Siesta Sand and Island Visitor November 2023

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Things to do on and around Siesta Key

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Holiday Parade 2023

They light up our lives

Mike and Donna Nix deliver not only one beautiful boat of a float, but Santa Claus himself! By Ned Steele


kip the sleigh, Santa. This is Siesta Key; we’ve got a boat for you. And Rudolph? You won’t need him to guide the way either. Because when you cap off the annual Light-Up the Village Holiday Parade this Nov. 25, we’ve got Mike and Donna Nix for you. This local couple will personally escort you, aboard their charter boat-turned-parade float, right into

the Village to distribute toys – just as they have every parade since 2017. Of course, it won’t be any ordinary boat-converted-intolandbound parade float. As in years past, Mike and Donna will transform it into a magical, snowblowing conveyance so dazzlingly lit that Rudolph and his buddies will be jealous.

Donna and Mike Nix (left) with their first-place award from last year’s holiday parade. The Siesta Key residents deck the boat with boughs of holly and lights galore each year, providing Santa and his presents with a sweet ride into the Village. (submitted photos)

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A welcome sight Beach ambassador program provides a smile, puts visitors in the know By Jane Bartnett

A beach ambassador welcomes newcomers to the public beach. Manning the information table in the pavilion is among their duties. (photo courtesy of Sarasota County)

“Siesta Beach ambassadors are the gateway to the area and the first impression that visitors have,” proclaimed Jonathan Poyner, Siesta and South Lido beach coordinator with Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources. “The volunteers who staff the information booth at the main entrance to Siesta Beach are our best recruiters for the entire region,” Poyner added. “They’re

an integral part of what we do -- they keep us relevant, viable and keep us as the No. 11 tourist destination.” On any given day, visitors who stop at the brightly colored booth to ask about Siesta Beach and things to do on and near the Key benefit from meeting these friendly and informative volunteers. The program that began in 2004 will celebrate its 20th anniversary

next year. As the season begins, Poyner hopes to welcome many more new ambassadors. “We’re always recruiting and looking for adults with a heart for people who care about the environment and want our economy to grow,” Poyner said. “Becoming a beach ambassador is a great way for people who have

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This month’s blooming beauty

A great guide to Siesta’s shells

Who’s on stage? Here’s your answer

An egret that is really, really great

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