A 30-ton snow mountain, perfect for making subtropical snowballs, is always a family favorite during the celebration. The fun is set for 4-10 p.m. at the park’s beach area.
The crowd-pleasing celebration centerpiece, a 35-foot-tall holiday tree with “magical” snow blowing from its branches, is to be lighted at 6 p.m.
The 15th annual holiday parade is themed “Caring and Sharing Around the World.” The like-themed parade is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. featuring decorated floats, marching bands, antique cars and a special guest known as jolly old Saint Nick.
Well-behaved four-legged companions are welcome to join two-legged "party animals" on the stage as they prance in their own Santa Paws Pet Parade, vying for prizes for best doggone holiday attire. Entry is free.
Musical and dance performances enliven the outdoor stage throughout the event, as do contests to choose the “Little Miss Sugar Plum Fairy” and “Mister Gingerbread Man,” and the top three and “people’s choice” for the elaborate gingerbread house entries.
The holiday bazaar is to be chock full of gift items, jewelry, crafts, baked goods and gourmet baskets. The highly anticipated holiday ornament silent auction features 50 hand-painted ceramic pieces created and donated by local artists. Bids for these one-of-a-kind ornaments are accepted until 9 p.m.
Adults can sample a variety of food items, enjoy hot buttered rum or sip fine wines at the festival-favorite, Vino Village. Santa’s Sweet Shoppe is to offer tempting coffees, decadent desserts and treats.
Holiday Fest is going plastic-free, so attendees are encouraged to bring a reusable cup. Admission to the event is free. A $5 donation is to be collected for on-site parking.
Festival information: islamoradachamber.com/holiday-fest or 800-322-5397
Islamorada visitor information: fla-keys.com/islamorada or 1-800-FAB-KEYS
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