Let’s get the Naples party started by Celebrating our Centennial by Claudia Polzin, Independent Consultant

Normally December is busy with holiday celebrations – but this year in Naples there are additional celebrations all around the fact that Collier County is celebrating 100 years. So start off the month on December 2 with the Centennial Community Celebration in Cambier Park from 12-4 pm. The day is filled with great activities for all ages; check the Naples city website for ticket information. At 6 pm on that same day you can enjoy the Centennial fireworks.

December 6 – is your chance to be a part of a flash mob –the Jingled Elves organization will have their annual fundraiser Trolley Tour that culminates with a flash mob in Sugden Plaza at
7:45 pm. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of something fun for a good cause. An annual event that many don’t want to miss is on December 9 – Fifth Avenue South Christmas Walk and Tree Lighting. This festival will combine holiday themed activities for adults and children, ‘al fresco’ dining, and the lighting of the tree in Sugden Plaza.

But don’t forget about Third Street South – starting on November 21 and continuing every Tuesday through December 29 – in the Third Street Courtyard – White Christmas will be coming to Third Street South from 5-8 pm.

Some remember radio being the most important part of entertainment in homes – some phenomenal shows were broadcast that encouraged families to use their imaginations as we only heard the words and incredible sound effects – and had to imagine the pictures. The interesting thing was that everyone had a different idea of what the characters looked like and what the scenery was – everyone’s imagination conjured up different images. So on December 8 and 9 in Cambier Park the Naples Players will be presenting “It’s a Wonderful Life” – a live radio play. This holiday classic comes to life as a live 1940s radio broadcast.

An annual event is the TheatreZone’s production of Home for the Holidays – you can enjoy this December 15-17 at their theatre located on the campus of the Community School. This play has memorable songs, unique choreography, extravagant costumes – all performed by a professional cast and live orchestra. Remember the universal power of music, song and dance.

During December many of the bands that have performed in Cambier Park for years will be celebrating the season. So don’t miss your opportunity to hear this variety of music – December
10 at 2 pm the Naples Concert Band; December 11 at 7 pm the Naples Big Band and December 17 at 2 pm the Gulf Coast Big Band.

On December 8 at 6:30 pm you can enjoy a tradition that is not only celebrated in Naples but around the world – Tuba Christmas. The first Tuba Christmas was held on December 22, 1974 on the ice rink at New York City’s Rockefeller Center. Today it is held in cities around the world celebrating those who play, teach and compose music for instruments in the tuba family. These instruments include tuba, sousaphone, baritone, euphonium – however, some players bring rarer instruments in the family like helicon, ophicleide, serpent and double bell euphonium. In the state of Florida there are ten cities with a Tuba Christmas celebration and 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of Tuba Christmas.

During December there are also many holiday concerts at the area churches – so here are just a couple that you might enjoy. December 3 at 4 pm at First Presbyterian Church downtown
Naples, December 10 at 4pm at Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church just off of Immokalee Road; and December 16 at 5 pm and December 17 at 4 pm at Trinity-by-the-Cove Episcopal Church
in Port Royal.

Enjoy the holiday celebrations during December 2023 while looking forward to an equally exciting 2024.

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