It’s the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Do you know where your Christmas decorations are?
Downtown ushered in the Christmas season two nights in a row after Thanksgiving. First, The Landing lit up its 56-foot Christmas tree with music by Phil Stacey and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. A small (by Downtown standards) fireworks display followed. There was a great big crowd filling up the courtyard, the stairs, the upper patio of the food court, and people inside restaurants ventured onto more patios to see the festivities.
Afterward, we walked up Laura Street to check out some of the holiday windows. Those at City Hall were a neat look at gifts and toys from decades past, although the 90s and 2000s were grouped together. The only part that bugged me was the “window” behind the tree: why was each one showing a snow-covered yard?
Saturday night, the City hosted its annual Light Parade. Lots of decorated boats took part in the parade that made two loops from Metropolitan Park to the Fuller Warren Bridge. There was one snag, though; the Main Street Bridge wasn’t able to lift, so masted boats did four loops. It was pretty cold, and awfully windy, so we caught the COJ fireworks (three barges and lots of color) from inside another restaurant. What can I say — both nights I was with a guy who is always hungry and eats enough for a Navy.
The unfortunate thing is that we took few photos. So, here are some from this year and holidays past.
After reviewing some old photos, I find that I prefer the older trees better. They weren’t perfect — and that made them beautiful.
More holiday goodness to expect: December Art Walk (Dec. 1), Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes (Dec. 2-12), The Downtown Historic Church Tour (Dec. 4), Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performing Handel’s Messiah (you know, the Hallelujah chorus; Dec. 4), Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Dec. 9), First Coast Nutcracker with Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra (Dec. 17-19) … phew! And remember to watch the Independent Life tower; the sign will change from GO JAGUARS to MERRY XMAS, another great Downtown tradition.
For the record, I never decorate before Dec. 1, and my decorations are in the office closet. Next weekend, the mini tree will return from hiding.