Thomas Center Activities


Yuletide Decorating the Thomas Center

lobby_christmas-crop-u4383Holiday activity for the Associates includes a festive evening decorating the Thomas Center in its holiday finery. Carrying on a lengthy tradition, our members work long hours to turn the Center into a glorious celebration of the Christmas season. The City provides the enormous Christmas tree that reaches toward the heavens and our volunteers climb ladders and hang lights and decorations in places impossible to reach. Affixing red bows, hanging greenery and wreaths, draping garlands, and decorating every area that can be decorated is our mission. This annual effort is our gift to the city of Gainesville.   | BACK TO TOP

Jingle Bell Ball

jbb_webAnother long-time tradition is our annual holiday dinner/dance, the Jingle Bell Ball, held early in December and beginning the yuletide season. With the elegant surroundings of the historic Thomas Center decorated in its Christmas dress, guests spend a grand evening enjoying a lavish dinner with cocktails, and then dancing the night away to the music of an excellent band. This festive celebration is not exclusively for our membership; the general public is cordially invited to attend.

There will not be a Jingle Bell Ball in 2021.

Spring Promenade

Thomas Center Associates organizes a tour of homes in the Duckpond neighborhood every two years as a fundraiser for the many TCA projects.  Beginning with the 2019 tour, this tour also includes a focus on some aspect of the history of the Thomas Center itself.  The 2019 tour featured the Thomas Center as it was when it was the home of W.R. Thomas, his wife Kate and their 5 children from 1910 until 1925.   During that period, the home was known as Sunkist Villa and included 21 rooms built around an open atrium.  Many of the architectural details of the home remain evident today.  The 2021 tour was cancelled because of Covid-19.  We hope to resume our Tour of Homes tradition in 2022.

Gallery Receptions and Other Activities

The Thomas Center Associates assists the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs staff in various ways. For example, each year the Alachua public schools’ art departments are featured with students’ work being displayed and a reception open to the public is held. Traditionally our organization provides refreshments for this event.

In other instances, the Associates provide help wherever needed such as the following situation. The City sponsors plays for children in the outdoor theater but strong sun hampered performances; our organization purchased large umbrella-type coverings for the theater to alleviate the problem. Other examples include our group’s providing the professional artist who volunteered to restore the color of the exterior and interior building’s applied classical decorations. We are always happy to assist in any effort needed by the City staff. | BACK TO TOP