Holiday Fest’s parade will see a visit from Santa Claus. CONTRIBUTED

The forecast calls for lots of snow during the 18th annual Islamorada Chamber of Commerce Holiday Fest, set for Friday, Dec. 2, from 4 to 10 p.m at Founders Park.

“Bundle up for one of the most exciting community events on the calendar,” said Craig McBay, president of the chamber of commerce. “This will be a great time for everyone to kick off the holiday season.”

The event’s star attraction, the Holiday Fest Snow Mountain, will once again be made out of 30 tons of the cold white stuff — more than enough to delight mitten-clad children and some of their more playful parents too. Meanwhile, throughout the evening, Islamorada’s 35-foot-high official holiday tree will be blowing magical snow through its branches.

Snow is far from the only thing promised at Holiday Fest. At 7:30 p.m., the Holiday Parade will kick off with floats, antique cars and Santa himself. The chamber is seeking more entrants for the parade. 

The mountainous snow is an attraction for the many kids who visit Holiday Fest every year. CONTRIBUTED

The festival also offers a holiday gift bazaar for getting the shopping season started. A popular feature of the bazaar is the silent auction of handcrafted ornaments. In preparation, 50 local artists are creating original holiday treasures starting from a blank ceramic mold. The finished pieces will be on display throughout the evening. The silent auction is scheduled to end at 9 p.m. The bazaar also features jewelry and crafts.

Returning to the festival this year is Santa’s Sweet Shoppe, featuring a selection of desserts and coffee. A wide variety of other food will also be on offer throughout the evening.

Staff from the village of Islamorada won first place for the cartoon-inspired float at last year’s Holiday Fest parade. CONTRIBUTED

Anyone interested in participating as a vendor in the Holiday Gift Bazaar should fill out the Vendor Application at and return it to [email protected] or mail to Islamorada Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 915, Islamorada, FL 33036. 

For information, or if you would like to volunteer at Holiday Fest, call 305-664-4503 or stop by the Islamorada Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center at MM 87, bayside.

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