Duval County

Deck the Chairs returns to Jacksonville Beach on Saturday

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — A favorite holiday staple returns to Jax Beach this year.

Deck the Chairs will light up the pavilion on Saturday.

Action News Jax Alicia Tarancon spoke with the event’s founder and participants on why bringing this event back was so important, even during a pandemic.

The bright lights and decorated lifeguard chairs are back for its 8th year, and organizers arrived early Friday to get ready for tomorrow.

“The sea breeze like today. The sun. The elements. This is the perfect place to take children, take your visitors, walk a space,” Kurtis Loftus, founder and development director for Deck the Chairs said.

About 40 chairs are being decorated for this year’s event.

Beaches Go Green told Action News Jax it was worried the event wouldn’t get to return this year because of the pandemic.

“We definitely were concerned. I mean, it was such a quiet year for us. Everything has changed with COVID but I feel really confident that the people that want to come out, that feel comfortable will take the necessary precautions with mask and social distancing,” Anne Marie Moquin of Beaches Go Green said.

Their 100-foot octopus made out of recycled plastic works to raise awareness about how much waste we create.

2020 has been a hard year for a lot of people, but organizers with Deck the Chairs are hoping these light displays can bring a little holiday cheer.

This year there are new safety measures because of COVID-19.

Visitors will see extra space between the chairs to give visitors more room, and there will also be hand sanitizer stations.

All of the money raised at the concession stands goes back into the community.

“The lifeguards have gotten a check from us each year. I think we’ve gotten over $45,000 to $50,000 to the lifeguards. We are also starting to support the arts programs in the beaches area,” Loftus said.

He hopes the event will also bring people back to the beaches to help boost the local economy, like it usually does during the slower months.

Deck the Chairs returns to Jax Beach on Saturday around 4:30 p.m.

It’s free and open to the public, and runs until Jan. 1.