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Community plans 'Cedar Key Christmas'

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By Kellie Parkin

A group of residents is working to coordinate local happenings during the holiday season, as well as add new ones and make the month-long festivities an annual event.

A Cedar Key Christmas will include activities from Thanksgiving throughout December, and will be centered around a permanent fixture in City Park: a Cedar Key Christmas tree.

“We wanted to have a centerpiece for everyone to look to as a focal point of all events,” said tree coordinator Andrea Dennison. The locally grown 12-foot cedar tree is being donated by Carol and Donald Joyce. Dennison said the best time to move the tree will be October for optimum survivability. In order to move it, however, a licensed tree service professional will need to do the job. Dennison has found someone who can do the work for $350.

“So we’re looking for a sponsor – or multiple sponsors,” she said. She is hoping to find one person to donate the money needed, or she also has the option of starting a fund to raise the money, she said. A permanent plaque will be placed near the tree in the name of the sponsor, she added.

In addition to many activities planned, A Jingle Bell Hop street dance is scheduled for Dec. 19 directly in front of City Hall. The road will be closed off for one block of 2nd Street, and decorations will abound for the community block-party.

“We want everybody to participate, and we want everyone’s involvement,” said Donald Joyce, one of the Cedar Key Christmas organizers. “If people will tell us their ideas we’ll submit them and see if we can make them work.”

“Tourism drops over here around the holiday season,” said Joyce. “But if we organize and let people know we’re having events and activities, people will start to know. We have to let people know about us.”

Organizers would also like to see every home and business decorated from the Number 4 Bridge in.

“The plan is to have the community light-up by thanksgiving weekend – that’s going to be the key,” Joyce said.

Organizers said they would like to get the word about A Cedar Key Christmas on everybody’s website to bring as much attention to the festivities as possible.

“A lot of these things are already being done and we just need to coordinate them,” said Joyce. “It’s a shame if the church has a beautiful thing and people miss out because they don’t know about it.”

Organizers are also considering the idea of a large community calendar posted in a visible location during the Christmas season for visitors to easily see what’s happening. It may even be possible to leave it up year-round. If someone has such a sign or is willing to make one, please contact the Joyces at the number below.

The volunteer effort is already under way. The big sign that can be seen coming into town announcing the Cedar Key Christmas was donated in part by Ronny Taylor who provided the wood and Rick Gordon who painted the sign.

In addition to the volunteers, The Cedar Key Christmas Committee members include Sue Colson, Alice and Bill Philips, Margaret Rooks, Amy Henderson, Vanessa Edmunds, Nancy Gordon, Rose Caldwell, Andrea Dennison, Judy Duvall, Roberta Wilson, and Donald and Carol Joyce.

If you have ideas about how to make A Cedar Key Christmas even better, or you would like to be part of the community effort, Contact Carol Joyce from Havel Isle at 543-6806.