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  • Guest Writer

A December to Remember on Fifth Avenue South

The holiday season is upon us, and Fifth Avenue South is already abuzz with good cheer. As the lyrics go, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Once again friends and family come together to celebrate the holidays and enjoy the same excitement that abounds in our community each and every year.

As the City of Naples and Fifth Avenue South celebrate our centennial anniversary in 2023, it’s hard to believe this year’s Christmas on Fifth Avenue marks our 50th year of turning the Avenue into a magical experience for children and adults of all ages.

December 5th Christmas Parade

Organized by the City, the parade kicks off the season on December 5 and will once again be grand and colorful. Floats, fire engines, school bands, dance troupes, scouts, civic groups and more bring this annual tradition to life, as well as Santa and Mrs. Claus. The Parade begins at 6:30 p.m. at 11th Avenue South and proceeds north on 3rd Street to 5th Avenue South. It then turns on 8th Street South and ends on 11th Avenue South, where it began.

Christmas Walk and Tree Lighting

This year’s Christmas Walk takes place on December 8 from 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. and December 9 from 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. Thousands of people from all over Southwest Florida and other parts of the state, the nation, and even internationally, attend. Visitors will experience the same joy and many of the same festivities the BID and its members have hosted in the past, including a live Nativity scene, dining under the stars, and, of course, a visit from Santa Claus.

The Tree Lighting portion will take place on December 8, at 6:00 p.m. A twinkling 20-foot Christmas Tree, trimmed with more than 10,000 LED lights, will be lit in Sugden Plaza and will glow through early January.

Our Live Nativity scene, conducted by the First Church of the Nazarene, is such a beautiful tradition, and features live animals. Donkeys, sheep, and goats will be on hand for the kids to pet, as a stunning angel literally hovers above the stable.

Another tradition families love is our half-block-long skating rink, constructed with synthetic ice, on the west end of Fifth Avenue. Ice skates for children and adults will be available, and the rink will be open from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on December 8 and 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on December 9.

And last but not least, a shopper’s delight Christmas market, featuring Fifth Avenue and outside vendors, will offer cakes, pastries, candy, jewelry, artwork, and more for shoppers looking for special holiday gifts.

Tuba Christmas

This event is also a Fifth Avenue highlight and will make a return this year on December 15 at 6:30 p.m.

Tuba Christmas in Sugden Plaza is a hugely popular event where more than 50 musicians of all ages perform popular holiday tunes and sing-a-longs. In addition to tubas, the evening of music features sousaphones, euphoniums, and baritone horns. Most orchestras have only one tuba, so the night literally “blows” you away!!

We also hope you will join us for our New Year’s Eve celebration, as we say goodbye to a year of recovery and reflection and welcome in 2024 as Naples appears even brighter and more beautiful.


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