Thanksgiving Eve marks the ‘first’ lighting of Key West Historic Seaport’s must-see holiday display that includes a Christmas tree made from lobster traps. CAROL TEDESCO/

The weather is hardly frightful, but Key West is dressed in holiday style and drenched in the sparkle of the season.

More than 200 people of all ages  — families, friends and city officials — gathered at Bayview Park on Nov. 27 for the annual Christmas tree-lighting celebration that delighted local families, festive visitors and city officials.

The cherished tree-lighting ended with a visit from the big man in red, who listened to plenty of Christmas wishes. The Bayview Park Christmas tree and light display will be illuminated each night through the holiday season. 

The city’s giant menorah stands alongside its Christmas tree and will be formally lit for Hanukkah at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10. Hanukkah begins at sundown on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023, and ends the evening of Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, lasting eight nights. Visit for more holiday events.

Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.