Getting ready for the holidays despite Hurricane Ian’s damage, Naples is beginning to decorate for Christmas.
The city plans to hold the usual festivities, including tree lighting, a Christmas walk, and a parade.
One big thing many people look forward to is the fireworks show at the Naples Pier. But, this year, the council voted to cancel the event for several reasons.
The pier has undergone so much damage from the storm, and the nearby beaches are still closed. And having hundreds of people, there is a risk level that the city does not want to take.
But, Teresa Heitman, the Naples mayor, told WINK News there’s still so much more that Naples has to offer.
Heitman told WINK News the city has made a lot of progress, but there’s still a long way to go.
“We still have areas in pockets that need attention and will continue that for at least another month,” Heitman said.
Business owners on downtown Fifth Avenue hope within the next month, the holidays will draw the crowds back.
Eric Marvin owns Health and Wealth Company on Fifth Ave. he had about a foot and a half of surge water behind the doors.
“Paint, drywall, baseboards, new flooring, so it’s all new,” Marvin said.
So the hope of the holidays will do some good for his own health and wealth.
“We’re always running sales we’ll run a sale this weekend if you come on down; I’ll give you a special price on anything just come on down that’s all we need,” Marvin said.
Just a few shops down, Naples Soap Company, is stocked up on soap. While Ariel Minshew, the store manager, explained they had about six inches of water on Fifth Ave., but on Tuesday, they’re ready to sell every soap they got.
“Everything is out. We are ready for Christmas,” Minshew said.
“We’re really excited about the Christmas walk coming up. So we’re starting to prepare for that,” Minshew said.
“Third Street, I’m happy to say will have their annual Christmas tree lighting, which is the Monday before Thanksgiving,” Heitman said. “The first Friday of December will be the Fifth Avenue Christmas tree lighting.”
Because this holiday season, it’s just the start of Southwest Florida rallying together after Hurricane Ian.
“It’s a kickoff to a lot of holidays and celebrations,” Heitman said. “So yes, we’re will try and remember that we’re still in recovery, but we’ll also move fast to celebrate Naples in our community.”
There’s the tree lighting, Christmas parade, a kickoff in Cambier Park to recognize past and current leaders, and even a white Christmas on Third Street South.
Click here to see the full city events calendar.