Siesta Key glows with holiday spirit

Village Holiday Parade delights spectators

(Editor’s note: Peter van Roekens, who took all the photos featured in this article, also has graciously provided the News Leader a link to every photo he took during the event. The article was updated on the morning of Monday, Dec. 3, to include the link.)

‘Snow’ arrives in Siesta Village as Santa Claus appears in the parade. Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens

The holiday season officially has arrived on Siesta Key.

On the evening of Nov. 24 — in keeping with island tradition — Santa Claus made his way down Ocean Boulevard to Siesta Center, where he patiently listened to the wishes of boys and girls who had crowded curbside to welcome his arrival via the Village Holiday Parade.

In fact, as witnesses will attest, “snow” fell as Santa appeared in that parade.

A wide array of festively adorned modes of transportation alternated with musicians, floats and celebrants on foot, leading the way for the Jolly Old Elf.

The Pine View Jazz Band performs at Village Cafe. Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens

Musical entertainment — including the Pine View Jazz Band at Village Café — and a martial arts demonstration by Red Tiger students of Sarasota rounded out the activities. Beach Bazaar also presented gift bags to the first 250 youngsters in line to speak with Santa.

With camera in hand, Siesta resident Peter van Roekens captured the joviality, from pre-parade positioning of spectators to exchanges between Santa and his young fans. The Sarasota News Leader appreciates his gracious sharing of all these scenes from the 34thAnnual Light Up Siesta Key.

For a look at all of Van Roekens’ photos of the event, visit https://www.dropbox.com/sh/yjsl10v0anfafo0/AAC8Pnwdq87HoUHBLS08jf-aa?dl=0.

Two youngsters evidence their delight as they sit on Santa’s lap. Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens
People are not the only ones enjoying the festivities on Nov. 24. Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens
People hurry toward Ocean Boulevard to get good viewing positions. Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens
Holiday attire for the young and younger is part of the fun. Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens
Students of the Incarnation Catholic School march in the parade. Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens
Siesta Key Oyster Bar representatives take their places in the back of a pickup truck. Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens
Spectators gathered in front of Big Olaf’s watch as one of a variety of vehicles passes them. Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens
The Blue Skye Pipes & Drums unit is a perennial parade participant. Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens
What is a parade without beauty queens? Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens
A boat sponsored by Beach Villas is aglow with holiday lights and the smiles of children. Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens
The Lobster Pot presents the Grinch himself. Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens
What better way to enjoy a parade than with some holiday ice cream. Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens
A ‘fascinator’ reflects the event’s theme. Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens
Oh what fun to dress up for the festivities! Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens
The Pine View Jazz Band makes use of a memorable ride. Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens
Red Tiger martial arts students entertain the throngs at Siesta Center. Photo courtesy of Peter van Roekens

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