Gulfport Kicks Off the Holiday Season
Gulfport’s Holiday Tree Lighting is 7 p.m. today (Dec. 5) at Clymer Park.
By Debbie Wolfe, Correspondent, TB Reporter
GULFPORT – Everything is ready for tonight’s (Dec. 5) Christmas tree lighting – the official kickoff to Gulfport’s holiday season.
Preparations for the lighting began last month when a three-person crew from Clark Sales Display of Tavares installed the Gulfport Casino’s 14-foot artificial holiday tree. The Casino is at 5500 Shore Blvd. S.
One crew member worked from the inside out, hand fluffing tree branches to provide the best showcase for the large bulbs. It takes three to four hours to assemble the tree, crew leader Mitchell Daniels said.
The crew also installed about 65 light pole wrap-style decorations along Shore and Beach boulevards, about 70 telephone pole mount-style decorations along Gulfport Boulevard and 49th Street S, and the ground displays in Clymer Park, at Gulfport and Beach boulevards S.
The park will be the location of the city’s annual tree lighting ceremony at 7 p.m. tonight (Dec. 5).
Santa will be there to listen to wishes. Light refreshments, festive music and Gulfport elected officials will also be a part of the celebration.
For information about the tree lighting, go to mygulfport.us.
Photos by Debbie Wolfe, correspondent, TB Reporter. Main photo shows siblings Finley Smeltz, 6, and Vera Smeltz, 3, of St. Petersburg, who were drawn by curiosity to the holiday tree assembly in front of the Gulfport Casino. Kyle Oakley, an installer with Clark Sales Display of Tavares, organizes the bows and gets ready to close the gap in the artificial foliage that leads inside the 14-foot tree. “It’s beautiful,” said Sharon Smeltz, the childrens’ grandmother.
The second photo shows a crew member working from the inside of the tree to hand fluff the tree branches.
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