Saturday, November 17, 2012

Holidays in Palm Beach County - Celebrate for Free!

The Thanksgiving preparations haven’t yet started, let alone finished, but Christmas is already in the air.  In fact, tonight, the tree in CityPlace was lit up for the first time and the first snow fell!

This picture is actually from 2010, but you get the picture
So, what better way to celebrate the season than by participating in the free holiday festivities?  Here’s a breakdown of the holiday events going down in Palm Beach County, alphabetized by city.

Boca Raton

Courtesy of City of Boca Raton's website
Friday, November 23, 5:30pm
Holiday Lighting Extravaganza

At Mizner Park Amphitheater, you won’t just find a tree lighting, it’s a virtual tree lighting.  I’m not really sure what that means, but leave it to Boca to not actually have those pesky pine needles to pick up.  There will also be fireworks and “optical illusions” according to the city’s website.  The lighting celebration starts at 7:30pm.

Wednesday, December 5
Holiday Street Parade

The parade route stretches on Federal Highway from SE 8th Street north to Mizner Park.  Not sure if that virtual tree will still be around, or what.

Saturday, December 8, 6:30pm
Holiday Boat Parade

The waterway parade starts at the Delray-Boca border at the C-15 Canal and travels south to the Hillsboro Boulevard Bridge.  If you don’t own a mansion on the Intracoastal in Boca, you can snag bleacher seating at Red Reef Park (Red Reef Park normally has a $20 parking fee, not sure if that will be applicable this night or not).

Where to go for more information:
City of Boca Raton Website 
Mizner Park Amphitheater Website
Boat Parade

Boynton Beach

Saturday, December 1, 5pm
Street Parade, Tree Lighting, and Concert

The fun in Boynton starts at 5pm with the holiday parade down Federal Highway.  I live off Federal Highway, but unfortunately the parade is not in my neck of the woods.  The parade will start on SE 12th and head north to Ocean Avenue.  Then at 6:30pm, the tree lighting takes place at Ocean Avenue Amphitheater.  Right after that, you can jam out to a concert on Ocean Avenue hosted by Virginia and Jason from Wild 95.5.  I hate to be a stalker, but I really like the KVJ show, so I’m probably going to stalk them.

Friday, December 7th, 6:30pm
Boynton and Delray Beach Holiday Boat Parade

I literally have the best seat in the house for this parade because it starts at the Boynton Inlet, which I can see right from my dock.

Best seat in the house - we brought wine, of course!
Now, the parade isn’t really something to write home about in the sense of the boats.  They are fun to see, all lit up, but there are usually only a few, maybe about 15. 

Very hard to capture by camera!
Still, chilling on the dock behind your house and watching a boat parade is pretty sweet.  Let me know if anyone wants to come over, I’ll bring the cooler!  The parade ends at the Delray Beach/Boca border (the same place where the Boca boat parade begins)

Where to go for more information:
Street Parade Lighting, and Concert
Boat Parade

Delray Beach

Thursday, November 29, 5:30pm
Tree Lighting

It’s quite the sight… see the 100-foot tall tree light up for the first time this season!  The tree is located in Old School Square, right off Atlantic Avenue.  In the picture above, you can see me rapping with Santa a few years back.  If you can’t make the tree lighting ceremony, you can see the tree lit up all the way until January 10 from 10am to 10pm daily.

Friday, December 7th, 6:30pm
Boynton and Delray Beach Holiday Boat Parade

See the Boynton Beach section above.

Saturday, December 8th, 6pm
Holiday Parade and Menorah Lighting

The parade takes place along Atlantic Avenue.  The Menorah Lighting will be at Old School Square, where you can also see the 100-foot tree and maybe even take in a little ice skating (warning: the rink is very small and is made of plastic, not ice).

Where to go for more information:
Downtown Delray Beach website


Saturday, December 1, 8pm
Holiday Boat Parade

The parade runs from Palm Beach, just south of the North Palm Beach Marina and travels up the Intracoastal to Jupiter.  There are several points for the general, non-boat-owning public to view the parade, including Sawfish Bay Park and Lighthouse Park.  The parade starts in Palm Beach at 6pm and should arrive in Jupiter about 8pm.

Where to go for more information:
Jupiter website
Palm Beach website

Palm Beach

See Jupiter Holiday Boat Parade above.

Where to go for more information:
Sand and Sea Sun’s Greetings

Total Cost: Free!

Best Deal: Watching the Delray/Boynton Boat Parade from my backyard

What do you do to celebrate the holidays for free?

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