Florida Guide > Places to Visit
Christmas in Celebration
Large numbers of tourists travel to Florida for the Christmas vacation, or simply “The Holidays” as it is affectionately known by our US neighbours, and whilst they are unlikely to be expecting the traditional Christmas, one or two may exhibit a few withdrawal symptoms! !
Fear not. . . . . . Celebration may provide just what you are looking for, complete with nightly snow falls, an ice skating rink, sleigh rides . . . . . . . . . (ok “train” rides really) and horse drawn carriage rides. Add to this the towns’ huge Christmas tree and decorations, the beautifully decorated shops and individually decorated homes with their fantastic displays of lights and I would defy even the most miserable of Scrooge’s not to feel just a little bit Christmassy!
The town starts to erect it’s Christmas decorations almost as soon as Halloween is over and private residences start to replace ghouls and ghosts with Santa’s and reindeer. A small nativity scene appears by the side of the lake, garlands of greenery are wound around railings, fences and lampposts, all trimmed with huge red bows. The lampposts of Market St festooned with large bells, become home to “birdboxes”, each bearing the name of one of Santas reindeer and from where snow will be projected in the coming weeks, and at the top of Market St, surrounded by a white picket fence an “ice rink” is erected. The star of the show, without doubt is the huge Christmas Tree which stands, overlooking the lake and provides a backdrop for many tourist' s photographs.
The Holiday celebrations kick off at the end of November (this year, 2011, it will be Nov 26th) with a tree lighting ceremony. There is music of the Christmas variety and the “train” and horses have their inaugural trips around the town. For the children, without a doubt, the highlight is the snow which falls nightly, on the hour between 6 and 9pm. The “snow” is actually foam and is projected from the birdboxes and into the air. From a distance it looks very effective and the fact that it is not real snow does not stop the children from rolling around in it and even attempting to make “snow angels”.
The small ice rink is actually made of plastic, nevertheless, skaters wear special “ice skates” and the more accomplished skaters perform the same sort of stunts and tricks you might expect to see at a traditional rink, whilst the novices cling to the railings as they stagger round!
The town centre gets very busy in the evenings, especially at the weekends, so expect to find restaurants full to capacity and consider booking a table in advance. Some of the streets are closed off which leads to limited parking and you may wish to park a little further away from the town centre in one of the residential streets from where you can stroll into town admiring the lights and decorations outside the residences of Celebration.
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