32nd annual event kicks off the holiday season on the island
The holiday season officially has begun in Siesta Village, thanks to Santa Claus’ arrival during the 32nd annual Light Up the Village event held on Nov. 26.
Mark Smith, chair of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, told The Sarasota News Leader this week that the parade “was one of the best, if not the best” since that became part of the holiday festivities several years ago.
Sgt. Jason Mruczek of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, who heads up the substation on the Key, said in a brief interview with the News Leader that he felt the parade entries moved a bit faster down Ocean Boulevard this year than last year.
One reason for that faster progress, perhaps, was the fact that the Siesta Key Association (SKA) had a “new old” fire truck — a point SKA Vice President Catherine Luckner happily had reported to the News Leader. Therefore, directors of the organization did not have to worry about giving this one a push. Unlike the previous truck — which was owned by a former SKA board member — this restored 1948 model proved to be in good working order.
Smith noted that he was more concerned about the stability of the fire truck Morton’s had entered in the 2016 parade. “It didn’t look to be in as great a shape as the SKA fire truck,” he said. But Eddie Morton had assured him that it would run without a problem, Smith added, and it did.
And while Santa has had some travel difficulties in the past, Smith continued, the Jolly Old Elf “got there in time” this year.
All in all, from the Sheriff’s Office’s perspective, Mruczek said, Light Up the Village went well.
“I was real happy with the way it turned out,” Smith added. “It was great to see all the kids. … That’s why we do it.”
Peter van Roekens of the Terrace East Condominium Association was kind enough to share photos of the event with the News Leader.