Few things are more exciting to young children at the holidays than Santa Claus and choo-choo trains. Life-sized versions of both will make a stop in the NSB Waterfront LOOP Saturday, Dec. 8.
Festivities will begin at 10 a.m. Santa Claus will arrive at 10:15 a.m. on a nearly 900-foot Florida East Coast Railroad train at the railroad tracks at Canal Street and U.S. 1. During the 20-minute stop, the big guy and Mrs. Claus will provide 1,000 toys to the local Toys for Tots program and will greet local children and families.
Children attending the stop also may donate to the Toys for Tots drive.
For more information, call (386) 423-2184.
LOOP to offer free holiday light tours in December
LOOP-goers may sit back and let someone else do the driving to view holiday luminaries next month. Holiday light lovers may do the LOOP on a holiday light tour from 6:30-9:30 p.m., December 8, 15, and 22, in New Smyrna Beach.
'Lights on the LOOP' tours will begin at Christmas Park on the corner of Live Oak and Canal Street. The 30-minute tours will take in the lighted displays in the area's downtown business districts.
Tours are free, but seating is limited. Reservations are required.
For reservations or more information, call (386) 424-2175.
University women to meet
The monthly meeting of New Smyrna Beach's Association of American University Women will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Smyrna Yacht Club.
This month's speaker will be Tory Tepp, Community Artist in residence at Atlantic Center for the Arts. He will speak about his involvement in outdoor community art projects in New Smyrna Beach.
His address features the organization's emphasis for this year on the arts. The organization focuses on equity for women, sound education and better communities.
For more information to or make a reservation, call 423-5278or visit aauwnewsmyrnabeach.org.
City volunteers to work on New Smyrna Beach homes Dec. 8
A handful of residents along Mary Avenue in New Smyrna Beach will receive an early holiday gift this weekend.
They will be the first to see their homes improved thanks to volunteers working through a new Housing Initiative Program.
From 8 a.m. - noon, Saturday, Dec. 8, the city of New Smyrna Beach will launch its partnership with Southeast Volusia Habitat for Humanity to improve the exterior of homes within the City's Community Redevelopment District.
More than two-dozen city employees and Habitat for Humanity volunteers will donate their time to fix up four homes along Mary Avenue.
Through the Housing Initiative Program, four Mary Avenue homes have been approved for a total of nearly $15,000 in grant funds. Volunteers will paint and landscape the homes. The grant will be applied to the cost of materials.
Habitat's Brush with Kindness program is combined with two CRA programs -- the Small-Scale Improvement Grant program and the Residential Improvement Grant program. As a result, homeowners will not be required to provide matching funds for eligible program expenditures. Up to $5,000 in grant funds are available per property. Specific eligibility requirements apply.
For more information, call (386) 424-2265.
Book signing scheduled
Author Tim Dorsey is will have a book signing at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at Book Rack of Edgewater, 108 W. Indian River Blvd.
Mr. Dorsey was born in Indiana, moved to Florida at the age of 1, and grew up in a small town about an hour north of Miami called Riviera Beach.
He graduated from Auburn University in 1983. While at Auburn, he was editor of the student newspaper, The Plainsman.
From 1983 to 1987, he was a police and courts reporter for The Alabama Journal, the now-defunct evening newspaper in Montgomery. He joined The Tampa Tribune in 1987 as a general assignment reporter. He also worked as a political reporter in the Tribune's Tallahassee bureau and a copy desk editor. From 1994 to 1999, he was the Tribune's night metro editor. He left the paper in August 1999 to write full time.
Mr. Dorsey has since published 15 novels in several languages: "Florida Roadkill," "Hammerhead Ranch Motel," "Orange Crush," "Triggerfish Twist," "The Stingray Shuffle," "Cadillac Beach," "Torpedo Juice," "The Big Bamboo" "Hurricane Punch," "Atomic Lobster," "Nuclear Jellyfish," "Gator A-Go-Go," "Electric Barracuda," "When Elves Attack" and "Pineapple Grenade."
He lives in Tampa with his family.
For more information, call (386) 423-1190.
Tables adorned for holiday season
The Festival of Holiday Themed Tables will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, in The Women's Club, 403 Magnolia St., New Smyrna Beach.
Tickets are $10 and are available at the door.
For more information, call (386) 428-9881.
Groups partner for holiday, swimming lessons
This year the Rotary Club of Edgewater, Southeast Volusia Chamber of Commerce and Volusia/Flagler Family YMCA have partnered to ensure a joyful holiday season.
The groups are looking for unwrapped toys, non-perishable food items and monetary donations that will be distributed to needy families in Southeast Volusia County.
A portion of the funds will be used to offer 25 families from Southeast Volusia elementary schools the opportunity to participate in the "Teach Kids to Swim" program presented by the Volusia Flagler Family YMCA.
Participants may attend the Southeast Volusia Chamber of Commerce open house and holiday party from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13. Admission is any of these donations.
Donations can also be dropped off at the Southeast Volusia Chamber of Commerce building located at 115 Canal Street in New Smyrna Beach until Monday, Dec. 17.
Checks donated should be made to the Edgewater Rotary Club. Please include in the memo line if you are donating funds for the purchase of toys/food or for the "Teach Kids to Swim" program.
Republican Club to meet
The Republican Club of Southeast Volusia County
monthly luncheon is on the second Thursday of each month at the Smyrna Yacht Club.
