Famous holiday Juno Beach Pier church service will go on despite cold snap

Outdoor holiday event organizers prepare for winter blast
Posted at 4:14 PM, Dec 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-22 18:22:46-05

JUNO BEACH, Fla. — As the saying goes, man plans and God laughs.

But as Holy Spirit Lutheran Church volunteers prepare for their popular Juno Beach Pier service on Friday, many are more worried about Mother Nature's demeanor.

"It's funny because they are concerned about it," Pastor Jim Graeser said.

Church volunteers are preparing for the service by loading chairs, instruments and other necessary items onto a truck.

Pastor Jim Graeser of Holy Spirit Lutheran Church speaks about the upcoming service on the Juno Beach Pier.
Pastor Jim Graeser speaks about preparations for the upcoming service on the Juno Beach Pier.

At the same time, the WPTV First Alert Weather team said a cold front is headed our way with conditions expected to begin changing Friday afternoon, which is right about the time of the first service on the pier at 5 p.m.

"It's certainly sweater weather," WPTV Meteorologist Steve Villanueva said. "It's apropos as we're heading into Christmas weekend."

"I am most concerned about our musicians being able to keep instruments in tune in all that weather," Graeser said.

Villanueva said our area will not see a lot of rain with this cold front.

"As we head into the evening hours around the Juno Beach area, temperatures are in the 60s, not terrible, winds at 15 to 20 mph," Villanueva said.

Graeser said the only change they will make to the pier service is to keep angel decorations — that are usually perched on the pier — at the church campus instead. They are doing this to protect them from the wind.

"In the 20 years they've been doing pier services, not one has been rained out," Graeser said.

Church volunteer Tom Lay shares the importance of the annual service to the congregation.
Church volunteer Tom Lay shares the importance of the annual service to the congregation.

"For some reason, somehow it always clears before it's time to roll the shows," church volunteer Tom Lay said. "It brings the community together. That's the most important thing."

"As you look over the ocean, you're under a blanket of stars. It's an experience you have to be there for," Graeser said.

The organizers of the famous Sandi Tree holiday display in West Palm Beach said they don't expect any major disruptions due to the cold front. They only expect to have to close the Ferris wheel near Sandi Tree in the event of rain.