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Wednesday, March 29, 2023
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Coral Bay Celebrates the Season with Santa

Although several community groups stood up to sing, Santa Claus was the main event at Friday’s annual Coral Bay Christmas Tree Lighting and Carol Sing.

“Ho, ho, ho,” Santa said as the loud speakers played “There are no reindeer in my country … how will Santa get here.”

The fire truck from the nearby Coral Bay fire station filled in, and a flip-flop wearing Santa arrived at the Coral Bay basketball court to joyous greetings from the children gathering for their gifts.

As they waited for the celebration to begin, Demikah Martin, 10, and Le’Kayla Christian, 9, had the same answer when asked why there were there.

“The gifts,” they both said.

There was a big pile for Santa to distribute thanks to donations by real estate agents and businesses, Coral Bay Community Council President Sharon Coldren said.

The event dates back about 50 years, Alvis Christian said. Alvis Christian, who helps organize the event, said in the 1960s Coral Bay was starting to grow as people from other islands and the mainland arrived.

“The whole goal was to welcome people to the island,” Alvis Christian said.

Most of those early organizers have died, but Eirleen January was on hand to turn on the Christmas tree lights.

The Rev. Vankys Isaac opened the celebration with a prayer and by leading those at the event with the words “O Come Let Us Adore Him.”

A group made up of residents from East End, Palestina, Emmaus and Eden got the neighborhood singing off to a strong start with their rendition of “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

After a few tunes from that group, a small collection of Upper Carolina, Ajax Peak and Mamey Peak residents took their turn at the microphone with “Jingle Bells.”

Emmaus Moravian Church Choir and a group of Bordeaux area residents rounded out the neighborhood singers.

“Go tell it on the mountain,” the Bordeaux group aptly sang since they live on a mountain.

The celebration brought out a cross section of Coral Bay area residents. Theresa Worrell said she brought her grandchildren to enjoy the festivities.

Florisa Sprauve was on hand with her children, Liah Sprauve, 9, and Larisa Sprauve, 5 months.

“I heard about the tree lighting so I brought the kids,” she said.

Diane Esser and Wil Roberts were out to dinner when fellow Coral Bay residents Jerry and Martha Hills persuaded them to attend.

“It’s a great event,” Esser said.

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