It was a day later than planned, but by no means a dollar short, as the annual St. George island Christmas celebration Saturday heralded the season with glowing and giddy excitement.
After all-day inclement weather prompted organizers to move the event from Friday to Saturday, the line was long at Lighthouse Park of families eager to take part in games, and watch movies projected on the wall of the lighthouse, and of course visit Santa, and take home with them a bag of candy and a nice gift.
It was all a labor of love and financial support by the island's business association, together with the civic club, as many of their members donned elves outfits, as well as masks, as they worked the event.
Together with her three children, Samantha Rogers, who recently moved with her husband, a middle school history teacher and football coach, to Fort Payne, Alabama, was on hand for the first time at the event. Her husband's parents have been going for years, and they were all excited about the change of pace, to a Gulf Coast location.
Liam Wing, with mom Amanda Gohre, came down from Tallahassee and were also first-timers. Wing seemed to love the "ring the antlers on the reindeer" game, and David Ison bowed his head graciously to give him a target, while his compadre, Hank Kozlowsky dutifully bent down to pick up the errant throws.
The Tourist Development Council helped support the event, which saw a slightly lower turnout than the bang-up Halloween event in October and down, not unexpectedly, from the record turnout at the 2019 Christmas.
The parade was better than ever, since organizers waited until it was dark so the full effect of the lighted golf carts could be enjoyed. Last year it was done in the light, coinciding with the arrival of Santa by fire truck. This year, though, Santa waited patiently his perch at the Lighthouse Museum, keeping a distance from the kids as he heard their wishes.
This article originally appeared on The Apalachicola Times: Island Christmas shines