date
Dottie and her band of Santa’s Elves will be making those calls to insure your little one gets the thrill of a lifetime.
Christmas Island Style is fortunate to have received the support of many wonderful businesses on Marco Island and especially that of the personnel from the Mutual of Omaha Bank who is the sponsor for the annual awards event which will be held in January for those winning special recognition for their contributions to Christmas and those that have won special categories in the street and boat parades. This year the event will be hosted by the bank but held at the Marco Island Historical Society’s building on January 10th and that will conclude all our festivities for the 2010 season.
More information on the events and applications for the being a participant in a parade can be found by visiting our website at www.christmasislandstyle.com or by call Steve Stefanies, Chairman at 250-8348.