Deck the Chairs started five years ago as a way to celebrate the Christmas and holiday season in a one of a kind, true to the Beaches style.
For a couple weeks in November and December, Seawalk Pavilion in Jacksonville Beach is turned into a holiday display. But instead of Christmas trees decorated with lights, local artists and businesses decorate full size life guard chairs.
Kurtus Loftus started this event in 2013, as a unique way to celebrate the season and to benefit the Volunteer Life Saving Corps of Jacksonville Beach. He says he has changed something about it each year as it's a constant learning and evolution that keeps it fresh. Certain changes also make things easier to set up, because gigantic, 9 feet tall life guard chairs can be a bit cumbersome to build around.
"We've got to think about building things that are sustainable in the wind and elements in the winter at the beach," Loftus said. "We've learned to deal with 30-40 mph northeast winds."
This year, the event has taken another step in its innovation with its Christmas in July tiny chairs exhibit.
Loftus has given 20 artists, businesses and elementary schools 12 inch tall chairs, that are exactly to scale. He says they've been building some incredible sculptures with the scale models, which is beautiful but also has a purpose.
"It's practical that we are working with these tiny chairs," Loftus said. "Since it's to scale we can pretty much take all of the chairs and bring them to life size."
He says this way all the design elements are done before the massive, and quick, undertaking of setting everything up in the winter.
But these tiny sculptures are also meant to be enjoyed. So the public is invited to see what chairs have been built, and even vote on their favorite.
The most popular tiny chairs will be built to full size.
Christmas in July, Tiny Chairs Exhibit
Preview: July 12-13, 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Reception with art sale and silent auction: July 14, 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Gallery 725, 725 Atlantic Boulevard, Atlantic Beach
$20 donation at the door.