A New Spin on the Holidays by Claudia Polzin, Independent Consultant

Approaching the holidays in our new normal is a reality that we did not imagine a year ago. We plan to celebrate differently but perhaps appreciate the holidays for their true meaning – no matter how you celebrate.

Our community has historically been filled with holiday concerts – but this year there may be fewer of our traditional concerts but there are still many ways to enjoy music. We are very fortunate to live in an area where we can be outside and enjoy music and entertainment – so let’s begin with our wonderful Cambier Park offerings.

The Big Band music is alive and well in Cambier – beginning on December 6 with the Naples Concert Band at 2pm and followed on December 7 by the Stardust Memories Big Band at 7pm December 13 at 2pm, finds the Gulf Coast Big Band. We are very lucky to have many talented musicians in our community and they come together in these groups to celebrate the beauty and healing powers of music. On December 20 – a change of pace will occur with the Dixieland Jazz Band 2pm performance.

With this pandemic we have faced many challenges and one new and reinvented wonderful event has been to have drive-in movies back again. Two different groups are doing these in Naples – at Bayfront there are movie nights on December 12, which will feature National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation screening at 6:30pm. Just in time for the Holidays – Bayfront will have It’s A Wonderful Life on December 19 at 6:30pm.

The second group that is providing drive-in movies is The Naples Players – this group has stepped out of their traditional roles in providing entertainment for our community and moved into the world of drive-in movies. They will be providing A Christmas Story on December 15 and 16 at 300 – 8th Street S; and on December 29 and 30 – you can enjoy Frozen 2. All of their movies begin at 8pm.

Some unique opportunities for Christmas entertainment will happen in Cambier Park. On December 18 the Third Annual Candlelight Christmas Carols sponsored by Dr. Jon Strohmeyer begins at 5:30pm with pre-caroling food and beverage, the concert starts 6:30pm. Food trucks will be onsite with refreshments available for purchase.

The next evening, December 19, The Naples Players will perform It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play at 7pm. Tickets are available to either watch the show virtually or in person. As a side note it has been heartwarming to see the Naples Players find ways to provide entertainment for the community in safe ways, with creative staging and planning. This is seen in their newest venture for the holidays – Trees & Teas Festival – the festival will run from December 4 through December 19. Timed tickets will offer you and your family a stroll through show themed decorated trees, carolers, indoor snow and of course tea!

From outdoor concerts with the backdrop of our beautiful community to the reinvention of drive-in theatres we can find ways to enjoy the arts. For those that prefer the comfort of their own home – there are several options for virtual concerts and many of our local churches are providing that for you. Online offerings are available at Trinity-by-the-Cove and Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church – please check their websites and you can enjoy wonderful concerts in the comfort of your own home.

Enjoy December in Naples and find ways to safely enjoy the out of doors – concerts in the outdoor venues are fun and a way to get out of the house.

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