One of Traci Gaddis’ grandsons was crying.
With all the destruction that Hurricane Michael brought to Mexico Beach, the boy was beside himself about the coming holidays.
“My grandson was crying and asking, ‘Are we cancelling Christmas,’” Gaddis said. “I almost cried myself. I said no we are not cancelling Christmas.”
And, so, Gaddis, who each year organizes the Golf Cart Christmas Parade in Mexico Beach, set to work ensuring that celebration will go on.
Yes, golf carts took something of a hit from Michael, especially in Mexico Beach.
Gaddis’ golf cart is currently not working.
But whether it is one or 10 or 20 carts, the Christmas parade is going to happen.
“We are going to do it,” Gaddis said. “We need to get back to some kind of normal.”
The folks in Port St. Joe pretty much bore a similar sentiment.
The annual Christmas on the Coast parade and festivities were generating considerable interest before Michael; post Michael the goal is just to gather for some spirit.
Parade organizer Charlotte Pierce said the names for entries to the parade may have changed, but the level of interest has not.
She said the number of floats and presentations should be at least equal to last year, maybe more.
“We are getting a lot of calls from people making sure we are going to have it, wanting to be part of it,” Pierce said.
The goal, to make the Christmas celebration, as resident John Parker said, a “PSJ Strong” kind of day.
Both Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach will hold their Christmas celebrations this weekend.
Christmas on the Coast, Holiday Farmers Market
The Salt Air Farmers Market will host its annual Christmas market in City Commons 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. ET Saturday.
As has become tradition, the Christmas market is always a bit larger and includes a broad variety of offerings, from fresh produce to an array of arts and crafts, perfect for Christmas shopping.
The market will be followed later that evening by the annual Christmas on the Coast parade, which will begin its trek down Reid Ave. around 6 p.m. ET.
Lineup begins at 5 p.m. ET and judging will also take place.
Awards will be given to the top parade displays in four categories: Schools and Non-Profits; Family and Friends; Business and Faith-Based.
Entry forms are available at City Hall or call 229-8261 ext. 129.
Entry forms may also be found online at www.cityofportstjoe.com.
Mexico Beach tree lighting, parade
Mexico Beach officials will hold their Christmas tree lighting on the grassy parcel next to Parker Realty in the town’s business section at 6 p.m. CT Sunday.
The Golf Cart Parade participants will line-up in Parker Park at 5:30 p.m. CT, with the parade beginning at 6 p.m. CT and continuing through town to the Christmas tree.