Parade spreads joy on Island
Residents of the Sandpiper Mobile Home Park had
good time on their colorful float at the Prvateers
Christmas Parade last Saturday. SUN PHOTO/TOM VAUGHT
While mainland children listen for a sleigh on Christmas Eve, Island children listen for the sound of cannons firing a few weeks before that.
It was time for the annual Anna Maria Island Privateers Christmas Parade and the pirates’ ship led the procession from Bayfront Park in Anna Maria to Coquina Beach.
More than 40 entries signed up, ranging from colorful cars to a tiki hut trailer. There were Segways, trucks, jeeps and two Island cities had elected officials riding in the police boats on trailers.
A medical emergency was the only dark spot, but it turned out OK according to Privateers. One of the pirates in the parade boat passed out due to a rapid drop in blood pressure. EMS came, and he was taken to the hospital by ambulance, and the parade ship caught up to the rest of the procession.
After the parade, Privateers set up shop at a gazebo and began grilling hot dogs and serving them to kids for free and parents for a donation. Santa appeared, took a seat on the ship and began listening to requests from kids. Each child got a package of presents and new hope that when they hear those sleigh bells on Christmas night, their dreams will come true.