BayStreet, Jacksonville Band, Annual Pier Dance

BayStreet’s 16th Annual Pier Dance

Miller said he created the inaugural event after a chance meeting with an older gentleman who promoted the big band-style dances once held at the old Shad’s Pier. The first Jacksonville Beach Pier Dance was a revival of that timeless image of couples dancing above the breaking surf as well as an ideal opportunity to lend a hand. “It was Christmas time so it was the perfect time to make it a charity event,” he said. “We looked for a local to local charity and we found BEAM.”

Years later, Miller is elated that spirit of the Pier Dance continues to ripple throughout the community as other organizations host similar events for BEAM and other worthwhile recipients. “It was like a pebble dropped in still water. At the time we started the Pier Dance, there were no similar events,” he said. “We are delighted to have helped BEAM’s good work. They do all the hard work.”

Miller is grateful for the chance to etch his name in the annals of Beaches history and hopes to keep the Pier Dance tradition alive for years to come. Long after the band stops playing and all of the donations are distributed, Miller knows that the magic of season is not far away. “It is very gratifying to me,” Miller said. “It’s always a special moment for me on Christmas morning to sit back and enjoy that warm glow, knowing that these kids can have a better Christmas.”

BEAM reaches over 600 children each holiday season through the toy donations and gift cards for children from 1 to 14. BEAM requests that the gifts be approximately $5 to $30 as well as gift cards with values of up to $30 for older children. Gifts should be delivered unwrapped to allow the parents to view the gifts and distribute them to their children within the traditions of their own families. To donate to BEAM or adopt a family for the holidays, call 241-7447 or visit