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Date of Issue: December 10, 2008

Santa arrives Saturday

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Jackson Hayes, left, 6, of Bradenton, and Julius Petereit, 5, of Anna Maria, welcome Santa with hugs to the Anna Maria Island Community Center, where he arrived Saturday aboard a West Manatee Fire Rescue firetruck. Islander Photos: Bonner Joy
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Kimberly Leger of Artistic Focus Photography in Anna Maria took professional-quality pictures of each Santa visit at the Fun Day event, and families will receive a free 4 by 6 inch photograph from the studio.

Santa arrives Dec. 6 at the Anna Maria Island Community Center, where the Center was host to the annual Chuck and Joey Lester-Islander Holiday Fun Day.

The Center gym was a winter wonderland for the day, including a charming stage setting for Santa, where children of all ages were invited to provide Santa their holiday wishes.

Activities included a bounce house, a Kiwanis Club-sponsored fishing pond, face-painting, cookie-decorating, card-making, prize drawings for turkeys and lots of food, all prepared by the folks from Duffy’s Tavern. The event was aided by volunteers who served up everything at old-fashioned, family-friendly prices.