Winter Haven Celebrates 34th Carols in the Park
by James Coulter
For more than three decades, Winter Haven has rung in the holiday season with its annual Carols in the Park presented by Citizens Bank and Trust.
Last Saturday, more than several hundred performers from local school choirs performed holiday favorites for the 34th Annual Carols in the Park.
The annual holiday event was hosted in Central Park in Downtown Winter Haven, where attendees could hear holiday favorites performed by local school choirs.
Attendees could also peruse several dozen arts and crafts vendors, skate on an artificial ice-skating rink, and, of course, meet and take photos with Santa Claus himself.
Bonnie Parker, Senior Vice President of the Bank of Central Florida, was on the board of directors for the first committee to develop the event that is now Carols in the Park.
As someone who grew up playing flute in the school band, she especially enjoys being able to hear band students performing classic holiday tunes
Even though the number of craft vendors was relatively scant, this year’s event experienced a tremendous turnout, Parker said.
“You can hardly find an empty seat for all the different performing groups,” she said.
She owes its overall success to the event being a longstanding annual tradition warmly embraced by the community.
“The Chamber of Commerce ordered perfect Florida weather,” she quipped. “There is nothing more enjoyable this time of year than watching children sing and play Christmas carols, and being out, and doing shopping, and getting in the holiday spirit.”