The Illumination Destination

The Illumination Destination
By: Lisa Quinn-Gonzalez


Can you feel it? As soon as Halloween ends, Ft. Lauderdale starts to bristle with holiday excitement. The cherry picker trucks with workmen have already laced the holiday lights around giant palm trees along Las Olas Boulevard. The next few months are some of the most fun for all ages in Fort Lauderdale. Check out the sneak peek below for the many holiday happenings in the city. And the best gift- many of the below events are free!

Get Lit/Light Up Lauderdale on the Riverwalk will kickoff on Friday, November 26th, 2010. The celebration starts at 5pm but the lights get turned on by Mayor Seiler at 6 pm. Come enjoy live music, food vendors and beverage service, the Red Bull Airforce Skydiving Exhibition and an Urban Market with a holiday theme!  A Kid’s Fun Zone will be set up with a bounce house, face painting, trackless train and cotton candy. And the lights “stay on” until January 14th, 2011. The Riverwalk Trust and the City of Fort Lauderdale have partnered with Brando Displays to create a world class holiday illumination destination. The areas in and around downtown will partake; Huizenga Plaza, the Stranahan House, the Historic District, Broward Center for the Performing Arts and Esplanade Park will be decorated with lights, displays and festive décor. 

On Sunday, November 28th, 2010 be a part of Winterfest Family Day! The event will be held on the Riverside Hotel Lawn on Historic Las Olas Blvd. Enjoy free family activities such as arts, crafts, a bounce house, edible samplings, photos with Santa and much more.

On Tuesday, November 30, 2010, from 5:00pm to 10:00pm, one of Fort Lauderdale’s largest annual events for the last 40 years- Christmas on Las Olas lights up for the season with special displays as shops stay open late to show off holiday fare. Enjoy a snow pile, ice skating rink, a train, live music, school choirs and yummy delicacies, all for free.
On Sunday, December 5th, enjoy the Las Olas Chanukah Fair sponsored by the Downtown Jewish Center-  From 12 noon to pm - 5:00pm at the Riverside Hotel  Lawn on the corner of Las Olas Blvd & SE 8th Street. Food, rides and entertainment-$18 per person at the door, under 2 years old-free
The Courthouse Menorah Lighting will be held on Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 at 5:30pm at the Courthouse Courtyard, SE 6th Street.

On Saturday, December 4th from 6:00 until midnight at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino will be hold the Chambord Vodka Winterfest Black Tie Ball.  Billed as the largest holiday gala in Fort Lauderdale, attendees dressed in formal wear will dance and be entertained. Tickets are $225 per person
 On Friday, December 10th, Don’t miss Santa Claus’ traditional candy giveaway along Fort Lauderdale Beach! Santa Claus and his elves will walk along Fort Lauderdale Beach, providing beachgoers with candy canes and holiday treats. Santa's route will begin at the Fort Lauderdale Parks and Recreation Administration Building, located at 1350 W. Broward Boulevard, beginning at noon. Santa and his elves will begin passing out treats on Fort Lauderdale Beach across from the Oasis Cafe, located at 600 Seabreeze Boulevard. They will continue walking north along the beach to Birch State Park, located at A1A and Sunrise Boulevard. For more information, call (954) 828-PARK (7275).


On Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 6:30pm, the 2010 Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade, or "The World's Most Watched Boat Parade" continues this year in Fort Lauderdale with a "Dancing Thru The Decades" theme on a 12 mile boat parade route from Downtown Fort Lauderdale's New River, along the Intracoastal Waterway, to Pompano Beach. Watch more than 100 spectacularly lighted vessels from near Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades north on the Intracoastal Waterway. This year’s Grand Marshal is the host of Dancing with the Stars, the lovely Brooke Burke. For more information on the parade and all Winterfest events, visit .
On Saturday December 31st, 2010, participate in the New Year’s Eve countdown downtown.  This event takes place on SW 2nd Street, between SW 2nd Avenue and SW 4th Avenue. At the stroke of midnight, a lighted ball drops from the sky!
And for those looking for that great gift as well as supporting our local vendors, the Urban Market is open every Saturday from  8 am-2pm in the historic area at the end of SW 3rd Avenue. Holiday crafts and vendors and seasonal baskets are all for sale.
Lastly, While the kids are on Winter Break- how about taking a break at the Museum of Discovery and Science where various programs engaging all children, will be in effect?"

 Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season!