Longboat Key is lit up again for the holidays.
The fifth annual “Light Up, Longboat” event was hosted by the Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce on Nov. 25 at the Town Center Green.
The event was organized by the town of Longboat Key and multiple local organizations, including the Paradise Center, the Garden Club, Longboat Key Turtle Watch, Rotary Club, Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, Save Our Seabirds and the Tidewell Foundation.
The Town Center Green was filled with holiday cheer through holiday music and different snacks and drinks for everyone to enjoy. Santa Claus, aka Nancy Rozance of the Rotary Club, was on hand for photos as well. Rozance has been Santa at Light Up Longboat for the past few years.
The Rotary Club asked everyone in attendance to bring a $20-$25 gift for children aged 12-16 years old. The gifts will go to clients of Stillpoint Mission in Bradenton, and everyone who donated a gift was entered into a raffle for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to the Lazy Lobster.
The Kiwanis Club was also at the event serving food and selling tickets for its annual Lawn Party on Dec. 2 at Ken Thompson Park.
At 6 p.m. chamber President Kim Verreault and Mayor Ken Schneier led the tree-lighting ceremony. They thanked everyone for coming and partaking in the Longboat Key tradition. Chamber member Ceila Moore then led free raffles in which people had a chance to win items brought by the different organizations of the event.
Jim and Neil Willis just moved to Longboat Key in July. “What a beautiful event to start the holiday season,” said Neil Willis. “I’m excited to get more involved and meet more people at amazing events like these.”