We'd seen the trees in the arboretum lit up for Christmas before but this was our first lighting up ceremony. Parking was like gold dust - there was a party at the Community Centre across the road, which didn't help but as soon as we got there we felt the special atmosphere. A children's choir was singing at the gazebo..
Some people had brought picnics and tables and chairs and sat eating dinner. Spectators of all shapes and sizes
milled around, waiting for the 5-4-3-2-1! Here's our very own Golden Beach tree...
....a live oak embellished with hanging sharks' teeth, the blue water, the sand and the sunset - oh and the new lifebuoy we just paid for.
The trees were all individually decorated by local organisations or in memory of someone. The big baubles always look good.
So do the lights on the flame vine pergola
A view across the park.
There were quite a few proper Nativity scenes this year.
Candy canes much in evidence
Here's a very Florida touch - a decorated golf cart, a popular form of transport here.
You can of course buy special lights for them.
It was a delightful family occasion, everyone joining in, kids running around happily and having their pictures taken with Santa, grownups walking the paths and their dogs, admiring all the trees. They said there was so much interest this year that they'd run out of trees and bushes to decorate. Community spirit in Venice is alive and well!The evening ended with a procession of six hundred cyclists festooned with lights. Sorry not to have a pic of those - hubby and I made our getaway in time.