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On-island celebrations to kick off holiday festivities

By Staff | Nov 21, 2018

Two island events coming up in the next few days will help to kick off the holiday season.

‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa will host its 2018 Sunset Tree Lighting Celebration on Nov. 23, while South Seas Island Resort will hold its Annual Tree Lighting on Nov. 24 for the community.

Both celebrations are free and open to residents and visitors.

Organized for 15-plus years, the ‘Tween Waters event draws over 1,000 attendees each year. The festivities will include a Captiva snowstorm and snowing palm trees, along with more than 100,000 lights and new holiday displays. There will be live music plus caroling, with fireworks at sunset.

During the afternoon and into the night, CJ the DJ will rock it poolside and beachside.

Hot dogs and burgers, with a ship of chips, will be available for $7-8.

The Crow’s Nest will have a limited menu starting at 4 p.m., with the Gatlins playing at 8:30 p.m.

New this year, the Wakefield Room will feature a dinner viewing party from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Enjoy the family-style Italian buffet with family-style seating and watch the fireworks from the balcony.

Dinner is $37 for adults and $18 for children ages 10 and under.

Going on for several years, the Annual Tree Lighting will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

“It’s the kick off to our Holiday Stroll,” Rhonda Decherd, director of catering at South Seas, said.

The South Seas Annual Holiday Stroll, which opens on Dec. 7 and runs Fridays and Saturdays throughout December, turns the marina on the north end of the resort into a holiday wonderland. For a donation of $10 for adults, visitors can enjoy movies, sweet treats, crafts for children and more.

“Which we donate to a charity every years,” she said of 100 percent of the donations.

This year, the proceeds will benefit advocacy group Captains for Clean Water.

For the Annual Tree Lighting, there will holiday music and sugar cookies in need of decorating.

“Adults do it too,” Decherd said of the cookie decorating. “It’s for anybody in the Christmas spirit.”

There will also be holiday-themed crafts for children.

“Like making little ornaments,” she said. “They cut up snowflakes and decorate them.”

The highlight of the event is the reading of “T’was the Night Before Christmas,” which takes place immediately before the Christmas tree is lit. Families should be there by 6 p.m. to not miss out.

Decherd noted that the lights on the tree are hit at sunset.

“We also provide complementary hot chocolate and apple cider,” she said.

For the first time this year, the Annual Tree Lighting will take place at the marina, where the Annual Holiday Stroll takes place. The event was previously held in Chadwick’s Square on the south end.

Decherd invited the community to come out for the celebration.

“It kicks off our holiday season and holiday-themed weekends,” she said, also pointing to the site change. “It is down at the north end, so it’s a great way to come out and experience the resort.”

For more on the Sunset Tree Lighting Celebration, visit www.tween-waters.com

For more about the Annual Tree Lighting, visit www.southseas.com.

‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa is at 15951 Captiva Drive.

South Seas Island Resort is at 5400 Plantation Road.