By PHYLLIS HODGES
What does Home for the Holidays bring to mind as you make your plans for end-of-year celebrations? Hold that thought. The Sun City Center Golf Cart Parade committee wants you to reflect on this and join this year’s parade on Dec. 14.
Individuals and groups who are members of the SCC Community Association, Kings Point and Freedom Plaza, as well as local businesses, are encouraged to participate. Santa and Mrs. Claus are even making a special trip down from the North Pole to join the fun.
Registration forms are available at the CA office (1009 N. Pebble Beach) and on the CA website (suncitycenter.org). To help with planning, the committee is requesting registrations be submitted by Dec. 8, but registration is also allowed on site beginning at 8 a.m. on the 14th. Judging begins at 9 a.m.
The parade begins its 1-1/4-mile route from the Community Association’s N. Pebble Beach parking lot at 10 a.m. As in previous years, it will exit on La Jolla, turning right on El Rancho, Ojai and Cherry Hills before finishing in the bandstand area of the Central Campus. That’s where prizes will be distributed, and you can see the winners up close and personal.
There are cash and trophy prizes; First place for “Best Decorated” in both individual and group categories is $250; for second place, it’s $150. Third place individual and group get a trophy, as does first place in the business category. The winning individuals, group and business, will also have their names engraved on a plaque displayed in the CA office.
Wait — there’s more. Each participant will participate in a raffle for five prizes — two for $50 and three for a pair of CA Entertainment Series show tickets. That’s just for entering. Your cart doesn’t have to be elaborately decked out; you can join the fun with just a bit of tinsel and bow. The SCC Security Patrol, which has been selling raffle tickets for a new golf cart, will also be announcing its winner during the award presentations.
After the parade, participants and spectators are invited to enjoy free cookies and lemonade (or something hot, depending on weather). Then, at 1 p.m., the festivities continue in Rollins Theatre where the Gay Men’s Chorus of Tampa Bay will present a holiday concert for CA members and their guests. Seating is first come, first served (no tickets), and you must have your CA/guest badge to attend.
The planning committee of 20 is led this year by Larry Smith. This is his first year chairing the parade but not his first rodeo. He said he wanted to help by using previous experience in the parades in Verona. “I am always amazed at the great community support and the number of volunteers who are willing to give of themselves,” he said. Execution of the parade logistics is truly a team effort, and Smith gives due credit to the volunteers, judges and various groups — CA staff, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Security Patrol, Amateur Radio Club, Sun Radio and businesses (judges) — who lend a helping hand.
Want to see the 2017 and 2018 parades? Visit the Friends of Sun City Center Facebook page.