For more information call 386-409-3060.
Genealogical Society to meet
The Genealogical Society of Southeast Volusia County will meet from 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9, at the New Smyrna Beach Regional Library, 1001 South Dixie Freeway, New Smyrna Beach.
The meeting is open to the public. Come join in the holiday festivities dressed as your ancestor with a tale to tell, or bring an artifact to share.
Volunteers are available in the library from 1- 3 p.m. each Monday to help with research.
For more information, call (386) 428-2507.
Veterans to be remembered
On Saturday, Dec. 15, members of the Southeast Volusia community will gather to honor veterans during the holiday season as part of the annual Wreaths Across America Day.
The Civil Air Patrol has volunteered to conduct the Wreaths Across America ceremony this year at noon, Dec. 15, at the Edgewater/New Smyrna Cemetery, 700. S. Ridgewood Ave.
Seven ceremonial wreaths will be placed to remember all soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who served, honor their sacrifices, and teach younger generations about the high cost of our freedoms.
Specially designated wreaths for the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, and POW/MIA will be placed on memorials during a ceremony that will be coordinated simultaneously at more than 750 participating locations all across the country.
For more information, call (386) 405-2359.
Santa returns to Historic Canal Street
Jolly Ol' St. Nick will pose for photographs and make a note of the holiday wishes of children in Southeast Volusia County through Dec. 17.
To accommodate busy parents, Santa will open his doors for daytime and evening visits. His schedule is:
oFriday, Dec. 7, 6-8 p.m.
oSaturday, Dec. 8, 1-4 p.m.
oFriday, Dec. 14, 6-8 p.m.
oSaturday, Dec. 15, 1-4 p.m.
For more information, contact the New Smyrna Beach Recreation Department at (386) 424-2175.
Edgewater Fire-Rescue is in need of donations for its Operation Caring program.
Donations of new clothes, gift cards for teens and new, unwrapped toys are being accepted at Station 55, 1605 S. Ridgewood Ave.; Station 57, 2628 Hibiscus Drive; and City Hall, 104 N. Riverside Drive.
There also is a need for non-perishable food and personal care items. Monetary donations are accepted as well. Checks can be written to Edgewater Fire-Rescue Association. Donations of food, toys and money will be accepted without deadline.
All of these items will be distributed to people in the Edgewater area.
Sign-ups for assistance will be from noon to 2 p.m. and 6 to 7 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Edgewater Fire Rescue Association Fire Hall, 2616 Hibiscus Drive.
Applicants must provide for children a birth certificate and Social Security card and for adults a Social Security card, picture ID, proof of income and proof of residence. In order to be eligible to receive assistance, the applicant/family must reside in Edgewater.
For more information, call (386) 424-2445.
See the Jaguars
On Dec. 23, the Knights of Columbus is taking a double-decker bus to Jacksonville, to see the Patriots vs. the Jaguars.
The bus will leave Knights of Columbus hall, 516 S. Orange Ave., New Smyrna Beach, at 9:30 a.m.
Only 55 tickets are available at $90 per person, food and libations included.
For more information, call (386) 576-6662 or at (386) 428-7161.
Early New Year's Eve party fundraiser scheduled
An early New Year's Eve party is planned from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31, at the Brannon Center, 105 S. Riverside Drive, New Smyrna Beach.
There will be a buffet and dancing on the large dance floor to the music of the Marc Monteson Quartet.
For those who hate going out late at night for New Year's Eve parties, this is the event for you.
When guests arrive, the party will be on the same time as Helsinki, Finland; Istanbul, Turkey; and Athens, Greece of 8 p.m., thus the midnight hour will happen at 5 p.m. New Smyrna Beach time.
Pre-sale ticket price is $25 per person and $30 the day of the event. Tickets are available at Gone Bonkers, 314 Flagler Ave.; Southern Trends, 334 Canal St.; The Pennysaver, 223 Canal St.; and TUI Pack 'n Ship, 1321 Saxon Blvd. (near Publix).
Partial proceeds of the event will benefit The New Smyrna Beach Jazz Festival and the Mayor's Golf Tournament Fund.
For more information, call (386) 423-9760.
Nominations sought for historic preservation award
The Historic New Smyrna Beach Preservation Commission is accepting nominations for the 2013 Donnadine Miller Memorial Historic Preservation Award.
Buildings at least 50 years old or sites associated with a historic event are eligible.
The nomination deadline is Jan. 31.
Past winners include the Night Swan Bed and Breakfast and 601 Faulkner Street. Winners of the 2013 awards will be presented a bronze plaque at a March City Commission meeting.
In 2009, the award program was renamed in memory of Donnadine Miller, who was an active volunteer and member of the community.
Applications are available at City Hall, 210 Sams Ave., the New Smyrna Museum of History, 201 Sams Avenue, and online at www.cityofnsb.com.
For more information, call (386) 424-2138.
St. Vincent de Paul Orlando welcomes vehicle donations
Whether it's a late-model sedan or an old clunker -- or anything in between -- St. Vincent de Paul Orlando welcomes any vehicle donation.
All proceeds from local donations are used to support the charity work of St. Vincent de Paul in Central Florida.
Donating any used car, truck, motorcycle, boat, or recreational vehicle -- working or non-working -- is completely hassle-free and can be easily scheduled by calling (800) 322.8284 or visiting svdpusacars.com.
All donations are tax deductible and a tax receipt can be issued, if necessary.