Group raises enough to turn on the lights this year
By Meagan McGone
INDIALANTIC -- In July, a group of dedicated Indialantic residents stood in the hot sun waving signs, talking to passersby and even dressing as Santa, all to raise funds for a worthwhile cause.
And it turns out that their efforts were not in vain; thanks to the Hometown Holiday Light Campaign Committee, Fifth Avenue will continue its tradition of being brilliantly lit this Christmas season.
"We had three different fundraisers for the lights, and we were able to come up with sufficient funds for this particular year," said Dick Dunn, a member of the Hometown Holiday Light Campaign Committee, which formed to keep the tradition alive.
"The town of Indialantic had a longstanding tradition of providing festive lights to mark the holiday season down Fifth Avenue," he said. "In 2011, the Indialantic Town Council voted to use the holiday light fund to buy a critical piece of equipment for the fire department. The failure to display lighting during December 2011 resulted in citizens of the community expressing disappointment."
In 2012, the light display was not approved for funding, which raised concern that the lack of lights would show that the town doesn't reflect family values.
So the Hometown Holiday Light Campaign Committee took matters into its own hands by seeking out tax-deductible donations to pay for the rental of the lights.
"The holiday lights will be able to be seen as you go down Fifth Avenue," Mr. Dunn said. "They will be strung up and down the street light poles. The light is really non-denominational. It celebrates Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa."
"Hanukkah, you know, is called the Festival of Lights," he added.
But Mr. Dunn said there is still work to be done.
"We know it's going to be an issue to obtain funding in the years to come, so our committee is continuing to hold fundraisers," he said. "We are going to run into the same dilemma. The town won't be able to fund the lights because of budget constraints."
So on Friday, Dec. 7, the committee will hold an antique car show at Nance Park in Indialantic from 5 to 9 p.m. The first show at Nance Park will also feature three live bands playing a wide variety of music, from blues to Hawaiian, as well as drawings, prizes and food from local Indialantic-based vendors.
A tree-lighting ceremony to mark the lighting of Fifth Avenue will be held the day before, on Thursday, Dec. 6 at Nance Park. Mr. Dunn said details will be made available about the tree-lighting ceremony on the town of Indialantic's website.
For more information, visit www.indialantic.com or call (321) 723-2242.