The holiday season is a time when family traditions, handed down throughout the generations, shine brightly in the faces of children of all ages. One of those traditions is the City of Naples Christmas Parade, coming Tuesday, Dec. 6 from 6 – 8 p.m. in downtown Naples. The parade route will be from Broad Avenue and Third St. S., proceeding north to 5th Avenue South, then east on 5th Avenue South and South on 8th Street South, past City Hall, ending at 8th Street South and Broad Avenue South.
Family and tradition, the bedrock of the 2016 parade theme, ‘A Naples Family Christmas’, is personified in this year’s Honorary Grand Marshall – make that Marshalls – the Wynn Family, who have been making Christmas memories and sharing traditions since 1938, when Peter and Vida Wynn moved to Naples, population 150.
The Wynn’s purchased the Bayview Inn, located in what is now the Crayton Cove business district near the City Docks, where they also operated a grocery store and restaurant. Their son, Don, stayed behind in Lakeland to run their ‘northern’ family business.
On Dec. 7, 1941, Don Wynn, like so many other Americans, answered the call of his country when Pearl Harbor was bombed, launching America into WWII. After the war, Don came to Naples to help his parents, with the full intention of returning to central Florida until he met Miss Annie Merle Echols and the rest they say is history – and oh what a history it is.
They raised five children, who are still living in Naples today, and left a lasting legacy of a ‘servant leadership culture’ for their children to carry forth within the Wynn family businesses, now with 500 employees. The second-generation Wynn clan includes Larry Wynn, director of Wynn Properties; Thomas Wynn, director of Wynn Properties; Jerry Wynn, CEO of Sunshine Ace Hardware; Tim Wynn, president of Wynn’s Family Market and Wynn’s Catering; and Linda Wynn Smith, corporate secretary and treasurer.
In honor of those men and women, who answered their call to duty 75 years ago, and for local families who cannot make it to the parade, the City of Naples Christmas Parade will be filmed live on Comcast 98 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. or online streaming video in HD at the City of Naples media webpage.
The filming is sponsored by SWFL Veterans Alliance, Naples Spirit of 45, and Wayne O. Smith.