Christmas Island Style Christmas tree ready for lighting on Saturday

Christmas tree ready for lighting on Saturday

Roger LaLonde Staff 
 Jim Jourdan of Lee County Electric Cooperative, puts the star on top of the 30-foot Christmas tree that will electrify the audience at the Island Christmas Style Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Veteran's Community Park.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde Staff Jim Jourdan of Lee County Electric Cooperative, puts the star on top of the 30-foot Christmas tree that will electrify the audience at the Island Christmas Style Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Veteran's Community Park.

Roger LaLonde Staff (6)
As the first section of the 30-foot Christmas is put in place, volunteers complete its decorations, while Jim Minyard of Condee Electric begins putting together the electrical connections inside. The tree will be aglow when it is lighted at the Christmas Island Style Tree Lighting Ceremony that begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Veteran's Community Park.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde Staff (6) As the first section of the 30-foot Christmas is put in place, volunteers complete its decorations, while Jim Minyard of Condee Electric begins putting together the electrical connections inside. The tree will be aglow when it is lighted at the Christmas Island Style Tree Lighting Ceremony that begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Veteran's Community Park.

Italian American Society of Marco Island volunteers unpack boxes of Christmas tree branches already having lights. From left, Antoinette Johnson, Lillian Morgante, Ann Barnes and Rosemary Guidarelli.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Italian American Society of Marco Island volunteers unpack boxes of Christmas tree branches already having lights. From left, Antoinette Johnson, Lillian Morgante, Ann Barnes and Rosemary Guidarelli.

Roger LaLonde Staff 
 Thanks to the Italian American Society of Marco Island, which purchased the tree some 10 years ago, and other volunteers, the 30-foot Christmas tree was decorated and erected on Tuesday. The Christmas Island Style Tree Lighting Ceremony begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Veteran's Community Park.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde Staff Thanks to the Italian American Society of Marco Island, which purchased the tree some 10 years ago, and other volunteers, the 30-foot Christmas tree was decorated and erected on Tuesday. The Christmas Island Style Tree Lighting Ceremony begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Veteran's Community Park.

Roger LaLonde Staff 
 Jim Jourdan of Lee County Electric Cooperative, sets the third section of the 30-foot Christmas tree in place on Tuesday. The tree will be lit at the annual Christmas Island Style Tree Lighting Ceremony that begins 6 p.m. on Saturday at Veteran's Community Park.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde Staff Jim Jourdan of Lee County Electric Cooperative, sets the third section of the 30-foot Christmas tree in place on Tuesday. The tree will be lit at the annual Christmas Island Style Tree Lighting Ceremony that begins 6 p.m. on Saturday at Veteran's Community Park.

Christmas decorations wait to go on the 30-foot Christmas tree, which was erected on Tuesday.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Christmas decorations wait to go on the 30-foot Christmas tree, which was erected on Tuesday.

Fred Carchietta, an Italian American Society of Marco Island member. works inside the 30-foot artifiicial tree to bolt a section of the tree frame together.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Fred Carchietta, an Italian American Society of Marco Island member. works inside the 30-foot artifiicial tree to bolt a section of the tree frame together.

Members of the Italian American Society take a break as they and other volunteers decorate and erect the 30-foot Christmas tree to be lit at the Christmas Island Style Tree Lighting Ceremony that begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Members of the Italian American Society take a break as they and other volunteers decorate and erect the 30-foot Christmas tree to be lit at the Christmas Island Style Tree Lighting Ceremony that begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Roger LaLonde Staff 
 A view from inside the 30-foot Christmas tree that was erected on Tuesday at Marco Island Veteran's Community Park. Shown is Greg Schneider of Condee Electric as he puts together electric connections. The Christmas Island Style Tree Lightning Ceremony begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde Staff A view from inside the 30-foot Christmas tree that was erected on Tuesday at Marco Island Veteran's Community Park. Shown is Greg Schneider of Condee Electric as he puts together electric connections. The Christmas Island Style Tree Lightning Ceremony begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Roger LaLonde Staff 
 Volunteers complete decorating a section of the 30-foot Christmas tree as Jim Jourdan of Lee County Electric Cooperative is about to lift the section to be connected to other sections. The tree was erected on Tuesday and will be lit during the Christmas Island Style Tree Lighting Ceremony on Saturday night at Veteran's Community Park.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde Staff Volunteers complete decorating a section of the 30-foot Christmas tree as Jim Jourdan of Lee County Electric Cooperative is about to lift the section to be connected to other sections. The tree was erected on Tuesday and will be lit during the Christmas Island Style Tree Lighting Ceremony on Saturday night at Veteran's Community Park.

More than 30 volunteers from the Italian American Society of Marco Island , along with Christmas Island Style Committee members, Condee Electric and Lee County Electric Cooperative volunteers, worked together to erect the Christmas tree on Tuesday morning.

The Christmas Island Style Tree Lighting Ceremony begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Veteran's Community Park. The actual lighting of the tree, at 7:30 p.m., follows a program of entertainment.

Steve Stefanides, chairman of Christmas Island Style, and Lou Guidarelli, chairman of the Italian American Society Christmas tree decorating volunteers, will pull the switch to light the tree. The emcee for the evening is Dave Elliott.

Performing will be Island Dance Academy, Spotlight Dance Studio, Charter School Jazz Band and Starz singers. Jim Long, who entertains at CJ's on the Bay, will sing "God Bless the USA" and Christmas songs, along with his show songs.

The winners of the Christmas decorating contests will be recognized.

Some 10 years ago the Italian American Society bought the tree and community businesses paid for the decorations.

Greg Schneider of Condee Electric, technical director of the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and vice chairman of all events, completed the electrical rebuilding of the infrastructure with his Condee team. Jim Jourdan of LCEC operated the crane that hoisted each section of the tree into position, adding a few ornaments and star at the top. .

Guiardelli organized the Italian American Society volunteers who sorted out the artificial tree limbs, hundreds of decorations and some helped bolt the tree frame together as the sections were mounted for Jourdan to raise. Jim Minyard of Condee Electric assisted in putting the lighting system for the tree together.

"Years ago we decorated what looked more like a bush," Guidarelli said. He said the society spent $10,000 for the 30-foot tree.

The difference astounds islanders and visitors.

"Now that's a tree," said Wanda Day, Island Style Committee member.

More photos online at marconews.com.

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

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