SNOWFLAKES & SANTA RETURN TO FOUNDERS PARK FOR HOLIDAY FEST ON DEC. 1

The event’s star attraction is the Holiday Fest Snow Mountain. CONTRIBUTED

Snow is in the forecast for the 19th annual Islamorada Chamber of Commerce Holiday Fest on Friday, Dec. 1 from 4 to 10 p.m. at Founders Park.

“Bundle up for one of the most exciting community events on the calendar,” said Sara Stanczyk, Chamber of Commerce president. “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 children and some of their more playful parents too. Meanwhile, throughout the evening, Islamorada’s 35-foot high 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. The grand marshal, Capt. Skip Bradeen, a local fishing legend and friend to all, will lead the parade. The Islamorada Chamber of Commerce is seeking more entrants for the holiday parade. Businesses and other organizations or individuals who are interested are encouraged to enter – registration is free. Judges will select winners in several categories based on creativity and adherence to this year’s theme: Happy Holidays & Best Fishes.

The festival also offers the holiday gift bazaar, perfect for getting the shopping season started right. A popular feature of the bazaar is the online auction of handcrafted ornaments. More than 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 online auction is scheduled to go live on Sunday, Nov. 26 at 12:30 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. on festival night. The online auction can be accessed at 32auctions.com/ICC-2023.  

Returning to the festival this year is Santa’s Sweet Shoppe, featuring a selection of desserts and holiday cookies. A wide variety of more savory food will also be offered throughout the evening. Adults can sample a variety of food items, enjoy hot buttered rum, eggnog and craft beer or sip fine wines at the Vino Village.

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 the entrance to Founders Park, MM 87, bayside. 

Holiday Fest organizers are working to go green and minimize the impact of the event on the environment. Please bring non-glass reusable beverage containers to reduce waste and do your part to protect our delicate Florida Keys ecosystem.