PUNTA GORDA — It snowed Saturday in Punta Gorda.

Not for long, but just along Taylor Street ... coming from a certain float in the holiday parade.

Hundreds gathered after Saturday’s moody rain to watch the 41st annual Christmas Parade, hosted by the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s theme under warm skies and bright sunshine was hometown community Christmas, and every car, float and performance showed their meaning of community.

“It was a fabulous parade,” said the chamber’s executive director, Teri Ashley. “Everyone’s version of hometown is different.”

Ashley saw glittering dancers, a kayaking Santa, even snow, Florida-style.

“It was a great way to get out there and spread Christmas cheer,” said judge Jennifer Beane of Presley Beane Financial Services.

Other judges included Ashley Maher with the Charlotte Community Foundation, Justin Brand with the Charlotte Community Foundation and tourism director Wendie Vestfall.

There were five trophies to give out, each highlighting different categories. One was for the best float, others for the best performance and the best decorations on a car or truck. Then the chamber’s president, Tony Smith, as well as the parade’s grand marshal, Ray Sandrock, each got to choose their favorites.

Winners will be announced at Third Wednesday Coffee Dec. 18 at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center.


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