It’s that time of year again when local kids are needed on their bikes to chase the Grinch to stop him from stealing Christmas!
- Meet at the Livin’ Right Real Estate office in FWB to decorate your bike with glow sticks (provided!), and then chase the Grinch through the neighborhood and back. Afterwards, join in the festivities at the block party.
It’s all happening on Thursday December 8, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
“This will be our 5th year doing it,” says Matthew McGee, Broker at Livin’ Right Real Estate. “It is a spinoff of the Grinch stealing Christmas. We give the kids glow sticks and help them decorate their bikes. Then they chase the Grinch, and eventually the Grinch gets caught and arrested by the Fort Walton Beach Police to stop him from stealing Christmas. It’s just a fun concept to get outside and have some fun.”
The Grinch Glow Ride started from the real estate company wanting to do something around Christmastime to give back to the community and build some community support and interaction. They came up with the concept of the Grinch Glow Ride.
“It started off with about 75 kids,” says McGee, “and now we’re up to about 500-600 who show up to participate.”
- “I have parents tell me in July that their kids are asking when the Grinch Glow Ride is this year,” added McGee. “I told my wife, ‘I may not be remembered for anything in my life except for this Grinch Glow Ride.’”
The ride has always been a free event, and McGee emphasizes it is not a race. All bikers, runners, or walkers are encouraged to participate. McGee explains that this year they have added a lot of fun little things to the ride.
“We have opened it up from being just a free community event to teaming up with the FirstFamilies Network,” he said. “They have a toy drive every year, and they asked if we could make it part of the Grinch Glow Ride and we said absolutely!”
- Families are asked to contribute a new unwrapped toy to benefit our local foster kids.
“The Grinch will ride off on his bike from our office with a police escort because the kids like to try to chase him down,” laughs McGee. “Everybody follows the Grinch through the neighborhoods, and then he’ll circle back around and we’ll have a police blockade to arrest him.”
Afterwards, there will be a block party with the movie playing outside, Christmas lights, hot chocolate, popcorn, food trucks and vendors, and local business tents.
“Tijuana Flats is selling tacos, and we have the Cheesus food truck,” says McGee. “We’ll have the FirstFamilies Network here to talk about the foster networks and adoption services in our area. The Florida Department of Health will be here. Santa will be here, and a professional photographer will be taking pictures. It’s just kind of a fun Christmas tradition now.”
McGee is a local from our area who wanted his real estate company to be involved the community and do something to bring people together.
- “To have parents come up to me in the summertime telling me that their kids are talking about it tells me that we’re accomplishing that in a little way,” he said. “Helping this community build its culture and sense of pride is a big thing for us.”
Livin’ Right’s office is located at 102 Buck Dr. in Fort Walton Beach.