45th Anniversary Tangier Island Christmas “Holly Run” To Take Place December 6th Stevensville, Maryland – On December 6, 2014, as they have been for over forty years, pilots from the Chesapeake Bay area will bring Christmas cheer to the approximately 700 isolated residents of Tangier Island, Virginia.
Eastern shore pilot Ed Nabb, Sr. started delivering holiday greens (holly) to the island in the 1960s when he realized that the rising sea level had eroded Tangier Island to the point that it no longer supported the growth of holly or other traditional Christmas evergreens.
His son, Ed Nabb Jr. took the reigns upon his father’s passing growing the event to nearly three dozen pilots and planes carrying holly to the island. In recent years, the event has grown to more than fifty aircraft and Santa has joined the pilots to spread Christmas cheer.
The pilots this year are also bringing school supplies for the students and teachers at the Tangier Combined School. “Teachers on the island can’t just run out to Walmart like we can,” explained Chesapeake Sport Pilot Chief Flight Instructor and Holly Run coordinator Helen Woods. “Things that every teacher needs this time of year like Kleenex and Germ-X can be in short supply. We’ll be loading our planes with these and other items the school needs in addition to bags of holly.”
Chesapeake Sport Pilot flight school (www.chesapeakesportpilot.com) will sponsor the run for the fifth year in a row out of its 6,000 square foot facility at the Bay Bridge Airport, in Stevensville, Maryland where they plan to serve breakfast to the pilots before the flight. “We are delighted to be able to host the Holly Run again this year,” said Woods. “Promoting the joy and fun of aviation is what Chesapeake Sport Pilot is all about.”
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is also planning to participate with their president Mark Baker joining the flight. Tangier’s mayor and Methodist pastor are also planning a special combined Tangier history lesson and Christmas service for the pilots to be held in Tangier’s beautiful and historic Methodist church. Lunch will later be served at Loraine’s Sandwich Shop on the island.
Ed Nabb Jr. and the Santa Claus (Richard Lindstrom) will be flying with the group.