More images from the "Animation in Motion" Christmas show

Submitted to Community Café

For those who followed me in my efforts to max out the Rust-Oleum Cares event where I made over a dozen submissions but ran out of time here are some more pictures from the “Animation in Motion” Christmas show. If you have questions about how we built something please ask and I’ll provide the details. For those that didn't follow my efforts with the Rust-Oleum Cares initiative here's a quick synopsis about this free gift to the community of Niceville FL.

Each year Ms Debbie Lewis (aka, "the Christmas Lady") builds a display featuring her animated dolls and extensive collection of Nutcrackers. Twenty-one years ago it started in her home but over the years she outgrew that venue and has had to move into a larger facility. Fortunately one of our local real estate developers has loaned her space over the last couple of years and for the last three years she has used 30,000 sq. ft. in a retired Kmart building.

So this year she organized another team of volunteers who have been working since mid-October to decorate this immense space. Ms Lewis owns the over 900 nutcrackers, 600 animated dolls, 700 angels while her husband Charles jokingly claims ownership of the 1000 plus pieces of the miniature Christmas village and most of the smaller train sets plus all the tables that used for the displays. Over the years several local artists have donated time to paint the backdrops and other folks have donated trees, cloth, carpets and lights! There are two train clubs that bring their sets to the show, the HO scale club has a 20x30 ft. display with three main lines and a dozen spurs while the G scale group has set down over 22 separate tracks in a 40x60 ft. area.

For our part, my family and I began contributing our time to this event three years ago, bringing our theatrical experience in set design and construction. We have loaned the event several sets of specialty lights, a complete performance stage with light “trees” and a karaoke sound system that can support four singers with two keyboards, plus this year we designed and build seven life sized theater sets in addition to a half dozen props. The sets are: Santa’s living room with fireplace, the nutcracker’s castle with two cannons, the forest with waterfall for the Santa fishing and camping scenes, the manger scene with a door to the Bethlehem Inn (no rooms!), the story teller’s corner (I’m also a story teller), the snow queen’s throne room, and the Grinch backdrop with a full size 3d Who-house.

I hope you enjoy these pictures and if you are in the Destin/Fort Walton Beach area and have time this Christmas please come visit the free display, open from now to Boxing day (the day after Christmas), 6pm to 9pm every night. You can find more details on Facebook or the web page search for “theNicevilleChristmasLady”.