Reminiscent of “the good old days” when EVERYONE crowed into the family car after dark, rode around through neighborhoods for hours and admired the exterior of homes elaborately decorated with nativity sets, Christmas trees, ornaments, toy trains, snowmen, reindeer, Santa Claus and thousands of bright colorful lights, is perhaps the motivation for Vice Mayor Joseph L. Kelley’s Annual Christmas Seniors Light Tour, sponsored by the Mayor and Commission in conjunction with the City of Opa-locka’s Parks and Recreation Department.
Before sunset, members of the “Seniors on the Move” program met at Historic City Hall, 777 Sharazad Boulevard in Opa-locka, climbed aboard the bus for a seasonal ride into those memorable and adventurous sightseeing days of long ago, when the aesthetics of the holiday season meant more than today’s commercialization and gift expectations. Office staffer Sha’mecca Lawson assisted Vice Mayor Kelley in scouting-out homes in advance, by way of The Miami Herald (along with various other publications), web pages and word of mouth recommendations, to find the most popular and best “decked-out” homes across Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Kelley gleamed, “The lights were various sizes, different intensities, some blinking, some motionless, every possible color and design one could imagine.” He added, “Some of the homes were truly extreme, while others were well-planned, yet they ALL were just unbelievably spectacular!”
The Vice Mayor commented that he observed, during the entire journey, “the ‘spirit of happiness’ lingering throughout the lengthy trip from Opa-locka to North Miami, Hollywood, Coconut Creek, Pembroke Pines, Miami Gardens and back home,” as this generation of nearly 50 “wide-eyed” spectators caroled and held tight to tradition, while revisiting one of the Merriest parts of their childhood during the Christmas Season. “Seniors on the Move” Sadie Jones and Clara Way concurred that they, even NOW, are thankful for and look forward to this enjoyable ride each year. But, AFTER the light-seeing-tour, ALL the seniors agreed that the “sweetest” part of the evening was the stop-over at Krispy Kreme, where a “light” snack of fresh, HOT doughnuts was the best experience of the night!