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Jekyll puts holiday spirit on display
White lights, red wreaths and traditional green garland are tell-tale signs that the holidays have arrived on Jekyll Island.

"We have a lot of families who come back year after year and make it a tradition," said Cates Payne, sales manager of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, while adorning a staircase with ribbon.

More than 1,000 people flocked to the island last weekend for its annual tree lighting, and that's only the beginning of the holiday and Christmas-themed events planned for the season, said Anna Hall, communications specialist for the Jekyll Island Authority.

"The holiday season is a special time for Jekyll Island. The natural beauty of the island is further enhanced by the spirit of the season," Hall said. "We plan events around the seasonal holiday theme but also strive to let the island speak for itself."

The holidays are typically a busy time on the island, said Kevin Runner, general manager of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.

"At the Jekyll Island Club, we do have a lot of return guests who come every year," Runner said. "The week between Christmas and New Year's is usually very busy."

About 88,000 lights and more than 100 holiday wreaths adorn the historic district to welcome guests to the island.

"We often hear comments that Jekyll Island provides a relief from the commercialized rush of the holidays," Hall said. "Our festivals, events and specials during this time of year are intended to bring people together to reflect on the true magic, joy and peace of the season."

Santa Claus will visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center during its Sea-son's Spectacular event noon on Dec. 15.

The Jekyll Island Museum will also host two Century of Celebrations Historic District tours on Saturday and on Dec. 8. A "Jingle All the Way" jog benefitting the Court Appointed Special Advocates will take place at 9 a.m. on Dec. 8 at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.

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