Floats decorated in lights and holiday cheer will parade in Founders Park at this year’s Islamorada Holiday Parade, set for Friday, Dec. 6.
The grand marshal for this year’s parade is Pastor Tony Hammon. This year’s theme, “Caring and Sharing Around the World,” recognizes Hammon’s well-known humanitarian efforts in Uganda, and as a community figure, serving as pastor of Island Community Church for 35 years.
“Caring and Sharing Around the World” is a warm and joyful theme that should inspire holiday cheer, compassion, and creativity for all of those participating in the parade,” said Islamorada Chamber of Commerce President Ken Gentes.
The parade, part of the chamber’s 15th annual Islamorada Holiday Festival, will begin at 7:30 p.m. that Friday evening.
For Hammon, the grand marshal selection comes after many years of helping others both at home in his community and abroad.
“I am humbled by the honor, knowing that there are thousands of others who could have been selected,” said Hammon. “I am so thrilled to be a part of a community that takes care of each other like we do in Islamorada.”
Hammon will lead participants on a route that runs along the park’s Beach Road, passing the beach itself and the adjoining playground.
Sign-ups for the parade remain open. Participants should design their entries in accordance with the “Caring and Sharing Around the World” theme. Bands, antique car groups, scout troops, churches, businesses and other organizations or individuals who are interested are encouraged to enter. Judges will select winners in several categories based on creativity and adherence to theme.
In addition to the parade, Holiday Festival features visits with Santa, a 30-ton snow mountain, a 35-foot tree blowing magical snow from its branches, the Holiday Gift Bazaar, delicious food and beverages, live holiday stage performances and desserts and coffee at Santa’s Sweet Shoppe.
Registration for the parade is available at the Islamorada Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center at the entrance to Founders Park, or by calling 305-664-4503 for a registration form. The 15th annual Holiday Festival is put on by the Islamorada Chamber of Commerce from 4 to 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6 on the beach at Founders Park.
In an effort to go green, the Islamorada Chamber of Commerce asks that all parade participants consider environmental impact when designing their floats and that attendees bring non-glass, reusable beverage cups to use during the event to minimize the use of single-use items.