A clear sky and balmy temperatures created ideal conditions the evening of Dec. 16, for a team of judges to set out on the Siesta Island Trolley to pick the winners for the Siesta Key Condominium Association’s annual Condo Lighting Contest.
Each complex was judged according to its size and four categories: uniqueness of decorations; seasonal quality of decorations; how colorful the decorations were; and the “wow” factor.
The judges were Helen Clifford and Ginger Spencer, of the Condominium Association Board of Directors; Cheryl Gaddie, president of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce; Russell Matthes, president of the Siesta Key Village Association; Catherine Luckner, president of the Siesta Key Association, and her husband, Bob; Mark Smith, former long-time SKVA president; and I.
Clifford distributed the scoring sheets to each of us, then took her place at the front of the trolley to direct our driver, Geoff van Deusen. We made our way from Davidson’s Plaza down Beach Road and Midnight Pass Road, back to the Village, with Clifford making sure van Deusen slowed to give us time to assess each complex.
To participate in the contest, the complexes had to be current with their dues. Some judges voiced disappointment over that point, because we saw quite a few brightly and creatively decorated complexes that were not eligible.
As we idled at one point in the center turn lane of Midnight Pass Road, Matthes pointed out, “You know, we couldn’t do this if we had pedestrian islands.” He was referring to the Florida Department of Transportation proposal for pedestrian safety islands spread throughout that lane along Midnight Pass Road between the Beach Road and Stickney Point Road intersections. (See related story on page 12A.)
With a soundtrack of holiday songs on the trolley creating an appropriate background, we looked and scribbled for about an hour and 15 minutes.
Once we returned to Davidson’s Plaza, Clifford gathered up our scoring sheets, with the results compiled at the chamber office Monday.
The winners are …
Holiday Spirit Award
• Siesta Dunes Condominium, 6200 Midnight Pass Road, Category I (101 or more units)
• Beachaven Condominium, 5858 Midnight Pass Road, Category II (51 or more units.
• Sandpiper Beach Club, 6414 Midnight Pass Road Category III (50 or fewer units).
Red Ribbon Award
• Peppertree Bay Condominium, 6056 Midnight Pass Road, Category I
• Anchorage Condominium, 6415 Midnight Pass Road, Category II
• Harbour Towne Yacht Club, 5701 Midnight Pass Road, Category III
White Ribbon Award
• Gulf & Bay Club, 5730 Midnight Pass Road, Category I
• Tortuga Club Condominium, 8730 Midnight Pass Road, Category II
• Marina Del Ray, 1312 Stickney Point Road, Category III