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The Villages
Sunday, May 19, 2024

Christmas in July Cruise In brings out generous car fans

The Villages Twirlers brought out the holiday spirit.
The Villages Twirlers brought out the holiday spirit.

Despite the mixture of thunderstorms and summer humidity, Villagers’ Christmas spirit still shined through at the annual Christmas in July Cruise In Saturday at Spanish Springs Town Square.  The festive event not only invokes Christmas joy from the many people who attended, but also aims to make this year a better Christmas for underprivileged children.

Santa’s helper, Kathy Byrne of the Village of Santiago, manned the Toy Drive collection center. She described that the participants at Cruise In “have been so generous.”

The ‘Santa’s Workshop Tent’ accepted unwrapped toy donations and helped visiting children write their own Christmas wish lists to send to Santa Claus. Along with the Toy Drive was a 50/50 raffle that benefits families in need this Christmas.

The square was adorned in red and green in keeping with the Christmas theme, which filled many attendants with anticipation for this year’s holiday season.

Bruce Smith shows off his Jeep.
Bruce Smith shows off his Jeep.

Scooter the DJ did not let the gloomy weather deter attendants from having fun as he played lively music at the gazebo and encouraged people to dance.

Participating in the Cruise In, Bruce Smith of the Village of Buttonwood smiled brightly as he showed off his military customized 1945 Ford. He bought the car half a year ago and personally added every detail, from the shell casings placed inside to the supply crates at the back of the car.

Wiping down his 1978 Cadillac Eldorado, Sonny Schwaber of the Village of Mallory, a member of the Villages Vintage Car Club, kept his car dry and presentable as he competed in the People’s Choice Awards. Schwaber stated that he had been participating in the Cruise-in for eight years.

Charlie Dolan with his Model T.
Charlie Dolan with his Model T.

Members of the Villages AACA, Don and Phyllis Gillette of the Village of Belle Aire posed next to their 1974 Mercedes Benz 450 SL, which they purchased in 2006 and had restored in 2013. This will be their first year at the Cruise In, but will continue to participate in other car shows.

Charlie Dolan of the Village of Sunset Pointe and member of the Tin Lizzie Club proudly presented his 1913 Model T Ford, which he inherited from his father. The car had been in the family for 51 years now since his father had purchased it in Brooklyn in 1964.

Continuing the holiday spirit, The Villages Twirlers and Drum Corps put on a vigorous show for audiences despite the rain as they performed to Christmas hits such as “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Feliz Navidad.” 

Sonny Schwaber wipes down his Cadillac.
Sonny Schwaber wipes down his Cadillac.
Mark Rife and Seth
Mark Rife and Seth

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