Holiday Bliss event returns to Matlacha
Ring in the holiday season this weekend with the members of the Matlacha Civic Association as they present Holiday Bliss Island Style 2009. On Saturday, Dec. 5, from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. all are invited to enjoy a wealth of activities at the Matlacha Community Park in Matlacha. Events will be staged for adults and children alike during this annual event.
Among the organizers of this year’s event is Matlacha Civic Association board member Linaya Yates-Lea, who is looking forward to a good turnout this weekend.
“I have been involved for the last several years with bringing Holiday Bliss to Matlacha and Pine Island, and our goal is to bring together the residents of Matlacha and the surrounding community to come together and celebrate the holiday season,” said Yates-Lea. “This is a great opportunity to meet your neighbors and their families and enjoy the local talent our island is so blessed with.”
Adults attending Holiday Bliss are will be entertained in the building at the park from 1:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. with music and dance programs. Featured will be performances by the Pine Island United Methodist Church Bell Choir, the Pine Island Dancers, the Pine Island Elementary School Choir, as well as line dancing demonstrations and more.
Throughout afternoon, the children also will be kept busy with a variety of activities hosted by WildChild Gallery, Island Visions and Bonnie and Christina’s Art Gallery all in downtown Matlacha. Continuous music will be performed by Sister Kaite, Mark Northey and a number of local musicians. In addition, children will be provided the opportunity to pen their desires in a letter to Santa, decorate Christmas cards and join local artists for other creative activities. The children also can ride aboard a steam locomotive and pet a real skunk. Each child attending the festivities will be offered a free hot dog and soft drink and adults may purchase hot dogs and drinks for a small donation. During the day, a special appearance will be made by Marty the Mermaid.
At 3:45 p.m. Santa will arrive by fire truck and everyone is welcome to join him for a special costume parade. Those participating in the parade are asked to don their favorite holiday gear, decorate a bicycle, wagon, car or cart — at the end of the parade, prizes will be awarded. The judge for this year’s parade will be three of the former “mayors” of Matlacha as well as the current “mayor,” Deb Cole, who will award prizes for the best costumes for both people of all ages as well as the pets who participated in the parade.
“In particular, I will be looking for those with a sense of fun and originality. Also for those who display the holiday spirit, and I encourage everyone from Matlacha to come out, dress up and enjoy our wonderful park,” said Mayor Cole. “It also is my hope that people will keep their holiday spirit here on the island and to their holiday shopping right here in Matlacha.”
Following the parade, Santa and Marty the Mermaid will be on hand for photos with the children and listen to their Christmas wishes beginning at 4 p.m.
Proceeds from this event will benefit the Pine Island Food Pantry.