ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — Even in the Florida Keys’ subtropical temperatures, moms, dads and children can make snowballs during Islamorada’s annual Florida Keys Holiday Festival scheduled Friday, Dec. 1, at Founders Park, mile marker 87 bayside.
A 30-ton snow mountain is typically a family favorite during the festivities, 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 13th annual holiday parade is to be themed “Silver and Gold,” inspired by the Burl Ives song from the 1964 “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” movie. The parade is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and features the Coral Shores Hurricanes pep band, as well as decorated floats including one carrying jolly old Saint Nick.
Well-behaved four-legged companions are welcome to join two-legged "party animals" as they prance in their own Santa Paws Pet Parade and vie for prizes for the best doggone holiday attire and best trick. Entry is free.
Musical and dance performances are to enliven the outdoor stage throughout the event, as are contests to choose the “Little Miss Sugar Plum Fairy” and “Mr. Gingerbread Man.”
The holiday bazaar is chock full of gift items, baked goods and gourmet baskets. The much-anticipated holiday ornament silent auction is to feature more than 50 one-of-a-kind hand-painted pieces created and donated by local artists.
Adults can sample hot buttered rum or sip fine wines at the festival’s popular Vino Village, and Santa’s Sweet Shoppe is to offer tempting coffees, desserts and treats.
Admission to the event is free. A $5 donation is to be collected for on-site parking.
Festival information: islamoradachamber.com/events.cfm or 800-322-5397
Islamorada visitor information: fla-keys.com/islamorada or 1-800-FAB-KEYS