Oh, we had a wonderful time. After walking to the village with our neighbors, Catherine and Bob, we hung out near the tree in front of Cafe Gabiano’s. While we waited, Santa was escorted through the Village to the center where the Sheriff’s office is located. Siren’s blared, lights flashed from the fire truck and ambulance that led the parade. Following came a golf cart with Santa in the front seat. The whole parking lot was set up for families to wait in line to visit with the old elf. Face painting, a balloon-sculpting clown and a barbershop quartet rounded off the festivities on that side of the street.
Back to the tree, Dick Vitale was talking to the crowd about cancer research and the V Foundation’s work to raise money for a cure. He then sat down to autograph his new book for donations. The book, “Dick Vitale’s Fabulous 50 Players & Moments in College Basketball”, was going like hotcakes. When the signing was done the crowd counted down in unison from 10 to 1 and Mr. Vitale flipped the switch that lighted the gorgeous tree. What a site! Then, suddenly, snow started to fall on the crowd surrounding the tree. Ok, it wasn’t real snow. I don’t think Siesta Key has ever seen snow, but it was fun.
There were some other things going on in the Village but we didn’t take part. After the tree lighting and some pictures we scooted home. The kids hadn’t eaten dinner and were starting to notice. We did make a stop before leaving at the barber shop to hear a tune. Those singers were great.
As I was coming home from the grocery store in the Village, I noticed that the Christmas decorations were put up on the light posts. They weren’t lighted yet, which made me think of last year’s tree lighting and how much fun we had. So, when I got home I checked out the Chamber’s website and found this information about the tree lighting this year:
The annual lighting and holiday open house of Siesta Key Village will be held on Saturday November 29, 2008 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Children can give Santa their wish list, have their face painted, visit with Santa’s elves and be entertained by Clifford the Big Red Dog and Wacky Jacky the Clown. Santa’s gift bags provided by Beach Bazaar will be given to the first 250 children who visit with Santa. Santa will arrive by fire truck at approximately 6:15 pm.
Businesses will provide refreshments, while you enjoy live musical entertainment by the Pine View High School Jazz Band, Barbershop Quartets, Key Board Players and choirs singing holiday songs. Ocean Blvd. will be lined with luminaries and businesses will be decorated for the holiday season. Free Trolley Rides will be available from Siesta Key Public Beach to the Village from 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm.
The Master of Ceremonies is Dick Vitale. The “V Foundation for Cancer Research” is raising money that night so bring some cash to donate if you choose. The tree is located in the Davidson parking lot in front of Cafe Gabbiano.
We had just been here a few weeks and decided to walk down, thinking the traffic would be horrendous. It really wasn’t. We we’re yet in the loop of information (I don’t even know if our internet was connected then) so we didn’t know about the trolley from the public beach parking lot. Anyway, the Village is less than a mile walk from our house so we hoofed it just in time to see the tree lit. This year we’ll have to get there earlier so we can take a more leisurely walk. There were a lot of people there and the tree was beautiful. This year we’re going with friends. Hope to see you there.