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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

'Ye Ol' Holmes Beach business district' holiday open house Dec. 3

Holmes Beach merchants are preparing for the Dec. 3 annual open house offered in the city's business district that includes each year a musical performance of holiday favorites by the Manatee High School chamber orchestra.

Refreshments, entertainment and tidings of the season are offered by S&S Plaza merchants from Mister Roberts to Island Gallery West, the Island Fitness Center businesses, including a 25-foot holiday tree-lighting event at the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce, the Island Shopping Center, featuring the chamber orchestra at The Islander and a snow machine at Ooh La La! Bistro, and also includes Ginny's Antiques and Art, Nica Rose Silver, Catcher's Marina, Essence of Time, Garden Hut, and the Playroom, Mercer Upholstery, Paw Spa in the Island Business Center.

The annual event is held from 5 to 8 p.m. and includes surprises such as clown Saggy Aggy making balloon characters, carolers, guitarists, face-painting and a prize drawing for three baskets that include merchandise from nearly all of the area's merchants. Entry forms for the prizes will be available that night at the participating stores - the more locations visited, the more opportunities to enter and win.

The event is organized and sponsored by The Islander. The participating locations are all in the vicinity of the intersection of Gulf and Marina drives. For more information, contact the newspaper at 778-7978.