By Jessica Creagan
VERO BEACH -- The line-up of activities and entertainment for this year's city Christmas festivities is sure to make this year's celebration an extravaganza.
The countdown to Christmas will start off with a bang during the Holiday Rec Party and Holiday Rec Run 3296-GO! event on Dec. 6 from 5:30- 9 p.m. at Royal Palm Pointe in Vero Beach.
A new group added to the live music program is the Vero Beach Saxophone Ensemble. The ensemble is made up for 12 young men and women from 14 to 18 that play in the Fighting Indians Marching Band. The students will play a 30-minute set during the festivities, creating familiar melodies with their saxophones, which range in size from the small soprano saxophones, to the behemoth-sized baritone saxophones.
This year, Vero Beach's normal Christmas tree lighting and party has been expanded and taken over by business men and women and community leaders to help highlight the recreation department and to raise funds for the support and maintenance of The Fountains at Royal Palm Pointe.
With the money raised by sponsors and donations, the child-friendly fountains will soon be open year-round on Sundays for families to enjoy, said Bev Paris, one of the event coordinators.
There will be plenty of things to do for all ages, with food vendors, beer gardens, art auctions, puppet shows, bounces houses, face painting, children's crafts, a boat parade and more, Ms. Paris said.
Other musical performers will include Old Barber Bridge, the Rip Tides and the Indian River Charter High School's Diversified Chorus. The Vero Beach Theatre Guild's program Guild-on-the-Go will also perform during the evening.
The Holiday Rec Run will kick off at 6 p.m. The race is the first known night run in the city, said John Sammartano of JAS Fitness, who is also helping to coordinate the race.
The two-mile run will begin at the entrance to Royal Palm Pointe on the corner of Indian River Boulevard and will proceed through Vero Isles, down to Young Park and then back to Royal Palm Pointe. The first 150 runners will be given an event T-shirt and other goodies, including a glow stick or glow in the dark necklace, bracelet or headband to wear during their run.
The entry fee is $25 in advance or $30 on race day. Participants younger than 18 will need a parent signature to be allowed to run.
For an event schedule or more information about the Holiday Rec Party and the Holiday Rec Run 3296-GO!, visit www.covb.org.