The theme for The Casements is “A Dazzling Holiday.”
Hopefully, Brian Daly won’t be pulling a reluctant camel out of the road on Sat., Dec. 10, so that the Home for the Holidays Parade can pass by. This was one of the amusing memories he has from his 22 years in coordinating the parade along with about 15 other volunteers.
“That was no small task,” he said about moving a camel that was lacking the holiday spirit.
The parade, a 26-year Ormond Beach tradition, will begin at 6:30 p.m. It was one of the first night-time parades in the area.
This popular kickoff for the holiday season has 101 entries this year. Typically, there are 2,500 people in the parade, Daly said. There are floats and vehicles from businesses, churches, scout troops and school marching bands, including Seabreeze and Mainland high schools.
In recent years, the parade has drawn 10-15 thousand spectators.
“They are four to five deep along the sidewalk,” Daly said.
The floats get better every year, Daly said, and some are very intricate.
Last year’s winner of the President’s Cup was Arrow Towing, of Holly Hill. In fact, the company has won the trophy several years in a row, and Amanda Balboa, of Arrow, said they begin talking about ideas in September and start buying materials in November.
Then, the night and day before the parade all of the employees decorate a large tow truck.
“It’s a chance for everyone to get together,” she said. “We get the families involved and the kids have a great time.”
Years ago, the parade would alternate each year between the Mainland and the Beachside. It’s coordinated now each year with the tree lighting at 6 p.m. at City Hall.
One small-town aspect of the parade occurs when the parade members get organized and lined up along Washington Street before it starts. Daly calls it “controlled chaos,” but the area from Division Avenue to Mound Avenue takes on a party atmosphere as the neighbors interact with the parade members.
“One year they had a barbecue,” Daly said. “They hand out water. Everybody has a good time.”
CASEMENTS LIGHTS UP
New this year, the exterior decorations of The Casements have been enhanced with new permanent lights on the roof, the towers on the band shell and the gazebo in the front yard. It was an idea of the guild, and Cultural Center Coordinator Siobhan Daly said they have worked on it tirelessly since April.
The lights were turned on once during Rockefeller Revisited event.
“Seen from the bridge, it’s a beautiful site,” said DeDee Blanchard, of the Casements Guild.
The exterior lights will be lit at 6 p.m., Dec. 2, the beginning of the Annual Christmas Gala at The Casement. There will be events throughout the weekend.
The guild members spend three days before the opening getting the interior decorations ready.
“Everyone becomes an elf,” Blanchard said. “We don’t know what it looks like until it’s all together.”
The theme for the interior decorations at The Casements this year is a “Dazzling Holiday,” with gold, silver, white, traces of copper and lime green, and a lot of glitter.
The decorations are a year-round project for the Guild, which spends all year making crafts and decorations. Theme ideas come from all of the guild members.
They plan the next year’s theme in December so they can buy items in the post Christmas sales, Blanchard said.
Tying in with the glittery theme this year, the 16-foot Christmas tree in the stairwell and the fireplace will feature chandeliers. There will also be the traditional tree room. Other sights to see include a train display, antique ornaments, and a display of themes from past years.
IF YOU GO
Dec. 2, 3, 4 - Annual Christmas Gala at The Casements. Decorations, tree gallery, gift shop, gourmet shop, gifts.
Dec. 2, 6-9 p.m. - Santa arrives and tree lighting. Ice cream for sale.
Dec. 3, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Clown, entertainment, ice cream sundaes for sale. From 6 to 8 p.m., a musical evening with wine and hors’doeuvres, $25, reservations required.
Dec. 4, Noon to 4 p.m. - Holiday Tea. $25. Two seatings. Reservations required.
Dec. 10 6:30 p.m. - Home for the Holidays Parade travels from Division Avenue north on U.S. 1 and then east on Granada Boulevard to Beach Street. City Hall tree lighting at 6 p.m.
Dec. 15 - Holidays at The Casements - Free Christmas concert 6-8 p.m. on the north lawn of The Casements.
Dec. 17 - Santa's Breakfast at The Casements - The annual breakfast features a visit from Santa. The cost is $5 for everyone age 2 and over.
For special event tickets at The Casements call 673-5312