While “Fun for the Holidays” looked like something that everyone was going to be excited about, the reality was not what anyone had pictured. The amount of lights was wan in comparison to what was described prior to the events opening, although the forest of Christmas Trees was as plentiful and in tune with music as had been promised. Many were expecting the pier to be lit up with lights showing the story of “Christmas Under the Sea,” and not a film projected onto the sand. You wouldn’t know there was a video being projected onto the sand until you were on the pier, but once there you’d see the creative devices showing the film on either side.
However, many children seemed to have fun at the event. Several comments had been heard about the “ice skating” rink which was setup, even being compared with ‘plastic covered in baby oil.’ No one seemed impressed with the attempt to create an ice skating environment by the beach. Shortly after Thanksgiving the entry price was lowered, most likely due to lack of community participation.
It seems that the event has still been found lacking in the eyes of the community. The event has added extended dates- lasting till December 30th now and has extended the ‘ice skating’ hours, Thursday- Saturday from 10am-5pm and 6pm-10pm and Sunday from 12pm-4pm. They have also added more light displays; a Snowmen Cove with 6-foot snowmen, Santas Galore in Action, a Nativity Scene, and more! They will be rotating out vendors each night, as well as having carolers and a fire pit (with complimentary s’mores supplies). From December 15th-17th and 22nd-23rd, Mike Jones will be selling and signing his book, Salvaged Santa. He will also be accepting donations for the Salvage Toy Program.
New Additions for Children:
- Visit with Santa including a gift bag sponsored by Gulf World Marine Park
- Photograph with Santa and photo download
- Holiday face painting
- Caricature drawings
- Christmas sand art project (Children 18 and under)
- Flip, Flop and Snowflake coloring station
- Reindeer food recipe-making station
- One additional free item each night. Always a surprise!
Will these changes and new additions be enough to salvage “Fun for the Holidays” or is it too little too late?