Merchant Association raises funds, lights the Square year-round

Merchant Association raises funds, lights the Square year-round

The San Marco Merchants Association is taking on a holiday frame of mind in 2022. And what says holiday spirit better than twinkling lights, as the second verse of the holiday classic, Silver Bells, says, “Strings of streetlights, even stop lights blink a bright red and green, As the shoppers rush home with their treasures.”

It all started as a discussion about having lights put on all the Crape Myrtle trees in San Marco Square during the holidays. The conversation quickly moved to the idea of having the lights stay up all year long. The members agreed that, as Santa said in the 1947 movie, Miracle on 34th Street, “Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a frame of mind.”

“We wanted to add to the charm of the community and do something to really make it stand out,” said Scott Wohlers, San Marco Merchants Association president. “By providing lights year-round we believe it provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere.”

The association successfully raised $13,000 to have the lights professionally lit.

“We were able to raise those funds within two days, thanks to our wonderful sponsors,” Wohlers said. In addition to Platinum Sponsors Karen and Matt Carlucci; Gold Sponsor Anita Vining; and Silver Sponsors Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty, Spice & Tea Exchange, and Taverna restaurant, 24 businesses and residents donated as Bronze Sponsors.

Wohlers said the feedback from those in the neighborhood about the lighted trees has been positive.

“They are even more excited when they hear the trees will remain lit all year,” Wohlers said.

In an effort to continue to add to San Marco’s unique charm, Wohlers says the association is hosting the first ever San Marco Beer festival in March.

“We will continue to promote our neighborhood as a premier destination in Jacksonville,” he said.

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