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Christmas banners line Main Street as part of Destin Banner Art Project

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

There’s a splash of Christmas on Main Street in Destin. 

Last week, city of Destin workers put up various Christmas-themed banners along Main Street from a snowman on the beach to a Santa crab and even a surfing Santa as part of the Destin Banner Art Project headed up by Ron Sandstead of Flutterby Antiques. 

January 2022 will mark the fourth year for the banner project that features local works of art. And this Christmas is the second for the holiday themed banners. 

Becky Fisher with her dog Willow. Willow, who was recently put down due to cancer, was the inspiration for her Christmas banner now displayed on Main Street in Destin.

The artwork displayed on each of the eight banners on Main Street was done by local artist, some of the artists are repeats but a couple are new to the project, Becky Fisher and Ron Lazenby. 

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Fisher’s banner featured a dog beside a Christmas present and palm tree donned with Christmas lights. But not just any dog, her beloved Bernese Mountain Dog Willow, who she recently had to put down. 

Fisher just moved from England to the Emerald Coast with her husband who is in the military. 

Becky Fisher, who is new to the Banner Art Project, stands by her banner of Willow before it goes up on Main Street in Destin.

She found out about the banner project after meeting Sandstead at the Destin Community Garden. 

“I painted in school and things like that … always been a little arty, do painting here and there, but nothing too serious,” Fisher said. 

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When Sandstead mentioned the banner project she decided to pay tribute to her dog. 

“We had her from a puppy and flew her here. She was nearly seven … and about a month ago, we found out she had cancer and had to put her down. It was all very sudden. 

Willow, a Bernese Mountain Dog, was the inspiration for Becky Fisher's Christmas themed banner.

“Ron (Sandstead) literally mentioned the banner the week after, so I thought that would be a nice little tribute,” she said. 

After seeing the banner go up on Main Street she said, “it’s really nice. It’s really good that you guys do that community thing over here … really makes a difference.” 

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She too will become a repeat artist in the banner project. 

“I’m hooked … (I) will do others,” she said. 

Lazenby, who lives on Okaloosa Island, painted a surfing Santa. 

Ron Lazenby of Okaloosa Island painted a whimsical Surfing Santa for the banner project.

“I love the beach and I was just trying to think of something whimsical for Christmas. Since it was a beach, what better than a surfing Santa,” Lazenby said. 

In addition to the surfboard, he added a crab, starfish and a sand dollar to the painting. 

Lazenby, who is retired, said he’s been drawing and painting pretty much his whole life. 

“I paint more for myself,” he said. 

He works with other mediums and has done mosaics with broken sand dollars he’s found along the beach. 

Ron Lazenby poses for a photo with his banner after it went up on Main Street in Destin last week as part of the banner project. "It's really an honor," he said to see it posted.

Lazenby found out about the banner project from a friend who knew someone who had a banner on display. 

So, he talked with Sandstead and the rest is history. 

“It’s really an honor,” Lazenby said to have his banner displayed on Main Street. 

“It’s been a fun experience,” he added, noting he had submitted another one for after the Christmas season. 

Other artists who have work displayed on the banners include Kathy Schumacher, Beach Snowman; Andrea Chipser, Cardinals; Hanna Flynn, Christmas Mouse; Dorothy Robinson, Bells and Holly; Lynn Craft, Christmas Heron; and Dill Beaty, Christmas Crab.