Christmas trees are going up around the Emerald Coast in preparation for the upcoming holiday season.
The holiday season is approaching, and local municipalities and shopping centers are decorating and planning activities to kick off the season. Here is a list of some of the Christmas tree lighting ceremonies and events you can enjoy along the Emerald Coast.
— Destin Commons will have Santa’s Arrival & Tree Lighting on Friday, Nov. 22, from 6- 8 p.m. Enjoy free face painting, free photos with Rudolph and Frosty, as well as a holiday photo booth while you listen to festive tunes. Santa arrives at 7 p.m. for a holiday parade down Main Street, where he will light Destin Commons’ 50-foot Christmas tree. The event concludes with a fireworks show.
— The Henderson resort in Destin will have its 3rd annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in the Grand Piazza on Sunday, Nov. 24, from 6-8:30 p.m. Join Santa as he lights the Christmas tree and celebrate a special Christmas performance by carolers from the local community. There will be traditional holiday drinks like hot cocoa and eggnog served as Santa takes gift requests.
— Uptown Station will host a tree-lighting ceremony and celebrate the arrival of Santa Claus on Saturday, Nov. 30, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Come see the arrival of Santa Claus and stay to watch “How The Grinch Stole Christmas.” Uptown Station is at 99 Eglin Parkway in Fort Walton Beach.
— The Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin will host its Here Comes Santa event on Saturday, Nov. 30, from 6-9 p.m. Cheer Santa on as he makes his way to Baytowne and watch as he lights the Village tree. Enjoy face painting, kids crafts and a fireworks display.
— Shalimar will have its first Christmas tree-lighting ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 30, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. There will be a countdown to the lighting of the tree at 6 p.m. in front of Town Hall at 2 Cherokee Road. There will be several booths set up outside for finger foods, Christmas cookies, hot chocolate (while supplies last). The Emerald Coast Chorus also will perform.
— In Bluewater Bay, the Geek Lights on the Corner Christmas lights and music show will start at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2. Now in its 12th season, Geek Lights consists of Christmas lights and other themed display elements, all under computer control and synchronized to music. The show runs in 30 minute intervals each night starting at 6 p.m., with the last show starting at 9:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The free performances take place at the corner of Bluewater Boulevard and Antiqua Way.
— Destin will host the 33rd annual Christmas tree-Lighting ceremony at Destin Community Center on Thursday, Dec. 5, at 6 p.m. This will be an outdoor event for the entire family with a visit from Santa Claus, entertainment and refreshments. Donations of canned food will be collected for families in need.
— Fort Walton Beach will host A Downtown Holiday 2019 on Dec. 7 from noon-7 p.m. at Fort Walton Landing. There will be Christmas shopping with local vendors and businesses, food vendors and restaurants, live entertainment, kids activities and much more. The tree lighting event is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
— Crestview will host its annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony Saturday, Dec. 7 at 5 p.m. near the Okaloosa County Courthouse on Main Street. Crestview’s Christmas Parade follows at 5:30, starting at the railroad tracks and going north on Main Street toward the courthouse.
— The Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce’s 25th Annual Christmas in the Park will be held Dec. 7 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Navarre Park on U.S. Highway 98 in downtown Navarre. This year’s event will include a Merry Market where local arts and craft vendors will gather with gift ideas. There will be children’s games, face painting and a cake walk. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by firetruck and will be available for photos with children. The 20-foot Christmas tree will be lit at about 5 p.m.