NAPLES — Christmas in Naples — or at least one of the city’s most popular holiday traditions — has been postponed.
Downtown Naples Association officials Thursday decided to postpone the annual Fifth Avenue South Christmas Walk. The event — originally scheduled for Thursday evening — is when the Fifth Avenue Christmas tree is traditionally lit.
Event organizers cited bad weather for the reason why the event was postponed. It has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10.
However, the tree lighting will take place at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
This was the first time the tree lighting ceremony has needed to be rescheduled because of bad weather, said Lisa Swirda, executive director of the Downtown Naples Association.
“We spoke with the Collier County Emergency Operations Center over the past two days to obtain regular updates on the pending weather and determined we needed to make a decision by noon (Thursday),” Swirda said in an e-mail Thursday. “The potential rain combined with conversations with DNA board members led us to reschedule the event.”
Swirda said the group was “confident we made the right decision to reschedule Christmas Walk.”
Andy Tingler, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Miami, said a cold front moving down from Central Florida could have caused a “few showers across the Naples area” Thursday evening. Those showers weren’t expected to be “a rain out of everything,” Tingler said.
Naples Mayor Bill Barnett, who was scheduled to light the tree with Santa and Mrs. Claus, said he was disappointed the Christmas Walk needed to be postponed, but understood the reasoning behind the decision.
“It is a tradition,” Barnett said of the tree lighting ceremony. “I think that even if there’s just 10 people there we should still do it.”
Connect with Naples reporter Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster at www.naplesnews.com/staff/jenna_buzzacco