By Jane Bartnett
’Twas the season for Siesta Key condominiums to light up the night with beautiful and creative displays of whimsy and color in celebration of the holidays.
On Dec. 6, as night fell, an intrepid group of Siesta Key judges boarded the Siesta Breeze trolley at Davidson Plaza ready to head out to cast its ballots for the finest light displays in all the land.
The Siesta Key Condominium Council’s 2021 Holiday Lighting Contest, co-sponsored by the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce, had returned. Hilla Blatt, chair of the contest committee, explained that although there were fewer entries this year than in 2019 when the event last took place, the beauty of the displays was as cheerful and happy as ever.
The contest is now in its fifth year.
It was clear that the condominium elves had been very busy in the days following Thanksgiving and the judges had a tough job in selecting the top holiday displays. As the trolley made its way through Siesta Key Village and down Midnight Pass Road, the judges were treated to sights of brilliantly lit reindeer and snowmen standing guard along the roadway. Palms were lit in bright white at their bases as shimmering emerald green lights created twinkling crowns for the majestic trees.
Nancy Jo Manney of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce noted that the beautiful annual light displays brighten the lives of everyone who visits, lives and works on Siesta Key.
“When you light up Siesta Key it’s all components. It’s our condominiums getting involved in the festivities. This is what makes visitors want to come to Siesta Key,” she exclaimed.
During a trolley stop at Siesta Harbor, the judges were invited to see the magnificent light displays on the condominiums and boats that graced the sides of the canal. As luck would have it, Siesta Harbor was having its holiday party that night and the guest of honor was Santa himself.
The judges spotted the white-bearded fellow sporting his classic red suit, having a jolly good time as he danced to the holiday music. Santa wished everyone on Siesta Key a wonderful “Ho ho holiday!” season.
When all of the condominiums had been judged, the trolley returned to Davidson Plaza and the judges turned in their votes. In the following days, the ballots were tallied by the Condominium Council.
In the category of 100 units and more, Siesta Harbor took the top prize. Siesta Dunes and Excelsior scored in second and third place, respectively.
In the second category of 51 to 100 units, Aloha Kai placed first. Casablanca won the second prize and Bay Oaks placed third.
In the final category of 50 units and under, the Sandpiper Beach Club and Sea Shell tied for first place, and Siesta Royale took the No. 3 position.