The four leading non-profits on St. George Island are working together to create a memorable Christmas season.

Several of St. George Island’s major charitable and civic organizations have agreed to work together to invest in bringing even brighter Christmas cheer to the island’s center during the upcoming holiday season.


The St. George Island Civic Club, St. George Island Business Association, St. George Lighthouse Association, and Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce/Island Visitors’ Center are joining forces to create a colorful holiday display from the Welcome sign to the beach at Lighthouse Park along Franklin Blvd.


Hurricane Michael took out most of the existing rope lights which wrapped the palms in recent years and virtually all the electrical outlets and extension cords. County government has contracted with Cates Electric for the repair and replacement of the electrical system. The civic club is investing $2,000 for lighting replacement, using outdoor, waterproof, commercial quality, LED lighting nets and extension cords for the palms. The business association has committed at least that amount for the same purpose, including solar up-lighting for areas where electrical outlets are not available.


In grand island tradition, volunteers will do all the work in hanging lights and setting displays, beginning this Sunday, Nov. 17.


In preparation, island volunteers are trimming all 106 palm trees that line Franklin Blvd along with trimming smaller beds of oleander and juniper at the intersections. To make that work more interesting, the civic club challenged the business association to determine which organization could trim the most palm trees.


Last month, John Adriel and Mike Cannon, owners of Beach Pit, and some of their employees; Capt. Wes and Joanna McCall, owners of Bay View Charters SGI; and Billy Blackburn, of BJs Pizza, completed all the palms on the west side of Franklin Blvd. The civic club has done its share by attacking the weed filled smaller beds, led by officers and members Mike and Pat O’Connell, Jim and Barb Morris, Bill Nichols, Gary Mahoney, Rob and Stacy Pierce.


For the Lighting of the Palms and the Santa visit Thursday, Dec. 5, the lighthouse association will again decorate their facilities, with the lighthouse serving as the literal high point of the design. The Apalachicola Bay chamber will contribute their many lighted characters and designs to brighten their area of the park by the visitors’ center as a lighted children’s wonderland. The traditional large wooden figurines will be arranged throughout the island center.


The customary nativity scene, built by Mason Bean of Collins Realty, will have a new location at the entrance to the island on the first median on Franklin Boulevard. The business association is organizing the arrival of Santa with gift stockings, hot chocolate and goodies for revelers; the chamber is providing hot dogs and chips.


Kids can enjoy holiday face painting by local artists, creating letters for Santa’s mailbox, and coloring pages to be displayed in island businesses throughout the holiday season. The Dinner Divas will again provide a book for every child who attends.


The Thursday evening event will also be the start of a weekend-long Super Santa Sale among participating local restaurants and retail establishments, so that residents and visitors can spread island cheer through their gift-giving. We hope we will have many locals and visitors enjoy this event and shop the island business district.


Decorating and set up occurs between Nov. 17 and 23. Official kick-off is 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5. To participate or volunteer support, contact Barbara Morris at flamorr@msn.com