OKEECHOBEE — Florida’s year-round warm weather means it’s always festival season, and December brings area festivals with holiday themes. Enjoy the pleasant weather of the dry season while shopping for unique arts and crafts, specialty foods, and fun for the kids. Don’t forget your camera.
Christmas Lighting Festival
OKEECHOBEE — Celebrate the holiday season in the City of Okeechobee on Friday, Dec. 4, in the City Park near City Hall, 55 S.E. Third Ave., for the traditional tree lighting ceremony, movie in the park and snow! Festivities start at 5 p.m. with school choir performances, a tree lighting ceremony, the dedication of the Centennial Walkway, Fire Safety Puppet Shows, tours of City Hall and the City Fire Department, fire, police and public works demonstrations, a children’s ornament craft area, Centennial photo booth, display of the Centennial Timeline, Santa’s workshop, a snow play area sponsored by the City and Okeechobee Main Street, and a family movie in the park sponsored by GFWC Okeechobee Junior Woman’s Club.
Festival of Trees
BELLE GLADE — The Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center Presents the 27th Annual Living Christmas Tree and the 10th Annual Festival of Trees, “A Family Christmas Spectacular!” The performances will be on Saturday, Dec. 5, at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 6, at 3 p.m. Tickets are only $5.
Prior to the show, enjoy over 20 beautifully decorated trees and wreaths in the Dolly Hand’s 10th Annual Festival of Trees! The Bank of Belle Glade’s tree is decorated with $200 worth of Florida Lottery scratch-off tickets! That tree will be raffled off at the Sunday performance. Raffle tickets are $1 each and can be purchased at the Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center at any time … you do not have to be present to win. The remaining trees and wreaths will be sold through a silent auction that closes after the Sunday performance so the purchasers will have them in their homes to enjoy for the holidays … all proceeds benefit the Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center. The Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center is located on the Belle Glade Campus of Palm Beach State College at 1977 College Drive. For tickets, call the box office at 561-993-1160 or visit www.dollyhand.org.
Top of the Lake Christmas Festival
OKEECHOBEE — Okeechobee Main Street will host the Top of the Lake Christmas Festival on Saturday, Dec. 5, in Flagler Park on State Road 70 in downtown Okeechobee. The festival begins at 10 a.m. with a variety of holiday arts and crafts, gift items and food, and will continue through the end of the annual lighted night parade, around 9 p.m. The parade will begin at 6 p.m. The theme for this year is the City of Okeechobee’s Centennial.
LAKE WORTH — The American German Club of the Palm Beaches, 5111 Lantana Road, in Lake Worth, will bring back a favorite tradition, Christkindlmarkt on Saturday, Dec. 5, and Sunday, Dec. 6, from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Inspired by the world famous outdoor holidays markets found throughout Germany, Christkindlmarkt showcases a variety of delicious traditional food and drinks, unique vendor shopping, an outdoor ice skating rink, family friendly activities, and festive live entertainment and performances. Festivities will include a Lantern Parade and the chance to meet the Christkind and Santa Claus. Admission is $8 or is waived by bringing a new unwrapped Toy for the club’s Toy Run. Children under the age of 12 will be admitted free. For more information online, go to www.americangermanclub.org.
Christmas on the Caloosahatchee
MOORE HAVEN — Moore Haven Elementary School will host the annual Christmas on the Caloosahatchee Festival on Thursday, Dec. 10, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Tom Perry Park on the Caloosahatchee River in Moore Haven. There will be a variety of food vendors, crafts, games, auctions, photos with Santa and prize drawings. Stay for the fireworks at 7:30 p.m. For information, call Leslie Pryor at Moore Haven Elementary School, 866-946-0737.
Carousel of Lights
SEBRING — The area’s largest Christmas lighting display can be seen at Downtown Sebring’s Christmas Carousel of Lights located on the Circle from 6 to 9 p.m. now through Dec. 28. The event features nightly visits and photos with Santa and children’s carnival games. A comical holiday puppet show and a computerized light show repeat during the nightly event. Admission is free.
Holidays in the Highlands
SEBRING — The Holidays in the Highlands Sebring Christmas Parade will be held in downtown Sebring on Saturday, Dec. 12. The parade will start at 7 p.m. and the route will run south starting at the corner of Sebring Parkway and North Ridgewood Drive, around the Circle, to South Commerce Avenue. It will end at McClain Lane by Firemen’s Field.
For information online, go to www.visithighlandscounty.com.
Cookies, Carol’n & Christmas
LABELLE — Be a part of the inaugural Christmas Downtown, a family event, Dec. 12 in LaBelle. It will be an exciting evening full of Christmas cheer, including Cookies, Carol’n and more. The event will take place from Fort Thompson Street and north to Formerly Yours Consignment Shop. Entertainers will set a festive mood with some of your Christmas favorites, as you stroll along the street, shopping vendor booths, and enjoying Christmas treats, all between 5-7 p.m. At 7 p.m., you’ll want to participate in the Tree Lighting, and then make your way over to the beautiful Caloosahatchee River to take in the boat parade, hosted by Heritage Museum. If you would like to be a part of this event either as a vendor, selling food, crafts, beverages, anything Christmas, or as entertainment, call 863-225-2749. For complete information, go to www.downtownlabelle.com.
Lake Placid Christmas Parade
LAKE PLACID — The Lake Placid Christmas Parade will be held Saturday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. starting at the corner of Dal Hall Boulevard and North Main Avenue, and proceeding south on North Main Avenue to Interlake Boulevard. The route then heads east on Interlake Boulevard to US Highway 27. For information online go to http://www.visithighlandscounty.com.
The Okeechobee News is published every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.