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Surf Illumination Lights Up The Beach 2014

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A crowd gathers at the pier to celebrate the start of the holiday season.

Although there was a bite in the air, it did not keep the multitude of people home on Friday night. Hundreds joined in at the St Johns County Pier Park to celebrate the lighting of the Christmas tree and start what could be a new tradition, the first illumination of the holiday lights in the Nations Oldest City.

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The kids love the balloon creations

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Santa welcomes a little one.

The little tikes were treated to face painting, balloon animals and a giant bounce house. Christmas songs echoed throughout the park and a special musical treat was presented by the St Augustine Youth Orchestra . A line formed of those youngsters ready to make their first visit to Santa.  This jolly old elf came straight from the North Pole, enjoying the warmth that only Florida can offer this time of year.

This free event; sponsored by the St Augustine Beach Civic Association, brought a twinkle to every child’s eye. With over 20 arts and craft vendors set up along the walkway, many people started their holiday shopping early, purchasing handcrafted items to put under the tree.

As the lights went dim, you could feel the anticipation in the air as the crowd waited for Mayor Samuels to throw the switch and light the tree. With all the children participating, the countdown began and it was magical to see the park explode with the twinkling of the tiny lights. With the Surf Illumination, the lights are now up at the pier and on lamp posts along the boulevard, bringing a warm welcome to visitors to the beach this holiday season.