By Barbara Salter
While the rest of the country hunkers down and buttons up for the cold weather ahead, most folks in Flagler County are still wearing flip flops and shorts! I consider myself to be very lucky to live in a place most people dream about when they’re shoveling the white stuff.
Despite the lack of snow, however, the holiday spirit is very much alive and well! This is the place and time to experience the winter holidays Flagler County style. There are all kinds of activities for people of all ages and every year it gets better and better!
The festivities begin on Dec. 1 with the City of Palm Coast’s first annual tree lighting ceremony in Central Park. At 6 p.m., an elegant Southern Red Cedar tree, donated by the Palm Coast Garden Club at Palm Coast, will come alive with sparkling lights and ornaments.
This new event will kicks off the Flagler County Rotary's Annual Fantasy Lights display. This is the sixth year for this awesome exhibit, which has grown from 16 luminous displays in 2005 to 37 this year. It’s a beautiful sight to behold!
From Dec.1 through Dec. 30 from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m., the lake at Central Park will be illuminated by hundreds of brilliant lights from
animated angels, Santas, racecars, golfers and more. Visitors are encouraged to park their cars and stroll through this fantasy of lights that has become a community holiday tradition.
Photos with Santa will be taken on Dec. 5, 12 and 19 and refreshments will be provided by local organizations. Additionally, there area bands will be performing on the weekends. There’s no charge for this event but donations to help eradicate polio or to contribute to local educational scholarships are encouraged.
But wait; there are lots more holiday happenings! On Dec. 9 and 10, a 15-ft inflatable clear snow globe will also adorn Central Park. For $8, a family or group of up to eight people can have their photos taken inside the snow globe. The snow will begin to fly around 5 p.m. on the Dec. 9 and a free movie, Polar Express, will be shown outdoors beginning at dusk.
Then, on December 10, the City of Palm Coast proudly presents their spectacular Annual Holiday Starlight Parade and Event complete with colorful floats and high-stepping marching bands. From noon until 6 p.m. there will be food and holiday crafts vendors, musical performances and letter writing to Santa with the parade beginning to circle the park at dusk.
Central Park at Town Center is located about one half mile north of Flagler Palm Coast High School at Bulldog Drive in Palm Coast. The Rotary Club of Flagler County and the City of Palm Coast work together to make this event available to the community and our visitors.
Photos courtesy of Ken Neu, Flagler County Rotary Club