Christmas in July supports annual Deck the Chairs celebration


Gallery 725 played host to the opening reception July 15 for the inaugural Deck the Chairs “Christmas” in July event benefiting the popular annual Jacksonville Beach light sculpture show. The art sale and auction showcased original works by 20 local artists and photographers and featured a collection of goods arranged by Sidney Cardel’s.

The event helped raise money for Deck the Chairs’ fourth year, which this year will be held from Nov. 25 to Jan. 1, 2017. The nonprofit brings public art to the plaza and pavilion areas of downtown Jacksonville Beach each holiday season during the show, which supports the Volunteer Life Saving Corps of Jacksonville Beach.

Deck the Chairs Executive Director Kurtis Loftus thanked the evening’s guests for their show of support.

“I’m always amazed and filled with gratitude to live in the Jacksonville Beach community,” he said. “I’m excited that we’re able to come together. The money that we raise ultimately goes to the critical elements of keeping (the Corps) functional.”

Loftus later announced plans for the inaugural Deck the Chairs digital light show, featuring four 10-minute digital light displays synchronized with music, which he said organizers expect to double the amount of visitors at Jacksonville Beach. The light show’s theme will be “Shine, Hope and Peace,” and will take place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the SeaWalk Pavilion from Dec. 3 to Jan. 1.

Deck the Chairs has set a fundraising goal of $120,000 with a total of $40,000 raised to date. To learn how to support Deck the Chairs, email or visit