CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS NAPLES STYLE by Claudia Polzin, Independent Consultant

We are all ready to decorate the halls and celebrate the beauty of the Christmas season. Naples offers you many ways to “ring” in the season from the beginning of the month to the very end. Be sure to find the events that will help make this December very special for you and your family.

December 2 at the Club at the Strand – Gulfshore Opera will present a holiday Taste of Opera. This evening features a gourmet dinner and a concert to get you into the spirit of the season. Featuring artists whose talent will transport you to the world of luscious vocal excellence.

In November we told you about The Naples Players production of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder – this production continues until December 19 – so if you need pure entertainment – this is the production you want to see. This play was nominated for 10 Tony awards and follows Monty Navarro who is heir to a long lost family fortune – the only catch is that he is ninth.

Downtown Naples will have many opportunities for you to celebrate, beginning with the Naples Concert Band on December 5 at 2 p.m. in Cambier Park. This is only the beginning of concerts in the park – and it is almost a guarantee that they will all feature beautiful holiday music to raise your spirits and get your toes tapping. December 6 at 7 p.m. the Stardust Memories Big Band will be featured; Gulf Coast Big Band on December 12 at 2 p.m.; Naples Big Band on December 13 at 7 p.m. and December 19 at 2pm the Naples Dixieland Jazz Band will be in concert.

One thing that is wonderful about our community is that we have all of these great “Big Bands” – many of whom have retired professional musicians, some who are still actively performing and others with very talented musicians who just enjoy sharing their love of music.

But if a concert is not what you want for the holidays – plan to be at the Naples Christmas Parade on December 7 beginning at 6 p.m. or the Christmas Boat Parade on December 11 beginning at 6:15 p.m. Find your favorite place along the route and enjoy the creativity of the boat owners as they have turned their water crafts into holiday works of art. A very unique event is on December 9 at 6:30 p.m. – a Tuba Christmas – the very seldom heard tuba is featured in a unique holiday concert with only tubas in the ensemble.

TheatreZone will have a special holiday presentation – Home for the Holidays – December 10-12 – with only four performances. Be sure to get your tickets early. This show features an extravaganza of holiday favorites, lively dance routines and a live orchestra. TheatreZone performs in an intimate theatre located on the campus of Community School of Naples.

Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church in Naples is the west coast home of the Grammy nominated ensemble- Seraphic Fire. They will open their Christmas concert series in Naples on December 7 at 7 p.m. – this concert has become a must see for all who have come to love Seraphic Fire. This features many of your most loved Christmas favorites. If you have never heard “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree” – this is the year you need to be sure you come to this concert.

End the month with December 31 at an Evening on Fifth –stroll the avenue – enjoy a meal and the Christmas tree in Sugden Plaza. Take time to enjoy the season without the hustle and bustle – attend as many concerts as possible, share the beauty of the talent found in our area with friends.

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