(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.)
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.
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.