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Holiday Greetings

The winter is here and in South Florida it’s what we refer to as the “season.” The holidays are upon us, snow birds return to roost, and people from all over the world come to visit as we enjoy some of the best weather in the Country!

That’s certainly true this month as Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas begins sailing every Sunday from Port Everglades. The Allure of the Seas is the second 5,400-passenger cruise ship in the world and we’re very proud that both the Oasis of the Seas and the new Allure of the Seas call Port Everglades their home Port. Our Port set a record this year as more than 3.3 million cruise guests sailed to and from Port Everglades, up 17% from the year before. That’s really good news considering the economy. By 2012 Port Everglades expects to be the number one cruise port in the world!

Within the next six months, you’ll be able to rent a bicycle, pedal a short distance and then conveniently drop it off. Broward County is about to launch one of the first bike sharing programs in Florida as a means to reduce traffic and get around town in a fun and inexpensive way.

The bicycles will be located at various station kiosks. To access the public bikes, users can swipe a credit card or pre-purchased membership card. The rented bicycles can be returned at any kiosk. Bike share kiosks will open in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Pompano Beach. Initially, 200 identifiable “B-Cycle” blue bikes will be purchased and available for public use. The program is expected to expand to 500 bikes over a five-year period.

I think it will be great for families with visitors and for tourists who want to rent bikes to go from the beach to dinner downtown. Similar bike sharing programs are operating in Denver, Des Moines and Washington, D.C., and are quite popular throughout Europe. Bikes can be rented daily or weekly or via an annual membership.

The always popular drive-through Holiday Fantasy of Lights is now in process at Tradewinds Park and occurs every night until January 2, 2010. To learn about the new 3-D experience visit www.holidaylightsdrivethru.com or call 954-623-6556 for details. Also, mark your calendars for the Hollywood Beach Candy Cane Parade on December 4th and the 39th Annual Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade on December 11th. In between, there’s the 31st Annual South Florida Chassidic Chanukah Festival at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach on December 8th. As they say….’tis the season!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all!