It was touch and go and almost canceled for this year, but the traditional Golf Cart Parade 2020 actually had more scintillating golf carts this year than ever before, thanks to the Parade Chairwoman Kelly Sprigg. Between 50 and 60 decorated carts along with their festive occupants started assembling at 5ish, and by the time it was darkish, the side streets were lined with overflow golf cart participants eagerly waiting for their place in the l-o-n-g line of spirited residents and friends.
Imagine that many golf carts bedecked with lights, holiday music playing and shouts of “Merry Christmas” as they drove up and down every street on Isles of Capri and winding through Tarpon Village. The crowds lining the street were much larger this year due to the balmy evening as contrasted with last year’s polar refrigerator. Many families sat in their yards with chairs, tables, food and beverages, back-lit by their homes festively decorated for the holidays. There were cheers as the carts drove by, and neighbors recognizing neighbors in the carts shouted out Kudos.
It’s a rollicking good time, and frankly, an escape from “house arrest” due to COVID-19 concerns. Carts were socially distanced, participants kept their distance and some wore masks for safety’s sake—and of course, there were the usual Santa’s with their fuzzy white beards providing borderline mask protection.
Many carts contained man’s best friends, some also sporting decorations like their owners. I can’t recall the street, but there was a gregarious dog lover who had set up a table display with a sign that said, “These treats are for the dogs” and he passed out treat bags to the dogs in the parade!
There is no competition—yet—for the carts in the annual golf cart parade, but there is one for the best house decorations. There were more houses decorated this year than ever before, possibly because it was an outdoor activity combined with creativity? At any rate, the judges had a difficult time choosing from all the enlightened entries.
This year’s winners were at the following addresses:
- 1st Place: 135 E. Hilo
- 2nd Place: Building B4 in Tarpon Village
- 3rd place: Building D4 in Tarpon Village
Honorable Mentions went to four homes on the same street! The homes were at 418, 419, 421 and 422 on San Juan, and that is a sight to see.
As the night merrily rolls on, there are frequently passenger cars that have to wait for a break in the parade carts so they can get to their destinations. They take it all in good humor and patience, and are probably thrilled with their front row seats in the comfort of their cars. The annual Golf Cart Parade even brought in spectators from off–island who drove in and parked where they have a great vantage point and could access their snacks and beverages close by. It’s a stroke of luck that the weather was so perfect as the next few nights have been cold and might have discouraged participation. Or not, as the Isles of Capri residents love a good time and this is just one of them.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, and a Happy New Year with your Health, Safe Travels and Positivity in 2021.