Palpable Christmas cheer and an impressive crowd of more than 1,000 people filled Veterans’ Community Park on Saturday, Nov. 29, for Marco Island’s Annual Christmas Island Style tree lighting ceremony.
Radio personality Dave Elliott emceed the event, and the evening’s entertainment included a charming dance recital by Spotlight Dance Studio, Center Stage Studios, Island Dance Academy and the Hurricane Softball Dancers.
The crowd enjoyed the night’s festivities as popular local musician Jim Long performed staple holiday tunes and a bit of rock and roll. Reminiscent of the parking lot outside a super bowl venue, the party poured outof the back of vehicles surrounding the park.
Following the announcement of the tree ornament decorating competition winners was a performance given by Marco Island Charter Middle School’s jazz band and chorus.
County Commissioner Donna Fiala made an appearance to wish everyone “happy holidays” and the Italian-American Club’s Lou Guidaroli counted down from 10 to the lighting of the tree.
As the spectacular, towering symbol of Christmas illuminated the festive bash, machines filled the air with bubbles, creating a winter wonderland-type ambiance. It’s hard to imagine even the most hardened Grinch would have left that night without a fine dose of Christmas spirit.