Let it Snow: Holiday events drawing crowds in for Santa, menorah lightings and more

'Tis the season for bright holiday lights, sweet memories and merry music. And there was plenty of festive memories made this past Black Friday evening at the Village on Venetian Bay.

Whether Neapolitans were 2 years old or 92 years old, the festivities brought smiles and joy with every twinkle of holiday lighting located throughout the entire shopping area.

In addition to traditional decorations, there was face painting, balloon artistry, live Motown Christmas music, while Santa Claus himself arrived to listen to children's whispered wishes, and pose for complimentary photos courtesy of elves who manned ink printers for instant portraits.

Throughout the evening, a magician provided impromptu slight-of-hand tricks with cards, and Mrs. Claus read Christmas stories to children.

"I love seeing the kids faces light up when I'm reading to them," said Donna Duggan, who donned a velvety red dress and matching cap to portray Santa's other half. Mrs. Claus will continue to read to children every Saturday evening from now until Christmas Day.

"I think it's so fun, and we get toys and candy,"said9-year-old Jordan Scheuer, who flew down with her family from Rochester, Mich., to celebrate the holidays with her grandparents, Mary and Tom Scheuer of Naples.

Donna Wester of Estero brought her Morkie, Snooks, dressed in her holiday best for the chilly evening of festivities. "We're really tickled about this evening here. I love that there's a lot to do, and you can do it all, and bring your dog, too."

Kristin Cartwright, director of marketing for Lutgert Companies, orchestrated the entire evening which also included strolling carolers and a bubbly snow show next to the Christmas tree. Retailers remained open later for holiday shopping, and restaurants were serving up festive dinners and cocktails.

Meanwhile, hundreds of children looked up in awe, as the bubbly snow sprinkled everyone's hair and clothes.

"It looks almost real," said Mariella Lucas, as she danced under the snow with her 2-year-old son, Lucas.

"I like to see the snow float in the air,"said 11-year-old Alyssa Lucaroth, as she tried to catch another bubbly snowflake.

"We plan to offer activities every Saturday, from 5 to 8 p.m., and we are looking for more participants to join us for the boat parade on December 6. We will offer dock space the night before for boaters who want to pre-register. There will be two competitions for decorated boats. One will be charity competition, with a donation of $1,000, $750 and $250, to the winning team's charity of choice, or another boat decorating contest will offer gift cards to the Village on Venetian Bay to winners of the boat parade."

Local families can also return to the Village of Venetian Bay to celebrate Hanukkah with Rabbi Fishel Zacklos of Chabad Naples, as the lights of the menorah will be lit, created with gigantic scissor lifts. Live music courtesy of Benji Rafaeli and his orchestra will fill the air on Dec. 9 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., as the Hanukkah celebration continues with crafts for children, songs, driedel games and traditional sweets such as sufganiot (doughnuts) will be served, along with potato latkes.

Before the gigantic scissor lifts create the menorah on Dec. 9, the entire parking lot of the Village on Venetian Bay will be cordoned off for the festivities. Northern Trust Bank will be sponsoring a shuttle service for everyone who attends.

If You Go:

Holiday events at Village of Venetian Bay

From U.S. 41, take Parkshore Drive to Gulfshore Boulevard

The boat parade will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 6

The Hanukkah celebration with Chabad Naples will be held 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 9

The "Let it Snow"celebration will continue on Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22 from 5 to 8 p.m.

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features