City workers 'deck the halls' of Main Street in Destin with Christmas banners

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas — on Main Street in Destin.

City of Destin workers spent about an hour last Tuesday donning Main Street in Destin with various themed Christmas banners from a big nosed Rudolph to a seahorse sporting Christmas lights and a candy cane as part of the Destin Banner Art Project headed up by Ron Sandstand of Flutterby Antiques.

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"This is our first time to do Christmas banners," Sandstead said, noting January 2021 will mark the third year for the banner project that features local works of art. "It's been a lot of fun. Christmas is a special time for most of us. The city did a great job in getting them up and I appreciate their willingness to promote local art ... (we) love our local artists."

The artwork displayed on each of the nine banners on Main Street was done by local artist and a few of them were on hand Tuesday to watch their banner go on display. 

Local artist Dorothy Robinson created the elf for her first banner in the Destin Banner Project.

"I'm a new painter," said Dorothy Robinson. "I never dreamed I'd have something up like this."

Robinson painted an elf with a mouse eating a candy cane.

"It was just something fun and whimsical," Robinson said.

Local artists who were on hand Tuesday to watch their banners go up along Main Street in Destin were, from left, Marie Chapman, Clare Gagne, Dorothy Robinson, Kathy Schumacher and Andrea Chipser. Also pictured, sporting the Santa hat, is Ron Sandstead who heads  up the Banner Project.

"I'm really proud and honored," she said to be part of the banner project. "Ron has done a great job."

As for the artist behind the Christmas themed seahorse, Andrea Chipser, this is not her first banner.

Chipser's artwork of a jellyfish was part of the first round of banners that went up along Main Street in 2019.

Andrea Chipser holds up her seahorse Christmas artwork that is now displayed in a banner along Main Street in Destin.

"I was honored to be asked again," Chipser said as she walked along Main Street waiting and watching for her seahorse to go up.

"It's fun and festive," she said, noting she was trying to capture the ocean and Christmas spirit in her whimsical seahorse.

Marie Chapman was  the  artist who captured Rudolph in "her own way" sporting  an in your-face big red nose.

Marie Chapman's big-nosed Rudoph was the first banner to go up Tuesday. 

"That's my Rudolph," Chapman said, noting she's had a banner up before.

"I wanted to do Rudolph in my own way ... with his nose kind of in my face," she said, noting the huge red nose on the reindeer.

Kathy Schumacher, who painted a poinsettia for her banner artwork, was also on hand to watch it go up. 

"It's so exciting ... to decorate beautiful Destin," she said.

And her reasoning behind the poinsettia, "it's the ultimate Christmas flower," Schumacher said. The flower symbolizes the star of Bethlehem and the redness of the flower the blood of Christ, she said.

Although Claire Gagne's banner sporting a gingerbread house was one of the last to go up, it's not her first in the banner project.

This is her second piece of artwork for the project and she's got another lined up to go in January 2021.

Local artist Claire Cagne watches and snaps a few photos as her banner featuring a gingerbread house goes up along Main Street in Destin Tuesday.

As for the gingerbread house, "I thought it was cute ... and it feels like Christmas," Gagne said. "And I love seeing it go up. Ron is doing a great job (with the banner project)."

Other artists and their work included in the Christmas banners were are Lynn Craft with her boat parade; Estelle Grengs, flamingo; Christine Ramey, Christmas on the beach; and Joy Fine, Christmas tree.

Sandstead's goal is to put up banners along Main Street every four months.

"That's actually a lot of art for a year," he said.