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Annual community tree lighting Saturday in Vets Park

Sun Times Staff Report

The Christmas banners are up along Collier Boulevard and the angels are set to be lit in the medians to coincide with the annual tree lighting on Saturday at the Veterans’ Community Park at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

One of the boats passes the prime viewing spot at the Snook Inn during the annual Christmas Island Style parade.

The volunteer committee that runs Christmas Island Style has been planning for the 30-day celebration since early this year.

“We begin almost as soon as we put the tree away,” said Greg Schneider, a longtime member of the committee that oversees putting up the community tree. The funds for that tree were raised by the Italian American Society on the island more than 15 years ago.

Christmas Island Style raises its own money to sponsor the celebration.

“We are so thankful for organizations such as the Knights of Columbus who sponsor a spaghetti dinner for us each year,” said Steve Stefanides, chairman of the committee. “They, in addition to organizations such as the Lions Club, the Sunrise Rotary and other groups help us to make the season one for everyone to enjoy.”

In addition to those donations, money is raised through the Christmas golf outing and a Christmas casino night, along with the sale of a Christmas ornaments and the angels that decorate the medians and condo and home lawns around the island.

The Hilton Hotel is another supporter, hosting a Chamber After-5 in December, during which the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce donates the proceeds to the committee.

Individuals can also support the efforts of the committee by sending a donation to Christmas Island Style, P.O. Box 1216, Marco Island, FL 34146.

The date for the annual Christmas salute to veterans is still being finalized for mid-December and will be announced shortly.

More information can be found at christmasislandstyle.com or call Steve Stefanides at 250-8348. Those wishing to enter either the boat or street parade can do so by visiting the website and downloading applications.

Christmas Island Style events

• Friday, Nov. 27, 6 p.m. – Santa’s arrival at Shops of Marco;

• Saturday, Nov. 28, 6 p.m Annual tree-lighting ceremony & concert at Veterans’ Community Park;

• Sunday, Nov. 29, 9 a.m. Joy of Giving motorcycle charity ride;

• Tuesday Dec. 1, 5:30 p.m Holiday Pets on Parade at The Esplanade;

• Saturday, Dec. 5, 6 p.m Christmas boat parade;

• Sunday, Dec. 6, 6 p.m Chamber Christmas gala at Bistro Solei;

• Saturday, Dec. 12, 10 a.m. Santa arrives at Mackle Park for cookies and milk with the kids;

• Saturday, Dec. 12, 6:30 p.m Annual Christmas street parade on San Marco Road;

• Sunday, Dec. 13, noon-6 p.m Christmas ice skating at Veterans’ Community Park;

• Wednesday, Dec. 16, 5:30 p.m Holiday After 5 at the Hilton Hotel to benefit Christmas Island Style;

• Friday, Dec. 18, 5:30 p.m Christmas movie at Veterans’ Community Park at the Christmas Tree;

• Friday, Dec. 18, 5:30 p.m Christmas caroling cruise on the Princess;

• Sunday, Dec. 20, 6 p.m Santa’s calling / YMCA.