“It’s beautiful,” said Sharon Smeltz as she and her extended family gathered around the Gulfport Casino’s 14-foot artificial Christmas tree as it was being installed by a three-person crew from Clark Sales Display, Inc. of Tavares, Florida on Sunday, November 27. Sharon and her husband Skip Smeltz, pictured to her left, moved from Pennsylvania to Gulfport in the 1970s to start their family. At that time, they lived on 11th Ave. S. Now, they live in Seminole. Three generations of the Smeltz family pictured are, from left (with their relationships to the three grandchildren), front row: Johnathan, uncle; Vera, granddaughter, 3; Finley, grandson, 6; Evelyn, granddaughter, about 3 months old; and, Brieanna, mom; middle row: David, dad; and, Christina, aunt; back row: Sharon, grandmother; and, Skip, “grandpa.”
A three-person crew from Clarks Sales Display, Inc. of Tavares, Florida work together on Sunday, November 27 to place a section of the two-part topper on a 14-foot artificial Christmas tree located at the front of the Gulfport Casino. It takes from three to four hours to assemble this size tree, said crew leader Mitchell Daniels, pictured left. Blake Smith, installer, is pictured in the middle front while Kyle Oakley, installer, is steadying half of the topper from the back. The ornament at the very top is a snowflake star consisting of white lights. Also in Gulfport, this crew installed about 65 light pole wrap-style decorations along Shore and Beach boulevards, about 70 telephone pole mount-style decorations along Gulfport Boulevard S. and 49th St. S., and the ground displays in Clymer Park. A trailer and bucket truck with a 38-foot boom helps them get the job done, said Daniels.