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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Winter Haven Rings in Holidays with Tree Lighting Ceremony and Winter Wonderland

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Winter Haven Rings in Holidays with Tree Lighting Ceremony and Winter Wonderland

by James Coulter

The holiday season officially started in Winter Haven with the city’s annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Winter Wonderland celebration, hosted on Thursday and Friday evening.

The holiday festivities kicked off Thursday evening when the city turned on the lights to the Christmas tree in Central Park in Downtown Winter Haven.

Tree Lighting Ceremony – Central Park Downtown Winter Haven

Several hundred people flocked to the park that evening and gathered around the fountain to wait in anticipation as the Christmas lights were turned on for the first time this holiday season. The light switch was flipped on at 7 PM to thunderous applause and adoration.

The festivities that evening were hosted by the City of Winter Haven and Main Street Winter Haven with holiday musical sing-alongs by local musician Hunter Smith and even a guest appearance by the Lego Movie’s Emmett and Lucy from LEGOLAND Florida.

Guest Appearance by the Lego Movie’s Emmett and Lucy from LEGOLAND Florida

Even Gourmet Goodies and Richard’s Fine Coffee joined in the festive celebration by offering free hot cocoa to the first 100 children and hosting holiday cookie decorating.

The holiday celebrations continued the following evening at the same location with the 2nd Annual Winter Haven Winter Wonderland. Guests were able to peruse food vendors, participate in holiday crafts, watch the Disney movie Frozen on a big screen, and even meet Santa Claus himself.

Disney’s Frozen
Santa Claus

Anita Strang, Main Street Winter Haven Executive Director, loved seeing all of the local children and their families gather together for two nights to celebrate the start of the holiday season.

She owes the success of the tree-lighting ceremony to the overall community spirit. She appreciates how the community canembrace such local events and enjoy the start of Christmas.

“I love it,” “I love seeing everyone with holiday cheer coming out to celebrate the lighting of our city’s tree. Everyone wants to celebrate and come together for the holidays. I am a little partial to the lights. I love seeing the holiday lights. I love seeing the children and the families enjoying them.”

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