PHOTO GALLERY: Marco parade attracts thousands

A first for the parade was the addition of a grand marshal; in this case, Olivia Davis, the courageous Marco girl who underwent brain surgery to rid herself of recurring seizures

“Lights, camera, action!” summed up the Dec. 12 annual Christmas Island Style parade, which featured motorcades, floats, marching bands, dancers and singers. A hint of rain at one point made the crowd look skyward, but it soon passed and the parade went off like clockwork, except for one or two delays in parade continuity. Overall, Christmas Island Style Coordinator Stef Stefanides declared the parade a success. One innovation this year was the introduction of a grand marshal to lead the parade, in this case, Olivia Davis. The youngster’s story of hope and courage after undergoing brain surgery to rid herself of recurring seizures had touched the people of Marco Island, Stefanides said. “She probably had more applause than anybody in the parade,” Stefanides said. “She’s a great example of hope and hard work.” About 20 volunteers are responsible for the Christmas Island Style string of events, and the 2010 event is already in the planning stages, he said. The cost of the events runs around $20,000 each year. From the policing point of view, the parade went off virtually without a hitch, said Capt. Dave Baer. He said there were a few medical calls, but no incidents. Baer said one example of the community spirit prevailing that night was that a group of adults and children saw police putting up barriers at some key intersections and pitched in to get the job done quickly. He reported that about 20 officers were deployed in various capacities on and around the parade route. Parade participant winners included Best in Parade: Newcomers Club of Marco Island; Best Children’s Organization: Island Dance Academy; Most Entertaining: Century Link; Most Patriotic: Marco Island VFW, Best Holiday Traditional: Marco Presbyterian Church and Knights of Columbus; Most Original: Pampered Paws; Best Overall Band Performance: Marco Island Charter Middle School; Best Marching Band: Lely High School; and Special Recognition: the Marco Eagle float, with Santa and Mrs. Claus..

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terridisciullo writes:

It was a wonderful addition to have Olivia Davis as Grand Marshall! Great idea!

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