Light Up Midtown organizer hopes to do it again this year


The smiles on the faces at the final Light Up Midtown community celebration was reward enough for Charles Bryant. who works for Daytona Beach’s Redevelopment department and was one of the organizers of the event.

The home of Birdeen and James Ashley on South Street was the winner of Light Up Midtown’s Christmas decorating contest.

Bryant said the series of activities, which culminated Dec. 22 with a gospel show was a success.

Every Saturday during the month of December events were held, including a health fair, Christmas parade, and a step show featuring area Greek organization members.

The highlight of the celebration was the lighting of a 25-foot Christmas tree at Daisy Stocking Park, which has never taken place in Midtown, an area of the city that is inhabited primarily by Black residents.

“Bringing the community together together is what we hoped to accomplish and I believe that is what we did,” said Bryant, noting a lot of talent was discovered during the events. He plans to feature that talent in future events, including the city’s Juneteenth celebration this summer.

Bryant said the Light Up Midtown Committee will have its next meeting on at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 9, at the Peninsular Club. He would like to start planning for December 2013 but he said the ultimate decision will be up to the committee members.

Midtown winners announced
The winners of the Light Up Midtown Christmas decoration contests in the residential contest was the home of Birdeen and James Ashley.

In the residential category, dubbed “Worthy Mentions,’’ were the homes of Gladys Patrick, Milton and Erma Curry, Freddie and Trenia Barnes, Barbata Etal Young, Anna L. Watson, Betty L. Kimble, Claudia Forrester, Oneata Ledbetter-Carey, along with Gloria and Brown.

The winner in the business category was Bethune-Cookman University’s Performing Arts Center, 698 West International Speedway Boulevard.

Runner-up in the business category was Custom Works Motorcycle Shop, 833 W. International Speedway Blvd.

For more information on how to get involved with Light Up Midtown, contact Bryant at 386-671- 8185.



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