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‘Winter Wonderland’ smiles are crystal clear with happiness

There was a chill in the air and snow on the ground, or rather on the mountain, and children were sled riding in Bradenton on Saturday, Dec. 13. (Yes, for real!)

The holiday family-favorite, Winter Wonderland Celebration, presented by the City of Bradenton and headed up by City Councilwoman Marianne Barnebey, was once again, an overwhelming success.

The excitement centered on the snow mountains, which were manned by the JROTC of both Manatee and Lakewood Ranch. Dean Culley’s daughter, Rachal, anxiously awaited her turn to sled down the snow mountain, while Ashley Carson and 7-month-old Isabella had front row seats watching for 7-year-old Hannah to have her “slip and slide.”

Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived on a big red fire engine (because the sleigh only comes out on Christmas Eve!). Three-year-old Natalie Edwards asked Santa for a bicycle, and her big brother, Nathan, wants a skateboard. Mrs. Claus was also very busy because 8-year-old Cailey Aspril, and many other children in Bradenton, have been very good this year.

Other activities for the family included the Pittsburgh Pirates pitching booth, holiday arts and crafts, and dancing in the streets with retired Bradenton Policeman-turned-DJ Randy and Pam Petroskey spinning those holiday hits.

Other families seen included Joan Oliszewski with granddaughter Maddie; Tracie Jackson with grandkids Ella Waite and Kaylee and Madison Hartwig; and Amber Foley with baby Alexander.